Graham, Williams feel at home with Bills
He'll get his chance on Sunday when the cornerback takes to the home field for the first time as a member of his hometown team.
''It's been there since I was a kid,'' Graham said. ''I always had the dream of playing in the NFL. When I was 5, I was already a Bills fan because of my uncles, they were Bills fans and I was coming to the games. So to have that opportunity to put on that jersey and come out in that stadium and play, it's going to be a special day.''
Graham is one of two local players, along with wide receiver Mike Williams, preparing for his first home opener with the Bills.
Following a Week 1 win over the Bears on the road, the duo can't wait to suit up in a regular-season game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
''Playing my first regular-season game in a Bills uniform is like a dream really coming true,'' Williams said. ''So for me, I'm very excited. I can't wait.''
Graham grew up in Buffalo and starred as a youngster at Turner Carroll High School. After successful stints with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens, the 29-year-old cornerback returned home when he signed with the Bills as a free agent in the offseason.
He won't have to look far to find familiar faces in the stands on Sunday.
''Everybody wants to come to the game,'' Graham said. ''My immediate family's going to be there, my aunt's going to be there, my brothers, my mom, my wife, my kids and my cousins, my coaches ... a lot of people are going to be there. Everybody's going to want to come out and support and be there for that special day.''
Williams is a product of Riverside, a section of northwestern Buffalo. Williams was a multisport star in high school at the Riverside Institute of Technology and starred across the state in college at Syracuse.
Following an abrupt split with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason - one year after he signed a six-year, $40 million deal - Williams is looking to rejuvenate his career with his hometown team. He was traded to Buffalo in April for a sixth-round pick.
''I always dreamed of playing for the Buffalo Bills, even when I was with Tampa, it was like, `I wonder how it would feel playing for the Bills,' my hometown team,'' Williams said. ''Now that I'm doing it, I can't wait to go out there Sunday and finally be out there in a home game.''
Williams estimates that he has bought around 180 tickets for friends and family for Sunday's game against Miami.
''I told my mom it's my whole check, so it's kind of their fault,'' Williams said with a laugh. ''But I can't wait to play. It's going to be surreal for me, and I can't wait to go out there and do it.''
Both players got off to strong starts in Buffalo's 23-20 overtime win over Chicago.
Graham had two pass breakups on consecutive plays late in the fourth quarter to keep Chicago to a game-tying field goal.
Williams made one of the biggest plays in overtime, a leaping 20-yard reception, to set up Dan Carpenter's winning field goal.
They're hoping to keep Buffalo's momentum moving forward after a particularly eventful week.
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announced he was cancer free on Sept. 4, the Bills upset the Bears on Sunday, and on Tuesday the team's future in Buffalo was secured after the Bills agreed to sell the team to prospective owners Terry and Kim Pegula.
''I'm pretty sure that the stadium's going to be unreal,'' Graham said. ''The fans are going to be going crazy, I'm pretty sure it's going to be a little louder than normal. So we're looking forward to that. It's an important day for the Buffalo Bills.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL