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Beauts

A stalk of celery dipped into malaise is what 2017 Buffalo sports tasted like. The year was dominated by upheaval for the Bills and Sabres, with the biggest stories involving people being fired or traded. Record playoff slumps persist. The Bandits were terrible. The Bisons finished 21 games out of first place. None of the Big Four basketball programs made the NCAA To…

Sports

The Buffalo Bills went through the last of their September calisthenics Sunday, muscling their way to a 21-12 victory in their scrimmage with the Division II New York Jets. You'll hear a lot of hardy-har-hars about the Bills being in first place in the AFC East, with the New England Patriots losing Thursday night and Hurricane Irma postponing the Miami Dolphins' opening…

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Over the past 10 days, Bills coach Sean McDermott has used the word “protocol” as often as “process.” That trend may not continue. Tyrod Taylor has reportedly been cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol to start at quarterback in Sunday’s opener against the Jets. T.J. Yates, on the other hand, has been placed on injured reserve. Yates, like Taylor, had been in…

Bills

John Miller and Jordan Mills have each withstood challenges this summer to remain the Buffalo Bills' starters at right guard and right tackle, respectively. Coach Sean McDermott said Monday that both would be in the starting lineup for Sunday's regular-season opener against the New York Jets. Miller, who had been the No. 1 right guard since the Bills made him a third…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills' surprising decision to release Jonathan Williams on Sunday left no clear No. 2 option behind LeSean McCoy at running back. Coach Sean McDermott addressed that concern Monday as the team returned to practice in advance of the season opener against the New York Jets. "Well, when you look at it, it's a little bit by committee," the coach said, indicat…

Bills

After making two dozen mostly nondescript roster cuts Saturday, the Bills flipped the script Sunday with big surprises, cutting second-year running back Jonathan Williams and linebacker Gerald Hodges, as well as receiver Philly Brown. Williams was a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas who was expected to be LeSean McCoy's primary backup. His presence on the roster was thou…

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…

Sports

What we see in the preseason easily could be rationalized and justified and washed away by the mere fact these exhibitions don't count in the standings. The real games are a month away. There's time to make strategic corrections, to coach up those players. Sean McDermott isn't willing to make excuses when it comes to penalties, even in the preseason. There were far too m…

Sports

Tyrod Taylor played well. So, too, did Sammy Watkins. As nice as that was to see over the three series the Buffalo Bills' starters played Thursday night, preseason games tell us more about the backups. We begin to learn how the coaches truly view their depth chart. We get a glimpse of who can be counted on if there's an injury. In that case, the two Bills who stoo…

Sports

PITTSFORD - We've reached double digits in days here at St. John Fisher College, with the Buffalo Bills' preseason opener only three days away. Sean McDermott makes his in-game head-coaching debut Thursday at 7 p.m. when his team hosts the Minnesota Vikings at New Era Field. Until then, the Bills trudge away in the heat, working through offensive kinks and defensive inj…

Bills

PITTSFORD - Jonathan Williams strode out of training camp Friday afternoon without a shirt, his pads dangling from his right hand. Sweat dripped off his six-pack as the sun beamed down on his chest. A bystander made a comment about Williams' half-naked strut, to which he responded, "I work too hard for this!" This, which he was referring to as his physique, could also b…

Bills

You could say Sunday's game meant nothing, and, in the grand scheme, that's true. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets had been eliminated from postseason scenarios. Two scuzzy clubs mopping up the year. Big whoop. But the game did mean something. The game was a chance to give dispirited Bills fans a glimpse toward 2017, to provide hope, to let them exhale with some r…

Bills

Three games into last season, BuffaloBills.com posted a story lauding General Manager Doug Whaley's roster-building acumen. The story declared Whaley was "awfully close" to "building a roster that can perennially compete for the postseason and championships." An examination of all 32 NFL rosters reveals Whaley has constructed the Bills in contradictory fashion, relyi…

Sports

You know your team is threadbare when the loss of Brandon Tate makes you question a higher power. The Buffalo Bills went into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots with four healthy wide receivers. Tate was one of them. He left with a concussion in the third quarter, entrusting the rest of the demoralizing 41-25 defeat to Walter Powell, Justin Hunter and a l…

Sports

Eric Dickerson's record would be skunked. O.J. Simpson's magical 2,003? Vaporized. Adrian Peterson, Barry Sanders and Terrell Davis would have nothing on Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy. The greatest rushing seasons in NFL history would be dots in McCoy's rearview mirror if his first-half production held up over the course of an entire game 16 times. Mc…