Inside The Bills

NFL support healthy for Jim Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The NFL family was disappointed to hear the news that Jim Kelly’s cancer has returned, but as they’ve done before, they’re expressing their support for the Hall of Fame quarterback, just like they did during Kelly’s first battle with the squamous cell sarcoma that he was able to beat.

L.A. Chargers GM Tom Telesco, a Hamburg native, who cut his teeth in the league working under Bill Polian, was affected by the news having watched Kelly as a Bills fan.

“When you hear news like that it just hits you hard,” Telesco told “I grew up in Buffalo. I grew up a Bills fan. I’m still a Bills fan even though I’m not allowed to be working for the Chargers. But that’s my home and that was my team. Jim Kelly is everything that Buffalo really represents.

“The good thing about Jim, and this is not a cliché, but there’s no one that’s tougher than he is. So if anybody can fight that I know that he can. He’s got a great support group. An unbelievable support group inside and outside of Buffalo, so our prayers are with him.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Telesco says WR group at Combine is strong

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 22, 2014 – 11:30 am

Now in his second year as General Manager of the San Diego Chargers, and in his 20th year in the NFL, Western New York native Tom Telesco should feel comfortable around the NFL Scouting Combine.

And as he looks at the group of players assembled in Indianapolis, Telesco says one position group stands out.

“I’d say the receiver group is really strong, that’s probably one of the better groups,” Telesco said Friday night in an appearance on The John Murphy Show from the combine.

Overall, Telesco says the inclusion of more than 100-underclassmen in this year’s draft class means the pool of talent is as strong as it’s been in years.

“Even before any of the juniors declared, we thought the senior class was very strong,” he said. “We look at it more in terms of not just the first round, but the whole draft from top to bottom. You take a strong senior class and then an unusual amount of juniors declared this year. A lot of them are good players. It is a really strong draft”

For Telesco, a product of St. Francis High School in Athol Springs (N.Y.), having that much talent means there’s pressure to produce in the draft.

“You’ve got to find a player in every round, not just the first round, so we have some work to do,” he said.

For more Combine coverage presented by NAPA Auto Parts, click here.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Frank Reich groomed for SD Coordinator job

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 22, 2014 – 10:36 am

It’s another step up the coaching ladder for former Bills QB Frank Reich in his coaching career. And according to Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco, it’s a move years in the making.

Last month, Reich was named San Diego’s Offensive Coordinator, replacing Ken Whisenhunt, who left to coach the Titans. And Chargers GM Tom Telesco says he anticipated Reich’s move to the top offensive post for years.

“We knew with Ken Whisenhunt that if we had some success this year, there was a good chance he may move on for a head coaching job,” Telesco said Friday night on The John Murphy Show from the NFL Combine.

“We had Frank waiting in the wings and having him go through the process with Phillip (Rivers) and kinda grooming him for that Offensive Coordinator role. I’ve known Frank for years back when he was with Buffalo. He was a player in Carolina when I worked there and he was a coach in Indianapolis when I worked there. I’ve always thought Frank was a future coordinator at some point and now is his time” Telesco said.

Telesco watched Reich as a player 20-years ago, when Reich backed up Jim Kelly at the Bills quarterback position. Telesco, a Western New York native, was a training camp intern with the Bills at Fredonia.

For more Combine coverage presented by NAPA Auto Parts, click here.

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San Diego GM loves his Buffalo roots

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 21, 2013 – 8:52 pm


He just got the job two weeks ago, so it stands to reason that Tom Telesco, the new General Manager of the San Diego Chargers, would have his hands full at the Senior Bowl.

But the Hamburg native had a chance to talk with The John Murphy Show this week in Mobile, Alabama. The 40-year old GM of the Chargers says he’s proud of his Western New York roots, and he’s made a point to mention them ever since he took the new job.

“I know in my press conference, I made sure everybody knew I was a Buffalo guy,” Telesco told host John Murphy. “I love Buffalo so much,I have friends and family back there. I still keep in touch with my high school coaches who were so much of my life.”

Two weeks ago on the radio show, one of those coaches, Jerry Smith of St Francis High School in Athol Springs, was effusive in his praise of Telesco, his former player. And Telesco returned the favor in his Monday interview in Mobile.

“Everything I’ve learned in football, it started with Jerry Smith and John Scibetta,” he said. “They kinda gave me my background in football, the foundation of the game, and my, passion for it, too. I was a basketball guy in high school but with those two coaches and their passion for it, I just started to gravitate more towards football than basketball and it’s led me in this direction.”

Telesco hit the ground running, hiring a new Head Coach for the Bolts late last week. He tapped Broncos offensive assistant Mike McCoy for the San Diego Job in what will probably be his biggest decision of his San Diego tenure.

“Some guys come in prepared for their interview, some guys come in prepared for the job,” Telesco said. “He came in prepared for the job. He had an answer for everything but he was flexible. So we got him done, which was big, and now we’re working on the assistant coaches.”

The interview with Tom Telesco is part of the podcast Monday for The John Murphy Show. Tuesday night, the radio show will air live from the Senior Bowl on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-25

Posted by Chris Brown on December 25, 2009 – 12:00 pm

Merry Christmas Bills fans. Wish the team had more to put under your tree this year. We can only hope the New Year brings positive change. I have faith that it will. Let’s get to it.

1. Hey Chris,
Any chance Owens stays next year?
Daniel Diaz

CB: I think the chances of Terrell Owens re-signing with the Bills is pretty remote. Owens has said he wants to play two more years, and he no doubt wants to be a bigger part of the offense than he has been this season in Buffalo. With a rebuilding project set to begin in Buffalo this offseason and a lot unknowns with respect to the offensive system, quarterback, head coach, general manager, I believe Owens will look to land with a more stable situation elsewhere in the league.

Of course there has to be demand for his services too, which wasn’t the case this past offseason. We’ll see what the market looks like for him, but with his career winding down I think he’d like to still be productive. So he’s going to go to a team where he has the highest probability of doing that.

2. What’s the latest on the Bills search for a GM?  Is there a search going on or are they going to wait until the season ends and try to fill the GM/Coach with one person?


CB: I think Russ Brandon is playing things very close to the vest on purpose. After all the reports about the Shanahan meeting, I think he’d prefer to keep the process out of the public eye.

I believe the Bills will try to hire a proven coach with a recognizable name. If that happens then I believe the director of Football Operations will be a young football man on his way up from a proven NFL front office.
If they cannot land a big name head coach then I believe the Dir. of Football Ops would be a recognizable name and he will hire a promising coach.
I think the big name will be in one of those positions or the other, but not both. Just my opinion.

3. Hello Chris,
Well, I have already moved into the next draft.  If T.O. does not re-up and a top veteran QB is not signed, I have a hypothetical question for you.  If both of these players were available to the Bills, would they select Dez Bryant or Sam Bradford?

CB: I don’t see them taking a receiver. Even though it’s not likely that Terrell Owens and possibly Josh Reed are not back with the team next season, I think receiver is not a top priority. The top position needs are quarterback, offensive tackle, linebacker and defensive tackle. I admire Bradford’s accuracy and command of an offense. He was super productive at Oklahoma his junior year.

But that throwing shoulder is going to have a lot of questions to answer coming off surgery and they might not be answered until right before the draft based on his prognosis. That’s a major, major concern when you’re investing a high draft pick. As great as that positional need is for Buffalo I just don’t know.

4. Chris,

After bringing back Buddy Nix earlier this year, do the Bills have any chance of landing a guy like Indy’s personnel director, Tom Telesco as GM? How about any other Bill Polian or John Butler/AJ Smith disciples? Have the bridges between the organization and those guys been completely burned?

Thanks for taking the time
Rome, NY

CB: No, I don’t think there are any burned bridges there. Bill Polian and Ralph Wilson are on much better terms than when Polian left the Bills organization. With respect to Tom Telesco I think he’d be a very good candidate. He’s been running the Colts pro and college scouting departments for years and he’s a Hamburg native.

I believe working for his hometown team is something he’d probably be interested in if offered a Director of Football Operations type role. Whether he’s on the Bills short list or not I do not know.

5. Hello Chris,
Have you heard anything concrete and/or rumoresque on the Bills search for a new coach?  Seems like that story went silent in a hurry. 
Thanks, Jim

CB: I think the situation now is the Bills cannot talk to any other coaching candidates they might be interested in because they are still working for other teams. By rule another team can’t speak to a coaching candidate currently working for another team until that team’s season is over and with permission from that team of course.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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