AFC East: Cary Harris

Jets at Bills inactives

October, 3, 2010
10/03/10
11:57
AM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills will be missing some notable starters for Sunday's game in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Each will be without their best defensive lineman, top cornerback and a quality linebacker.

Here are the inactives (the Jets' D-lineman I referred to is nose tackle Kris Jenkins, who's on injured reserve):

Buffalo Bills
New York Jets

Bills at Patriots inactives

September, 26, 2010
9/26/10
12:09
PM ET
Here are the inactives for Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium:

Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots

Bills at Packers inactives

September, 19, 2010
9/19/10
12:32
PM ET
Here are the inactive lists for Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field:

Buffalo Bills
Green Bay Packers

Greetings from The Ralph

December, 20, 2009
12/20/09
12:07
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium are cold and gray for Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.

But at least the snow that has socked in the rest of the Northeast has stayed away.

In watching the doppler Saturday night, I found it amusing how this gargantuan white sheet was covering five states, but as it approached Buffalo, some mystical force field on the eastern rim of Lake Erie seemed to be batting it away with ease.

So no snow here, folks. Based on the flags atop the stadium and the streamers on the goal posts, the wind seems tolerable for now.

The Patriots already announced all the surprises from their inactive list Saturday night.

Particularly noteworthy about the Bills' inactive list is that receiver Terrell Owens isn't on it. Owens missed practice Thursday and Friday with an illness.

The complete rundown of scratches reads thusly:

New England Patriots

Buffalo Bills

Greetings from the Rogers Centre

December, 3, 2009
12/03/09
7:26
PM ET
TORONTO -- An hour before kickoff for the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Centre, and the atmosphere is almost as lively as a board meeting. What a comedown from the Superdome.

The inactive lists were just distributed with no surprises. Cornerback Terrence McGee is back after missing three games following minor knee surgery, but Reggie Corner will start on the left side anyway.

New York Jets inactive list

Buffalo Bills inactive list

Jauron a vanishing act in team photo(shop)

December, 3, 2009
12/03/09
7:49
AM ET
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 TwoBillsDrive.com.

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
9/06/09
2:33
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com'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:

Buffalo Bills: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
7:18
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


Biggest surprise: The Bills lopped versatile running back Dominic Rhodes from their roster. The only free-agent signing more notable than Rhodes was receiver Terrell Owens. The Bills obtained Rhodes to provide depth behind Marshawn Lynch, who will be suspended for the first three games. The backs at their disposal are Fred Jackson, Xavier Omon and fullback Corey McIntyre.

Backup offensive lineman Kirk Chambers, who played all 16 games and started at right tackle, right guard and left tackle last year, was waived.

The Bills waived tight end Jonathan Stupar despite a great statistical preseason. He led the NFL with 19 receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown. The Bills opted to keep Derek Schouman and Derek Fine along with fourth-round draft pick Shawn Nelson.

Buffalo also cut a draft pick from this year, sixth-round defensive back Cary Harris.

No-brainers: The Bills placed James Hardy on the physically unable to perform list. He won't be allowed to work out with the team for six weeks. Last year's second-round draft choice suffered a knee injury in Week 15 and still is recovering. The Bills could afford to shelve Hardy because the have plenty of depth at receiver.

What's next: With Jackson and Omon the only viable runners on the roster who can play against the New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, the Bills must be on the lookout for backfield support.

Holdout watch: unsigned AFC East draftees

July, 28, 2009
7/28/09
11:10
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

As of Tuesday morning, here's the rundown of which AFC East draft choices are under contract and when training camp opens for each club:

Buffalo Bills (opened Saturday)

New England Patriots (opens Thursday)

New York Jets (opens Friday)

Miami Dolphins (opens Sunday)

Around the AFC East: Where does Ronnie rank?

July, 8, 2009
7/08/09
11:12
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com staff

NFL.com's Jason La Canfora picked the AFC East as the best division in the NFL heading into the 2009 season. He also selected the Patriots as the team to beat.

Buffalo Bills

Complimentary tickets to the first four practices of Bills training camp will be made available to the public this Friday, reports the Buffalo News.

Also from the Buffalo News: The Bills have signed their first two draft picks, sixth-round pick (183rd overall) Cary Harris and seventh-round pick (220th overall) Ellis Lankster. 

Miami Dolphins

The Palm Beach Post's Edgar Thompson wonders where the Dolphins' Ronnie Brown ranks among other NFL running backs.

New England Patriots

The Globe's Christopher L. Gasper looks at the expiring rookie contracts of Patriots tight end Ben Watson and nose tackle Vince Wilfork

Filling in for Peter King, Matt Light took over the "Monday Morning Quarterback" column for a day and used the opportunity to highlight some of the positive things going on in the NFL. Said Light: "There are many so-called experts who say the NFL isn't standing behind its players, but nothing could be further from the truth. The league is doing a lot more listening these days."

New York Jets

Jets.com writer Randy Lange looks back at the four games Steve McNair played against the Jets in his career.

AFC East draft analysis

April, 26, 2009
4/26/09
6:14
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

As competitive as the AFC East was last year, what happened this weekend at the draft could make the difference in deciding the playoffs.

AFC East Draft Picks
• Buffalo Bills
• Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots
• New York Jets
The Miami Dolphins won the division on a tiebreaker, and you better believe they sense the rest of the division closing in on them.

Eleven victories last year weren't enough to get the New England Patriots into the postseason. With quarterback Tom Brady coming back from his knee injury and with some new blood on board, the Patriots are the favorites to win the AFC East.

The New York Jets, desperate to get over the hump, made two splashy trades to acquire two potential offensive stars.

The Buffalo Bills -- stuck on 7-9 for three straight seasons -- made some head-scratching picks, ignoring tackle and loading up on defensive backs, a position that was relatively healthy.

Best move

 
  James Lang/US Presswire
  Trading up to draft Mark Sanchez was a bold move for the Jets.
The Jets have been skeptical about their quarterback situation for three years and decided to do something dramatic about it.

They parted with two substantial draft picks and three players who might not have started in 2009 to get the franchise-caliber quarterback they believe in.

For that alone, regardless of how Mark Sanchez pans out, the Jets deserve credit for pulling off the deal.

Sanchez gives the Jets the best leading-man candidate in decades. He's their earliest-drafted quarterback since they selected Joe Namath first overall in the 1965 AFL draft.

The Jets began the process of drifting away from Chad Pennington in 2007, when they drafted Kellen Clemens in the second round.

They obviously haven't been satisfied with Clemens as an option. They wanted him to seize the job last summer, but Pennington outplayed him. The Jets, eager for a solution, boldly traded for Brett Favre and cut Pennington. Favre lasted one season before arm problems forced him to retire again, putting Clemens back atop the depth chart.

In eight months, we'll have a better idea of what Sanchez can do for the Jets, but we probably won't know how great the pick was for three years.

But the Jets gave themselves their best opportunity in generations to find a star quarterback. For that alone, they've made the best move of the draft.

Riskiest move

The Buffalo Bills traded Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters a week before the draft and didn't select a tackle.

You can look at this three ways: 1) the Bills are confident veteran Langston Walker and second-year project Demetrius Bell can handle the tackle positions; 2) they might be working on a trade for someone like Levi Jones after the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Andre Smith; or 3) Buffalo's front office doesn't know what it's doing.

Buffalo went with Penn State defensive end Aaron Maybin, Louisville center Eric Wood, Oregon defensive back Jairus Byrd, Oregon State guard Andy Levitre, Southern Miss tight end Shawn Nelson, Oklahoma linebacker/safety Nic Harris, Southern California cornerback Cary Harris and West Virginia cornerback Ellis Lankster.

Maybin and Wood can easily be justified as first-round choices. But the Bills are adding a variable to Wood's future by moving him to guard after he started 49 straight games as Louisville's center.

What's with all the defensive backs?

The Bills seemed to have their secondary penciled out heading into the draft: Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin or Drayton Florence at cornerback and Donte Whitner, Bryan Scott and George Wilson at safety.

McKelvin was the 11th player chosen overall last year. He is expe
cted to step in for Jabari Greer, a free agent who went to the New Orleans Saints. The Bills brought in Florence for help. Ashton Youboty and Reggie Corner also are on the roster.

Whitner was the eighth overall pick in 2006.

Within the next nine picks after the Bills selected Levitre, three tackles went off the board. The Minnesota Vikings took Oklahoma's Phil Loadholt. The New England Patriots drafted Houston's Sebastian Vollmer. The New York Giants chose Connecticut's Will Beatty.

Most surprising move

Patriots overlord Bill Belichick passed on a variety of striking defensive prospects when he moved totally out of the first round to gather more draft picks.

Southern California linebackers Clay Matthews and Rey Maualuga, Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis and Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis were around, but the Patriots weren't interested.

None of these decisions seemed like a surprise when it happened, but if someone were to tell you before the draft that the Patriots would have at least one crack at those prospects -- in some cases, two or three cracks -- you would've bet your last penny they'd draft one. Each would look natural in Patriots' gear.

It's not like we misread the Patriots' needs either. The Patriots were going after those positions. They drafted defensive backs Patrick Chung and Darius Butler in the second round and linebacker Tyrone McKenzie in the third round.

You can't argue with Belichick's judgment when it comes to player evaluations, especially on the defensive side.

Still, to think none of those players landed in Foxborough, Mass. seems strange.

File it away

In what could go down as a classic example that Bill Parcells and his acolytes know more than everybody else, the Dolphins drafted Patrick Turner from Southern California in the third round. He was the 13th receiver off the board, and that might have been a reach.

Scouts Inc. rated him the 38th best receiver in the draft. Pro Football Weekly's draft guide ranked Turner 30th, saying he "has no upside" and that he benefited from facing single coverage because the Trojans' offense was so loaded. Lindy's Pro Football ranked him 18th.

But Turner is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 223 pounds, and the Dolphins don't have much size at receiver. They made a boo-boo when they signed free agent Ernest Wilford to provide a big target, but he played so small he usually wore street clothes on game day.

Turner caught 49 passes for 741 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

"I feel I bring a red-zone threat," Turner said. "I feel I bring a lot of mismatches. I feel like I'm a possession receiver.

"I feel that in the fringe area, to be a bigger guy, I feel I run pretty good routes, and I feel sure-handed, like I can contribute."

If Turner works out, he'll make Parcells look like an even bigger genius.

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