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Letters / Our readers speak out

>Wins send Wilson laughing to the bank

Ralph Wilson is extremely happy these days. The Bills have just beaten the Browns to improve to 3-10. Most owners would hide in shame, but not Ralph. Looking at the last three games, the Bills have a chance to win two out of three, maybe beating Miami today, then losing to the Pats and beating the sinking Jets in the last game.

Picking up a total of three out of four wins in the last part of the season will save Ralph $30 million by not getting such a high draft pick. Ralph will be so ecstatic you would think he just won the lottery. Last year C.J. Spiller, picked ninth in the first round, was one of the last first-rounders to sign. A major hurdle was not only the length of the contract but the signing bonus, which gave Ralph goose bumps.

As Ralph continues to milk the cow, he saved $27 million two years ago being under the salary cap.

Tony Hammill

West Seneca

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>Bills need bulk right down the line

The Bills desperately need a huge nose tackle and a backup who is just as large. Our draft gurus seem to always draft guys that are less than 310 pounds and cannot stop the run. In a 3-4, that huge guy in the middle makes a huge difference.

We need depth on both the offensive and defensive lines that have size and a "nasty" attitude. If that comes from trades or the draft, who cares. Just get it done.

Phil Wiggle

Amherst

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>When building, size matters

At least there is one person who is right-minded about how to begin rebuilding the Bills. Larry Felser harkened to the early days of the Bills and how they set about building what would become a championship team from the trenches out. A few years later they reaped the rewards and Jack Kemp was then, and only then, allowed to do what he does best.

The local afternoon sports talkers scoff at anyone who dares suggest that any position other than quarterback should be addressed with their first-round choice in the 2011 draft. Last year it was Tim Tebow who was the darling. He is just getting on the field for a terrible Denver team. How's he working out for them?

Offensive tackle needs to be the first priority to protect whoever ends up being the QB. Without protection, even Andrew Luck would be rendered useless. I might change my tune were we in position to draft Luck but he will be long gone by the time the Bills choose. Don't draft a QB just for the sake of drafting a QB. Do the right thing -- fix the line, then get your QB.

Gary Cescon

Akron

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>Add one game at a neutral site

There has been a lot of talk lately between the NFL owners and players association regarding a longer regular season. Could our beloved Buffalo Bills and their Toronto series have accidentally stumbled on a compromise solution?

The owners want an 18-game schedule, the players association likes the status quo. How about a 17-game schedule with the extra game played at a neutral site? Just a few examples I can think of that would be successful: Steelers vs. Eagles at State College, Penn., Chargers vs. 49ers at the Rose Bowl or Cowboys vs. Texans at Austin.

This solution would bring the NFL to some new and untapped markets, and allow fans of the participating teams to see their favorite team in a new venue.

Paul Murphy

Buffalo

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>Phillips, Childress out of their league

Old coaches never quit, they just Wade away or become a fan like Brad.

For Wade Phillips to be fired by the Bills was one thing, but fired by the Cowboys?

And Brad Childress, what were you thinking getting rid of Randy Moss without the boss' consent?

I wonder where the two of them will end up next year. Are there any openings in the Arena League?

Paul DiVito

Getzville

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>Players available during the season

Know what Dion Phaneuf, J.S. Giguere, Doug Gilmour, Joe Thornton, Wayne Gretzky, Pat LaFontaine, Patrick Roy, Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara have in common? They are all big-time, impact players who were traded during the season. I bring this up to refute Darcy Regier's patently false claims that such players are never available and that the only time to work at establishing a team's identity is in the offseason. It is never too late to build a winning team.

I respect Darcy's confidence and his determination to build a winning team his way. He has a great eye for drafting young talent, and he has operated well in the constraints put on him during his tenure. Problem is, his way doesn't work. It's been 13 years and their best chance at a Cup came 11 years ago. It's a credit to the organization that the Sabres have such faith in their homegrown talent, but if he can't sign big-name free agents, then Darcy needs to do more to acquire the star talent that Cup-winning teams have.

The Sabres have a tremendous goalie and a core of talented young players that represent their long-term plan. But they are a team in the league and they are relevant; they owe it to their owner, their players, and their fans to have concurrent short-term plans that allow them to supplement their roster as needed.

Marc Rumnerie

East Aurora

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>Connolly always in a non-contact role

I woke up Tuesday morning and read The Buffalo News article about the Sabres and Tim Connolly, stating that he was practicing with the team and wearing his red (non-contact) jersey. At that point, I could not stop laughing and spilled my coffee. I honestly thought he wore that jersey for every game.

Rich Pietrykowski

North Tonawanda

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>Quinn is driving UB fan out

I have been a University at Buffalo football season ticket holder for 17 years.

It is difficult to understand after only one year, why coach Quinn would fire his offensive coordinator and receiver coach, especially if he called 85 percent of the plays. I plan on being the next bull out.

Bob Sanders

Lockport

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>Senior-laden Griffs are a disappointment

Just past the first quarter of their season, the 4-5 (0-2 MAAC) Canisius Golden Griffins are a disappointment at the very least. The opening win over Bona had everyone thinking that this might be the year. After two pathetic performances against UB and St. Francis (N.Y.), it appears that things haven't changed.

Canisius started the season with five seniors who had been together all four years. They continue to be undisciplined and prone to turnovers (17 per game). Players are constantly rotated in and out of the lineup, which appears to affect the continuity of play.

Coach Tom Parrotta is in his fifth season and recently received a two-year extension. His record coming into this season is 44-81. His record with the players recruited by him beginning with the 2007-08 season is 36-67 including this season.

Two players recruited from Lithuania and Uganda are at best taking up roster spots. Hopefully coach Parrotta can salvage this season because next year is not looking good.

Ed Clohessy

Amherst

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Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.

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