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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

A distinguished era is coming to an end at One Bills Drive. And it may signal a shake-up in the Bills' athletic training department. Long-time Bills trainer Bud Carpenter is retiring after 33 years with the team. "We mutually agreed that now is the time," Carpenter said. "It was time to retire. How lucky am I to be 31, 32, 33 years in the same occupation and not have…

Bills

Sean McDermott landed on the conservative side of the coaching spectrum when it came to fourth-down decisions during his rookie season as leader of the Buffalo Bills. In fairness, the 2017 Bills season offered too small of a sample size to put McDermott in the Dick Jauron class of playing-not-to-lose Bills coaches. Nevertheless, McDermott ranked 22nd on the "Aggressi…

Bills

Tom Brady vs. Jim Schwartz Philadelphia's defensive chief is not a blitzing coordinator. He relies on the four-man rush, as he did in Buffalo in 2014. The front four must get Tom Brady off his spot. Schwartz has flexibility. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry all can play end or tackle on third down. Look for the Pats to use two TEs to keep Schwartz from movin…

Bills

The big trade of quarterback Alex Smith to Washington Tuesday night should be viewed as good news for Bills fans. It's good because the Bills did not pull the trigger on a guy who's a better version of Tyrod Taylor but who clearly is not "The Answer." Smith is a good quarterback. He's 50-26 the past five years for Kansas City. Wow. But talk about a QB-friendly situat…

Bills

Former Buffalo Bills tackle Will Wolford put the end to Eric Wood's playing career in perspective Monday at One Bills Drive. Wolford, a star of the Bills' Super Bowl era and a 13-year NFL veteran, has spent the past nine years with the financial services firm Morgan Stanley and serves as Wood's financial adviser. "I told him there's a number of different ways you can…

Bills

This is the first in a series of in-depth features on potential quarterbacks for the Bills. MOBILE, Ala. — The notion that Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield is a loose cannon and a character risk for NFL teams was under assault as fake news from all angles at the Senior Bowl. Mayfield's improvisational genius on the field and some of his antics off it…

Bills

Lockport native Sean Kugler is back in the NFL after a five-year stint as head coach at Texas-El Paso. Kugler, arguably one of the top 20 defensive linemen Western New York ever has produced, was hired three weeks ago as new offensive line coach for the Denver Broncos. He's coaching the North team at the Senior Bowl with the rest of the Broncos' staff, and he has fir…

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. — Wyoming's Josh Allen had his best day of the week in the third North team practice Thursday at the Senior Bowl. Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield looked just as good or better for a third straight day. Allen was inconsistent with his accuracy the first two days. Not Thursday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. In the first two 1-on-1 sessions, he was on target on 16 of 17 p…

Bills

The marquee quarterbacks mostly lived up to their reputations through two days of Senior Bowl practices. Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma looked like the most effective quarterback on the field. Big Josh Allen of Wyoming wowed observers with some amazing throws but overall put forth two inconsistent days in the accuracy department. Allen is widely vie…

Bills

Army offensive tackle Brett Toth is the anomaly among offensive line prospects at the Senior Bowl. While most college linemen have spent most of their careers backing up as pass protectors in spread offenses, Toth has spent his entire college career going forward as a run blocker. Army's triple-option offense ran the ball on 92.4 percent of its plays this season. …

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. – The Bills are going to let their evaluations of the 2018 draft class – not their obvious need – dictate whether they try to move up in the first round to pick a quarterback. They won't make a trade that does not make sense – meaning a deal that smacks of desperation. They have a long way to go in the evaluation process before they even think about whet…

Bills

The shortest man in the trenches at the Senior Bowl has some big credits to his football resume. University of Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford measured just 5 foot, 11 1/2 inches Tuesday morning at the weigh-in and measurement session for the annual all-star game. He was the only offensive or defensive lineman under 6-feet tall, a fact he considers a badge of honor…

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. – As usual, the Senior Bowl is filled mostly with second- and third-day prospects for the NFL Draft. That’s just fine for the Buffalo Bills, for whom no position is off the board in 2018. The Bills have needs for starters at most positions and could justify drafting to improve their depth at any position on the field. The Bills' primary needs? Call them …

Bills

For the second time in three years, quarterback will be the marquee position to watch at the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Wyoming's Josh Allen and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, both projected first-round draft picks, get their first postseason chance to impress pro scouts as the runup to the NFL Draft begins. A total of 112 senior prospects will be scrutinized in…

Bills

It was common to see Dion Dawkins a long way from his left tackle position when the whistle blew on running plays this season. When the Buffalo Bills rookie got leverage on a defender, he pressed it down the line, toward the sideline or however far he could take it. "My coach preached finishing at Temple, but I always had the extra oomph," Dawkins said late in the Bi…