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'Sports Talk Sunday' rewind: Bills rookie camp reaction, NHL Playoffs

WGRZ's Jonah Javad stepped in ably for usual "Sports Talk Sunday" co-host Adam Benigni, while The News' Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan took their regular seats.

After being mesmerized by the highlight of Bartolo Colon's first career home run, the trio reacted to the Buffalo Bills' rookie camp and then gauged how far some of the remaining teams in the NHL and NBA playoffs could go.

Here are the major talking points from the show that aired originally at 11:30 p.m. May 8 on WGRZ-TV.

1) First impressions of Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland: Javad posits that the Bills' top two draft picks stood out to head coach Rex Ryan during rookie camp.

Neither Bucky nor Sully was impressed by this comment -- the former said he's learned to not put much stock in what happens with shorts and helmets are on, while the latter "wants to find a coach in an NFL city who says his top picks don't look like NFL players and contemplates cutting them."

[Read, from Bucky: NFL Draft talk is all the same]

2) How Bills fans should react to the draft, in May: Sully encourages fans to be cautiously optimistic about the Bills' draft haul, but he's also suspicious why teams passed on both Lawson and Ragland. "I'm a skeptic, a prove-it-to-me guy," Sully says.

Bucky points out the concerns around each player -- health questions surrounding Lawson's shoulder and Ragland's aorta, Washington's soliciting of a prostitute, Cardale Jones' inability to hold the starting quarterback role in college, and the fact that Jonathan Williams hasn't played a meaningful snap since the end of the 2014 season.

Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams sat out the 2015 season with injury, but has potential to help the Bills' backfield. (Getty Images)

Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams sat out the 2015 season with injury, but has potential to help the Bills' backfield. (Getty Images)

[Read: Jonathan Williams is hungry to see the field again]

Javad argues that the middle of the regular season is a better time to evaluate the early returns on the draft -- not training camp or preseason games -- and Sully agrees, noting how cornerback Ronald Darby struggled mightily in the 2015 preseason before becoming one of the top young corners in the NFL as the season progressed.

After watching Jones last week, both Javad and Bucky think that the former Buckeye QB has the size and arm strength but not the footwork and accuracy -- yet, at least. Bucky comments how Jones looks like an offensive tackle, while Sully reminds us that there's a 10 percent chance that a quarterback selected at that juncture of the draft winds up becoming a starter.

[Read: Infusion of personality among Bills draft picks]

3) Stars-Blues, Caps-Pens, Lightning move on: Javad introduces the next topic: Lindy Ruff's Dallas Stars on the brink of bowing out of the playoffs. Sully immediately pounces into the conversation, calling out the Stars' anemic offense, which has just 10 goals in its last five games. Bucky sees another wart in Ruff's team, and that's goaltending; Ruff had a hard time managing goalies when he was in Buffalo, too, Gleason remembers.

Over in the Capitals-Penguins series, Bucky gives Washington a chance to win, despite needing to capture two straight. He says the Caps have lost games they should have won, and there's a very thin difference between these two teams. Sully believes Washington can win, too, as he expects the Caps' forwards to solve Pittsburgh's 21-year-old goalie Matt Murray, especially since Alexander Ovechkin looked much better in Game 5.

The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin had a strong Game 5, which could spur him on to a big finish to the series. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin had a strong Game 5, which could spur him on to a big finish to the series. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Bucky sees the Lightning's success against the Isles without Stamkos as a good thing -- Tampa Bay has more leverage in its negotiations with the star forward, who's as good as gone, the News' columnist believes.

4) Worried about the Warriors? Are the Cavs sneaking into the NBA title discussion? Sully remains convinced that, despite their Game 3 win at home, the Portland Trailblazers don't have a chance to upset the Golden State Warriors.

When Jonah poses the question of whether the white-hot Cleveland Cavaliers are title contenders, Sully pumps the brakes and says that Tyronn Lue's team still can't compare to the Western favorites, whether it's Golden State or San Antonio. He does admit, though, that Kevin Love has gone from overrated to underrated very quickly.

5) Extra points:

*Bucky: The columnist recounts his Mother's Day, which involved going to watch two of his kids' baseball games, where he didn't see any mothers complaining that they weren't going to brunch. He remembers how his mother thought a slider was a menu item at Applebee's, and she didn't care how he played, but was just happy that he played. It was a powerful tribute on Mother's Day.

[Read: Vic Carucci thanks his mother for supporting his writing career]

*Sully: Sully praises the Buffalo Public School Board's hiring of consultant Greg Gabriel, a former scout for the Buffalo Bills and around the NFL. The News columnist notes how the board made strides under James Williams in improving Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium and All-High Stadium, and he hopes to see more progress after this move.

*Jonah: The WGRZ host juxtaposes the NFL administrators' seemingly indifferent approach to players' health compared to the NBA's, where the league has made sure the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh doesn't return to the court for the postseason after a blood clot was found in his leg this year. Bosh lobbied to play, but Javad thinks this is the best decision for the player's health.

Watch the next edition of "Sports Talk Sunday" at 11:30 p.m. May 15 on WGRZ-TV.

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