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[BN] Blitz newsletter: How Lackawanna's Mike Mamula became an NFL Combine legend

As the NFL prepares to kick off its annual Scouting Combine on Tuesday in Indianapolis, our Vic Carucci caught up with Lackawanna native Mike Mamula this week to reminisce about his performance at the 1995 event.

Still regarded as one of the best overall Combine workouts in history, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end from Boston College raised eyebrows along with his draft stock by running the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds, bench pressing 225 pounds for 26 reps and recording a 38.5-inch vertical jump, among other notable athletic feats. "He blew everybody away," former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt told USA TODAY 20 years later.

Mamula explained in his Q&A with Carucci how he trained for the Combine testing:

"Tom Coughlin’s strength coach, Jerry Palmieri, had winter workouts, and the winter workouts that he put together were all Combine drills. So for a month and a half straight for like two years, I was doing Combine drills and nobody knew it, including me.

Like anything with sports, you turn it into a competition and through all those drills, there was nobody that was beating me. There were two or three separate cone drills, the 40, vertical jump, just all of the specific agility drills that were definitely being done at the Combine. My best 40 time in college was 4.49."

Comeback run A little more than two years after suffering a devastating Achilles tendon injury, the University at Buffalo's all-time leading rusher Branden Oliver looks like his former self running for the Salt Lake Stallions in the new Alliance of American Football, Mark Gaughan writes. Oliver ran for a touchdown in the Stallions' victory on Saturday.

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Draft order set: The Bills hold 10 selections in the 2019 NFL draft. Click here to see where they are scheduled to pick in each round.

ICYMI: No-huddle was no solution for Josh Allen and his fellow rookie quarterbacks. ... The Bills re-signed core special teamer Deon Lacey. ... Karlos Williams has been conditionally reinstated after a nearly two-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

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Got feedback on this newsletter or our Bills coverage? Email Josh Barnett at jbarnett@buffnews.com. Find us on Facebook by clicking here and follow @BNBlitzNow on Twitter.

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