The Bills may draft Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Senior Bowl, which his South team won 24 – 10. He impressed Chan Gailey, who coached him in the Senior Bowl. Gailey had recruited him to play at Georgia Tech. Buffalo may take the 6 – 2, 222 pound Ponder as backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills staff will get another look at him at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis the end of February.
Archive for January, 2011
Bills general manager Buddy Nix is looking ahead to the draft. In a recent interview he affirmed his support for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Buffalo probably will not take a major name quarterback. Nix wants the highest impact player with the third overall draft pick. With a decade of missed draft opportunities behind them, the Bills can not afford to squander this opportunity. C. J. Spiller is just the latest first-round washout. Expect Buffalo to do the unexpected and take a defensive end.
This weekend marks the twentieth anniversary of the Bills appearance in Super Bowl XXV against the Giants. The game was the first of Buffalo’s 4 trips to the NFL championship game. Fans will always remember Scott Norwood’s fateful 47 yard field goal kick that went wide right with seconds remaining, dashing the Bills dreams of victory. Those were the glory years of the no-huddle and Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, and Thurman Thomas. Spectacular football, but the Super Bowl crown was not meant to be.
Bills coach Chan Gailey and his staff are working with the Senior Bowl squad. He is taking the south team through drills and practices this week in Mobile, Alabama. He is preparing for the all-star game on Saturday. Gailey likes what he sees of the players attitude and work ethic. Scouts from all 32 NFL clubs are present to get a first-hand look at this year’s top senior talent.
Former Bills great Joe DeLamielleure will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in support of injured American servicemen. The 60 year old will tackle the 19,341 foot peak this summer in Africa. He hopes to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. DeLamielleure’s effort is supported by the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation. The Hall of Fame offensive lineman follows a rigorous workout routine in his retirement.
Mary Owen has been named Bills Executive Vice President. She will oversee strategic planning and the Bills Toronto Series. Owen has been with the organization since 1997. She is the niece of owner Ralph Wilson, who called her one of the league’s bright young business executives. Owen has several NFL committee assignments, including the International Committee and Super Bowl Committee. She is also active in her family’s philanthropic work.
Police have recovered former Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly’s Hall of Fame ring. It was stolen together with his University of Miami Ring of Honor from his parked car in 2009. Authorities have charged 2 suspects with grand larceny. They will be arraigned in Aurora Town Court.
Buffalo offensive lineman Ed Wang met Chinese President Hu Jintao at a State Department luncheon hosted by Vice President Joseph Biden. Wang, the first NFL player of full Chinese ancestry, presented President Hu with an official game ball. The 6-5, 315 pound Wang was drafted by the Bills in 2010. Both his parents competed in the Olympics for their native China. His brother, David, is an offensive guard at Virginia Tech. His selection has generated much media interest in mainland China for the NFL.
Rob Ford, the new Toronto mayor, wants an NFL franchise for the city. He believes a team would be a major boost to tourism. He admits that taxpayers would not fund construction of a new football stadium. The Rogers Centre was built for baseball and only seats around 50,000. The Ottawa Teacher’s Pension plan reportedly wants to sell the Blue Jays and may invest in an NFL club. The Bills are the likely target of acquisition. The family of 92 year old owner, Ralph Wilson, will have to sell the team to pay estate taxes when he passes on. Wilson has already started the transition through the Bills Toronto Series, sponsored by Rogers Communications. Just as Gary Bettman does not want an NHL team in Hamilton, the NFL would not allow Toronto to buy the Jaguars or Vikings and let them play so close to the Bills in Buffalo.
Dave Wannstedt will become the Bills assistant head coach. Chan Gailey made the announcement yesterday after meeting with him last week. Wannstedt will also serve as linebackers coach. He has his work cut out for him. Buffalo ranked last in the league in run defense in 2010.