Jeff Russo


Jeff joined Channel 7 in 2003 as a sports anchor/reporter and was promoted to Sports Director in December 2007. A native of Rochester, Jeff was excited to get back to Western New York after serving as Sports Director and anchor for the ABC affiliate in Kearney, Nebraska, where he was honored with the Associated Press award for “Top Sportscast” in the state. He was also the recipient of six Nebraska Associated Press Awards in his time there.

After graduating from SUNY Fredonia in 1997, Jeff got his start in broadcasting in Jamestown, NY as a sportscaster and reporter for Time Warner Cable Channel 8 from 1998-2001.

In addition to being Channel 7’s Sports Director, he is also a contributor to the “Bills All Access” program and can be seen on the Jumbotron at Ralph Wilson Stadium hosting the halftime highlight show during Buffalo Bills Home games.

Jeff is recently married and he and his wife currently make their home in Buffalo. When he’s not working, Jeff likes to play basketball, jog and of course, relax at home.

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Indianapolis - (WKBW) Players said their playoffs began last week. They essentially ended on Sunday with the 20-13 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. In a game the Bills had to have, they didn't have it. Not at Quarterback. Not in Coaching.

The one guy that did have it for the offense didn't touch the ball nearly enough. C.J. Spiller averaged 7.6 yards a carry against the Colts, but finished with only 14 carries for 107 yards. His lack of opportunities against a defense that had struggled against the run
was just one of the mind numbing problems coming out of the loss.

The Colts defense entered the day without the teams top cornerback available in Vontae Davis, but the Bills couldn't take advantage on a consistent basis. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 17-for-33 for 180 yards a touchdown and an interception. He hit Stevie Johnson for a 63-yard strike, but missed on open opportunities down the field to Spiller and Donald Jones. His interception in the fourth quarter should have all but done the Bills in until Johnson forced the fumble. The Bills went three and out with a chance to tie the game at 20 after getting the ball back with under four minutes to play.

Add the Bills lack of production inside the red zone to the list of problems. Once again the Bills struggled inside the 20. The 1-3 performance on Sunday dropped the Bills 1-7 in their last two games in the red zone. You can put a lot of that on play calling. You can put a lot of that on Chan Gailey.

Gailey had a very tough day on several fronts against the Colts. He chose not to kick what would have amounted to a 52 yard FG
indoors and rather elected to punt the ball from the Indianapolis 34. Gailey said after the game that Rian Lindells range is in the 51-52
range, but that he decided to try and play the field position game. The Bills gained 23 yards on the Shawn Powell punt.

Gailey also grossly mishandled things later in the first half.
You can start with the Bills second red zone opportunity of the game. Stevie Johnson's 63 yard grab set the Bills up with 1st and 10 from the Indianapolis 17 with 3:15 to play. The Bills then went incomplete short pass right. Incomplete short pass left. Fitzpatrick scramble for 4 yards. 31 yard field goal. Not the way to capitalize on a career long reception by Johnson.

The next Bills drive was even more mind numbing. After the defense held, the offense got the ball back on the Buffalo 12 with :58 left to play in the half. The Bills went incomplete pass to Stevie Johnson. Incomplete pass to Stevie Johnson. Fred Jackson 4 yard draw. Punt.
The drive took all of :14 seconds, putting the ball back in the hands of the Colts offense with :32 left. Indianapolis drove 50 yards on 5 plays and
kicked a 50 yard field goal as time expired. Bills trailed 13-6 at the half.

The Bills had their chances in the second half. The defense couldn't get off the field on third down. Fitzpatrick's interception halted a drive that had the Bills at the Indianapolis 36 with a chance to tie the game.

Good teams make plays. Good teams find a way to win on the road. Good teams don't have to play out the final five games knowing that the playoffs are an unlikely destination for a 13th straight year.

I don't believe that blowing things up every three years gets you anywhere. I like Chan Gailey as a person. Gailey however will be the first to tell you that football is a production based business. When you are 4-7 in a year that was supposed to include a "big step forward", it's hard to call that production. We will see if he can keep his team motivated over
the final five weeks.
There is no panic in Lindy Ruff.

The Sabres head coach was quick to remind his players on Tuesday morning that they've faced this kind of pressure for the last four months. That they've handled virtual "must win" games really since January. The Sabres needed a 16-4-4 run down the stretch just to get into the playoffs. Now he's looking for his team to respond once again on Wednesday night

I think that will serve the Sabres well when they hit the ice for game four against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Yes, the Sabres trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Yes, they've lost back-to-back games for the first time since new owner Terry Pegula took over in late February. But, take away the empty net goal by Kimmo Timonen on Monday, and they've lost back-to-back one goal games. The difference in this series hasn't been much.

I expect the Sabres to bounce back in front of the home crowd on Thursday.

Ryan Miller shutout the Flyers in game one, but will tell you he can play better then he has in the last two games. Thomas Vanek scored two power play goals in game two, but wasn't on the score sheet in game three at the HSBC Arena. Pat Kaleta, and Cody McCormick have more goals then Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis so far.

My point is in my opinion the Sabres have yet to play their best game , and have lost a pair of close contests to the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Lindy Ruff didn't like the way his team took care of the puck in game three. He didn't like the mistakes by his defenseman but believes that players made those mistakes "on their toes".

I think the Sabres will get off to a better start (which I haven't liked the first several minutes in all three games) in front of the home crowd on Thursday with a chance to tie up the series. Then it's off to Philly in a series that becomes a best of three.

If we've learned anything about the Sabres this year it is that they will not go run and hide in pressure situations. Let's see how they handle Wednesday night.

See you at the Arena.
Foxbourough, MA (WKBW) The talk all week was about finishing. Once again the Bills couldn't.

After making my way down from the press box I was on the Bills sideline for the final three minutes of the game.
Just long enough to see the Bills defense hold, force a field goal, and put the ball in Ryan Fitzpatrick's hands with a chance to win. A chance to win after 14 penalties and up until that point two turnovers.

The confidence level of Bills fans at that point may have differed, but I can tell you that Patriots fans inside Gillette Stadium were gripping. And for good reason. Fitzpatrick had the Buffalo offense humming. He had the New England defense on it's heals again marching the Bills to the Patriots 15 with :33 to play down 37-31. His final throw wiped away an otherwise solid day.

T.J. Graham admitted after the game that he ran the wrong route on the interception. He should have come
across the face of Devin McCourty but instead went behind him. Fitzpatrick was throwing to a spot in the end zone.
Graham wasn't there. McCourty was. Game. Set. Match.

I felt for Fitzpatrick in the post game locker room. Inconsistency had plagued him through the first 8 games.
He had rightly been criticized for his slow start to the season, but Sunday he played well enough
for the Bills to win. Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 40 passes for 337 yards two touchdowns and an interception.
It was the 8th time in his career that he threw for over 300 yards, second time this season, both against the Patriots.
But when he had an opportunity to answer his critics and earn a signature win on the road.. his fault or not..
he couldn't finish.

The Bills offense finished the day out gaining the Patriots 481 to 347. That's saying something because once again Tom Brady
and company were able to put up points in a hurry. Especially over the first two quarters of play.
The only drive the Patriots didn't score on in the first half came when they got the ball with :31 left in the second quarter.
New England led 24-17 at the break.

To give credit the Bills did a better job in the second half and came up with a couple of big stops. The biggest
was holding the Patriots to a field goal when they had the ball 1st and goal from the Buffalo 2 with 2:54 to play.
The stop kept the Bills within striking distance on that final drive at 37-31. The Buffalo defense held Stevan Ridley to 98 yards
rushing on 22 carries.

Still there are no moral victories when you are 3-6.. with losses in 5 of the last 6. Coming close doesn't mean much when you dropped to 0-11 at Gillette Stadium. Fred Jackson called Sunday a "must win" game. Looks like the Bills "must win" them all now over the final 7 weeks.
I love the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. I love the speculation. I love the debate. I love the smokescreens. It's fun to watch Buddy Nix work. He will tell you to believe only 10 percent of what he says this time of year. I believe him, if that makes any sense.

I've spent the last couple of weeks putting together our 2011 draft preview special (which airs Wednesday at 7pm on Channel 7) and I've come to one conclusion. Few outside of Nix, and VP Director of College Scouting Tom Modrak truly know which way the Bills are leaning with the third overall pick.

I spoke with ESPN Draft Analyst Todd McShay on Monday. (which will air in the special) He, like many, expect Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton to be the first overall pick by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

Good.

I know the talk on Newton. I know he's a tremendous athlete with tremendous upside. I know many believe the reward may outweigh the risk when it comes to his past. And I guess I would trust Chan Gailey as an evaluator of QB's if the Bills believed Newton was a franchise guy. Still I hope the Bills don't have Newton as an option at three because popular belief is that they'd jump at the chance.

It would be a tough sell to convince me that defense isn't the way to go with the third overall pick. Add to the pass rush with Texas A&M OLB Von Miller, bolster the run defense with Alabama DE Marcell Dareus. Heck, surprise people and take LSU CB Patrick Peterson if he's there. ADD TO THE DEFENSE! You know the unit that ranked 28th overall in 2010, that gave up almost 170 yards a game on the ground, that struggled to get to the quarterback. Go defense at three and then if you want a QB to develop under Ryan Fitzpatrick why not take a look at Christian Ponder out of Florida State at 34.

We sort through it all on our Bills 2011 Draft Preview Wednesday night at 7pm on Channel 7. We'll go one-on-one with Buddy Nix, and Todd McShay. Plus we'll be joined by the editor of BuffaloBills.com Chris Brown, and Rich Gaenzler of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network for a round table debate. See you then.
Houston (WKBW) I will surely throw a bunch of numbers around over the next several paragraphs but the only ones
that matter leaving Houston tonight are 3-and-5.

Forget that the Bills outgained the Texans in the first half,
or that the defense played "better" against the run, it's still a loss. Another week. Another loss. The midway point of the season is here, and the Bills are two games below .500. Hooray.

Bills fans can't win. If it's not the defense, it's the offense that has you pulling your hair out.
There were moments in the first half that I'm sure I wasn't the only one saying "Wow.. the Bills are hanging in there", but you just knew settling for field goals was going to come back to haunt them. The Bills finished 0-3 inside the red zone on a day the team failed to even take a shot at six. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 38 passes on the day, none of them went into the endzone.

Perhaps more troubling for fans was the decision to ignore the option of running the ball in the second half.
The team knew establishing the run was going to be difficult against one of the top defenses in the league, but the Bills didn't even give it a chance.

C.J. Spiller entered Sunday averaging 7.3 yards a carry. He had six carries against the Texans. SIX!!! Spiller had only two carries in the second half after averaging 7.5 yard an opportunity in the first.
Fred Jackson also finished with 6 carries, he rushed the ball only once over the final two quarters.

Now I realize that Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty efficient game going into halftime with the team down 7-6 (14-17 144 yards), and that the Texans stacked the box and dared the Bills to force them out of it,
but Chan Gailey has to find a way to get the ball in his playmakers hands in the ground game.

The Bills put together two scoring drives in the final 1:47 of the first half, but any momentum quickly went away
when the offense opened the third quarter with a three-and-out on three straight incomplete passes.

The Texans scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to take a 14-6 lead.

The Bills added a field goal 4:31 later on a 8 play drive that included the only three called runs of the
second half. Spiller had two carries for 9 yards, Jackson had a single carry for 2, leading the Bills to a 39 yard Rian Lindell FG.

The Buffalo defense then held, and the offense got the ball back down 14-9 with 4:32 to play in the third. But once again the Bills went three and out on three straight incomplete passes.

The Texans all but put the game away when Matt Schaub threw his second touchdown of the game on the following drive
Schaub found Garrett Graham for the 5 yard touchdown to go up 21-9.

Defensively the Bills get credit for doing a "better" job against the run, but when you are last in the league in rushing yards allowed, there is only one way to go.. up. Arian Foster finished the day with 111 yards rushing and a touchdown. Foster had only 80 yards midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bills however had few answers for veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson hauled in 8 catches for 118 yards.
Matt Schaub had an efficient day for Houston. Schaub finished 19-27 for 268 yards passing and 2 touchdowns.

Next up a trip to New England where the Bills. The Patriots are coming off the Bye.
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