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Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan has been a sports writer at The Buffalo News for 35 years. He covers the Bills and the NFL and is a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America, as well as a past selector for Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Bills

This is the first in a series of stories looking at the Buffalo Bills’ salary cap situation heading into free agency. The Bills have reached a new, positive stage in their roster development under Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott: Reward time. McDermott has been preaching a team-first culture since he arrived in 2017. After three seasons, he now has a handful of play…

Bills

Dion Dawkins’ transformation from under performer to quality starter took place on all fronts in 2019. “I’m pleased with the fact that Dion is maturing as a man,” offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said late in the season. “Not that he was not a man before. I think things have changed in Dion’s life that have caused him to reorganize his priorities. You see it.” One …

Bills

Improving the screen-pass game is a big area of opportunity for the Buffalo Bills' offense. The Bills were 12 of 18 for just 82 yards on screen passes to running backs in 2019, according to Buffalo News charts. Only one screen pass to a running back went for more than 12 yards – a 49-yarder to Devin Singletary vs. Washington in Week 9. That was one of only six screen…

Bills

Remarkable is an understatement when describing the Buffalo Bills’ ability to stay healthy in the 2019 season. The Bills’ starters missed a combined total of just eight games all season, the fewest in the NFL and way less than the league average. Buffalo, Minnesota and Arizona were the three healthiest teams in the NFL in terms of games lost by starters, according to…

Bills

Corey Bojorquez had an up-and-down training camp and then hit some poor balls during preseason games. The Buffalo Bills’ punting situation was a worry entering the season opener. All of a sudden, Bojorquez turned it around. His first 10 full-field punts of the season all had hang times of 4.7 seconds or better (a 4.5-second hang time is good). “Those preseason gam…

Bills

Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson didn’t hesitate when asked who is the toughest player, pound for pound, on the team’s roster. “Jordan Poyer,” he said. It’s a subjective debate to a hard-to-define question. Yet, there’s no doubting the respect Poyer receives from his teammates over the way he throws his body around on the field. The 190-pound, seven-year …

Bills

First quarter Theme: Kansas City cashes in the red zone. First TD: The Chiefs ranked only 20th in the red zone this season, scoring TDs on 54% of trips inside the 20. They converted on their first attempt when Patrick Mahomes ran 1 yard off right tackle to cap a 15-play, 75-yard drive. Best choreography: Mahomes and the three other men in the backfield did a pirouet…

Bills

U.S. Army Sgt. Kilian Abers had the best spot in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium to see the national anthem before the start of Super Bowl LIV. Abers, a 2016 graduate of Pine Valley in Cattaraugus County, was part of the military color guard on the field for the anthem, directly behind singer Demi Lovato. As Lovato was signing, Abers' mother, Holly, joked that she was sayi…

Bills

You’re always looking for the secret formula to predict the Super Bowl winner. It’s a stat geek’s dream. Of course, it doesn’t exist. There are trends that point to the winner, but there’s no surefire formula. From a simplistic perspective, the team with the better defense generally has an edge. The last 39 years, the teams with the higher ranked defenses in points a…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills are tied for the fourth-most players under contract beyond the 2020 season. It’s one indication the Bills have a relatively young core of players. While the overall age of the Bills’ roster in 2019 was high, the Bills had the ninth youngest roster of starters in the league, according to a Buffalo News study on opening day. Young players on their fir…

Bills

Former Buffalo Bills draft choice Cardale Jones and former University at Buffalo star Tyree Jackson will open the season as the two quarterbacks on the roster of the DC Defenders of the new XFL, it was announced Monday. The XFL is the new football league owned by pro wrestling mogul Vince McMahon that will begin a 10-week season Feb. 8. Jones, the 6-foot-5-inch Ohio …

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. — The Ferguson family business of long snapping is about to branch out. Reid Ferguson has been the outstanding long snapper for the Buffalo Bills for the past three seasons. Now his younger brother, Blake, is poised to enter the NFL after a four-year career at Louisiana State University. Blake’s graduation is the end of an era, because he succeeded his o…

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. – The impressive depth of the wide receiver class in the 2020 NFL draft was on display at the Senior Bowl this week. There are 13 receivers in the college all-star game, and none of those practicing this week are projected to be first-round picks. Yet at least nine of them have produced some highlights over the three days of practices that ended Thursday. M…

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. – NFL coaches and scouts are earning their money this week evaluating the crop of edge rushers at the Senior Bowl. There aren’t any total-package, surefire superstars at the college all-star game. Yet some of the dozen edge rushers in Mobile will wind up being high-quality starters in the NFL. Which prospects are the best fit in a team’s scheme and will …

Bills

MOBILE, Ala. – It was 37 degrees at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Tuesday for the first day of Senior Bowl practices. Two-thirds of the players who will get drafted in the first round of April’s NFL draft were not on the field because they’re underclassmen. The best receiver in town wasn’t practicing due to injury. And the South squad had just lumbered through a disjointed, pre-…