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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Back here in Pittsford for Day two of training camp. The first official practice is set to begin here in just a couple of minutes on a warm and steamy day at St. John Fisher College... Plenty to look for today with the team on the field for the first time since the end of last season.. for me it starts with Eric Wood moving from guard to center.

Chan Gailey confirmed to move on Friday night. "Eric Wood and Geoff (Hangartner) will both be at center. It’s an opportunity for us to find out who the best players we have are. My responsibility is to play the best guys that help us win. We think we have some guys that can play guard and they need to play. They need to see if they can compete and do the job.", said Gailey

Wood made 49 consecutive starts at center at Louisville, and finished the year for the Bills there replacing an injured Geoff Hangartner. The former 2009 first round draft pick was already in his new spot on Saturday morning during the teams walk-through.

"I’m a little bit more comfortable at center, I’ve played it longer. But I felt pretty good at guard toward the middle of the year last year, too, coming off that injury. I’m just excited to be healthy. That’s my main thing right now, guard or center, just getting back out here and feeling life myself., said Wood.

Also here today newly signed free agents Tyler Thigpen, and Brad Smith. As is stands, both are restricted to watching because of rules in the new CBA. Both will be able to start practicing no later then next Thursday.

Smith will be designated as a QB when he first gets on the field for the Bills, but the new addition from the New York Jets will likely play more then one position. Chan Gailey has made it clear he wants to use Smiths versatility, and Smith says he's ready to go.

" I’m looking at plays as a quarterback. I’m also working on receiver stuff like route combos, techniques and the different nuances of the position. It’s something I’m used to. I just have to get the terminology down." says Smith. "I play whatever it takes to win. That’s what I do."

Eyewitness Sports Director Jeff Russo with Multi-Media Journalist Jason Greunauer at St. John Fisher College.

Pittsford - The Bills welcomed in August with the first day of shoulder pads at St. John Fisher College. We have only three official practices in the books, and the Bills are already dealing with some injuries. Here's some notes from Monday -

-Chan Gailey revealed on Monday that rookie LB Kelvin Sheppard will "be out for a little while" after tweaking a hamstring on Sunday. Sheppard missed Monday's practice and now is expected to miss at least a week with the injury.

-Gailey also says the second year WR Marcus Easley will also miss at least a week with the hyper-extended knee that he suffered in the first practice on Saturday. Easley missed his entire rookie season with an injury in the same left knee. Gailey called it "a blow to Marcus, and a blow to our football team. We'd like to know what he can do".

-The Bills strapped on the shoulder pads for the first time on Monday, and I found myself drawn to pass blocking drills. Some of the better battles of camp happen in these "periods". It was hard to ignore big rookie Marcell Dareus. The Bills first round pick worked against guard Kraig Urbik. Dareus showed the strength and quickness that made him the 3rd overall pick, but Urbik held his own on Monday. (I didn't see it..but our Jason Gruenauer tells me Dareus ran Urbik for one of the bigger hits of camp so far on Sunday.)

-Aaron Maybin took his first reps against tackle Ed Wang. Maybin beat Wang to the outside but then lost his footing before getting to his target. The frustrated former first round pick didn't fair much better in his second set of reps, this time against Demetrius Bell.

-It was fun to watch BIG 2011 7th round pick Michael Jasper work through his reps. Jasper , who is listed at 6-4.. 394 pounds, says he played at 440 pounds at Bethel. The Bills say they drafted Jasper because he's a big man that can move. He is, and he can.

-The offense focused mostly on the running game, mixing in some short passes on Monday. Bills RB Fred Jackson told me it was nice to get some work in on the ground game after an off-season erased by the lockout.
Buffalo ( We learned last week that representatives for wide receiver Stevie Johnson and team officials for the Buffalo Bills were scheduled to meet at the NFL Scouting Combine. A source now tells Eyewitness Sports Director Jeff Russo that Friday is the day for that meeting in Indianapolis.

The two sides are expected to discuss the possibility of a new contract for the wide receiver. Johnson is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13th if the two sides don't agree on a new deal.
Pittsford - The Bills first full practice is in the books. The team worked out on Saturday for a full two hours in helmets and shoulder pads. Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey called the day "A typical ragged first practice".

Time missed during the NFL lockout has teams behind, playing catch up, and that was evident at times on Saturday especially in the passing game. Still QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to find Stevie Johnson for what may have been the play of the day. Johnson badly beat Leodis McKelvin in 1-on-1 drills.. caught the Fitz pass down field and scampered in for the would be touchdown.

Bills Rookie Aaron Williams also made a play in his very first NFL practice. The newly signed second round pick intercepted QB Levi Brown during 7-on-7 drills.

For those keeping track.. Bills first round pick Marcell Dareus hit the ground running with the first teamers. The third overall selection lined up at left defensive tackle next to Kyle Williams and Dwan Edwards.

Offensively Chan Gailey said on Friday that Eric Wood would make the move from guard to center, and the former first round pick was in with the starters from the first snap. Wood ran with the first team, Geoff Hangartner took snaps with the second team offense on Saturday

The Bills have the first night practice of camp scheduled for Sunday. Fans need tickets, as of Saturday night there were still some available at
Buffalo ( A league source tells Eyewitness Sports Director Jeff Russo that representatives for wide receiver Stevie Johnson are scheduled to meet with Bills officials next week at the NFL combine in Indianapolis to continue talks on a new contract.

The two sides have recently exchanged proposals on a new deal. The Buffalo News reports Johnson's latest counter offer came on Monday.

Johnson became the first wide receiver in Bills history to record back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons when he finished the 2011 seasons with 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns.

Johnson and his agent C.J. LaBoy have maintained since the end of the season that the wide receiver would prefer to re-sign with the Bills. Johnson is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13th if a new deal is not completed.

Eyewitness Sports will have the latest Thursday night at 5 and 6.
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