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Buffalo Bills News - January 8, 2003

Marker Bumper crop [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills had a solid draft last April, according to most draftniks. And in a year when rookies made a major impact throughout the NFL, few teams got more production out of their first-year players than Buffalo.'

Marker Williams stays, some assistants go [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: '“Right now, Gregg’s in the process of evaluating his entire staff. He’s made two changes and we’ll see where it goes from here,” Donahoe said. “The changes he’s made, sometimes these things come off as firings and we don’t feel they are. We made a two-year commitment to these coaches and we fulfilled that. (In both cases) Gregg felt he wanted someone with a little more experience.”'

Marker Ryan expressed keen insight with `The Music City Miracle' [5:35 AM]
Knoxville News Sentinel reports: '"It was unbelievable to pull something like that off, especially in those circumstances," he said. "I've seen trick plays work, but never with so much at stake. You've got to give Buffalo a lot of credit for not paying attention."'

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January 7, 2003

Marker Modrak expected to interview for Seahawks' vacant GM job [8:34 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Tom Modrak, the Buffalo Bills director of football operations, is expected to interview with the Seattle Seahawks sometime this week for their general manager job, according to a league source.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Fire Offensive Line Coach and Linebackers Coach [8:24 PM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Buffalo finished 8-8 this season, compared with 3-13 a year before. However, the Bills' offensive line allowed 54 sacks, tying Dallas for the second highest in the National Football League. Buffalo's defense also forced a league-low 19 turnovers and allowed 24.8 points a game, 27th out of 32 NFL teams.'

NOTE: The coaches were not fired, their contracts expired and were not renewed.

Marker Buffalo Bills "Prime Time Games" [5:20 PM] reports: The Buffalo Bills have played in 56 Prime Time Games (30-26 overall, 14-6 at home, 16-20 on the road) during their history, dating back to a 23-14 win in an October meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1973. More recently, the Bills strung together five-straight Prime Time wins between 1998 and 2000. Here's a breakdown of the Prime Time Games the Bills have played since 1973.

Marker Ed Block Courage Award - Tony Driver Represents Bills [5:03 PM] reports: The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation today announced the names of the 32 recipients from the NFL who will receive an Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at the 25th Anniversary of the Ed Block Courage Awards.

Marker Bills drop two assistants [1:15 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills will now need to fill four assistant coaching spots. Defensive line coach John Levra retired and quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe became the coach at Tulsa.'

Marker It's Time To Think Big [10:23 AM] reports: On the way to their 8-8 record, the 2002 Buffalo Bills were a lot of things to their fans, but good for their health was not one of them. Oh, there were times when watching the Bills would get your heart pounding so fast that it was a workout in itself. But there were just as many times when the only way you could keep sane was to have a stress ball in each hand and a masseuse kneading the muscles of your back.

Marker Bills dismiss Vinklarek, Aldridge [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The decision on Vinklarek had to be tough on Williams. The two have known each other for 16 years. Williams was the best man at Vinklarek's wedding.'

Marker 'Joe D' hopes 13th time proves lucky for Hall [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There are 13 offensive linemen who played since 1970 that have been voted into the Hall of Fame. Of those 13, only John Hannah and Anthony Munoz have more All-Pro selections than "Joe D."'

Marker Smiles come for DeHaven every decade [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I made history," DeHaven said by phone Monday morning. "I'm the only man who was involved in the two greatest comebacks in NFL history. I still haven't quit smiling."'

Marker Father figure [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Drew is the draw, but his dad, Mac Bledsoe, is the show.'

Marker Bills let two coaches go [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills will not renew the contracts of assistant coaches Ronnie Vinklarek and Miles Aldridge for next season.'

Marker Buffalo Hall of Fame finalists [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'Three men with strong Buffalo Bills ties are among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The class will be announced on Jan. 25 in San Diego.'

Marker Jags' list of candidates is very short [5:24 AM]
Florida Times Union reports: 'Weaver declined to comment on the meeting he had with Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Tom Modrak on Sunday, but a league source said he has been calling executives around the league to inquire about Modrak.'

January 6, 2003

Marker Bengals pressed for time [9:54 PM] reports: One of them, offensive line coach Paul Alexander, is believed to be under consideration for the line job in Buffalo, according to league sources. Alexander, a prep product of nearby Rochester, N.Y., is one of the assistants thought to have at least another year on his contract and couldn’t be interviewed unless the Bengals gave permission.

Marker Assistant Coaches Contracts Not Renewed [9:30 PM] reports: The Buffalo Bills have decided not to renew the contracts of assistant coaches Ronnie Vinklarek and Miles Aldridge. "We just feel that we want to head into another direction at this time," said Gregg Williams. "We thank both men for their hard work and wish them the best."

Marker The List: Best NFL playoff performances [7:51 PM]
ESPN reports: 4. Frank Reich and the great Bills' comeback (1992 AFC wild card)
Reich heats up, throwing four touchdown passes, including three straight to Andre Reed, to give the Bills a 38-35 lead. The game goes into OT, but Buffalo pulls it out, 41-38, completing a 32-point comeback, the greatest in NFL history.

[Reich's performance is currently leading voting]

Marker Gray gone? [7:47 PM]
Len Pasquarelli reports: "Look for (former Bengals head coach) Dick LeBeau to wind up as the defensive coordinator with the Bills. Tom Donahoe (Bills president and general manager) has so much respect for LeBeau. And it seems like (current coordinator) Jerry Gray has been in trouble most of the year. The way I hear it, Gray can stay, if he wants. But if LeBeau goes to Buffalo, he'll be calling the defensive shots."

Marker ESPN Page2 Daily Quickie [7:47 PM] reports: Tom Modrak has interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Marker Hall of Fame Class of 2003 Finalists [4:05 PM] reports: Class of 2003 to be announced Saturday, January 25

Marker Wilson, DeLamielleure & Lofton Among 15 Finalists For '03 Hall of Fame Class [2:29 PM] reports: Orchard Park, NY - Bills owner Ralph Wilson, offensive guard Joe DeLamielleure, and wide receiver James Lofton were named today as three of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2003.

Marker Jags interview Modrak [1:30 PM]
Florida Times Union reports: 'Modrak has worked for the last 18 months as the director of football operations and assistant general manager of the Bills under team president and general manager Tom Donahoe. The Jaguars were given permission by the Bills last week to interview Modrak for the personnel job, according to the source.'

Marker Allen, Zimmerman finalists for Hall of Fame [1:26 PM]
AP reports: 'Former New York Giants general manager George Young and Buffalo Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson are also finalists.'

Marker NFL Playoffs - Wild Weekend (Video Highlights) [11:48 AM] reports: The Jets, Steelers, Falcons & 49ers advanced. Watch video highlights from the game.

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 6, 1990 [11:15 AM] reports: LB Clay Matthews intercepted a QB Jim Kelly 11-yard pass on the 1-yard line with 9 seconds left in the game to preserve the victory for the Browns. In dramatic style, Buffalo began a comeback bid after K Matt Bahr kicked a 47-yard FG to give Cleveland a 34-24 lead with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter. Kelly began a string of 23 consecutive pass plays and closed the gap to 4 when he hit RB Thurman Thomas for a 3-yard TD.

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 6, 1996 [11:14 AM] reports: The Bills’ Super Bowl dream came to a close on the frozen surface of Three Rivers Stadium with a 40-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the AFC playoffs. The Bills, playing without DE Bruce Smith who remained in Buffalo with the flu, quickly found themselves trailing 20-0 with under five minutes to play in the first half.

January 5, 2003

Marker PSU alumnus makes mark in NFL [5:26 PM]
Pittsburg Morning Sun reports: 'And having the league's longest punt can't hurt Moorman when contract negotiations come around. Moorman's contract ended after this season and he is an exclusive rights free agent of the Bills, meaning that if the Bills want him, they have his exclusive rights. After next season, Moorman will be a restricted free agent and an unrestricted free agent after his fourth season.'

Marker Encroachment: Throwback, Or Throw It Back? [1:45 PM] reports: Sure, throwback uniforms are often viewed with a sense of awed nostalgia, but so is junior high school, and I don't see people buying tickets to experience that all over again. There's usually a very good reason old uniforms are burned like the American flag - ceremoniously or otherwise.

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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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