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Super Bowl LII was packed with local connections, from Western New York natives on both teams to former Buffalo Bills players and coaches. Here’s a look at how they fared Sunday night: Philadelphia Eagles • Offensive coordinator Frank Reich: The architect of the Greatest Comeback as a quarterback for the Bills finally has his first Super Bowl ring on his sixth chance…

Back when Wade Phillips was coaching the Dallas Cowboys in the 2007 season, he was preparing to bring his team to Ralph Wilson Stadium to face the Buffalo Bills. As is part of the weekly NFL ritual, Western New York reporters speak with the opposing team's coach on a conference call a few days before the game. When that call clicked on, Phillips very clearly said "keep t…

The divisional round of the NFL postseason featured three players from Western New York, a University at Buffalo graduate and 10 former Buffalo Bills. Here is look how each of those players did: Western New Yorkers • Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski: The Amherst native made seven catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-20 victory over Kansas City. Gronk played 53 offe…

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alan Branch's last act for the Buffalo Bills was vomiting out of his car door while drunk and behind the wheel in Cheektowaga. Branch already had been considered a waste. He skipped voluntary offseason workouts, arrived to training camp grossly out of shape and got buried on the depth chart. The Bills had signed him in December 2013 to a three-year con…

Alan Branch seemed to be asking for the Buffalo Bills to cut him. So the team did today. Branch, 29, was released a day after coach Doug Marrone revealed the eighth-year pro was inactive for Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because he was arrested. Branch was charged with driving while intoxicated by state police at about 2 a.m. Saturday mornin…

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Alan Branch's turbulent summer took yet another sudden dip. Bills coach Doug Marrone revealed after today's preseason loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that Branch didn't play because he had been arrested. Marrone said he couldn't provide any details. State Police confirmed it arrested Branch. A Bills source told The Buffalo News the arrest…

Bills

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' exhibition loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Ralph Wilson Stadium ... What it means: Oy to the vey. The Bills' starting offense looked atrocious, and their first-string defense was middling. The Bills' starters were outscored, 24-0, by the Bucs' starters at halftime. The Bills are 1-3 with one preseason game left. Starters final…

Rookie receiver Sammy Watkins and defensive tackle Kyle Williams will miss today's exhibition against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Watkins hurt his ribs in last Saturday's preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Williams missed Thursday's practice with a leg injury. Corbin Bryant will start in Williams' place. Also out for the Bills are tight end…

PITTSFORD -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said cornerback Brandon Smith and linebacker Darrin Kitchens are both expected to miss some practice time after suffering lower-body injuries during practice Monday. Kitchens was hurt during a special-teams drill, while Smith went down after colliding with safety Derek Brim on a play over the middle. Tight end Chris Gragg and…

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone only could shrug. Voluntary workouts began today at One Bills Drive, but they are merely voluntary. Still, coaches want their players to be hungry and ready to get to work. Outside linebacker Manny Lawson and defensive tackle Alan Branch were absent today. Marrone added that he hasn't seen them or heard from them the entire offseason. "…

ORLANDO, Fla. -- As expected, the NFL didn't give the Buffalo Bills any extra draft picks this year. The league announced its 2014 compensatory draft selections today at the annual owners meetings. Thirteen teams received 32 picks that cannot be traded. The Houston Texans will get Mr. Irrelevant (the last player picked each year) with the 224th overall selection. The com…

Backup quarterback Thad Lewis directed a seven-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Graham today late in the third quarter at Gillette Stadium, and the Buffalo Bills are officially hanging around against the New England Patriots. Lewis earlier on the drive connected with Graham on a 41-yard reception, with a perfect throw down the left side…

The Buffalo Bills checked one item off their season-ending to-do list today when they agreed to a three-year contract extension with defensive lineman Alan Branch. Branch, who turns 29 Sunday when the Bills close out the regular season at New England, has started 12 games this year in his first season with the Bills. "It feels good just knowing that my future is secure f…