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Letters / Our readers speak out

Quinn era moves are questioned

In response to the April 17 letter, I too would like to thank Tom Golisano for buying the Sabres after the Rigas family ran it into the ground. It was a great business move and saved the franchise. It was nice to see him at the games when we were winning and great to win the Presidents' Trophy in '06-'07. However, for Larry Quinn (a hero?) to think that he, Regier and Ruff were a hockey department second-to-none is delusional.

To give credit where credit is due? Should we thank Quinn for losing three of our best players, Briere, Drury and Campbell? Or for the panic signing of Vanek (7 yr./$50 mil), or for signing Connolly (2 yr./$9 mil), and Hecht (4 yr./$14 mil) to contracts? Or how about losing our scouting department of Jim Benning, Terry Martin, Don Luce, and Larry Carriere?

Quinn says "this" team would be successful. What is so successful about it, because we barely made the playoffs? Success is winning a championship. All of WNY and Southern Ontario now believe it can happen with hockey people running the team and an owner willing to spend money to make it happen.

Have fun counting your money, Tom and Larry.

Congratulations and thank you, Mr. Pegula and Mr. Black.

Scott Jamieson

Amherst

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Playing with heart was missing ingredient

The Sabres are peaking at the right time going into the playoffs. The Sabres should go a long way into the playoffs and do one thing they didn't do early in the season and play with their hearts.

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park

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Saban, Cookie due for Wall of Fame

How refreshing to see an owner of a sports team be excited about a city and his team. Mr. Pegula comes to a town and the first thing he does is bring back the French Connection, just in time. God Bless your soul, Mr. Martin. Plus putting a Sabres reunion together, 75 plus players from 1970-2011. Thanks for the memories.

Now Mr. Wilson it's your turn. You have had years to do the same for two ex-Bills, Lou Saban and Cookie Gilchrist, who helped make Bills champions of the AFL two years in a row. It's time to put their names on the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium, regardless what the reasons are for them not being on the wall.

It would be a class act on your part to see that the families of Saban and Gilchrist are represented by the Bills family. Then we the fans can say, truly, Bills history is up to date.

John W. Parker Jr.

Clarence

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Maybe Cookie was right to shun Bills

I was pleased to read about the memorial service for former Buffalo Bill Cookie Gilchrist. This bruising runner from the championship years (1964-65) may have been the best player in Bills history.

Cookie was almost always defiant and perhaps self-defeating at times. He took himself out of a key game against the Boston Patriots during the 1964 season. Bills head coach, Lou Saban, temporarily placed Gilchrist on waivers, but quickly pulled him off. The guy was just too great to lose.

In later years Cookie demanded a fee to attend Bills reunions. None was forthcoming so we missed him. Gilchrist and Saban are not on the wall of Fame. This is a great injustice. Maybe Cookie was right all along -- the heck with them.

Joseph Gusky

Buffalo

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Forget Cam, writer will hold clipboard

With the offensive line of the Buffalo Bills, the third pick in the NFL Draft, even Cam Newton, will look like Ryan Leaf -- therefore a waste of money. So Mr. Wilson that's another high-paid clipboard holder. I want that job.

Raymond Heine

Niagara Falls

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Quarterback should be Bills' first priority

Anyone who has at least a moderate knowledge of the NFL knows that it's a quarterback-driven league.

Bills fans should know this better than anyone. What has our record been since Kelly retired? The experts agree that the top QB's in the draft are Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert. Both are expected to be selected in the first five picks of the draft. At least one of them will be available to the Bills. Buffalo must take on of these two strong-armed, mobile QBs.

I know that our defense is a sieve against the run, but this is where the football gods play right into the Bills hands. The draft class is unusually deep at defensive line. We will still be able to secure a very good D-lineman with pick 34 at the top of the second round.

Think what you want about Chan Gailey; however, he is well-regarded in NFL circles for developing quarterbacks. Although Ryan Fitzpatrick is liked and respected, his talent level falls well short of being labeled as a franchise QB. We need to get Gabbert or Newton for Gailey to develop into an excellent player and leader for the next 12-15 years.

Unless you have a defense like the '85 Bears, you don't get very far in the NFL with a mediocre quarterback. Just think, in a couple of years we could have quite a backfield with C.J. Spiller and either Newton or Gabbert. Now that would be exciting. Plus, we would have the defensive linemen we draft at the top of round two. To me, that's a recipe for success.

Dennis Weber

North Buffalo

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Bills told to be wary of a quarterback pick

Regarding the Bills upcoming postion of third in the draft, Buffalo must be careful. They have made plenty of mistakes picking quarterbacks, J.P. Losman and Trent Edwards most recently. In my mind, they have a No. 1 QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was without a doubt, the best QB Buffalo has had in the years.

Unfortunately, he had a dreadful second-to-last game of the season at home and then couldn't redeem himself the following week because of injury. The bad outing in week 15 shouldn't put enough doubt in the coaches and managements minds to waste another pick on an unproven college kid.

Go with Fitzpatrick, go to the playoffs. Fill other needs.

Mike Ciko

Lackawanna

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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