Bruce Smith Jersey

The Suffolk Punch. Lovely horse. So laid-back. In the DNA, surely? Bruce Smith shoots me a look. “There’s this phrase ‘the gentle giant’, and it’s a fallacy, really,” he says. Ah. I believe I’ve peddled that alliterative cliché in the past.

“You’ll get out of your horse what you put in. If you leave it to run wild, it’s just going to be wild. We’re back to training: set the parameters as a youngster and away they go.”

Bruce knows his equines. As a schoolboy he worked part-time on farms. Later, he came to Suffolk to be stud groom with the prison at Hollesley Bay, near Woodbridge – famous for its collection of Suffolk Punches.

Next month he becomes president of The Suffolk Horse Society – created more than 140 years ago as the “breed society” for the Suffolk Punch and doing its darndest to help this endangered species.“At the trust” – The Suffolk Punch Trust; a charity started in 2002 – “we were fortunate we bred the horses there and so they were handled as foals from day one. They were used to being brushed; used to having their feet picked up.

“If they’d been weaned at six months of age and then turned out on the marshes somewhere, until they’re two years old, they’d be a bit wild.

“People call them gentle giants and I think it’s because people have got this vision still of, in years gone by, work on the farms and the horse coming up the track, jogging along. Well, he’s just done a day’s work. You go and do a day’s work, and walk up the hill… it’s hard!”

Earlier, I’d strayed into similar territory by asking about the bond between the Suffolk Punch (the oldest English breed of working horse) and its human owner. I was probably being a bit whimsical.“Working with horses is really the same as training children and dogs. You start from a very young age and you’ve got to be firm with them (not cruel, of course) but also praise. The horse will know from your voice whether you’re pleased with it or not. If you show you’re nervous, you’ve got a problem.”

Bruce shares a bit of folklore.

“One of the old horsemen’s tales used to be the frog’s bone. You had to get a frog or a toad and kill it. Then you’d hang it in a hawthorn bush until the flesh dropped off, leaving the skeleton.

“You’d have to venture out during a full moon, at midnight, and take it down to a fast-flowing stream and throw the bones into the water. All the bones would wash downstream… apart from one, which would appear to flow upstream.
Willing workers. Bruce Smith, back in 2015, explaining the finer points of ploughing Picture: SIMON PARKER“That’s the one you kept. If you had that bone, you could handle horses… do anything with horses.

“People were far more superstitious in those days, and so if you were brave enough to go out at midnight, when the witches were flying, and wander across the field and go to this stream, you were of a strong character. And if you were of a strong character, you could handle your horses.”

Bruce grew up in the Southend area. A grandfather was a farm contractor in Lincolnshire. “I used to go up there as a kid, from the age of four or five, for part of the summer holidays.

“This would be about 1950-something. Most of it was mechanised but there was still the odd horse working on the fields, bringing the harvest home.” This early exposure to farming probably fostered Bruce’s empathy for animals and the land. Later, he worked on local farms before he went to school in the mornings, when he came home, at weekends and during holidays.

At 16, after leaving school, he basically left home and worked in agriculture. The years took him to Reading, the West Country, to Hampshire (for an interlude in civil engineering), and on to an approved school’s farm in Hertfordshire for three years.

Next stop, the original borstal, in the village of the same name in Kent. Borstals were for young offenders, and were designed to rehabilitate them through routine and education.

Bruce went to look after its dairy stock. There was a herd of Jersey cows that he used to take to agricultural shows – they’d actually come from Hollesley Bay – and three Hollesley-bred Punches.Then Leyhill jail in Gloucestershire, around the time of the prison service’s centenary in 1978. The Queen visited, and Bruce found himself the only person who knew how to plait the horses properly.

Perhaps someone noticed. The stud groom at Hollesley Bay was retiring, and Bruce was asked if he wanted to take on the job. He moved to Suffolk in 1978.

He had to learn about the breeding of horses, though, and was grateful for the guidance of vet Philip Ryder-Davies, for one.

Bruce had to take something of a DIY approach to ploughing with a Punch, too. “I had to look at pictures in a book and work out how the harness went on!” he admits. Stoke by Nayland farrier Roger Clark was someone who helped in these hours of need. Bruce says: “I could have turned up and said ‘I’m the stud groom at Hollesley Bay; it’s the largest stud of Suffolk Punch horses in the world; what a clever bloke I am’, and everybody would say ‘OK. If you’re that good, get on with it.’

“Or I could go the other way – which is what I did – and say ‘Roger, I’m having a bit of a problem here; what do you think?’ Because I’d ask, everybody was so helpful to me.” A lesson to us all, there.

There were about 30 Punches at Hollesley when Bruce arrived, and the site was a borstal, with the prison service running the 1,800-acre farm that helped young offenders develop a work ethic.

“Some of them hadn’t worked in their lives and didn’t know what it was. So having to get up early and appear at the stables at six o’clock – and mucking out etc – it was something different.”Hollesley Bay took horses to shows, and many offenders were interested and concerned when mares were about to give birth.

“Obviously they weren’t allowed out at night, but it would probably be the first question in the morning: ‘Has the foal been born? Can we see it?’”

Later, when the prison population switched to adults, the philosophy endured. “I can go to shows now and still come across ex-prisoners, who come and say hello. They remember their time with the horses.”

There was turmoil in the 2000s when the prison service said its Suffolk Punch stud was no longer part of its “core business”.

Happily, a campaign backed by the EADT raised £580,000 that would allow The Suffolk Punch Trust (created to help protect the critically-endangered Suffolk horse through its breeding programme at Hollesley Bay Colony Stud) to buy 180 acres of land, buildings, 25 horses and equipment. Bruce continued as stud groom, employed by the prison service.

But seven or eight years ago the jail stopped sending inmates to help at the stud. Bruce took the option of working for the prison itself, in ground maintenance. Today semi-retired, he works a couple of days there.

He still helps the trust, as a volunteer. He jokes that he does “the easy bits”, such as breaking horses in summer, while leaving the mucking out and cold winter tasks to trust grooms “who are all younger than me; so they can do the legwork!”

He also drives a horse for the Woodbridge & District Riding for the Disabled Association, and helps Banham Zoo’s head horseman take its Suffolk Punches to shows.

There might be 10 a year, ranging from one-day events (such as the Suffolk Horse Spectacular) to the longer Countryfile Live jamboree at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (three years running, so far).

Career highlights for Bruce include travelling up and down the country for events, triumphing at the Royal Show, and the winning of a Butler Trust award for prison staff in the 1990s – for working with horses and young offenders. It was presented at Buckingham Palace.

For one of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations he was at Windsor for a week-long gathering of “the Queen’s horses”. These included army horses, horses from Sandringham, and Suffolk Punches from Hollesley. There were displays in front of the royals, with the grand finale featuring 1,000 horses.

Bruce has met most of the Royal Family. The Princess Royal, patron of the Suffolk Horse Society, has been to the prison twice, and also The Suffolk Show.

“She’s always quite chatty. She gets talking about horses – we both get talking about horses – and you can see the people standing beside her, looking at their watches, thinking ‘We’ve got to move on…’”

Daft question, but has he ever been injured by a heavy horse? “Fortunately not.” We both touch wood. “I did have a couple of kicks, where I was limping 
around for a while, and a 
stallion bit me once on the 
chin. Parham Rufus. Apart from that, I’ve been pretty unscathed.” And, in regular life, overcome bowel cancer and angina.

There are no thoughts of permanent retirement. Wife Christine (they have three sons and two grandchildren) also still works.

Bruce is off to a heart rehabilitation class later today – a good workout for an hour – and tonight has another keep-fit class. All this after taking the dogs for a morning walk.

“I think you’ve got to keep active. It’s no good thinking ‘I’ve retired; that’s it’, and sitting in the armchair with the dog on my lap, watching Jeremy Kyle. You’ve got to get out.”

Our talk over, he’s off to help someone by collecting some bar stools. Rather than take the car, he should have a Suffolk Punch stabled in the back garden, able to pull a cart, I suggest (not very seriously).

I’m shot another look. “Let someone else have the worry and the vet’s bills, and the chewing of things…” he smiles.

What’s the future for Suffolk Horses?

Bruce was reading a heavy horse magazine before I arrived at his home near the Suffolk coast. There are roughly 135 to 140 Suffolk Horse breeding mares and 26 or so stallions. The total population is around 500. Not really going up.

The main issue isn’t so much breeding Punches but being able to sell what you breed, he says.

If you’re lucky, you might get a couple of thousand pounds for a foal. Against that, you’ve likely had to pay for the mare to be impregnated, there are probably livery fees and travelling costs, and vets’ bills. You’ve got to keep the mother for 11 months. Then, when the foal is born, you keep that for six months before it’s weaned.

“It’s a lot of cost. That’s where the big problem is. If there was a market…

“The farmers don’t need them any more; the breweries don’t use them any more (for pulling wagons loaded with beer barrels). My generation are happy to pass on our skills to younger people, but there is limited employment. That means that as we get older and die, the skills are going to go.” But there is evidence of optimism. More heavy horses are being ridden – ideal for the larger rider – and there are more “ridden classes” at events such as county shows.

Then there are what are called ladies’ carts – two wheels, lightweight, a bit like a pony and trap, pulled by a single horse. You can put a picnic on the back and go for a nice long drive.

The Suffolk Horse Society is striving hard, along with owners, to encourage breeding and thus increase numbers.

The most recent addition to the ranks is Bluegum Lady Aurora – born (following artificial insemination) on February 15 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The sire was Colony Edward and the dam Capleach Eugenie.

The Suffolk Horse Society is a bit like the equine version of the canine Kennel Club. It defines the breed standard, and keeps a register of foals and horses. It raises money to promote the breed and gives grants as a breeding incentive to boost numbers.

Bruce is currently vice-president of the Suffolk Horse Society, and last year his name was put forward as the next president. “It’s quite an honour,” he acknowledges. “Not everybody gets that.”

There have been quips that he’s a commoner among the ranks of the titled – and it’s true the presidency has been held by a number of lords and ladies – but the chain of office has been worn by others without a title.

He doesn’t really have an agenda for his year as president, though he intends generally to encourage people, attend shows and present prizes

Thurman Thomas Jersey

Lancaster native Erin Meyer has been attending Bills games since she was eight years old.

A tradition that spans three generations in her family, Meyer’s love for her hometown team was instilled in her by her father and grandfather.

“My grandpa and my grandma had season tickets since that time [1965] and my dad kind of took over and started going to the games in ’74,” Meyer explained. “…I’ve been to the games since I couldn’t see over my seat and I’ve had them ever since. – three generations.”

Although things have changed over time, one thing that has never wavered is the Meyer family’s support for the Bills.

“Just being young and going to those games, in the seats [I have] now [is one of my best memories],” she said. “I just love telling everyone that I couldn’t see over the blue bar because I’m in Row 1. Now I bring a lot of friends with me and I’m like, ‘…I’ve been going to these games since I was eight years old and now it’s just amazing that I’m 34 years old and I still get to live on this tradition that we have.’ So, definitely going to the games with my dad and my grandpa has been amazing.”

A die-hard fan, and proud Season Ticket Member, through-and-through, she can’t help but reflect fondly on her experiences watching Bills games over the years.

Getting to see greats like Cornelius Bennett, Thurman Thomas and Kyle Williams take the field have made her time as a fan truly special. On the current team, Meyer can barely contain her excitement about Bills second-year signal caller Josh Allen.

When it comes to tailgating, she compares the festivities to a holiday. That’s how special Sundays at New Era Field are for her.

“Tailgating is pretty much Christmas Eve on every Sunday morning,” said Meyer. “I love tailgating… I’m there as soon as I can, at 8 a.m. [or] 9 a.m. It’s just an all-day event. I really like getting together. It’s a smaller party now but it’s like a huge community and everyone just loves hanging out and it really is just like Christmas Eve. I love that.”

The fun doesn’t stop with the tailgate though.

“I think the game itself – just being there [is what I enjoy],” she explained. “There are so many moments that I get emotional inside [the stadium], just when it gets so loud and there’s a touchdown. When the receiver just brings it all the way down the field – those highlight emotional plays just really get me going.”

O. J. Simpson Jersey

The killing this week of Nipsey Hussle, a rapper and advocate for the communities of South Los Angeles, sent a painful tremor throughout those neighborhoods and the music industry.

Now the man charged in his death, Eric Holder, is being represented by another Los Angeles figure: Christopher Darden, who became a household name when he helped prosecute — unsuccessfully — O.J. Simpson in 1995 for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman.

Here’s a look at Mr. Darden, the man who famously asked Mr. Simpson to try on the bloody glove.
What has Mr. Darden been doing since the Simpson trial?

After leaving the district attorney’s office, Mr. Darden worked as a law professor, and was a co-writer on several legal thrillers as well as “In Contempt,” a behind-the-scenes account of the Simpson case that The New York Times called “powerful and affecting.”

The Times’s review noted the personal consequences that Mr. Darden said he suffered as Mr. Simpson’s lead lawyer, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., manipulated the issue of race during the trial: “The defense lawyer’s suggestion that Mr. Darden was a token black recruited by the prosecution team for the color of his skin led to accusations, on the street, that he was ‘an Uncle Tom, a sellout, a house Negro,’ Mr. Darden says. He writes that he received death threats and was spat upon, and that his family, too, was harassed.”

Mr. Darden also became a defense lawyer and worked as a commentator on legal cases for a number of television networks.
Is it common for prosecutors to become defense lawyers?

Yes. Many law school graduates favor starting their careers as prosecutors. It pays less than some of them could make in private practice, but it provides invaluable court experience early in their careers, while their more highly paid law school classmates who take private jobs spend their time on legal research and helping more seasoned lawyers prepare cases.

Prosecution work also teaches them the ins-and-outs of plea bargaining and negotiations between lawyers, which is how the overwhelming majority of criminal cases are resolved. So when they hang a shingle to become a defense lawyer, they can immediately draw on years of experience as prosecutors.

Many of the criminal defense lawyers in any county seat are typically former prosecutors, while the best private lawyers who handle white-collar litigation and other expensive specialties often were once federal prosecutors. (Earlier in his career, Mr. Cochran had been a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.)

Did he miscalculate by asking Mr. Simpson to try on the bloody glove?

It’s the most remembered moment of the Simpson trial, which prompted Mr. Cochran’s famous exhortation: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”Mr. Darden addressed the impact of that pivotal moment, and his decision to ask Mr. Simpson to try on the glove, during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session in 2017.

“Quite honestly, I did not appreciate at the time the impact that little ditty had on the jurors,” Mr. Darden wrote. “I thought it was a kids’ rhyme for idiots, to be honest, but it was effective.”

He added: “I take responsibility for the glove issues, so if there is any blame or fault to be assessed, it fell on me. And it should be assessed to me, because I’m the only one strong enough to carry that burden.”

He said he felt it was clear that Mr. Simpson did what he could to avoid making the glove fit. “I hoped the jury would recognize that, but they couldn’t see it, because they didn’t want to see it,” he said.

What has been the reaction to Mr. Darden representing Mr. Holder?

Some have been critical of Mr. Darden, 62, for taking on the defense of a man charged with killing a beloved figure in his community. But as Mr. Darden made plain in his book, he has endured such criticism before, including being called a traitor for helping to prosecute Mr. Simpson.

Yet many lawyers hold strongly to the concept that everyone is entitled to a defense. In fact, Mr. Darden has said that if he had been a criminal defense lawyer at the time, he would not have had a problem defending Mr. Simpson.Mr. Darden has said that, as a young man, he grew interested in becoming a lawyer from watching trials involving civil rights leaders.

“I knew how important the law was to the black community, and I admired those lawyers who took those cases, and I wanted to be one of them,” he said on Reddit.

Jim Kelly Jersey

WOODLAND — Growing up with a New York Police detective for a dad, you might say Jim Kelly was destined to go into law enforcement.

While his father certainly was an inspiration, Kelly said he’s always been a public servant, and the former state patrolman and private security manager applied to become Woodland Police Chief after mayor Will Finn and others in law enforcement encouraged him to do so.

Kelly, 56 was born and raised in New York City, but he was stationed at Camp Pendleton and later the Marine Corps barracks in Bremerton after joining the Marine corps in his early twenties. Kelly worked at the Washington State Patrol from 1987 to 2016 and recently was security manager for KapStone Paper and Packaging. While the specifics of enforcement differ, Kelly said it’s the same work in his heart.

“Whether you’re serving the citizens of the state, or the county, or the city, I think it’s just serving. I don’t think it has any bearing on the size.”

In 2017 Kelly took on the department pummeled by years of lawsuits and conflict. And there are still some tensions there.

The city of Woodland in October settled a civil suit raised two years ago against former Woodland police officer Brad Gillaspie for $275,000. In that suit — one of two settled over alleged inappropriate on-the-job behavior from Gillaspie — a judge wrote that Gillaspie stalked the woman’s home, threatened her, and egregiously interfered with her family custody proceedings.

“When he came in, we had all kinds of challenges,” Woodland City Council Member Benjamin Fredricks said. “Just a tremendous amount of turmoil going on within that department. It was just a very difficult environment.”

When he joined the City Council in 2008, Fredricks said the city had “a lot of work to do” on rehabilitating the perception of a “good ol’ boys” network at the department. Under the leadership of Kelly, City Administrator Peter Boyce and Mayor Will Finn, the department has moved forward, Fredricks said.

“When I say ‘right the ship,’ that’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Fredricks said. “I’d say Chief Kelly has done a fantastic job leading the department through transition. In my mind it’s just a completely different environment, a different vibe, it’s just more positive, and I think that Jim’s leadership certainly helped. … The level of professionalism has improved immensely.”

As far as changes made since Gillaspie left the department, Kelly said he’s worked to improve accountability and supervisor leadership. Informally, he’s asked his first-line supervisors to have more conversations with officers, both to commend and correct their actions as needed. He said he’s also added to annual employee performance evaluations.

And as far as specific officer conduct changes: “I don’t know if there’s any (new) specific policy that is in place,” Kelly said. “The previous chiefs in my position built the foundation of this department, and it’s my job to keep the strength in that foundation as well as build the structure bigger, or stronger. … I think the officers know what my expectations are, and I think that’s displayed on a daily basis.”

The department is, however, still grappling with union-city negotiations. The police officer’s guild is scheduled to enter binding arbitration with the city over contract negotiations that have been ongoing since the officers’ contract expired on Jan. 1, 2017. Woodland police are still operating under that contract and haven’t received a raise since. Tensions flared at one point when the city announced it was considering contracting with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s office for law enforcement. That was only an information gathering exercise, Boyce said in September, but Woodland Police Guild president Derek Kelley responded that he and other officers considered talk of contracting out police services “literally as a threat to our livelihoods.”

The department has, on average, lost an officer and hired another every year over the last decade. Woodland PD now has 10 sworn officers, including Kelly. That’s as many as it is budgeted for, but he said the city needs more.

“Just like every other agency in the state of Washington, we’re always gonna be battling the manpower issues,” Kelly said. “There’s never gonna be enough staff.”

He’d like to have at least six more officers, Kelly said. His first priority has to be emergency calls for service, he said, but he’d like to be able to staff more officers in schools or at community events.

He pointed to police data that shows a rapid rise in call rates beginning in 2013. The department hasn’t grown since 2009, he said — and in that time, the number of police calls has more than doubled from 3,859 to 9,294 last year.

“I don’t know if there’s one thing I can attribute that to,” he said. “There’s nothing that’s jumping out at me right now that says, ‘this is the reason why our volume is that high.’ “

Kelly, who also officiates football and basketball games in Oregon and Southwest Washington, said he’s proud of his officers and that their conduct speaks for themselves. But he added that police nationwide are having to reconsider their public perception.

“The reputation of law enforcement in general is not good,” Kelly said. “I think uniformed officers, and even plain clothes officers need to make those extra efforts to … build upon a good relationship with community members.”

Doug Flutie Jersey

When most gamers think of football, the popular Madden NFL series is what first comes to mind. However, an alternative football title is under development for later this year. Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 is a title that could begin giving Madden competition. Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming title.
New Name, Partner, Logo

2019 will see a few changes to Maximum Football. The first things fans will notice is the name itself. The title added Doug Flutie to its name as they look to upgrade their game over 2018’s lackluster version. Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 also features Canadian, US Pro, and College football rule sets and fields.

Next up is the logo. The official Twitter page for Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football made the 2019 reveal official earlier this week.

The team also announced that they have partnered with longtime football analyst Phil Steele.

Canuck Play & Spear Interactive have partnered with Phil Steele’s College Football, to include their branding within the US Dynasty Mode of Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019.

They have also partnered with Mokom Gloves and CanadaFootballChat among others for in-game gear and content. This should be a huge upgrade to the latest version as well.
Release date

While gamers are hoping for a bigger better version of a college gridiron game, they also want to know when they can get their hands on it! A release date is expected to be sometime in September of 2019. The game will be available for PS4 and Xbox One.

Flutie and the workers behind the scenes are making sure they get the word out for the latest release in a big way. Billboards are going up in Nashville during the week of the NFL Draft.Another plus for Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 is the improvement to the graphics. The crew is working behind the scenes on motion with real players in Canada to try and capture that real feel of live on the field action.

Sports gamers are hoping that Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football catches on following the 2019 upgrades. After all, it is football, and sports fanatics are always ready for a battle on the gridiron!

To keep up with all the latest gaming news, rumors and information, check out our VGR home page.

Kyle Williams Jersey

STORRS — Perhaps Kyle Williams could have opted to suit up at one of the Division II or III football programs in Connecticut and could have earned regular playing time in the secondary as early as his freshman year. The former Hamden Hall star took a much more challenging path by being a non-scholarship player at UConn.

With one season remaining Williams has three tackles to his credit, but if the events transpiring during UConn’s spring practice serve as a peek into the future, Williams could see more time in the defensive backfield in the 2019 season.

Williams spent the early part of spring drills getting work with the first team and seeing time with the top group when five or six defensive backs were on the field.

“I got reps at the corner and the dime package so I am just trying to show my worth at either position so when the season comes I will be able to be ready and contribute,” Williams said.

Williams is one of the few experienced options at the cornerback position along with junior Tahj Herring-Wilson. Freshmen Ryan Carroll, Shamel Lazarus, Jeremy Lucien and Keyshawn Paul all started at least one game at cornerback as true freshmen and there was a three-game stretch in the middle of the season when both starting outside cornerbacks were players just several months removed from graduating from high school.

Lucien missed spring practice due to offseason shoulder surgery so it remains to be seen how his role and those of the other rising sophomores develop under new defensive coordinator Lou Spanos and with Darrell Perkins back to coach the defensive backs. Paul was first player mentioned when UConn coach Randy Edsall was asked if any players surprised him during the first 14 spring practices. More young defensive backs will arrive in July so Williams has no guarantee of his playing time in the fall. Still, he is doing what he can to help his younger teammates adapt to college life both on and off the field.

“Just try to teach the guys consistency whether it is in the building, in the classroom or in your social life how everything affects everything,” Williams said. “It is just a giant circle when it comes to our lives as student-athletes so just teaching them consistency, being about your business when we are in the building studying film, in practice or in the classroom.”

Williams is already seeing his hard work paying off with the quality reps he is seeing in spring drills and he has no regrets about the path he chose.

“I am enjoying this experience because there are a lot of guys who came in with my class are all from the same area, we are all from Connecticut and a lot of guys who were here before me are from Connecticut and went through the process,” Williams said. “Matt Walsh, he is from Hand, he went through the same process as me. We talked a lot my freshman year about the process and how you have to grind it out and eventually you will be rewarded.”

UConn will scrimmage on Friday in the final spring practice of 2019. The decision was made to start spring practice a little early and not have a spring game. Edsall said he is happy about making that change. He’s said he has seen progress in offense, defense and special teams. Much of work, especially on defense, was focused on picking up a new defensive system. There will be extra time for players to take part in the conditioning program and to heal up from injuries. Edsall said there are no new long-term injury concerns heading into the final practice. Running backs Kevin Mensah and Art Thompkins were held out of Thursday’s practice with lower-body injuries and won’t take part in the scrimmage.

UConn is hosting what it is calling an open house and fan fest on April 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on campus with tours of the Burton Family Football Complex and Shenkman Training Center. There will be mini-clinics conducted, an autograph session and question and answer session with players and coaches. Admission is free.

LeSean McCoy Jersey

Frank Gore on the role LeSean McCoy played in his recruitment to Buffalo

Entering his 15th season in the NFL, future NFL hall of famer Frank Gore decided to trade in the shores of Miami beach for the shores of Lake Erie by signing with Buffalo. But it wasn’t the rushing waters of Niagara Falls that convinced him to join the team up north – it was LeSean McCoy.

“I was thinking about how we played them last year when I was with Miami, they had a tough, tough defense,” Gore told NFL Network earlier this week. “I just saw their quarterback and he kept getting better and better as the year went on and my man Shady. I’ve known him since he came to the NFL and we were together on Saturday and said, ‘you should come, I want to compete with you, and I know you will help me get back to home again.”

Gore is motivated to keep playing because he feels he can still do it at a high level. When he trains he says he still “feels good” and last season was “balling.” If he played more early on the season, Gore thinks he would have finished with over 1,000 yards. Gore doesn’t have an exact number of how many more years he will play in the league and prefers to take it one year at a time. Gore currently is fourth on the all-time rushing leaders for a career. Gore is only 500 yards away from third place.

“It would be big,” Gore said. “When you look back on where I came from out of college with two ACL injuries, drafted in the third round and everyone was saying San Francisco was crazy for drafting me that high and I won’t even play two or three years. Now I’m playing in year 15 and doing great things in the NFL.”

High praise for new Bills center Mitch Morse

Talk to anyone in Kansas City about Buffalo’s free agent pick-up Mitch Morse and you’ll hear all positives about veteran NFL center.

“I love him, and you guys are getting a really, really good player and person,” said voice of the Kansas City Chiefs Mitch Holthus on new Bills center Mitch Morse.

Morse was a second-round of the Chiefs in 2015 and wrapped up his rookie deal in search of somewhere else to play. That place happens to be Buffalo. Morse hasn’t allowed a sack since his first season according to Pro Football Focus and only allowed one hit on a quarterback in his last 20 games when the QB throws over 20 times.

Morse earned tremendous marks from PFF and graded out as an 82.7 pass blocker.

“You guys have to understand how difficult it is to play center in an Andy Reid offense,” Holthus said. “They’re asked to do a lot, any center in the NFL, but especially in Andy Reid’s offense which is like taking differential equations in college. One thing you have to understand is that you have to be mobile, you have to be an athlete. You’re getting a really smart guy, a guy who will influence your locker room positively and a better athlete than you think.”
How wide receiver John Brown can help Josh Allen

It is believed that John Brown’s nickname “Smokey” is because he’s so fast. Well he did run a 4.3 40-yard dash at the combine but it’s actually a nickname he got when he was born and just a coincidence he’s so fast as well. Brown has been thought of purely a speed threat but he can do so much more according to quarterback guru Jordan Palmer. Palmer went on One Bills Live to discuss the signing and how he can help Josh Allen.

“Anytime you have a big arm guy you want to have someone you can push the ball downfield too, Palmer said. “John Brown can run with anybody.”

Brown has shown across his five-year career that he can run with anyone and showed it best this past season with an average of 17 yards per reception, which ranked fourth in the NFL. Something that is underrated about Brown is ability to know how to work well with his quarterbacks. He’s played with pro bowlers Carson Palmer, Jordan’s brother, and Joe Flacco in his time in the league.

“They asked him to do so many things in Arizona and Bruce Arians offense was very complex for a receiver,” Palmer said. “I know John can handle a lot and I don’t ever care how tall a receiver is, I care how big they play so John plays bigger than he is. John is going to be a guy who’s really easy to throw to.”

Brown led the Ravens with 715 yards and five touchdowns last season. His lone 1,000-yard season came in 2015 with 65 receptions for 1,003 yards.