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Buffalo Bills News - February 19, 2003

Marker Rookie of the Year? [11:53 AM] reports: Few teams got more production out of their first-year players than Buffalo. Two draft picks became instant starters (OT Mike Williams and SS Coy Wire) and four others (WR Josh Reed, DT Justin Bannan, DE Ryan Denney (only 5 games - mostly at end of year) and CB Kevin Thomas) received significant playing time over the course of the season.
Sprinkle in the contribution of a couple of rookie free agents (RB Joe Burns, DE Grant Irons) and the rookie class of 2002 shows a bright future.

Marker Price could be too high for Bills [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: '“Peerless is seeking a long-term deal from an NFL team,” agent Tim McGee said. “Based on the comments I’m hearing, I’m very skeptical -- and probably more so than ever -- it’ll happen in Buffalo.”'

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February 18, 2003

Marker NFL lays out steppingstone for players who want to coach [8:05 PM]
USA Today reports: Former Bills TE Pete Metzelaars is participating in a NFL program designed to give former and current players an opportunity to break into coaching. It begins next week with the opening of NFL Europe training camp in Tampa.

Marker 2003 Calendar Wallpaper [2:29 PM] reports: Show your pride by putting the Bills on your computer's desktop. We have multiple styles below, including a brand new one with a complete 2003 calendar!

Marker Bills' alumni to dole out $40K to charity [1:20 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The group of former Buffalo Bills raised $40,000 last year through their annual fall golf tournament.'

Marker Football has little room for budding Van Goghs [1:20 PM]
Shout! reports: 'But often the scripts, plans, preparations, systems and routines can lead to square-peg-in-the-round-hole syndrome. For instance, Buffalo's defense the last two seasons was not even close to being the kind of defense that could run the 46-hybrid.'

Marker Important dates in Buffalo Bills history (Feb. 17-23) [12:06 PM] reports: February 18, 1997 - BILLS MAKE A TRADE FOR A QB The Buffalo Bills made a trade to upgrade the depth at QB by trading their third-round pick in the 1997 draft to the Oakland Raiders for Billy Joe Hobert.

Marker 5th Down: Dusting Off the Shelf [11:53 AM] reports: So that's why this week I'm dusting off the bookshelf and sharing with you some of my favorite Buffalo Bills-related books. Maybe they'll help fill in the news gaps during the coming months. This list is not comprehensive, but it is close. Most of these books can be found at a library or through online booksellers. Some of them are still available at bookstores, too.

Marker Outside the Comfort Zone [10:51 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'It has leaked out that both coordinators have had their contracts extended through the 2004 season, while Williams is still a lame duck as of this writing. This is no accident, as I see it. I think Donahoe is sincere when he says he likes the job Williams has done in his first two seasons here, especially considering the lack of tools he had for the job in year one. But does Donahoe give a flip that Williams might be burning a bit by the recent pub surrounding his own underlings? Hardly. Williams will probably get his extension soon, if he doesn’t have it already, but it will be on Tom’s time, not Gregg’s.'

Marker 12th Man Award: Game of the Year [10:03 AM] reports: Braving blustery, wintry conditions, Bledsoe finished 15-for-27 for 306 yards, breaking the game open by scoring touchdowns on three consecutive drives in the second half. The game began with a temperature of 25 degrees and ended in near whiteout conditions as a heavy snow fell through most of the fourth quarter. Watch Video Highlights.

Marker Capology 2003 (or) Money Talks [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As a result they figure to enter this free agency season with about $10 million of room to spend on free agents.'

Marker Mike Holbrook: Rams’ QB situation; Peerless Price [7:18 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: FW: Is Price better off somewhere else?
Holbrook: I don’t think so. It’s curious to me that Price had his best season in a contract year. He made positive strides his first 3 seasons but was still an underachiever until this past season when he found himself working with skilled players like Bledsoe, Moulds and RB Travis Henry. I think Price is an outstanding No. 2 WR, but not a #1. He needs someone like Moulds to draw the main focus of a defense and allow Price to work against a No. 2 or No. 3 corner and exploit that matchup.

Marker Riemersma Still Unsure About Future With Bills [5:26 AM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: '''I've talk[ed] to Mr. Wilson (Bills owner Ralph Wilson) on occasions, last year, not this year,'' Riemersma said. ''And I think he's involved more than any other owner in the NFL and he does a great job and that's why he garners so much respect among the players. Mr. Wilson has always treated me so fairly and the Buffalo community and the fan base has always been great to my family and this is where I want to be.'''

February 17, 2003

Marker Free agency married to the draft [10:32 PM] reports: This is a much stronger draft at QB than it is in free agency. This year, Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich, Rex Grossman, Chris Simms, Kyle Bollar, Dave Ragone and Ken Dorsey lead a group that is being compared to the classes of '83 and '99. But things have changed in the NFL since the class of '83 and club executives realize they're dealing with a different set of circumstances these days.

The class of '83 included Dan Marino, John Elway, Jim Kelly and Ken O'Brien. All four played for one NFL team their whole career. That will not be the case with this draft class or any other in the near future.

Marker What's Next in the AFC East by John Clayton [10:31 PM]
ESPN reports: Biggest Decisions: Donahoe has to decide whether or not to keep Price or let him go through free agency. It isn't an easy decision. If the Bills franchise Price, it throws the balance of their cap onto the offense, which will limit the ability to rebuild the defense. On the other side, can the Bills afford to lose a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver when they aren't certain that Josh Reed is ready to take over for him. Odds favor the Bills letting Price go.

Marker Bills' rivals could sign Davis, Spikes [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'Miami reportedly is contemplating making a contract offer to Spikes despite Cincinnati’s plan to tag him as the team’s transition player.'

Marker NFL player Jay Riemersma to speak at Boys & Girls Club benefit [5:14 AM]
Holland Sentinel reports: 'Riemersma, a Zeeland High School graduate, played football with the University of Michigan before joining the National Football League.'

February 16, 2003

Marker Felser: Bills Need Spikes More than Price [4:47 PM]
ESN reports: I say use the money which might retain Price and use it on Spikes to help bring the Bills' nearer to parity with its own attack. Defense wins. Donahoe saw Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl like everyone else did. He really doesn't need to be convinced.

The Bills' window of opportunity will last for two years, three at the most, then another salary-cap exodus will begin. What their defense needs most is a playmaker. Spikes answers that description. He's also a team leader and a young one.

Marker DeLamielleure happy to speak at banquet [5:50 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'Tickets for the banquet are on sale and available through Tedeschi at 1-800-736-1890, with proceeds benefiting the Interval Brotherhood Home in Akron.'

February 15, 2003

Marker Game of the Year [1:05 PM] reports: 'Voting on this category will run from Friday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 16.'

Marker Bills Alumni To Present Checks At Annual Luncheon [1:04 PM] reports: 'This year, $40,000 will be presented to area charities from funds that were raised at the Bills Alumni golf tournament held last September.'

Marker Riemersma Will Be At CSHF Museum Monday Afternoon [1:03 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame president Ron Melquist has announced that Buffalo Bills tight end Jay Riemersma, who will be the guest speaker at the 22nd annual induction dinner, will appear at the Hall of Fame museum Monday afternoon.'

Marker Bills still working on Williams' extension [5:45 AM]
D and C reports: '“I’ll reiterate it, we’re very happy with Gregg,” Donahoe said.'

February 14, 2003

Marker Bills might not be able to afford Price's long-term contract [8:27 PM]
AP reports: '''I'm not optimistic at this time, quite honestly. But, you never know,'' Price's agent Tim McGee said. ''It may be unrealistic because it may not be cost-effective (for the Bills).'''

Marker Donahoe: Riemersma must take pay cut or risk being released [3:32 PM]
AP reports: '''We made it clear to his agent and Jay last year when we talked about it,'' Donahoe said. ''We said, 'We'll live with it for another year but, going into 2003, there's no way we can afford that number.''''

Marker Hunter's Hope [1:27 PM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Tonight is the big birthday bash for Hunter Kelly. The party is held every year for the son of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill...Hunter's Day of Hope begins tonight at Chestnut Ridge Park at 5 p.m.'

Marker Thoughts on Cottrell and the right Price [1:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But I’m betting he’s neither franchise nor transition.'

Marker Send A FREE Bills Valentine Card [10:33 AM] reports: Select a Bills E-Postcard and send a message to family & friends.

Marker Most Improved Player: Marques Sullivan [10:27 AM] reports: In just four weeks of training camp, he re-acquainted himself with the guard spot, a position he last played as a college freshman at Illinois. The 6-5, 320-pounder showed the coaches enough to start the season at right guard and held the starting role for the entire season. His improved blocking on running plays throughout the season was one of the main reasons Travis Henry rushed for the fifth-highest total in team history while averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

Marker Bills coordinators get contract extensions [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe has often downplayed the idea of Williams going into next season as a lame duck coach. But it would be a highly unusual move to extend Williams' top two assistants and not do the same for Williams.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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