Inside The Bills

Mr. Wilson spoke with Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2013 – 4:53 pm

Bills owner Ralph Wilson was kept abreast of all the developments that were going on throughout the interview process with head coaching candidates last week. Team President and CEO Russ Brandon told that he called Mr. Wilson almost half a dozen times last week to keep him up to date on the coaching search.

Brandon indicated that when the Bills coaching search committee had reached a decision he called Mr. Wilson to fill him in.

“We had a long, open dialogue and conversation,” Brandon told “I told him exactly why we’re moving in this direction. He was excited and very aware of Coach Marrone’s background. He talked to Doug today and had a great conversation with him and said he’s looking forward to him leading us.”

For more on how the Bills landed Doug Marrone check the home page of Tuesday morning.

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Brandon: I’m humbled and honored

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2013 – 12:16 pm

Bills CEO Russ Brandon also has now assumed the team’s day-to-day organizational control as he has been given the added title of Team President. Here are some of his opening comments at today’s press conference.

He began by talking about his day long visit with Bills owner Ralph Wilson in Detroit on Monday. 

“It was a rather emotional visit,” said Brandon. “He told me he was passing the torch to me to run this franchise with zero restrictions and zero limitations.

“We understand and appreciate the frustration of our great fans. We acknowledge and own it and we will never run from it. This is an organization with a proud tradition, but I will tell you that this brand has been tarnished. It’s relevancy has been tarnished and it’s unacceptable because we just haven’t won enough games. It’s a production business and we’re in this to win games. It’s time to lead this franchise into the future with a new legacy.”

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Mr. Wilson nominated for Salute to Service

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2012 – 1:11 pm

The NFL and USAA, the NFL’s Official Military Appreciation Sponsor, announced nominees for the second annual NFL Salute to Service Award and Bills owner Ralph Wilson is the nominee for the Bills.


Atlanta Falcons Mike Smith, Head Coach
Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh, Head Coach
Buffalo Bills Ralph C. Wilson, Owner and President
Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera, Head Coach
Chicago Bears Charles Tillman, DB
Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brondhaver, Game Day Volunteer
Cleveland Browns Joe Thomas, OT
Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Denver Broncos Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
Houston Texans Gary Kubiak, Head Coach
Indianapolis Colts Pat McAfee, P
Jacksonville Jaguars Mike Mularkey, Head Coach
Kansas City Chiefs Robert Alberino, VP Media/Marketing
Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen, DE
New Orleans Saints Joe Vitt, Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers
New York Giants Tom Coughlin, Head Coach
New York Jets Ben Kotwica, Assistant Special Teams Coach
Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson, WR
Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu, S
Seattle Seahawks Mike Flood, VP Community Relations
St. Louis Rams Jeff Fisher, Head Coach
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark Dominik, GM
Washington Redskins Darrel Young, FB

Mr. Wilson served in the Navy in World War II and has supported numerous Veteran causes.

Teams from around the league nominated NFL players, alumni, and personnel who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. USAA is a leading provider of insurance and other services to members of the U.S. military and their families.

Fans can visit to view videos of NFL team’s supporting their local military units, download and share photos, and offer a salute to the military on behalf of their favorite team.  NFL cities with the most salutes will earn rewards for their local military community from USAA.

To read each team’s Salute to Service nomination, visit

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Chan: Mr. Wilson upset with losing

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2012 – 4:34 pm

Bills owner Ralph Wilson speaks with GM Buddy Nix every day and he speaks with head coach Chan Gailey once a week. Gailey says Mr. Wilson is as unhappy as anyone else with the lack of success in the first half of the 2012 season.

“He’s upset we’re losing,” said Gailey. “Would you expect anything less? He’s upset we’re losing. That’s made very clear, which I understand. I am too. We’ve got to win and our weekly conversations will go better.”

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Mr. Wilson on passing of Art Modell

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2012 – 12:12 pm

Bills owner Ralph Wilson issued the following statement on behalf of the Bills organization on the passing of former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Art Modell.  Art and I were good friends and while we remained competitive in respect to our teams, we shared many laughs over the years. He was an influential figure in our league and was respected tremendously within the NFL ownership group. Art was a loving family man and he and Pat made a great team. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his sons David and John and the entire Modell family and all of his friends.”

Modell passed of natural causes at age 87 with his family at his bed side.

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Mr. Wilson home from hospital

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2012 – 12:23 pm

There was good news Wednesday concerning Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson, who was hospitalized in Michigan last week.

The team reports that Mr. Wilson is home from the hospital and doing well. He got home from the hospital Tuesday according to head coach Chan Gailey.

“We talked before he went in the hospital and I haven’t talked to him since he got home yesterday,” said Gailey Wednesday. “I’m sure we’ll talk some time soon though.”

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Mr. Wilson in good condition

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2012 – 6:26 pm

The reports that Bills owner Ralph Wilson has been hospitalized are accurate, but Mr. Wilson is in good condition. If there are any other developments to pass along we will do so.

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Dedication at HOF this morning

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2012 – 9:40 am

Bills owner Ralph Wilson was on hand this morning in Canton for the dedication of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s new Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The 10,000-square-foot Center is named in honor of Wilson, a member of the Hall of Fame and founder of the Buffalo Bills, whose gift of $2.5 million dollars made the state-of-the-art facility possible.

 The Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center will house and preserve the more than 20 million document pages and 3 million photographic images in the Hall of Fame’s collection. 

 The addition of the new Center also allows the Hall of Fame to renovate the space that previously housed the document collection and the three-dimensional artifact collection. The retrofitted space will then exclusively accommodate the ever-growing artifact collection.

 “Ralph Wilson’s outstanding contributions to pro football over many decades are legendary,” stated Steve Perry, president/executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “His generous gift has greatly enhanced our ability to preserve the Hall of Fame’s rapidly growing collection of historic documents and artifacts.”

Stay tuned to for more on this story including video footage of the dedication.

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Neiman painted Bills game

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2012 – 11:52 am

Famed American artist LeRoy Neiman passed away Wednesday evening at age 91. A popular painter of sports action scenes (including 5 Olympiads and countless Super Bowls), Bills owner Ralph Wilson commissioned Neiman to paint one of the first Bills home games the year Ralph Wilson Stadium opened in 1973.

The painting was of the Oct. 29, 1973 home game for the Bills against the Chiefs. O.J. Simpson is depicted in the piece as the ball carrier (see below). Also making an appearance in the painting is Mr. Wilson himself along the far sideline on the left side of the piece (see 2nd photo). The Bills won the game 23-14.







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Vincent: Mr. Wilson excited for ’12

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2012 – 9:59 am

Former Bills DB Troy Vincent, who still talks to Bills owner Ralph Wilson twice a month, relayed some of Mr. Wilson’s optimism for the 2012 season in an appearance on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550 this week.

Vincent even attempted an impression of Mr. Wilson in passing along some of the thoughts of the Bills owner.

“He’s very excited about the season,” said Vincent of Mr. Wilson. “He said, ‘I think we have a chance to win. We’ve got some players up front that remind me of the Kelly era. We’ve got a chance.’”

Vincent currently serves in the NFL office as Vice President of Player Engagement.


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Buddy presser today

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2012 – 7:00 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix will be holding his season wrap up press conference today (Monday) at 11 am. We’ll have full coverage here on

Nix and Bills CEO Russ Brandon met with Mr. Wilson in Detroit late last week for their assessment of the 2011 season and plans for the 2012 offseason.

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Game ball to Mr. Wilson

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2011 – 4:56 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey made sure that the game ball went to Mr. Wilson, who could not be in attendance for his first home opener ever.

“Chan was giving this game ball to Mr. Wilson,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “It was the first time he’s missed an opener in a long time. We’re sorry that he couldn’t be here, but hopefully he’s proud of what we did on the field today.”

Mr. Wilson broke his hip this past June and is still recovering at his Michigan home.

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Nix refutes claim of Bills not spending

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2011 – 8:38 pm

It’s been written and said more than once, that the Bills are more interested in saving money than being successful on the field. Apparently Bills GM Buddy Nix has had enough of it. Appearing on the Shredd and Ragan show on 103.3 The Edge, Nix set the record straight.

“Any move that we make we take the information that we have at the time and we try to do things that will make our team better,” said Nix. “It is never about money.  It’s never about when a guy was drafted.  The business I am in, the only way I will stay in this job with the Bills and our coaching staff will survive is if we win games.  It has nothing to do with what the budget is. 

“This business of playing our guys or playing high draft choices, it is really kind of amusing when you think about it.  The only way we are going to survive and be successful is to win games.  So, every move we make is for that reason.  Money has never been mentioned since I have been here.  I know what the cap is and we can spend it all.”

When asked if owner Ralph Wilson has told him specifically to save money, again Nix refuted the notion.

“I am not going to get into this, but I will try to clear that up,” he said. “It’s the other way around; I talk him out of going after high-dollar guys that you see on TV and ESPN.  That has happened more than once. It’s me talking him out of it.”

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Mr. Wilson misses football

Posted by Chris Brown on May 16, 2011 – 10:50 am

Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson spoke with the NY Daily News over the weekend, and like most fans of the game, just wants football back.

“I hope the sides come to an agreement,” Wilson told the Daily News. “I hope they can. I miss football like millions of other people.”

Mr. Wilson was also asked about being one of the two votes against the previous CBA extension in 2006, and how he and Bengals owner Mike Brown look now.

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Mr. Wilson honored war vet

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2011 – 8:47 am

Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson and four other NFL owners were recipients of the American Spirit Award by the National World War II museum last night in New Orleans.

Mr. Wilson was honored along with Saints owner Tom Benson, Titans owner Bud Adams, Lions owner William Clay Ford and Chargers owner Alex Spanos, who are all WWII veterans. Mr. Wilson served in the Navy.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune the museum is kicking off an initiative to tell the story of the role that football and the NFL played in the war effort. According to the museum, the NFL sold millions in war bonds, donated revenues from exhibition games to service charities and in some cases merged teams so that the game would go on, boosting the country’s morale

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Mr. Wilson on Cam Newton

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2011 – 12:43 pm

In an interview with, Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson is asked if the Bills would take Cam Newton third overall. Here was his response.

“Well, he’s very athletic,” Wilson said. “But it’s the intangibles. We’ve had a number of quarterbacks that could throw the ball 100 yards and right into your stomach. But then they got into games and threw it 100 yards into the other team’s stomach. There’s time. We’ll learn more about him. Just like with this labor agreement, you just can’t predict.”

It’s clear that Wilson and the Bills need to be convinced that Newton has the mental makeup to not only diagnose the NFL game, but make the split-second decisions consistently enough to be an NFL success.

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Mr. Wilson on labor & Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2011 – 12:40 pm

Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson had an interview with in which he discussed the pursuit of a new CBA between the players and owners and the future of his team including their top pick at third overall.

Mr. Wilson believes a new accord will be reached, but feels it will “take a lot of work.” He also outlined why he was one of two owners against the 2006 CBA extension, which the rest of the NFL ownership chose to opt out of two years later.

“They passed out a sheet that contained financial information,” Wilson told Fanhouse of the owners meeting in March 2006. “It was not what I thought we were supposed to get. I thought there would be more discussion. I voted against it because I didn’t understand the financial figures put out. And what I did understand, I didn’t like.”

Wilson maintains that all he wants is a “fair agreement” for everyone involved.

As for his team Wilson points only to himself for the club’s shortcomings on the field over the past decade.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my team in the last 10 years,” Wilson told Fanhouse. “I think I’m rectifying that. We’ll see. We almost won some games last year against teams that were certainly more talented than us. Buddy, the scouts, the coaches, they are working. I know it’s not going to be an instant turnaround. I think it will take two or three years to have a playoff team — and that’s if we get a quarterback.”

That prompted the question on whether the Bills would take Cam Newton third overall.

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Chan talks to Mr. Wilson

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2011 – 2:16 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey stated that he’d be speaking with owner Ralph Wilson about the last game and the state of the team after year one on the job. The first discussion has already taken place.

Appearing on WHTK radio in Rochester last week, Gailey confirmed that he had spoken to Mr. Wilson.

“We talk every week,” Gailey said. “He and I visit every week. We talk about the game. I tell him what was good and what was bad. This last one we did the same thing and we talked about having a season-ending overall evaluation about where we are and where we’re headed.”

Gailey went on to say that the year one team evaluation meeting will happen in the next few weeks.

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Mr. Wilson on hand and smiling

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2010 – 9:46 pm

Just like any self-respecting Bills fan, owner Ralph Wilson was smiling ear to ear in Buffalo’s locker room after his team beat the hated Dolphins 17-14 Sunday. The pride he has for his hard working team and head coach was evident after the game.

“This team amazes me,” said Wilson. “I guess it’s because they play so hard. A lot of them were overlooked in the draft and a lot of them were cut by other teams because they didn’t have enough patience with them and all those things play into it.

“We pick a guy up in the middle of the week and he starts for us on Sunday. We were in three games with three great teams (Baltimore, Kansas City, Pittsburgh). Buddy and Chan have done a wonderful job and the players have played hard. We should be much, much better next year.”

For the first time that I can remember, Mr. Wilson also made an appearance in the post game interview room to listen to Chan Gailey address the media, and that ear to ear smile was still there. Looks like Mr. Wilson got one of the things he wanted for Christmas, a win over Miami.

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Fan Friday 11-19

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2010 – 1:33 pm

Win No. 1 is in the books and the Bills have a very winnable game Sunday against a reeling Cincinnati squad. Getting mixed feedback from fans on winning right now as some want to lock up the top pick with the worst NFL record. I don’t see that happening because Carolina is a far worse team and Buffalo has made strides the last month. They’re playing better football. Now to your questions from the file.

1 – Hey Chris,
I know Ralph has said QB is the top priority this offseason and that really worries me that we will desperately take whoever is the best QB available at our pick in the draft,whether or not he is necessarily deserving of the pick. Personally I think Andrew Luck is the real deal and would take him first overall no question, but if he stays in school like he’s said he will then we take a QB just to take one? I think Mallett is a little inconsistent and have had character questions and that Locker is far too inaccurate and raw to cut it in the NFL. I would say to take a tackle but it doesn’t seem as though there’s an elite tackle at this point. If we can’t take Luck, do you think it would make more sense to take a defensive impact player such as Bowers from Clemson or Fairley from Auburn, maybe even Peterson on LSU, a tackle in the second and try to get Luck or someone like a Matt Barkley whenever they declare? Thanks.

CB: I think you can rest assured knowing that GM Buddy Nix is not going to desperately do anything. As I mentioned last week, we have to see which underclassmen declare in mid-January before we can really assess the landscape of what will be available to the Bills. At that point we’ll also know where Buffalo will be picking in the draft order.

Know this, Buddy Nix worked primarily under John Butler during his first stint with the Bills. Butler worked under Bill Polian, who openly stated that the top two positions on a football team in terms of importance were QB and a pass rushing DE or OLB depending on your defensive system.

I’ve seen a lot of Fairley and that kid is impressive. He jumps off the TV screen. I haven’t seen as much of Bowers, but of the tape I’ve watched it’s evident he’s a special talent. In fact, there’s one part of his game that resembles Bruce Smith. Bowers can drop his inside shoulder and his inside hip and flatten himself out at almost a 45 degree angle and still maintain his pass rush speed to get to the quarterback.

There are very few pass rushers that can do that. Marcellus Wiley told me when he tried to do some of the things that Bruce could do he would fall down. I’m not saying Bowers is Bruce Smith, but I am saying that on the surface it appears he has some similar athletic traits in his game to that of the Hall of Famer.

Just know that Nix is not going to have his hand forced with their top pick. I think he proved that last spring when he took Spiller despite glaring needs at other positions. If the individual talent at a position of need doesn’t fit their spot on the board he won’t reach to fill it.

2 – Hey Chris ,
I’ll make this quick – What do you think about Kellen Moore ?? All the kid does is win !!

Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville

CB: Moore has shown the ability to perform in the clutch and you’re right he is no question a winner. His greatest strength is his knowledge of the game. A son of a football coach, Moore is a football nerd. As a kid he used allowance money to buy college game tape off the internet.

Since he was a sophomore his college staff was so impressed with his knowledge and scouting of opponents that they would often incorporate plays he liked into the game plan. To my knowledge they still do this.

What’s going to steer NFL GMs away from Moore are his physical limitations. He’s a 6’0” 187-pound pocket passer. He’s not all that mobile and his arm is adequate at best.

His football intelligence will get him drafted, but it will be hard for talent evaluators to overlook his physical deficiencies. I think he’ll be a mid to late round pick (4th to 6th), but I wouldn’t mind having him on my team as a backup. It should be noted that he is a junior, so he still has a year of college eligibility left.

He gets knocked for being a system quarterback, but I think he’s more than that personally.

3 – Chris:
It starting to look like Alex Carrington is falling into the potential bust category. How is it that a young Defensive Lineman can’t get on the field for this team that has major Defensive issues stopping the run and rushing the passer?
Joe Badaszewski

CB: I think you’re way off the mark here on Carrington. First of all Carrington is playing a position where there are experienced veterans in front of him (Johnson, Stroud, Edwards). That combined with the fact that in a 3-4 you really only need five defensive linemen active for a game and you see the numbers game where Carrington gets caught.

So I think to even attribute bust in the same sentence as Carrington is misguided at best. When you have proven veterans in front of you on the depth chart, that’s what is going to keep you off the field more than anything. It has less to do with his ability and more to do with the ability of the vets.
4 – Hi Chris,
Couple of questions for you. First, regarding free Agency this off-season, what notable players on the Bills roster have contracts that are expiring? Specifically, where do players like Whitner and Poz stand (I think theirs may be up soon) and do you foresee them being offered new contracts, or do you think Nix/Gailey may be looking to move in a different direction once the season is over?

Paul in Toronto

CB: Here are the names according to my records. I believe I have most of them. Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, George Wilson, Ashton Youboty, Keith Ellison, Brian Brohm, Drayton Florence, Jonathan Stupar and Garrison Sanborn.

I would think that Poz is a top priority with Whitner and Florence other notable considerations. I think keeping a quality long snapper is also important so I anticipate Sanborn will be back.

All that being said, with the labor uncertainty there’s no definition as to who is restricted or unrestricted based on accrued seasons before there is no CBA to go off of. A couple of these players are likely to be re-signed prior to a new CBA regardless of what the new rules become because the organization deems them important pieces for their future. But the absence of a CBA won’t make the process any easier.
5 – Chris,

One question about the Bills has really been bugging me: a couple of years ago Leodis McKelvin was a fantastic kickoff returner for Buffalo. C J Spiller seems awful tentative on kick returns. Why does McKelvin not return kickoffs? Does Coach Gailey not know that McKelvin is an electric return man? Maybe you could ask him that the next time you interview him.

Lee D.

CB: It looks like you’re going to get your wish Lee due to injury. Spiller is out Sunday against Cincinnati and McKelvin is slated to handle both kick and punt return. Personally I thought he was robbed last week on his 78-yard return on a very questionable holding call against Jon Corto. I thought Corto had him locked up legally and was driving his man down the field.

I do like that McKelvin is getting this opportunity. I think the Bills staff was so eager to get Spiller on the field, and knowing he’d be worked in slowly on the offensive side, returns were a way to get him extra touches. They also wanted McKelvin to focus more on defense because his consistency series to series had been an issue. In my opinion he played his best game of the season against Detroit last week.

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