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Buffalo Bills

State Your Case: Why Ruben Brown deserves a closer look

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Suddenly, the Buffalo Bills look like more than a tease. They look like a legitimate playoff threat.

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At long last, former running back Cookie Gilchrist has his name where it belongs — on the Wall of Fame at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium, with a ceremony honoring Gilchrist during Sunday’s Bills-Raiders game.

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Former guard Ruben Brown has the resume to be a Hall-of-Fame candidate, yet he never appeared on any ballot until last month.

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Four games into the season, we have an upset … and it’s in the unlikeliest of places. The AFC East. That’s a division that for years has been owned and operated by the New England Patriots. But not now … not with the Patriots’ defense leaking like the Andrea Doria and the defending Super Bowl …

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Why former Buffalo guard Ruben Brown deserves more than he’s gotten from Hall-of-Fame voters, which isn’t much.

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The advice that Grambling’s Eddie Robinson gave James Harris that helped Harris break down racial barriers at quarterback in the NFL.

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New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore wear’s Ty Law’s number, but it’s not Ty Law who provoked him to do it.

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Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Kelly grew up dreaming of attending Penn State, but he didn’t. He went to the University of Miami, and an older brother’s advice had a lot to do with that decision.

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Jim Kelly was the greatest quarterback in Buffalo Bills history, but it was the USFL, he said, “where I learned the passing game.”

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With Marv Levy and Bruce DeHaven, Buffalo had something special in the early 1990s — a head coach devoted to the kicking game and a special-teams coach obsessed with teaching it. DeHaven passed away Tuesday at the age of 68.

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It’s a tough decision, but one Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Kelly made last weekend. Asked which former player, coach, GM or owner he’d give a free pass into Canton he said it would be former teammate Kent Hull.

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Former Baltimore safety Ed Reed is now a defensive assistant in Buffalo, and he tells the Talk of Fame Network what it’s like playing Tom Brady. “It was as much mental as it was physical,” he said.

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Hall of Fame inductee Bill Polian says former Bills’ Kent Hull and Steve Tasker deserve Hall-of-Fame consideration, and he’s right. But the reality is: They’re up against long odds. In fact, history tells us the obstacles they face are so considerable that “consideration” is probably all they will get from Canton.

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Hall Of Fame weekend is just over three weeks away, and former Buffalo coach Marv Levy and former San Francisco owner Eddie DeBartolo are among the presenters. That makes a combined nine presentations for the two, and it says as much about them as it does the inductees they’re introducing.

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Former Buffalo Bills’ defensive tackle Tom Sestak might have been the greatest defensive lineman in AFL history, yet he’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The reason: Longevity, a hurdle far too many Hall-of-Fame worthy candidates can’t conquer.

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