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Buffalo Bills News - March 30, 2004

Marker Drew's demise? [3:15 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: The personnel people I spoke to, almost to a man, echoed the same reasons for Bledsoe’s poor 2003 season — the loss of deep-threat weapon Price, the inconsistency of the offensive line, the stubbornness of the play-calling. These factors should all be rectified by the time the season begins in September.

Marker Bills sign lineman [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'General manager Tom Donahoe drafted the Notre Dame product in the fourth round in 1995 and was with the Steelers when head coach Mike Mularkey was on staff there. In Cincinnati, Gibson played for Bills defensive-line coach Tim Krumrie.'

Marker Titans Caravan finishes with 'Wycheck Day' [5:14 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'The date and time of the Titans-Bills preseason game in Buffalo has been set: Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.'

Marker Buffalo Signs Gibson [5:13 AM] reports: 'Gibson has appeared in 133 games with 57 starts.'

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March 29, 2004

Marker Bears likely to add FB Johnson [11:10 PM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'The Bears also offered a three-year contract to guard Ruben Brown, an eight-time Pro Bowl player who was released by the Bills in a cost-cutting move. The Bears plan to start Mike Gandy at right guard but can't resist the chance to add a player with the resume of Brown, 32, a first-round pick in 1985 who became a perennial Pro Bowl selection over his 10-year career. He was waived because he carried a $5.8 million salary-cap number for 2004. The Bills replaced him with former Bears right guard Chris Villarrial. Brown is likely to take the Bears' offer and compare it to any other deals he receives. Brown is still talking to the Lions and Patriots.'

Marker McGahee As Ready As Ever [6:19 PM] reports: '"I'm healthy and I'm going to go out there and give it all I've got," said McGahee. "Everybody gets better as the season goes on. The more you work out the better it gets."'

Marker Gibson Agrees To Terms With Buffalo [6:07 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He'll sign a reported two year deal.'

Marker Thou shalt draft impact players, regardless of position [6:03 PM] reports: "We'd never say because somebody is a safety that makes him less valuable," Bills general manager Tom Donahoe says. "It's not inconceivable that a safety or tight end could be the first guy in the draft, because for us, it's strictly a matter of evaluating the guy's skill."

Marker Michigan Sports Hall of Fame to induct 50th class [4:33 PM]
AP reports: 'Joe DeLamielleure, Pat LaFontaine and Chris Spielman will be among 10 people inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.'

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With Gibson [2:57 PM] reports: 'A graduate of Notre Dame with a degree in economics, Gibson entered the League when he was drafted in the fourth round of the 1995 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers (120th overall). He played for the Steelers from 1995-98 before signing with the Bengals as an unrestricted free agent in March of 1999.'

Marker Bills sign free agent DT Gibson [2:47 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The 32-year-old defensive tackle spent the last five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in all 16 games last season, marking the eighth time in the last nine years he has appeared in every contest.'

Marker Buffalo should sign Stewart as Bledsoe backup right now [1:12 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Donahoe can, and should, cross "find a backup quarterback" off the to-do list immediately. He's not going to find someone better suited to the job, or the situation, than Stewart.'

Marker Bills ink defensive tackle Gibson [12:43 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'In 133 career games, Gibson has recorded 243 tackles and 17 1/2 sacks. He is expected to compete for a backup spot with Justin Bannan and Ron Edwards.'

Marker DT Gibson agrees to two-year deal with Bills [12:42 PM]
AP reports: 'After tearing his Achilles' tendon in 2002, Gibson was used as a backup last year, and credited with 24 tackles and half a sack in 16 games. A fourth-round draft pick in 1995, he spent his first four seasons with the Steelers.'

Marker Bills find defensive line help in Gibson [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gibson is a 6-foot-2, 305-pounder who will vie for a roster spot behind starting defensive tackles Pat Williams and Sam Adams. The signing helps the Bills create legitimate competition at the position, something they are trying to do across the board on their roster. Ron Edwards and Justin Bannan return as reserve defensive tackles.'

Marker Inside slant [7:27 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"I think there's no question we underachieved last year," Bledsoe said. "I think we failed to play the style of football that we set out to play. This year, you're going to see us be a little more stubborn about playing the brand of football that fits our talent. We're going to pound the ball, we're going to play-action it, we're going to play great defense like we did last year, and we're going to score more points because we're going to avoid the mistakes that killed us."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [7:27 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'On the draft front, the Bills' eyes are wide open about the possibility of using the 13th pick on one of the two top pass-rushing ends, Ohio State's Will Smith and USC's Kenechi Udeze. Both players helped themselves dramatically with solid pro day workouts. Smith ran a dazzling 4.55 and Udeze a 4.72.'

Marker 'Skins impressed with Williams' techniques [5:14 AM]
Newport News Daily Press reports: 'In 1999-2000, his Tennessee defense recorded a league-best 109 sacks; and in 2000, the Titans led the NFL in total defense. As Buffalo's head coach from 2001-03, the Bills' defense improved from 21st to 15th to second. Williams was fired by Buffalo after going 6-10 last season.'

Marker Ex-coach will discuss cancer fight [5:13 AM]
San Antonio Express News reports: '"I was diagnosed in the summer of '95," Marv Levy says. "I'd gone in for my regular physical and afterward the doctor called to tell me I had a high PSA score. I didn't know PSA from SAT."'

Marker Bears to land fullback in trade [5:12 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'A league source said the Washington Redskins will trade fullback Bryan Johnson to the Bears on Monday in exchange for a sixth-round draft choice. The Raiders and Bills were the other teams in the running for the hard-nosed Johnson.'

The Bears also have made a contract offer to former Buffalo guard Ruben Brown, who is thought to have narrowed his choices to Chicago and Detroit.

March 28, 2004

Marker AFC East also-rans make moves to close gap with New England [6:32 PM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Buffalo looks at the now-healthy Willis McGahee as a 2004 addition and, in truth he is. He is part of the reason Buffalo wants to become a northern version of the Carolina Panthers on offense. The plan now is for McGahee and Travis Henry to split the running-back duties, for the rest of the offense to change its pass-first mindset, and for Bledsoe to become the picture of efficiency not explosiveness.'

Marker Mularkey comes out ahead because Bills players willing to lead [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You could see by body language, the way they play the game, the way they carry themselves, the way they approach their teammates, you have a pretty good feel who those leaders are already," Mularkey said. "I'm finding other things out being out here that there are some guys who lead by example. And there are some guys on offense that are standing up a lot better than I thought they would."'

Marker Bills' depth at QB a worst-case scenario [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The best-case scenario is this: The offensive line protects Drew Bledsoe much, much better under new line coach Jim McNally, the draft brings a speed receiver to take the multiple pass coverage off Eric Moulds, Bledsoe uses running back Willis McGahee as a frequent receiver, Josh Reed returns to the slot, where he is more effective, and the running game is so good it creates greater opportunities for the pass. Bledsoe plays as brilliantly as he did in his first half season as a Bill.'

Marker It's unlikely Bills will be able to draft top QB [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's hard to imagine the Bills giving up future picks to move up from No. 13. So what needs to happen for the Bills to get Roethlisberger? 1. San Diego trades down and then, stunningly, passes up a quarterback. 2. Oakland and Arizona pass on QBs. 3. No other team (such as San Francisco at No. 16) works a trade into the top 10 to take a QB. (Washington needs extra picks and is a trade-down candidate at No. 5.)'

Marker All-Pro running back's faith walk had to be made along mean streets [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'New York Jets All-Pro running back Curtis Martin shared his faith with about 800 people who attended the third annual Athletes in Action awards breakfast Saturday in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. He was surrounded by an all-star cast of athletes that included former Buffalo Bills quarterback Frank Reich, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and television sports analyst Boomer Esiason, and former Bills wide receiver Andre Reed.'

March 27, 2004

Marker Bengals sign former Eagles offensive guard [2:20 PM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'As of Thursday, Buffalo appeared to be the leader in the race for Williams but, as the Bengals found out last week when Warren Sapp ended up signing with Oakland after a deal with Cincinnati was all but signed, nothing is final until the signature is on a contract and filed with the league.'

Marker Miller, Huckno to be honored [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Van Miller, recently retired voice of the Buffalo Bills, and Wally Huckno, retired Jamestown football coach, are being honored Monday at the 2004 Romulus Club Annual Sports Night in memory of Ilio DiPaolo.'

March 26, 2004

Marker Offensive Changes and Defensive Additions [7:05 PM] reports: '"Mularkey's style of play is a physical play," running back Travis Henry said. "That is what he is installing in our heads. It looks like we are going to be a physical, run first, ball control offense."'

Marker Veteran Camp Comes to a Close [7:04 PM] reports: '"We installed enough where we felt like we weren't going to overload their brain capacity," Mularkey said. "We didn't want a lot of thinking going on. We wanted these guys playing."'

Marker Mularkey Likes What He Sees [7:03 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Willis McGahee did not appear to be limited in any way over the course of the 3 day camp, and Mike Mularkey agreed. He did make sure to point out that he'd prefer to speak with the trainers before speculating about the running back's status/progress.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
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11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
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