Inside The Bills

Dilfer: Best fit for Clausen is Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2010 – 3:26 pm

ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer was asked what NFL team is the best fit for Jimmy Clausen. Guess what team he picked?

Dilfer picked Buffalo as the best fit, presuming that he would have an opportunity to compete for the starting job and because he has experience in a pro style offense.

I’m still thinking offensive tackle is the play in round two provided Rodger Saffold or Charles Brown are still on the board. Otherwise I think defensive tackle becomes a more realistic possibility.

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Wild card team for Clausen?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2010 – 9:34 am

There’s a team drafting ahead of the Bills in round two that doesn’t really need a young signal caller, but there is a connection to consider between Clausen and the team’s coaching staff.

The Kansas City Chiefs have the 36th pick in round two, five ahead of the Bills. With new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis on Todd Haley’s staff you have to believe he’ll be pushing hard for his former college QB.

Kansas City has a lot of other holes to fill, so you have to believe that GM Scott Pioli in the end will make a more logical pick, but with reports out there that Weis was lobbying for Clausen to be taken with KC’s top pick at five on Thursday night, you know he’ll be doing the same again Friday night.

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Rams phone will be ringing

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2010 – 11:21 pm

For any NFL team that covets a quarterback still on the board be it Clausen or McCoy they better be calling the Rams before round two begins.

With Minnesota acquiring the 34th overall pick in their day one deal with Detroit, the Vikings are a virtual lock to take a QB. Most believe they’ll take Clausen. So if there is another NFL club that covets Clausen or wants to ensure they get their player, they have to leapfrog the Vikings.

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Best left at positions of need

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2010 – 11:18 pm

There is quality talent still on the board at Buffalo’s perceived positions of need for their pick at 41 in round two.

At offensive tackle
Rodger Saffold – Indiana
Charles Brown – USC
Bruce Campbell – Maryland

At nose tackle
Terrence Cody – Alabama
Linval Joseph – East Carolina
Cam Thomas – North Carolina
Torell Troup – Central Florida

At quarterback
Jimmy Clausen – Notre Dame
Colt McCoy – Texas
Dan LeFevour – Central Michigan

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Clausen has numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2010 – 6:26 pm

Being the quarterback of any major college football team is pressure enough. Being the QB at Notre Dame is arguably bigger than that. Jimmy Clausen handled it and got better each of his three seasons with the Irish.

Clausen is no stranger to high expectations. From his freshman year in high school he has been known as a “once in a generation talent” and “the LeBron James of football.”

Clausen became just the second quarterback in Fighting Irish history to amass 3,000 passing yards twice in his career (with 3,722 in 2009 and 3,053 in 2008). His 28 TDs and 4 INTs on a team with no defense and four 4th quarter comebacks are the kinds of things scouts look at. The proof is on the tape.

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Small taste of misinformation

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2010 – 3:50 pm

To provide a glimpse of the misinformation flying around out there here is just a small taste.

Former NFL scout Dan Jeremiah who runs offered the following twitter post concerning the Bills.

MoveTheSticks    Told by one source Buffalo is for sure taking Clausen, told by another that they aren’t… lot of crap flying around right now.

At this point it might just be best for everyone to just wait and see who these teams pick. Then again the draft isn’t the draft without speculation and rumor.

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Why Kiper is sold on Clausen

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2010 – 11:05 am

While just about every so called draft expert changes and alters their opinion on players and where they have them coming off the board in the draft, there’s one prospect that ESPN’s Mel Kiper hasn’t wavered on. Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen.

“You’ve got to commit to something and I’ve just been a Jimmy Clausen supporter because of nothing else than how he performed. Everybody tries to pick apart why you like a particular player over another. It had nothing to do with anything for me than how he performed and how he played.

“He was playing through the torn ligaments in his toe. I talked to him before a game last season when he had flu-like symptoms and played well and nobody knew about it. Jimmy Clausen is a true competitor and I would take him very high in the first round. People that don’t like him can’t give me a reason why they don’t. They complain that he’s only 6’1″, well he’s 6’2 1/2”. The maturity issues they talk about maybe were there when he came out of high school, but they’re not there and haven’t been there of late. He galvanized that team and was a great leader. His arm strength is not Elway-like, but it’s good enough.

“Everything that Bradford didn’t do in terms of NFL condition he did. Taking snaps under center, commanding the huddle, not playing on a perfect team where their defense couldn’t stop anybody and he had to match points with the opponent. From Sept. 19th on he played with an injury that would have sent most guys to surgery to have it corrected or to the sidelines or cause a very ineffective performance. He only threw four interceptions.

“Four times this year he brought his team back on the final drive to win a game, and almost a fifth time. That’s impressive. For me it wasn’t like I don’t like Sam Bradford, but I gave a slight edge to Jimmy. I have Jimmy fourth on the big board and Sam Bradford fifth.”

It is tough to deny that Clausen did make plays when his team needed it most, and having played in a pro-style offense he’ll be ready for the NFL game. And with a team that had no defense, you’ve got to respect his ability to match teams point for point in a lot of games. If the maturity issue is gone it’s hard to really have many negatives on him. I still don’t think he’s a lock for the top 10, and if he gets past 10 he could really start to slide.

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Gruden, Jaws both big on Clausen

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2010 – 6:55 am

In a recent national conference call ESPN Monday Night Football analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski were both effusive in their praise of Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.

Gruden likes how advanced Clausen’s game is considering he’s an underclassman.

“His football pedigree is probably as good as any three-year junior that has come out in a long time, Gruden said. “He understands progressions. He understands situational football, and he understands NFL passing concepts. He’s done it under center and he’s done it all…

“What I really like about Jimmy is that he is a tough guy.  A lot of guys would have gone on IR or sat out with that toe injury. It wasn’t just turf toe, there was ligament damage in there, and it was a painful injury. I really liked that he played through it.

“More importantly I like that he brings his football back every Saturday…And he plays his best football in the fourth quarter when the games are tight or they’re behind.” 

Jaworski’s take was similar, but in the whole pool of QBs this year, Jaws feels Clausen is the most NFL ready.

“His collegiate game translates very well to the NFL…His game certainly is polished right now to the point where his game projects to being a quick player in the NFL. Of all the quarterbacks I’ve studied, he’s probably the most ready to step in,” said Jaworski.

“When you watch him play, Jon (Gruden) said it, the ability to bring a team back, and he wants the ball in his hands. He’s Lebron James, he’s Michael Jordan. With the game on the line he wants to make the difference in the football game. He clearly to me projects to be an outstanding NFL quarterback and I think he’s only scratched the surface.”

High praise from those in the know, which is why I don’t see Clausen making it to the Bills at nine. He’s very likely to be gone before then.

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Report: Bills in attendance for Clausen

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2010 – 1:58 pm

The Bills aren’t the only NFL club getting up close and personal with Jimmy Clausen this weekend. Right after his pro day workout Friday, another NFL team had him perform a private workout.

According to’s Gil Brandt, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch put him through the paces. Clausen revealed to ESPN that he’ll be meeting with the Bills on Saturday and then will head to St. Louis to have a private meeting with the Rams before returning to South Bend for a private workout with the Redskins on the 15th.

It is not out of the realm of possibility to see Clausen go sixth to the Seahawks despite the trade of Charlie Whitehurst or even seventh to the Browns, who do not have a long term answer at QB.

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Clausen to visit Buffalo Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2010 – 1:50 pm

Jimmy Clausen’s pro day went very well from an accuracy perspective, and he revealed that he’s meeting with the Bills brass Saturday.

“I’m going up to Buffalo after my re-check tomorrow (Saturday),” Clausen told ESPN’s Todd McShay. “Then I’m flying down to St. Louis and then I’m back in South Bend for a private workout with the Redskins on the 15th.”

The re-check Clausen is referring to is with his surgically repaired toe. After his pro day workout today (Friday) the league asked to conduct another physical for an up to date checkup on his toe to see how far it has progressed. That report is expected to be provided to all 32 NFL clubs.  

As far as the workout was concerned on Friday, it was clear that Clausen’s foot is still not 100 percent (he didn’t run), but ESPN reported that Clausen completed 57 of the 59 passes he threw in the workout, with the two incompletions being long passes.

Clausen called his foot 80 percent healthy, and said he is pain free. He had surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his right big toe in January. He told ESPN’s Todd McShay that he can’t really drive off his foot after having his foot in an immobilizer boot for eight weeks. So in the workout he did not do any rollouts or naked bootlegs before throwing. He also said he was only throwing for about two weeks leading up to Friday’s pro day.

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Kiper “hearing” no Clausen for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 7, 2010 – 11:10 am

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper was asked on a national conference call with McNabb now in Washington how that would affect where Jimmy Clausen might come off the board. Kiper doesn’t see Clausen winding up with the Bills, and not because he’ll necessarily be unavailable.

“With the Redskins making the move for McNabb, there’s obviously an impact on Jimmy (Clausen),” Kiper said. “It’s going to be interesting to see where he’s going to go because nobody has a real feel for it right now. I have him going to Oakland at 8, but I still think Seattle is a possibility at 6.

“I’ve heard no to several teams, particularly Buffalo. I’ve heard no to Buffalo (for Clausen). So you’ve got to go with what you hear. I have NOT heard no to Oakland so I have him going there. I have NOT heard totally no to Seattle. I’ve heard from different people I’ve spoken to that I shouldn’t count him out for Seattle at 6.”

“Jimmy is going to be a very interesting guy to watch.If he gets down to 17 though then the slide could really start and he becomes Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn all over again because he’ll get into the 20’s.” 

Clausen’s pro day is scheduled for Friday in South Bend as he’s been forced to wait for his right big toe to heal from surgery after his junior season. But Kiper doesn’t think he has to do anything special.

“He just has to show he’s completely recovered from the toe,” said Kiper. “Similar to Bradford’s situation with the shoulder.”

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Who Bills fans have at 9

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2010 – 3:49 pm

All too often Bills fans see who the so called experts believe the Bills will take with their ninth overall pick in a myriad of mock drafts. So we’ve decided to flip it around. Here are some of the top choices Bills fans are making for Buffalo’s pick at nine in the M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge, which runs through April 21st.

Position-wise offensive tackles are taking up the majority of the vote so far with 32% of the ballots cast going for a pass protector. But quarterback is right behind with 31.2% of the vote cast by Bills. That’s followed by DT/DE with 6.2%.  

Here are the top 10 most popular players picked by Bills fans so far for the ninth overall pick.

QB Jimmy Clausen (16.4%)
QB Tim Tebow (12.9%)
OT Bryan Bulaga (11.98%)
OT Trent Williams (11.42%)
OT Anthony Davis (4.88%)
DT Dan Williams (4.23%)
OT Russell Okung (2.16%)
QB Sam Bradford (1.86%)
DE Derrick Morgan (1.71%)
RB C.J. Spiller (1.66%)

Remember it’s free to try your hand in the M&T Draft Day Challenge. Make your choice here. You only have until April 21st, with a chance to win an autographed jersey from the Bills top draft pick among other great prizes.

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Mortensen not seeing Clausen to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2010 – 9:06 am

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen doesn’t see Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen winding up with the Bills later this month.

Mortensen was asked (begged actually) on twitter by another poster to tell said poster that the Bills will not take Clausen. Here was the back and forth.

mortreport    RT @gottahavajava: @mortreport please tell me Bills won’t take Clausen – bust I say. >> You don’t have to worry, if that’s your wish

Mortensen obviously thinks one of two things. One, that Clausen won’t be on the board when the Bills pick at nine, or two, that the Bills aren’t interested in taking Clausen in round one with the ninth overall pick.

Clausen is reportedly going to have a pre-draft visit with Buffalo. His pro day is set for April 9th.

I’ve maintained all along that the Bills can’t miss at nine and the value at nine appears to be best for an offensive tackle, provided one of the top four at the position are still on the board (Okung, Bulaga, Williams, Davis).

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Report: Clausen to visit Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2010 – 1:18 pm

Notre Dame quarterback prospect Jimmy Clausen has three teams lined up for pre-draft visits.

According to ProFootballTalk, one of them is the Bills. The Browns and Rams are the others. No word on any scheduled dates.

So whether they take place before or after Clausen’s pro day on April 9th is not known.

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Clausen to Bills in new mock

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2010 – 12:00 pm’s Pat Kirwan has previously had Tennessee DT Dan Williams going to the Bills at nine, but that’s all changed in his mock 4.0 version.

Kirwan has Jimmy Clausen slipping to ninth overall and the Bills taking him. Here is his comment on why he has the Notre Dame QB going to Buffalo.

The Bills have lots of needs and QB is one of them. Clausen threw 28 touchdowns to just four picks last year and has escape skills that he will need in Buffalo. Chan Gailey is an excellent QB guy and will get him ready fairly quickly. Lots of fans don’t want to see another California QB in Buffalo, where the weather is a factor. (Previous pick: Dan Williams)

Though Kirwan makes a point about weather and the fact that Clausen is a California native, he proved he can play in poor weather by playing for three years in South Bend, Indiana, where a handful of his games saw snow.

There are California quarterbacks that have proven they can do play in poor weather in college before. One that comes to mind rather quickly is Tom Brady, who showed he could play in poor weather at Michigan in college before being drafted by New England.

Whether Buffalo would pull the trigger there is tough to gauge, but it’s clear the Bills believe it’s Bradford and Clausen and then everybody else. Here was Bills VP of College Scouting Tom Modrak’s assessment of the QB class this year in his interview with at the NFL combine late last month.

“There are a couple of people at the top that will get under the magnifying glass as much as they always do or more,” said Modrak. “Unfortunately there’s been some injuries that have slowed the process down for these players and for us, but that still has to play out. But there’s a couple at the top, but after that it’s not quite as deep as it had been.”

Modrak is obviously talking about Bradford and Clausen, who have both been set back by the pre-draft process due to injury (Bradford-shoulder, Clausen-toe).

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Browns won’t take Clausen

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2010 – 9:19 am

Though a good number of so called draft experts don’t expect Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen to still be available when the Bills pick at nine, a team president from a club drafting ahead of Buffalo stated that they wouldn’t use their top 10 pick on the Notre Dame QB.

Browns team president Mike Holmgren told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he doubted that Clausen would be their pick at seven if he was available.

“I wish I liked him more,” Holmgren said of Clausen. “You know how you have a type of player that you like? It’s not scientific. People like him a lot. He’ll go high. But it would be hard for me [to take him].”

Holmgren stated that he does like Tim Tebow, but also mentioned that with so many other areas of his team with holes to fill that those other positional needs may be addressed before the QB spot, likely due to the relatively thin crop of QB talent in this year’s class.

He doubts he’ll use even a second-round pick on a quarterback, unless they acquire an additional second rounder in some form of trade. Cleveland does have 12 picks this spring.

With a lot of other top 10 clubs in need of help on their offensive and defensive lines, it seems at least possible that Clausen could slide. Whether Buffalo has a similar opinion of Clausen as Holmgren is the great unknown.

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McShay has no 2nd rd QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2010 – 3:59 pm

The quarterback class in the 2010 has been described as “thin” by many so called draft experts. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay took that characterization a step further when asked what could be available in round two after Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen are off the board.

“First of all I have Bradford rated fifth overall and I have Clausen rated 36th on my board, which I understand is lower than most,” said McShay. “Even if you consider him a first rounder I don’t have another quarterback with a second round grade in this class. They’re the only two players, Bradford and Clausen, that I have with grades in the first two rounds.”

“I think Colt McCoy, as much as I love him and his competitiveness, I think he’s overrated. I think he’s going to have a big, big shock to the system when he gets to the next level. I don’t think Tebow is worth a second-round pick. I don’t think (Tony) Pike or anyone else in this class is worth a second-round pick.”

Now that’s only one analyst’s opinion, but “thin” has been used by more than one draft analyst when describing the QB class. That doesn’t mean there isn’t good value in rounds 3 or 4, but when it comes to what the Bills might do in rounds one and two, quarterback is looking less and less like it will be in the cards, unless Clausen is still on the board at nine.  

McShay went on to say that in rounds one and two you’re aim is to draft players that can start for you right away or at some point in their rookie season. That’s primarily why he doesn’t have Tebow as a worthwhile choice in the first two rounds. He believes he needs time to develop and would be a better value in rounds 3 or 4.

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QB Wonderlic scores

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2010 – 1:18 pm

A few of the QB prospects scores on the Wonderlic test from the combine have leaked out.

Per Edgar Thompson of, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford did the best among the more notable signal callers.

Bradford scored a 36 out of 50.
Colt McCoy had a 25
Jimmy Clausen had a 23
Tim Tebow had a 22

None of those scores are considered to be in a range that would raise a red flag among NFL clubs.

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Fan Friday 3-5

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2010 – 2:53 pm

On the opening day of free agency we get Fan Friday started back up again. My apologies for there being no Fan Friday last week. I was completely swamped with our Combine Coverage, which I hope you all found informative from a Bills and draft perspective. Here’s this week’s edition.

1 – Hi Chris, I recently heard and interview with Gailey and he said that the QBs here have more talent than some he worked with in the past. I hope this doesn’t mean he will stay with one of these guys as a starter. I think we have been using back-ups for years and they really need to get a starter to reach the play-offs again.

Do you think we can get Mcnabb in a trade for Lynch and Edwards? Maybe we can send Roscoe Parrish in to close the deal. I know I’m dreaming but…possible? If not, do you have any suggestions of legitimate starters they could get from another team or in free agency?

CB: First, I think trading for McNabb is going to be easier said than done. The latest reports out of Philadelphia are that Andy Reid doesn’t want to move him, but some in the Eagles front office do. Reid wields a lot of power in that organization.

Also while Donovan McNabb does not have a no trade clause in his contract, he does have language in his deal that makes moving him a bit more challenging.

I also believe that if Reid is convinced it’s time to turn the page at QB with his team, that after 11 years he and the Eagles will do their best to accommodate McNabb by sending him somewhere he’d like to play. That likely means a team that runs a version of the west coast offense. As for what a team would have to trade the Eagles, it would be a first-round pick. Philadelphia almost never takes players for players. They want draft picks. But I just don’t see a McNabb deal coming to fruition for Buffalo.

2 – Chris,
I’ve been seeing a lot of mock drafts that have the Bills taking Jimmy Clausen or an Offensive Tackle with the 9th overall pick. With all the uncertainty surrounding a 1st round QB or even an Offensive lineman, do you think the Bills might look to who I consider to be the “surest thing” in this draft, Rolando McClain? The guy’s a beast and would step in immediately and make an impact at Linebacker. What do you think?


CB: I think if he’s an option, he’s the third option. So if there’s a run on offensive tackles in the top 10, and there very well could be, and both of the top two QBs are gone, McClain becomes a more realistic possibility. Personally under such a scenario I think the Bills take the best pass rusher, but that’s just my opinion. Don’t have anything against McClain, but they’ve got starting talent at ILB in Poz and Mitchell. More important to address the holes.

3 – Do you think Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams at all have a chance of being drafted by Chan Gailey?
I understand we have Parrish, Johnson, and Hardy. I just think Mike Williams (Of Syracuse.) especially, being in an offense forced to throw the ball to him, time and time again when doubled, isn’t a bad option…also without a good stable quarterback and line. Immediately puts pressure on Johnson to step up. Makes Hardy maybe obsolete. All the wideouts we haven’t had in years past in later rounds, extra picks we have in the 6th and 7th…I think we’re in need to take at least one?

CB: I expect the Bills to go with a youth movement at WR meaning they see what the young guys on the roster have got. You drafted James Hardy in the second round. When are you actually going to give him a shot? It’s got to happen this year. Steve Johnson shows a lot of potential and with Josh Reed not coming back he can challenge Parrish for the slot role.

Mike Williams is a talent, but remember gaining separation and beating double teams in college is a much different animal in the pros. I don’t see Buffalo drafting a wide receiver until late in the draft at best.
4 – In your opinion, what teams would be interested in trading up to pick 9?
Pete Howell

CB: I don’t see any team trading into the top 10 unless one of the top DTs slips past five (won’t happen) or Bradford slips past five (won’t happen – unless his arm falls off). Knowing this is likely the last year that mega-contracts with huge bonuses are likely to be handed out to rookies, (new CBA will likely have rookie wage scale) no team wants any part of trading up into that territory this year.

There might be a move or two within the top 10, but I can’t see a team in the bottom half trying to leap up there. Believe the chances are very, very remote.
5 – Hi Chris,
I know you’re probably very busy this time of year but I was wondering what you think about the Bills acquiring Jamal Williams or Shaun Rogers, who is rumored to be on the block? I also have heard Kevin Mawae’s name linked to the Bills, which got me wondering which free agent offensive lineman you think the Bills may pursue in free agency? Thanks Chris, keep up the good work.
-Mark- Buffalo, NY

CB: First, I’m hearing that the Chargers are trying to re-sign Williams. They only released him to sign him at a cheaper price. He’s on the downside of his career, but could serve at the very least as a good stop gap for a year or so. The Shaun Rogers rumors are new to me. Don’t see Mawae coming to Buffalo. Just signed Hangartner long term last offseason, though I wouldn’t rule out the team adding interior line depth after not  tendering RFA Richie Incognito. As far as names I believe they’ll be of the second tier variety.

Most of the higher end linemen were restricted free agents that were tendered at a level that is too rich (in terms of draft picks) to pursue.

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Clausen refutes Casserly report

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2010 – 12:53 pm

Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen just addressed the media and refuted Charley Casserly’s report that he would not be ready to work out fully prior to the draft.

Clausen said his pro day is scheduled for April 9th and he said he will work out fully at that time. The Notre Dame signal caller still has two pins in his right big toe as the two torn ligaments are still healing following surgery.

Much more on Clausen and his interview with the Bills on the home page soon.

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