AFC East: Alvin Bowen

Jauron a vanishing act in team photo(shop)

December, 3, 2009
Even at first glance, the Buffalo Bills team photo simply didn't look right. Without serious examination, something is out of kilter.

Upon closer inspection, several items are amiss -- and one notable person is a-missing.

Before Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, the Bills gave away team photos as fans passed through the turnstiles at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Former head coach Dick Jauron, fired two weeks ago, was removed from the team photo as though he never existed.

Jauron evidently was seated to owner Ralph Wilson's right when the photo was snapped in mid-September, but Jauron was erased and the rest of the row altered to fill in the vacancy. Interim head coach Perry Fewell is stationed on a back row with the rest of the assistants.

Bills fan Matt Irving grabbed a few of the freebies Sunday. Friend and fellow Bills loyalist Joshua Fitzgerald scanned a copy and posted it on the fan message board at

The Bills' team photo was taken between Weeks 1 and 2. Terrell Owens posted personal pictures from the shoot on his Twitter page Sept. 19.

Besides, there are several lapses of logic to indicate the rubout.

Players acquired before Jauron was fired (tackle Jamon Meredith, linebacker Chris Draft, defensive back Todd Johnson) aren't in the photo. Players cut before Jauron was fired (running back Xavier Omon, linebacker Alvin Bowen) are present.

More telling is the visual evidence Jauron was erased like he was Leon Trotsky.

Other players seemingly were jockeyed around to keep the numerical-order motif, with the player on the left in the first row wearing the lowest uniform number and running through the highest number to the right of the fifth row.

The sequence was interrupted only by Wilson in the center and chief operating officer Russ Brandon to his left in the second row.

So who was depicted in the prominent spot to Wilson's right? Rookie cornerback Jairus Byrd, a fine player. He's tied for the NFL interceptions lead and could be defensive rookie of the year. But he didn't start a game until Week 3.

Furthermore, there's a phantom khaki pant and sneaker underneath Byrd in the team photo. The players are in jerseys and game pants. Coaches are in khakis.

And there's more. Defensive backs Terrence McGee and Ellis Lankster, on the left of the second row, have the same torso. The shadows and wrinkles on their jerseys are identical. The only difference is a doctored digit.

At the right end of the second row is defensive back Cary Harris, who looks like he has been amputated from the left knee down. It appears McGee was sitting in front of him, but was moved up to the second row so everyone could slide toward center and fill in the big blank.

Various body parts have been copied and pasted to fill in spaces that had been covered. Cornerbacks Ashton Youboty and Leodis McKelvin have the same left arm, noticeable by the six-fingered hand dangling from it. Their hands are resting on imaginary legs.

The Bills declined to comment on the photo.

If only Bills fans could wipe Jauron from their brains as easily as he was removed from the picture.

Bills reveal practice squad

September, 6, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills announced Sunday afternoon the eight players who will comprise their practice squad to start the season.

The following players cleared waivers and signed up for the taxi squad:

Bills announce 18 roster cuts

September, 5, 2009

Posted by's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have announced their roster decisions that get their team down to the 53-man limit.

They placed receiver James Hardy on the physically unable to perform list and released tight end Travis McCall from injured reserve.

The following players were waived:

Taking a glance at 53-man roster projections

September, 2, 2009

Posted by's Tim Graham

Teams have pared down their rosters to 75 players and must get down to 53 by Saturday afternoon.

Players on the bubble have one exhibition game left to make their case for one of those precious spots on the final roster.

Time to check out some projections before Thursday night's preseason finales.
  • Brian Galliford of outlines who he thinks will make the Buffalo Bills' final cut. Notable: Safety Ko Simpson and linebacker Alvin Bowen get dropped.
  • WQAM host Orlando Alzugaray forecasts the Miami Dolphins for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Notable: Running back Lex Hilliard makes the cut.
  • Boston Globe reporter Mike Reiss breaks down the New England Patriots. Notable: Running back Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis both make the squad, while tight end Alex Smith and Benjamin Watson fight for the final tight end spot.
  • Brian Bassett from tackles the New York Jets' final roster. Notable: Running back Danny Woodhead and special-teams ace Larry Izzo don't survive.

Projecting final rosters in the AFC East

August, 18, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

Each AFC East team still has three preseason games left to play.

Too soon to start filling out 53-man rosters? You bet.

But it's fun to check out some projections now that everybody has played at least one exhibition.

Boston Globe reporter Mike Reiss breaks down the New England Patriots. Notable: running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis makes the squad, while tight end Alex Smith is on the bubble. Tedy Bruschi is the last linebacker in.

WQAM host Orlando Alzugaray forecasts the Miami Dolphins for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Notable: Receiver Chris Williams makes the cut ahead of Brandon London and Ernest Wilford.

Brian Galliford of outlines who he thinks will make the Buffalo Bills' final cut. Notable: Safety Ko Simpson and Linebacker Alvin Bowen don't survive.

I had trouble finding a recent Jets projection, but here is one from just before New York Jets training camp opened from If anyone has an updated analysis, please post a link in the comments section below.

Around the AFC East: Ryan's knees not shaking

June, 4, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

New York Jets

Buffalo Bills

  • Buffalo News reporter Allen Wilson checks in with outside linebacker Alvin Bowen about the knee injury that wiped out his rookie season.
  • Wilson, donning his columnists cap, says receiver Roscoe Parrish is too talented to be buried on the Bills' depth chart.
  • The Bills are teaching their defensive linemen how to hand fight with tae kwon do master Joe Kim, writes Buffalo news reporter Mark Gaughan. A side note: Kim became a vogue instructor in the early 1990s, when then-Browns coach Belichick wanted to tap into the skills exhibited by Patriots outside linebacker Andre Tippett, a black belt.

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Around the AFC East: Keep the Jets-Jones peace

June, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

New York Jets

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Random thoughts from the AFC East

August, 3, 2008
Posted by's Tim Graham

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- It was a lazy Sunday in the AFC East. Three of the four teams took the day off, with the New England Patriots the only ones on the field. They rested Friday.

So what is there to write about, other than whether Brett Favre sat on the aisle or in a window seat on his flight into Green Bay?

Here are some random notes from my travels:

  • I had an interesting chat with Jets C Nick Mangold after Saturday's scrimmage. I asked if the O-line was under the microscope with the high-profile acquisitions of G Alan Faneca and T Damien Woody.

"None of our skill guys are going to be able to do anything if we don't block," Mangold said. "That's how you really judge yourself -- if your skill guys have a good game. You take a little pride in that because you don't get too many stats as a lineman. So you always feel a little bit of the weight of the offense on you, but that's part of the fun of being an offensive lineman."

  • The Bills' youthful offense has been struggling on installation days, which isn't comforting, but it's understandable. They have a second-year QB (Trent Edwards), a second-year RB (Marshawn Lynch) and a rookie No. 2 WR (James Hardy). The TE position is sorting itself out, and T Langston Walker has been switched to the left side because of Jason Peters' contract dispute.
  • Bill Belichick, the only coach to speak with reporters today, addressed the Patriots' backup QBs.

On Matt Cassel: "Matt has had a good camp. He has had a real good off-season. He did a nice job in the spring. ... I am confident in Matt. This is his fourth year so he has a good understanding of what we are doing and he has done a pretty good job of it when he has had the opportunity to play."

On Matt Gutierrez: He is probably as hard a working player as we have on this team, so he's worked hard to get better and build off of last year. ... It will be interesting to see Gutierrez play with a year under his belt. He played last year at this time. He was obviously a rookie but had very few snaps, very little experience and won a spot on the team so it will be interesting to see how those two guys do."

On Kevin O'Connell: "Kevin has made improvement since the spring. This is kind of the second time around in terms of teaching our plays and all that. We taught them all in the spring and then we go back and re-teach them here in training camp. I think that has really helped him. He seems a lot more comfortable and confident and is playing quicker at the line of scrimmage."

  • Most scouts viewed Dolphins rookie G Donald Thomas a long-range project when the Dolphins took him late in the sixth round. He didn't play organized football until he was discovered playing pickup hoops at Connecticut. He didn't start until he was a senior.
But Thomas has been Miami's starting right guard for about a week. He has outperformed fourth-round pick Shawn Murphy, while veteran free-agent acquisition Steve McKinney has rebounded slowly from knee surgery. 
  • Bills rookie LB Alvin Bowen, probably gone for the season after suffering a right knee injury Friday, was looking like a fifth or sixth linebacker. But his biggest value would have been on special teams, where the Bills need bodies.
  • Here's a leftover quote I've been meaning to share from Andre Tippett's pre-Hall of Fame news conference in Foxborough, Mass. He was asked, since he wore both helmets, whether he preferred Pat Patriot or the Flying Elvis logo.

"If I had to pick," Tippett said after hemming and hawing, "I just have love for the old Pat Patriot. He just looks like a rugged dude. I would go down a dark alleyway with him any day."

  • From my room on the 10th floor of the Long Island Marriott, I can see the Jets' facility on the Hofstra University campus in the distance. But just a long kickoff away from my headboard is decrepit Nassau Coliseum. With the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets all moving into new digs, can't people find a way to implode the dump where the Islanders play (or at least attempt to) and build something the long-suffering locals can be proud of?

Around the AFC East: Peters won't talk to Bills

August, 2, 2008

Posted by's Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

  • Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post catches up with rookie QB Chad Henne about his first training camp.

New England Patriots

New York Jets