Inside The Bills

Dareus over Broncos passing on him in ’11

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2014 – 10:31 am

With the second pick in the 2011 NFL draft the Denver Broncos picked Von Miller. With the very next pick the Bills took Marcell Dareus. Buffalo’s Pro Bowl DT didn’t appreciate getting passed over by Denver or Carolina, who took Cam Newton first overall.

In an interview with Dareus not long after he was picked by Buffalo I asked him why he was so chapped about going third overall. This was his answer back in 2011.

“I worked my butt off to the point where I’m not going to give you a reason not to pick me,” Dareus said. “You’re not going to look at me and be like, ‘Well he’s good, but…” That ‘but’ word is never going to come up when you mention my name. My sole focus was for me not to give you a reason to not pick me and you still don’t? Okay, I understand you have needs somewhere else, but if you need somebody to control your front and be a commander across the front and not let anything happen? I work my butt off to do that, and you pass me up still? Okay, I’ve got something for you.”

Then in an interview with Hall of Famer Michael Irvin on WQAM radio in Miami, Dareus back in 2011 promised to make life difficult for the Broncos, who he played against as a rookie.

“Denver I’ll get a chance to play them in the regular season (this year) and I’m going to make it hell for them every time I play against them,” he said.

Buffalo won that game in 2011 by a score of 40-14. Dareus had four tackles including one for loss.

Four years later, however, Dareus is a more mature player and doesn’t hold any ill feelings toward the Broncos.

“I don’t like to hold grudges,” Dareus said. “I came out, I said what I had to say and I held up my end for the most part. But we’re fighting for so much more than some pick spot. I’m with these guys, I love these guys to death. We’re going to continue to fight and claw and get ourselves in the position they’re in.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Undrafteds – defense

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2011 – 8:17 pm

Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable undrafted rookie free agents on defense that are available to sign beginning at 10 am Tuesday now that the new CBA has been approved by the owners and the players.

The safety position is widely thought to have the most quality undrafted prospects of any position group, but Buffalo already has five on their roster, so at most they might add one. Where the Bills need to add is as ILB and CB in terms of roster numbers.

Daniel Allen – Southern Connecticut St.
Pierre Allen – Nebraska
Ugo Chinasa – Oklahoma St.
DeQuin Evans – Kentucky
Jon Freeney – Rutgers
Steven Friday – Virginia Tech
Stafford Gatling – Ohio
Kendell Lockett – Ole Miss
Lawon Scott – Ole Miss
Ryan Winterswyk – Boise St.

Brandon Bair – Oregon
Scooter Berry – West Virginia
John Graves – Virginia Tech
Yaky Ibia – Towson
Elisha Joseph – Temple
Andrew Lewis – Syracuse
Ricky Lumpkin – Kentucky
Lawrence Marsh – Florida
Ollie Ogbu – Penn State
Martin Parker – Richmond
Lucas Patterson – Texas A&M
Odrick Ray – Tulsa
Cedric Thornton – Southern Arkansas
Thomas Weaver – Villanova
Colby Whitlock – Texas Tech
Ian Williams – Notre Dame

Mario Harvey – Marshall
Mark Herzlich – Boston College
Eric Gordon – Michigan State
Orie Lemon – Oklahoma St.
Michael Morgan – USC
Adrian Moten – Maryland
Brandon Peguese – Hampton
Justin Winters – Buffalo

Josh Bynes – Auburn
Brian Duncan – Texas Tech
Marquis Kirkland – Villanova
Pat Lazear – West Virginia
Scott Lustrus – UCONN
Eric McBride – Richmond
Derrell Smith – Syracuse
Kendall Smith – Florida State
Alex Wujiciak – Maryland

Brandon Bing – Rutgers
Kendric Burney – North Carolina
Mario Butler – Georgia
Vance Cuff – Georgia
Ryan Jones – Missouri St.
Devon Torrence – Ohio State
Anthony Walters – Delaware

Anthony Bratton – Delaware
Niles Brinkley – Wisconsin
Zac Etheridge – Auburn
Jai Eugene – LSU
Will Hill – Florida
Jeron Johnson – Boise St.
Brian Lainhart – Kent State
Joe Lefeged – Rutgers
DeAndre McDaniel – Clemson
Davon Morgan – Virginia Tech
Davonte Shannon – Buffalo
Jerrard Tarrant – Georgia Tech
Jay Valai – Wisconsin
Deunta Williams – North Carolina

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Undrafteds – offense

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2011 – 8:14 pm

Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable undrafted rookie free agents on offense that are available to sign beginning at 10 am Tuesday now that the new CBA has been approved by the owners and the players.

Ben Chappell – Indiana
Pat Devlin – Delaware
Adam Froman – Louisville
Mike Hartline – Kentucky
Jerrod Johnson – Texas A&M
Josh Portis – California(Pa.)
Taylor Potts – Texas Tech
Scott Tolzien – Wisconsin
Jeff Van Camp – Florida Atlantic
Trevor Vittatoe – UTEP
Adam Weber – Minnesota

Matt Asiata – Utah
Damien Berry – Miami
Donald Buckram – UTEP
Graig Cooper – Miami
Noel Devine – West Virginia
Shaun Draughn – North Carolina
Darren Evans – Virginia Tech
Mario Fanin – Auburn
Derrick Locke – Kentucky
Angus Quigley – Kansas
Brandon Saine – Ohio State
Chad Spann – Northern Illinois

Henry Hynopski – Pitt

Darvin Adams – Auburn
Kris Adams – Auburn
Kamar Aiken – UCF
Armon Binns – Cincinnati
DeAndre Brown – Southern Miss
Mark Dell – Michigan State
Tori Gurley – South Carolina
Andre Holmes – Hampton
Lester Jean – Florida Atlantic
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos – Iowa
Detron Lewis – Texas Tech
Ricardo Lockette – Valley State
Jeff Maehl – Oregon
Tysonn Poots – Southern Utah
ZaVious Robbins – Hardin-Simmons
Armon Robinson – Miami (OH)
Dane Sanzenbacher – Ohio State
Courtney Smith – South Alabama
Owen Spencer – N.C. State
Terrence Tolliver – LSU
Jimmy Young – TCU
Terrell Zachary – Auburn

Preston Dial – Alabama
Charlie Gantt – Michigan State
Mike McNeil – Nebraska
Kyle Miller – Mount Union
Schuylar Oordt – Northern Iowa
Zach Pianalto – North Carolina
Allen Reisner – Iowa
Weslye Sanders – South Carolina
Stephen Skelton – Fordham
Ben Thayer – E. Michigan

Cameron Bradfield – Valley State
Nick Claytor – Georgia Tech
Ray Dominguez – Arkansas
Adam Grant – Arizona
Kyle Hix – Texas
David Mims – Virginia Union
Corey O’Daniel – Gardner-Webb
Alan Pelc – North Carolina
Jacob Sims – South Florida
Soeren Wendland – Liberty

Justin Boren – Ohio State
Bryant Browning – Ohio State
Thomas Claiborn – Boston College
Kevin Hughes – SE Louisiana St.
Zack Hurd – UCONN
Carl Johnson – Florida
Jarriel King – South Carolina
Matt Murphy – UNLV

Tim Barnes – Missouri
Colin Baxter – Arizona
J.C. Brignone – Mississippi St.
Jake Kirkpatrick – TCU
Kevin Kowalski – Toledo
Alex Linnenkohl – Oregon State
Ryan Pugh – Auburn
Zane Taylor – Utah

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Exclusive: Inside Bills draft room

Posted by Chris Brown on May 16, 2011 – 4:00 pm

Want to know how things went down for the Bills when they were on the clock at 3? Want to hear about the phone conversation between head coach Chan Gailey and Marcell Dareus when they made him the third overall pick? Hear about draft day 1 and day 2 from both Gailey and GM Buddy Nix in an exclusive look at the 2011 NFL from inside the Bills draft room.

The exclusive posts Tuesday morning at 11 am on Here’s a taste.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Scouts to be back at it

Posted by Chris Brown on May 10, 2011 – 8:55 pm

It’s been a demanding pre-draft process for the Bills college scouting department leading up to the NFL draft. Very soon they’ll be back at it to grind for another 11 months.

Bills GM Buddy Nix shed some light on the schedule the scouts will be resuming less than a month after the 2011 NFL draft.

“Our scouts start the 22nd of this month in Orlando on every junior that will be available in the draft next year,” said Nix.

No rest for the weary as Buffalo’s scouting department rolls out the suitcases again.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-6

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2011 – 11:24 am

Our first post-draft Fan Friday after a two week hiatus. There was just no way for me to turn around a Fan Friday on draft weekend with all the information we had to get out to you fans. So let’s get going with your questions from

1 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for all the great draft coverage, as always. Kelvin Sheppard seems like a great pick in the third round, but I was a bit surprised we didn’t take Martez Wilson, who everyone seemed to think we were going to draft back with the 34th pick. Couldn’t believe he was still there in the third. You appeared to be thrilled with the Sheppard pick as well but had been high on Wilson leading up to the draft. Can you compare the two, why you think Buddy went for Sheppard, and if/why you think that was the right call?

Thanks again,
Robert (Seattle)
CB: Wilson is more of a hybrid type linebacker. He has great length and is athletic, but he’s not a stuff the run type linebacker that Buffalo needed in the middle of their defense. He’s long and lanky with a lot of straight line speed. In fact the Saints are saying they’re going to use him as an OLB, which makes sense.

The Bills needed an interior run stuffer and Sheppard fits that profile better. I was very impressed with what I saw from Sheppard at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a better college resume than Wilson and better intangibles than him as well (leadership, instincts).

2 – Chris,
Leading up to the draft Jerry Jones claimed that 2 NFL teams have contacted him about trading up for the Cowboys #9 first round pick in this years draft.
Did you heard anything about teams interested in trading for the Bills #3 first round pick in this years draft?

It seems to me that the Bills need extra high draft picks to become a contender. Like the Patriots get every year. It might be to Buffalo’s advantage to trade the #3 pick for extra draft choices.

Lee D

CB: I understand your point and there were phone calls made to the Bills prior to the opening of the draft and during the early stages of the draft in round one. I’ll provide you with Buddy Nix’s description of it.

“We probably got 15 calls every round people wanting to move up or move back and offering picks,” said Nix. “I don’t say this is always the case because I don’t want to ever say never. Normally you won’t see us move back or swap picks just to be churning stuff. We kind of sit there and let what falls to us and take them and normally it’s worked out best. I’m not saying we wouldn’t ever do it. We might, but we’re not going to be big in that.”

Really what it comes down to is different philosophies. The Patriots love to move up and down the draft board and acquire picks for the future. This is admirable, but I also believe New England passes up some good opportunities and this year would be a good example.

They desperately needed a pass rusher. Their third down defense was worst in the league, and they had a chance with all their high picks to get an impact performer. They chose not instead trading away their 28th overall pick to New Orleans and their 60th overall pick to Houston. It can work for you and against you. I think this year it worked against the Patriots.

Sometimes less really is more and the Bills may have proven that in being one of nine NFL clubs that did not make a single trade in the 2011 NFL draft.

3 – Hi Chris,

I’d like to know what you think about the potential QBs in next year’s draft vs this year’s draft.  Any franchise material in that one?  Do the Bills look ahead to the seniors and possible juniors of the future or do they only focus on the current drafts prospects?  I’ve also seen a good idea about trading pick #34 for a 1st rounder next year to help us secure a franchise QB in that draft if one we like is there such as Luck, or another guy I like is Kirk Cousins from MSU.  Your thoughts please.

Thanks -Showtime.

CB: I’m not going to pretend to know any of these QB prospects for 2012, but here are some of the more highly-touted QBs for 2012. Andrew Luck (duh), USC’s Matt Barkley, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Arizona’s Nick Foles and your guy Kirk Cousins from Michigan State.

4 – Chris,

Could you give us a list of the prospects that have visited One Bills Drive?  I know you have been posting them as they come, but its hard to keep track of that, especially for those of us who simply cannot get to every day.


Jimmy (Fairport)

CB: I know the draft is over, but here’s the list of publicized names. I’ve been told there were a handful of others that were not made public.

Gabe Carimi
Von Miller
Kelvin Sheppard
Cam Newton
Marcell Dareus
Ryan Kerrigan
Christian Ponder
Justin Houston
Nick Fairley
Brooks Reed
Christian Ballard
Blaine Gabbert
Quan Sturdivant
Bruce Carter
Robert Quinn
Cameron Jordan
J.J. Watt
Da’Quan Bowers


5 – Hello Mr. Brown,
   What is the deal with Danny Batten? I know he was on I-R all last season, but does he have a shot at making the cut or even starting?

CB: The most recent comments from Coach Gailey are that there is a strong likelihood that Batten moves back to outside linebacker. That’s where he started in training camp before his torn rotator cuff injury required surgery.

He was still in the all the meetings while he rehabbed late in the season, and the coaching staff shifted him to inside linebacker to learn that position instead.

Now with the acquisition of Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White in the draft, Gailey sounds like he’s leaning toward putting him back outside.

I think it’d be a good move for Batten. He spent the majority of his college career as an edge rusher so he’ll likely feel comfortable out there.

As for a role on the team, there’s a lot more competition now with Shawne Merriman in the fold and fellow draft classmate Arthur Moats emerging in the second half of the season. He’s essentially a rookie having not played last year so we’ll see.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rogers training at home

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2011 – 10:48 am

Bills seventh-round pick CB Justin Rogers played his college ball at Richmond, but he’s in his home state of Louisiana working hard. He was also caught off guard when Buffalo picked him.

In an interview with ESPN radio in Richmond, Rogers said he didn’t have much contact with the Bills. He recalled one meeting with a scout at the East-West Shrine game. He’s currently working out with a trainer he knew from high school in his native Louisiana. Here’s the radio interview.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bengals picked Sr. Bowlers

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2011 – 8:55 am

The Bills weren’t the only coaching staff at the Senior Bowl that wound up picking players that were performing down there through the course of the practice week and game in Mobile in late January. The other coaching staff did as well.

With a total of nine picks, Buffalo took three players in last weekend’s draft that they spent a week with at the Senior Bowl including two on their South Team roster. The Cincinnati Bengals took two players from the Senior Bowl with the eight picks they had last weekend, one of which was a quarterback in Andy Dalton in round 2. They also took OL Clint Boling in round four out of Georgia.

Both of those players were on Chan Gailey’s South Team. The exposure on the practice field and in the meeting rooms going over tape and scheme is where the coaching staffs really felt they got a handle on how the players would operate as professionals, something that’s hard to get in an interview setting. Pairing that up with what you can get off of game tape in terms of playing ability paints a pretty complete picture.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Williams pays homage to Reed

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2011 – 3:34 pm

Bills second-round pick Aaron Williams was apparently very honored having his name read by Bills Wall of Famer Andre Reed on day two of the NFL draft last weekend.

Here was his tweet to Andre earlier today.

ajwilliams04 @Andre_Reed83 I’m very honored you announced my name at the draft. I looked up to you when you played #greatperson #greatplayer
Nice to see a rookie respecting those that came before him.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kiper: Williams a 1st rounder

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2011 – 1:58 pm

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, called Bills second-round pick Aaron Williams one of the steals of the 2011 draft class.

“Aaron Williams I really like at that point where they got him,” said Kiper in a national conference call this week. “He can play corner, he can play safety, he’s the toughest run support corner that I’ve graded in the last five years.

“He wound up going 34. I thought he’d be a late one. I thought teams like Philadelphia would look at him and some of those teams late (in the first). To get him where they did that’s a nice pick there.”

Here is his full list of draft steals.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gruden on Dareus

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2011 – 12:01 pm

ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden had his own assessment of Marcell Dareus and why he thought Dareus was superior to Auburn’s (and now Detroit’s) Nick Fairley.

“Well, Dareus, if you watch Dareus play two years ago, his film is even better than it was this year.  He got hurt in the Arkansas game (this year).  That ankle lingered throughout the season.  But I think Darius is a different player than Fairley.  Dareus is a three‑position player in a 3‑4 front.  He can play nose, either defensive end.  He is legitimate, sheer power.  This is a power player.  He is rare.  You’ve seen the physical nature this guy’s put together with a rare combination of explosive physical play, and a guy that’s well‑versed under Nick Saban.”

Gruden gave Dareus the edge because of his versatility and better all-around game.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another ‘A’ grade for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2011 – 11:14 am

The Bills draft grades have been pretty favorable on the heels of the 2011 draft, but in a couple of instances they’ve been excellent.

A day after receiving an ‘A’ plus from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, Buffalo got another ‘A’ grade from FOXSports.

Grade: A minus

Analyst:  Adam Schein and Peter Schrager

Outlet:  FOX Sports

Comments:  They did some great things in WNY this weekend.  Marcell Dareus is the perfect fit for this defense. … Give Chan Gailey and company a lot of credit.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Nix on trade talk

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2011 – 10:40 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix commented on the level of trade talk they encountered during draft weekend and by the sound of it there was a lot of chatter on the phone lines.

In an interview on the Shredd and Ragan show on 103.3 The Edge, Nix said there were more than a dozen inquiries by teams per round.

“We probably got 15 calls every round people wanting to move up or move back and offering picks,” Nix said. “I don’t say this is always the case because I don’t want to ever say never. Normally you won’t see us move back or swap picks just to be churning stuff. We kind of sit there and let what falls to us and take them and normally it’s worked out best. I’m not saying we wouldn’t ever do it. We might, but we’re not going to be big in that.”

Nix has said several times that he doesn’t like moving up and down the draft board. He likes to sit in their spots and pick, and it proved to be a sound approach this time around as the Bills from top to bottom appear to have one of their better draft classes in the past 10 years.

The Bills were one of only nine teams that did not make a single trade draft weekend.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

A+ grade for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2011 – 1:07 pm

One of the more on the spot mock drafters, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News also put out his draft grades for the 32 NFL clubs, and had high marks for Buffalo. Here was his synopsis.


The Bills had nine selections and five of them were above value for the round they were drafted: Williams, Hairston, the two Whites and Rogers. A good draft becomes great in the third day. The Bills hit for the cycle on Saturday.

1 (3)  Marcel Dareus  DT  Alabama 
2 (34)  Aaron Williams  DB  Texas 
#3 (68)  Kelvin Sheppard  LB  LSU 
4 (100)  Da’Norris Searcy  DB  North Carolina 
4 (122)  Chris Hairston  OT  Clemson 
5 (133)  Johnny White  RB  North Carolina 
6 (169)  Chris White  LB  Mississippi State 
7 (206)  Justin Rogers  DB  Richmond 
7 (245)  Michael Jasper  DT  Bethel (Tenn.) 

Gosselin had only one other NFL club with an ‘A’ grade besides Buffalo and that was the Baltimore Ravens.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kiper: Hairston key to class

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2011 – 10:53 am

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, who gave the Bills an overall grade of ‘B’ in this year’s draft, called fourth-round pick OT Chris Hairston the most critical piece of Buffalo’s draft class.

“With the offensive line you can only do so much,” said Kiper. “With the offensive line there was a big drop off after the top group. That’s why I think the key guy is going to be Chris Hairston. Chris Hairston has a lot of ability and potential. I think he’s not yet where he needs to be. Any time you get a kid that’s 6’6 ¼” and 326 pounds and is very, very strong in the upper body, he’s got incredibly long arms. The kid is a talent.

“(The question is) outside pass rushers, how much trouble will they give him? He’s got to get quicker out of his stance and do a better job of maintaining his frame between the defense and the quarterback, but that will come with coaching. Offensive line coaching will be critical for Hairston because he needs some coaching and the offensive line coach has to develop this kid. If they do it could be a very good pick there.”

With Bills offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris, Hairston will be in good hands. Head coach Chan Gailey said over the weekend he envisions Hairston as a right tackle, even though he played left at Clemson. And Kiper apparently doesn’t put a whole lot of stock in Erik Pears, who is the Bills odds on favorite to be the starting right tackle in 2011, after a couple of strong starts last season as a late year pickup.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Michael Jasper footage

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2011 – 9:03 am

For those of you Bills fans that are intrigued by Buffalo’s seventh-round draft pick, who played his senior season at 430 pounds, you’re going to be surprised by his athleticism.

Bills GM Buddy Nix said that NT Michael Jasper has a vertical leap of 33 inches, a 9’5″ broad jump and can dunk a basketball. He’s also now down to 378 pounds. Here’s a video of his training to get an idea of how athletic he is, basketball dunk included. Enjoy, it’s impressive.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Final pick is a DT

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2011 – 6:05 pm

Bills took a defensive tackle with their final pick, a very big defensive tackle. Michael Jasper out of Bethel has about 60 pounds on Bills top pick Marcell Dareus.

Jasper (6’4 1/2″, 378) played in 2010 at 430 pounds (according to him), but with the Bills scout Matt Hand practically stalking the small school prospect over the past year, he was motivated to drop the weight for a shot at an NFL career.

“They showed the most interest,” said Jasper. “For them to put it into action with a draft pick is a big deal.”

Jasper said the heaviest he ever weighed was 448 pounds. Here’s a photo of the big man when he was in training getting his weight down these past four months.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills grab CB to develop

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2011 – 4:12 pm

Buffalo’s first pick from a smaller school, CB Justin Rogers from Richmond an FCS (Div. 1-AA) school. Here’s what Bills national scout Darrell Moody had to say about him.

“Very athletic, good ball skills, has good hips,” said Moody. “He can flip his hips and good speed. A little undersized. I recruited Louisiana for years and years and I asked him, ‘How in the heck did you get out of the state of Louisiana with all the one-double-A schools down there?’ And he said, ‘Coming out of high school I weighed 140 pounds.’ He’s probably 170 to 175 pounds now. I’ll be shocked if he didn’t make somebody’s football team and be a productive player for them.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

White was taking a swim

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2011 – 3:01 pm

Bills sixth-round pick Chris White was watching the draft pretty closely on TV all weekend, until he decided to take a break from it.

“I’ve really been watching the draft, but actually I just jumped in the swimming pool and about 30 seconds later my phone rang and my grandma handed me the phone and it was a number I didn’t know and I was like, ‘Thank God.'”

The stuff that makes draft weekend unique.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills take another LB

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2011 – 2:38 pm

Buffalo just took another player they had at the Senior Bowl in Mississippi State ILB Chris White.

White played for Chan Gailey’s South Team at the Senior Bowl. He was a junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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