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INDIANAPOLIS – Each year Joe Schoen arrives for the NFL Scouting Combine, it means more than simply being where the nation’s top college football prospects audition to play at the next level. It means more than gathering with fellow executives, as well as coaches from the league’s 31 other teams and player agents, to talk business and trade stories and some laughs. For …

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Mike Mamula’s considerable athletic prowess began turning heads when he was 13 to 14 years old. Those heads belonged to the 18- and 19-year-old guys he was outperforming on the basketball court in his native Lackawanna. “Then, we would have pickup football games behind the Lackawanna Library,” Mamula recalled. “I was the same age, playing against 25- and 30-old guys and…

Bills

For most of Mark Kelso’s involvement in professional sports, the biggest event came at the end of the season. During seven years as an NFL free safety, that was the Super Bowl, in which Kelso played four consecutive times with the Buffalo Bills from 1990 to 1993. However, in his four years as manager of a NASCAR race team, Kelso has gotten used to the biggest event —…

Bills

Bill Polian is no stranger to being on the ground floor of startup pro football leagues and teams. His Hall-of-Fame resume – highlighted by his seven seasons as general manager of the Buffalo Bills from 1986 to '92 – includes one year as personnel director of the United States Football League’s Chicago Blitz in 1984. It also includes three seasons as GM of the expansion…

Bills

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jim Kelly’s health challenges never seem to let up. On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame quarterback is scheduled to undergo surgery for the removal of a cyst in his back. He said he has been in excruciating pain the past two months, and at the urging of his wife and two daughters, he finally relented to have the procedure. “They found a cyst…

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Rough doesn’t begin to describe Jon Dorenbos’ life before and after the 14 seasons he spent as an NFL long snapper, a career that began in 2003 with the Buffalo Bills. At 12, he went through the unspeakable trauma of having his father kill his mother during an argument in the garage of their suburban Seattle home. With his sister visiting relatives in California and his…

Bills

In 1995, prostate cancer took its best shot at Marv Levy. His then-70-year-old body not only absorbed the punch, it punched back. After a brief hiatus, Levy resumed coaching the Buffalo Bills. Eight months ago, at 92, Levy took another hit, this time in his native Chicago. “I was out for a walk and all of a sudden I lost all balance and reality,” Levy said. “They rus…

Bills

When Phil Simms thinks of Buffalo and its all-consuming relationship with the Bills, he isn’t reminded of a typical NFL market. “Playing there is more like a college atmosphere,” said Simms, who spent 15 seasons quarterbacking the New York Giants and has had a lengthy career as a football analyst, mostly with CBS Sports. “In other words, everybody is just so, so passionat…

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Brian Daboll got what he wanted, the chance to coach for his hometown team. Now that his first season as offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills is one game from being over, he’s in the mood to be reflective. “Like I said before, and I’ll say it now, there’s no more special place to me than this place,” Daboll said. “Growing up here with the tradition that they establ…

Bills

As a quarterback for a 5-10 team, Josh Allen has experienced more lows than highs since the Buffalo Bills made him the seventh overall pick of the NFL Draft in April. The worst part was having to miss four games with a sprained elbow suffered in an Oct. 14 loss at Houston. Although it gave Allen a chance to step back and learn from watching others — mainly veterans Derek …

Bills

Stephen Hauschka is standing for about a 25-minute conversation, which probably isn’t the best idea for someone still feeling pain from a large bruise on his right hip. Periodically, he has to stretch, bending from side to side while leaning forward slightly. “Kickers are fine-tuned athletes,” he said. Then, he caught himself. “I don't know if we’re athletes,” Hausch…

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Micah Hyde is trying his best to remain upbeat, but it isn’t easy. It’s December. For as long as the Buffalo Bills’ safety has been in the NFL, he has known this as a time when every game means a little something extra. Until now. Hyde and his teammates have three games left on the schedule, beginning with Sunday’s encounter with the Detroit Lions at New Era Field…

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To get to those lofty places his body supposedly was too small to take him — a spot on the football team at the U.S. Naval Academy and an NFL career he began as a 27-year-old rookie – Phil McConkey needed something extra to drive him. All this time later, it’s still there. “I continue to stay in shape, I’ve never stopped,” McConkey said. “I run sprints, I compete nat…

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Lorenzo Alexander recognizes he’s nearing the end of his NFL career. His contract with the Buffalo Bills is due to expire after the season. That has prompted the 35-year-old linebacker to wonder whether he’ll be on the team next year, on another club or out of the NFL altogether. “I mean, it's obviously on my mind,” Alexander said. “I’m just talking through a lot of …

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The voices are always in Don Beebe’s head, sounding as vivid as they did nearly 30 years ago. Marv Levy. Bill Polian. John Butler. They instantly made a believer out of Beebe when, after making a splash at the NFL Scouting Combine by running a 4.25-second 40-yard dash, he joined the Buffalo Bills as a third-round draft pick from Chadron (Neb.) State in 1989. They convin…