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Considering the circumstances, Tyrod Taylor was surprisingly upbeat Tuesday afternoon. He sounded the way a starting quarterback is expected to sound, like a leader, a veteran who feels it's his duty to show the new guys how an NFL player responds in trying times. You couldn't have blamed Taylor if he had been in a sour mood. His receivers are disappearing faster than T…

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Even before Anquan Boldin stunned the Bills by deciding to retire from the NFL on Sunday,  people were suggesting that quarterback Tyrod Taylor was being "set up to fail." I've been hearing that sentiment a lot on talk radio and elsewhere on social media. Taylor can't have been thrilled with the trade of his top wideout, Sammy Watkins. Now Boldin, who was expected to be a …

Sports

This is a two-point commentary: 1. I’m sad to see Usain Bolt retire. 2. Bolt’s retirement makes me marvel even more at Tom Brady. The connection? Bolt closed his sprinting career at the IAAF World Championships last week in London. He’s 30 years old. He’s still great. Why is he retiring? He’s tired of grinding to the degree that is required to be the best in the world. …

Bills

Early this year, during Super Bowl week, I had a brief discussion about politics with the outspoken Martellus Bennett, who was a tight end for the Pats at the time. "Do you ever wish you lived in the '60s, when athletes like Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) took a stand for civil rights," I asked him? "My brother and …

Sports

The mail came in a torrent in the aftermath of the Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby trades. The prevailing reaction from Buffalo fans was a conflicted unease over whether they should maintain hope for this season. When you think about it, that could have been the question in August for the last 18 years. Should people invest their emotions into another Bills season when m…

Sports

"Slow your roll," some readers said. "Way too early," others claimed. "Give 'em time, for cryin' outs," I heard. My takeaway from the Buffalo Bills' preseason opener last week was their disconcerting penalty total. They committed 13 penalties. The Minnesota Vikings accepted 10 of them for 106 yards. All those flags irked Bills coach Sean McDermott, but many fan…

Bills

The Doug Flutie-Rob Johnson controversy is a distant memory for Buffalo fans. But Sports Illustrated revived the debate in last week's feature on camp quarterback battles, in which they interviewed 10 ex-NFL players who were engaged in memorable QB competitions. Flutie has the reputation as a selfish jerk, but it's Johnson who comes across as resentful and pathetic. He …

Sports

Remember when Doug Flutie played for the Bills and we all said: “How on earth did the NFL conclude he wasn't better than some of the 90 quarterbacks in the league the past 10 years?” There are 118 quarterbacks in NFL camps. How is Colin Kaepernick, who took a talented, well-coached team to the Super Bowl, not better than some of them? Kaepernick has been afforded one st…

Bills

Column as I see 'em, Preseason: You don't have to be a psychologist to figure out what triggered Sean McDermott's tongue-lashing of his players during Monday's practice. Richie Incognito, speaking after the new head coach's rant and the practice scuffles that followed, had the money quote. Incognito said McDermott had the impression that there were "guys feeling a li…

Sports

I was about to put the Mailbag to bed on Friday when the big news broke about the Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby trades. So the column was put back a day and, not surprisingly, the roof nearly blew off the old mailbox. People are all over the place about the trades, though the overall sentiment is positive. Bills fans are understandably conflicted. Many agree it's in th…

Sports

Brandon Beane was asked a simple question when he took to the lectern shortly after 4 p.m. on his blockbuster Friday. Did trading Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby make the Bills a better team? "For the 2017 season?" the Bills first-year general manager said. "You could make arguments either way." He has a point there, but I'll embrace the contrary argument. The trades,…

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Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, the Buffalo Bills' rookie head coach and GM, each was asked if the 2017 roster got better after Friday's trades. They slipped the questions as Floyd Mayweather would an off-balance roundhouse. But throughout their news conferences at One Bills Drive, McDermott and Beane acknowledged they hurt their chances of winning this year. Th…

Sports

Brandon Beane couldn't say whether the Bills got better by trading Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby on Friday. Sean McDermott wasn't sure, either. Allow me to help them out here. The Bills didn't get better. They got worse. It's understandable that Beane and McDermott wouldn't concede that it was a step back. They have to sell these deals to their team, which expects to c…

Sports

It's a conflicted day in Buffalo sports. I feel both terrible and good for long-suffering Bills Nation. In the big picture, Friday's trade of Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby is good news for die-hard fans. As The News' Jerry Sullivan has said over and over the past decade (and no doubt will say again), the Bills' management finally has stopped "middling it." Unlike…