The nightcap of the "Sports Talk Sunday" doubleheader welcomed The News' Vic Carucci into the WGRZ studios to provide an update on the LeSean McCoy situation stemming from a fight in a Philadelphia bar.
Later in the show, WGRZ's Adam Benigni and Bucky and Sully discussed the fallout of the Sabres' 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh, which had been previewed by Sabres beat reporter Mike Harrington, Benigni, Heather Prusak, Jonah Javad and Bucky earlier in the day in a special segment (watch at the bottom of the post).
Here are five takeaways from "Sports Talk Sunday" on Feb. 21:
1) McCoy probably won't be charged but could still face suspension: Carucci says both sides, the off-duty cops and McCoy's crew, are likely culpable, as the policemen may have instigated the fracas. Sully adds that cops don't automatically get the benefit of the doubt anymore, but neither should McCoy.
Bucky stresses that McCoy could have walked away from the situation and agrees with Vic that the NFL can still levy a suspension, legal charges or not. The News columnist still believes that the Bills should cut McCoy and deal with the dead money -- he doesn't expect the team to contend anyway next year. Vic doubts that McCoy will be released.
2) Bills' needs at the NFL Scouting Combine: With Carucci headed to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week, he highlights two players that Bills should have their eyes on.
-- Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss defensive end: Vic says that, despite off-the-field problems that include marijuana possession and falling out of a hotel window, he'd be a steal at No. 19, profiles like the Jets' Leonard Williams and fills Buffalo's need for an edge rusher. Sully goes into a fit of hysterics when he hears the "weed possession and falling out of a window" line, given the previous McCoy discussion.
-- Shaq Lawson, Clemson defensive end: Like Nkemdiche, Lawson is 6'4 but more lanky. Vic says that Rex loves Clemson players, and Lawson is yet another strong choice in a draft stocked nicely with pass rushers.
[Read Jonah Javad's NFL Mock Draft]
3) Sabres fall to Pens, lose O'Reilly: Benigni sets the table, showing a highlight clip from the Sabres' 4-3 loss, plus reaction from Zach Bogosion, Robin Lehner and Dan Bylsma. He notes how Buffalo will be without O'Reilly for three to four weeks, and that the Sabres have lost eight straight to Pittsburgh.
[Read Vogl's "Quick Hits" following the Sabres' loss]
Bucky agrees that O'Reilly has been a top two-way talent for Buffalo, and his absence will highlight the Sabres' lack of complementary talent -- he thinks that Bylsma is 5-6 players away from having a playoff-caliber team. Sully would have bet Bucky's house that the Sabres would lose today, as whenever he writes something positive about Buffalo it's the "kiss of death."
[John Vogl on why Ryan O'Reilly will be hard to replace]
Benigni highlights the team's poor home record and woeful performances in shootouts, and Bucky says that the First Niagara Center is called "The Library" for a reason. Benigni blames the product on the ice, and Bucky agrees.
4) Sabres' trade deadline needs: Benigni runs video of his sit-down with Bylsma about the March 1 trade deadline; the Sabres head coach explains how his team needs more speed on the wings and some help defensively. Bucky echoes the defensive needs, saying that Ristolainen is Buffalo's only legitimate top-four d-man on the roster. They traded away Myers and Zadorov, and making moves like that have consequences.
Sully sees a lack of 26 to 28-year-old vets on the Sabres, and Benigni transitions to Jamie McGinn, who's an unrestricted free agent after the season and perhaps the Sabres' most coveted available player on the trade market. Bucky says the Sabres should make every attempt to sign him over the next week without overpaying; Sully compares McGinn to Stevie Johnson, a No. 1 receiver in Buffalo but a No. 3 for a playoff team.
5) Extra points:
Sully: The last time the Bills took a difference-making edge rusher was Bruce Smith in 1985, 31 years ago. He hears that Whaley might be eyeing a WR or even a QB, though. Buffalo hasn't drafted a defensive lineman in the first two rounds since Marcell Dareus, and it's about time that the general manager listens to his head coach.
Bucky: Sick of losing pro teams? Pay attention to St. Bonaventure basketball, as the men's team knocked off No. 15 Dayton on the road, sits 10-4 in the Atlantic 10 and 18-7 overall. That's the highest winner percentage since joining the A-10 in 1979. Both the men's and the women's teams could make the NCAA Tournament -- as they both did four years ago.
Benigni: Sure, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman takes a lot of grief on the show, but he handled the suspension appeal of Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman appropriately. Wideman texted his teammate that he only attended the appeal because of "stupid refs and stupid media," and that rubbed the commissioner -- and Benigni -- the wrong way.
Tune in to "Sports Talk Sunday" at 11:30 p.m. Sundays on WGRZ.
Story topics: Adam Benigni/ Bucky Gleason/ Buffalo Sabres/ Dan Bylsma/ Jamie McGinn/ Jerry Sullivan/ LeSean McCoy/ NHL trade deadline/ Ryan O'Reilly/ Sports Talk Sunday/ St. Bonaventure men's basketball/ Vic Carucci/ WGRZ