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Mark Gaughan

Sports writer at the Buffalo News for more than 30 years, covers college sports and writes Bills game analysis. Past president of the Pro Football Writers of America. Past selector for Pro Football Hall of Fame. Buffalo native. Buffalo State College graduate.


Bills

Gerhard de Beer was by far the least experienced player on the field last week at the Buffalo Bills' rookie minicamp. No one, however, could doubt the undrafted offensive tackle's love for the game. "I gave up a shot at the Olympics for this, so yeah, I love the sport," de Beer said. De Beer is a native of South Africa who went to the University of Arizona on a track…

Bills

Thurman Thomas produced 18,393 yards and 109 touchdowns in 12 seasons with the Buffalo Bills. That's a lot of great moments in a career that will be honored with the retirement of his No. 34 jersey in October. Thomas' greatest career achievement, besides helping the Bills to four straight Super Bowls, was leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage a record four straight ye…

Bills

Chuck Knox was a great football coach, and he deserves to at least have his case heard by the full board of selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He did not win enough in the postseason to deserve induction, in my view. But that should not diminish his legacy. Knox, who died at age 86 on Saturday, still ranks as the 10th winningest coach in NFL history. Kno…

Bills

Take one look at Ray-Ray McCloud's 77-yard punt return against North Carolina State and it's easy to get excited about his potential impact on the Buffalo Bills. The sixth-round draft choice from Clemson juked or ran through eight would-be tacklers on the way to an electrifying touchdown, which sparked a key November victory for the Tigers. McCloud is confident in hi…

Bills

New Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace will not be intimidated by the odds of making the NFL as an undrafted rookie. On opening day last season, 29 percent of the players in the NFL were undrafted. Wallace arguably faced longer odds in going from walk-on to starter at the University of Alabama. Most major-college walk-ons are invited to join or try out for the pro…

Colleges

The tone for the Canisius College men's lacrosse season was set for new coach Mark Miyashita when he met with star forward Connor Kearnan shortly after being hired last August. "Stats weren't his focus this year," Miyashita said. "All he wanted to worry about – in one of our first meetings he told me – 'Coach, I've never won anything. I want to win.' " Kearnan and Mi…

Colleges

Canisius College's underdog run through the lacrosse postseason came to an end with a thud Wednesday. No. 18-ranked Robert Morris defeated the Golden Griffins, 12-6, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I men's tournament at the Demske Sports Complex. Robert Morris' defense controlled the game, keeping the Griffs from good scoring chances. The Colonials led at h…

Bills

Sean McDermott is taking a no-stone-unturned approach to coaching challenges this offseason. McDermott's challenges were not a particularly big issue in 2017. The Buffalo Bills did not encounter as many controversial challenge situations as some teams. McDermott challenged only four plays, and one of those was overturned in his favor. Only four teams made fewer coach…

Bills

Trent Murphy is an excellent fit for the Buffalo Bills' defensive scheme, even though he's coming from the 3-4 defense of the Washington Redskins. Murphy lined up as a defensive end on a four-man line on 76 percent of his snaps for the Redskins in 2016. That's exactly how he will be used in Leslie Frazier's 4-3 Buffalo defense. If Murphy can keep ascending in his car…

Bills

An open letter to Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams: I realize you guys don't need any pep talks from the media. You're quintessential pros. You don't last 12 or 13 years in the NFL without world-class commitment to your profession and total belief in your ability. Nevertheless, you may look around the Bills locker room these days and notice the new franchise quart…

Bills

Kim Pegula is blazing new territory in taking over as president of both the Bills and Sabres and faces a huge task in being the hands-on overseer of both franchises. In the wake of Russ Brandon's resignation from Pegula Sports and Entertainment Tuesday, Pegula now is one of only two women in the NFL with full control of the day-to-day management of a team. She is the…

Bills

Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is lobbying to keep kickoffs part of the NFL game. Alexander posted a video of his plea to the NFL Monday, in advance of a scheduled meeting Wednesday in New York City to study changes or alternatives to the kickoff play. Bills great Steve Tasker will be part of a select group of special-teams experts the NFL is bringing tog…

Bills

All analysis of the 2018 Buffalo Bills draft justifiably will hinge on the trade-up for Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. It's worth noting, however, that the trade-up for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at No. 16 was critical to the Bills' short- and long-term future because of the way the first round played out. "The first round is very average this year," said former Be…

Bills

The What-If Board There's no doubt the Bills would have been widely skewered both nationally and locally if they had sat on their hands and not taken one of the 2018 NFL Draft's top four quarterbacks, given all the draft-pick capital Buffalo had amassed. Nevertheless, a fair number of fans last week advocated drafting Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph, who went No. 76 in th…

Bills

3 Impressive Drafts Everyone knows grading drafts before the players ever step on the field is an imagination exercise. Nevertheless, here's a stock-market rating based largely on a the principle: "the more picks the better." Cleveland: The Browns made four picks in the top 35. After going 1-31 the past two years, things have to start getting better, right? Of course, …