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Buffalo Bills News - April 17, 2005

Marker Inside slant [6:33 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'The crop of blue-chip quarterbacks available in the NFL draft April 23-24 is piano wire thin, with only Utah's Alex Smith, Cal's Aaron Rodgers and maybe, Akron's Charlie Frye, deserving of selection in the first round. That makes the Buffalo Bills feel good.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [6:32 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'Unrestricted free agents: LS Bradford Banta; WR Drew Haddad; QB Shane Matthews; OT Marcus Price; OL Mike Pucillo (not tendered as RFA); FS Izell Reese.'

Marker Notes, quotes [6:31 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: '"You could do a lot of things with him, create all kinds of mismatch problems. With Coach Mularkey's scheme, he likes to throw wrinkles into his offense and he's a kid he'd love to have. With his size and speed ... he can create nightmares for defenses trying to scheme him. He's one of the fastest players in the draft, and one of the tallest, so with that combination, he can get down field and make plays, just get him the ball anyway possible." - Bills scout Shawn Heinlen on Arkansas' Matt Jones, a 6-5 QB who is projected as a WR or TE at the NFL level.'

Marker McGahee makes run at elite status [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'I rate the following eight backs a notch above McGahee, based on their past production and projections for this season: Shaun Alexander, Ahman Green, Priest Holmes, Edgerrin James, Jamal Lewis, Curtis Martin, Fred Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson.'

Marker Ex-Bills join Kelly in Drive For Hope [5:00 AM]
Naples Daily News reports: '"The toughest part for me since I retired is not being around my teammates, Jim and Bruce and Andre (Reed) and Darryl (Talley)," Thomas said. "We were a family for 16, 17, 20 weeks out of the year and that's probably the part that's hardest for people who haven't played to understand. That's what makes these types of events fun, and even though we may have lost four Super Bowls, we were still one heck of a football team and a heck of a lot of guys that still care about each other."'

Marker Small-town boys followed, fulfilled dreams [4:59 AM]
Topeka Capital Journal reports: '"I was always one of the littlest guys around," Tasker said, "and that's one reason why dads bring their sons up to me and say, 'See, son, you don't have to be a giant to play in the NFL.' Or they say, 'If he can play, you can.'"

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April 16, 2005

Marker Kids Day to be against Packers [9:47 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Meanwhile, Bills fans will have the chance to ask their NFL Draft questions to team President and General Manager Tom Donahoe through a text messaging chat held by Verizon Wireless this week. The chat will run from noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and is open to subscribers of any cell phone carrier.'

Marker Bills absent from MNF once again [9:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It is the first time in Bills history since MNF began that the team hasn't made the schedule after a winning season.'

Marker Bucs, Eagles join list of teams in pursuit of Bills' Henry [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Buccaneers are without a starting-caliber running back and are exploring ways to obtain Henry so they can concentrate on selecting one of the top receivers in the draft. Coach Jon Gruden is also interested in moving up to take either Utah quarterback Alex Smith or Cal's Aaron Rodgers.'

Marker Buffalo's Henry on Eagles' wish list [5:05 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'The Eagles are considering a deal for Henry because they feel they may need to protect themselves against the possibility that Brian Westbrook will depart after this season.'

Marker Sources confirm Eagles' interest in acquiring RB Henry from the Bills [5:04 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'It seems possible the Eagles' interest in Henry, 26, is designed as a shot across the bow of restricted free-agent running back Brian Westbrook. Yesterday's league deadline passed apparently without Westbrook receiving an offer sheet from another team, meaning he now must sign with the Eagles to play this season.'

Marker Henry not a likely trade target [5:03 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'NFL sources speculate the Bills are trying to stir up interest in Henry, who supposedly is on the wish list of the Arizona Cardinals.'

April 15, 2005

Marker A Quick Glance at Buffalo’s 2005 Schedule [5:33 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Overall the schedule appears favorable for Buffalo with four of their first eight opponents finishing with losing records in 2004. A quick start is essential. Weeks seven through 12 appears to be the toughest stretch of the slate which is why Buffalo will need those early wins to create some room for error late coming down the stretch, especially since they finish up on the road the last two weeks of the season.'

Marker Everyone Wants to Know [5:32 PM]
AZCardinals.com reports: 'Head Coach Dennis Green told Arizona media earlier this week the trade “still had a heartbeat.” But, in an exclusive interview with azcardinals.com, Green talked about the 2005 Draft being the year of the running back and corner back, and in fact, most mock drafts from football analysts have three running backs rated in their top ten: Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams and Cedric Benson. Henry has only one year remaining on his contract, so the Cards could opt to use that first pick on a running back who they could then lock up for several years instead of worrying about negotiating a contract extension with Henry, something Green already said he would not be willing to do prior to the start of the season.'

Marker Bills' preseason schedule released [5:01 PM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo's home games will be Aug. 20 against Green Bay, in what could be Packers quarterback Brett Favre's final visit to Orchard Park, and Sept. 2 against Detroit.'

Marker Kids Day Highlights Preseason Schedule [3:15 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'When the team hosts Green Bay, tickets for kids 14 & under can be purchased at a reduced cost of $8.00 for the general public and $6.00 for all season ticket holders with an extra point value card. As part of “Kids Day,” the Packers game will feature face-painting, games for the kids as well as a special collector’s item gate giveaway for all fans 14 and under. Following the game there will be a spectacular fireworks display. Last year, the “Kids Day” attendance of 71,549 ranked second on the Bills all-time preseason attendance list.'

Marker Bills back in prime time ... and on the road for the holidays [12:49 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But unlike last year when the Bills had a Marv Levy dream schedule at home — he felt every NFL game should start at 1 p.m. Sunday — Buffalo’s slate at “The Ralph” this season has only six such starts.'

Marker Bucs interested in Henry [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bucs General Manager Bruce Allen told a Tampa radio station Thursday that he called the Bills on Wednesday to inform them he wants to pursue trade discussions on Henry.'

Marker Sweet smell of success is on schedule [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With any luck, the final game will be as meaningful as last year's finale here. We're halfway between the '04 finale and the start of training camp. The schedule is out, and the season can't be far behind. You can almost smell it.'

Marker Bucs eye unhappy Bills RB [5:01 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: 'General manager Bruce Allen said he contacted the Bills on Wednesday about the possibility of acquiring running back Travis Henry, who has one year left on his contract but wants out of Buffalo. "I spoke to the Bills," Allen said Thursday, careful not to elaborate.'

Marker Eagles eye RB Henry; Stroud signs mega-deal [5:00 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'FOXSports.com has learned that the Eagles have held talks with the Bills regarding a potential trade for RB Travis Henry. The Bills have phoned the Birds on more than one occasion and Philly appears to be interested. One of the obstacles for any team trying to trade for Henry, however, is his desire for a lucrative contract.'

April 14, 2005

Marker Lions' Three Marquee Games With NFC Powers Highights 2005 Schedule [5:24 PM]
DetroitLions.com reports: 'Sept. 2 @ Buffalo Bills 7 p.m. Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Schedule released [5:22 PM]
Colts.com reports: 'The Colts’ preseason schedule, with all dates and times Indianapolis time (CST): Against Atlanta in the American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan, August 6 (Saturday), 4 a.m.; home against Buffalo, August 13 (Saturday), 7 p.m...'.

Marker Stacking the Board [2:47 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Every once in a while there is some pretty good discussion and it's better to do it when we're putting the board together than on draft day," said Modrak. "If I can't get a disagreement reconciled as a mediator between scouts I'll hold the grade on the player and we'll go onto somebody else and then come back to it. There are some egos involved because you're in a business that's based on your opinion. You have a conviction about something and you won't let it go because you think it's right."'

Marker Bills home in on a fast start [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The most unexpected date on the schedule is a Saturday night, nationally televised home game against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 17. It's the latest calendar date ever for a Bills prime-time home game. The previous latest was Nov. 1, 1993.'

Marker McGahee Chat Highlights From ESPN.com [6:29 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '[Q]: What football player influenced you the most when you were growing up?
Willis McGahee: Deion Sanders. Just his arrogance and showboating. One day I will be like that guy.'

Marker Packers to play 3 Monday night games, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day [6:10 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'Saturday, Aug. 20: at Buffalo Bills, 7 p.m.'

Marker Bills open at home, host Denver in prime time [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'As for balance, Buffalo should have no complaints. Its bye weekend comes exactly in the middle of the year, Nov. 6, and there are four home and four road games in each half of the season. A year ago, the Bills' bye came in September, meaning they played the final 14 weeks without a break. There is also only one second-half West Coast trip this year, to San Diego on Nov. 20.'

Marker Texans a good opponent for QB Losman [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It isn't a killer schedule, particularly the first seven games. If the Bills are going to compete for a wild-card playoff berth, a 5-2 start probably is a must. A 10-6 final record might be good enough to sneak in. It's asking a lot for Losman to pull it off in his first season as astarter.'

Marker Bills get a break [5:00 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'After struggling out of the gate in 2004 the Bills get, what on paper anyway, appears to be a soft start. Of their first five opponents, only the Falcons had a winning record in 2004.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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