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New Buffalo Bills punter Shawn Powell said after practice Wednesday his predecessor, Brian Moorman, helped him make the adjustment to the NFL during training camp and preseason.
"I am grateful for the opportunity that I have and I am going to make the most of it I can," said Powell, the rookie from Florida State who was signed Tuesday after the team released Moorman. "If I can have half the career that Moorman had, it will be successful. A two-time Pro Bowler and all of that stuff. He was a role model to me when I was here and helped me to get better. I am grateful for him."
Asked his assessment of his play this summer, Powell said: "I feel like I did well for a rookie, an undrafted rookie. I could tell as the preseason went on, I got better. I am not trying to blow Moorman up or anything, but honestly he helped me out. He would see things on film or see me out here doing this and he would say: 'One thing I noticed is I have to place the ball before I go to move.' That is one thing I really learned. Also, I watched him on film and watched the other punters on film as well because that is one thing that he did. As time went on I got better. I felt like if Buffalo did not work out, I felt like I did enough to get shots as well."
Powell said he had workouts with the Jets and Tampa after being released by the Bills at the end of preseason. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick summed up the players' reaction to the move:
"I definitely think the whole locker room was shocked in terms of that going down after three games and him being here for 12 years," he said. "His locker was right next to mine. He is a guy who over the last four years I have really gotten a chance to know well."
Fitzpatrick said it's another example of the harshness of the pro sports business.
"That is the first thing I thought is it is just a reminder it is a very fickle business," he said. "That is the NFL. Every year you get one or two reminders of it. Close friends or guys you thought were untouchable essentially end up getting cut, released or traded."
Coach Chan Gailey said Tyler Thigpen and Powell both will work as holders for place-kicks during practice this week. Powell held for John Potter during preseason. Gailey said for the long term, Powell will be the team's holder. But Thigpen might be the holder for this week.
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The world premiere of "Almost a Dynasty," a documentary about the Buffalo Bills' four-year Super Bowl run, will be held at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center, 639 Main St. Tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. at the theater box office but also are available for order online at www.buffalobillsmovie.com.
The film tells the story of the Bills' 1990-93 seasons through the eyes of the players, staff, media and the fans.
"Given the incredible impact this era had on the hearts and souls of all Bills fans, I thought the film should focus on their emotions in recounting this amazing time in our history," said film director Peter Tasca.
"The four year Super Bowl run of the Buffalo Bills will never be seen again," said Lackawanna native Ron Jaworski. "This is a must-have documentary of the greatest era in Bills history."
Said former Bills general manager Bill Polian: "This is the definitive view of the life-long love affair between Buffalo and the Bills."
There is a 7 p.m. showing of the film, as well, but all 320 tickets for that event were sold out in an online presale of tickets.
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Running back Fred Jackson took part in practice Wednesday on his sprained knee, injured just three weeks ago against the New York Jets. The jury is out on whether he will be ready to face the Patriots on Sunday.
"I got some good work in," Jackson said after practice. "There are some things that need to be worked on, but it is good to get back out here and test it a little bit. ... We will see how it goes. Just hopefully continue to get better."
Jackson said it will be important to see how the knee responds to practice.
"If I wake up [today] and it is swollen or too sore to do anything, then that will set me back," he said.
Running back C.J. Spiller did not practice due to the shoulder injury he suffered in Cleveland. Spiller is expected to be out Sunday but Gailey held out some hope on him.
Said Gailey: "We're hoping we'll get him a few reps maybe by the end of the week. Don't know. We'll see."
Meanwhile, receiver Ruvell Martin (ankle) and cornerback Leodis McKelvin (groin) sat out.
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The key injuries on the Patriots' report were to receiver Julian Edelman (hand) and guard Logan Mankins (hip). Both did not practice. Edelman missed the second half of Sunday's game in Baltimore. Quarterback Tom Brady was listed as limited with a sore throwing shoulder. He hasn't been on the injury report with a throwing shoulder injury since late in the 2010 season. Cornerback Sterling Moore (knee) and starting tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) were limited.
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Bill Belichick was fined $50,000, the NFL announced Wednesday, for "impermissible physical contact with an official."
Belichick grabbed the arm of an official as the crew was leaving the field at the end of Sunday night's game in Baltimore. Belichick said he wanted an explanation as to whether the winning field goal, which appeared to sail above and just inside the right upright, was being reviewed. The Pats released the following Belichick statement: "It was inappropriate for me to contact the official."

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com