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Buffalo Bills News - September 4, 2003

Marker Bills quickly agree to terms with ex-Pat Milloy [4:47 AM]
The Sports Network reports: '"We need to get our focus where our focus needs to be and that's on New England," Donahoe said. "It would be great if we get the player, but if we don't get him we've got a very important game to play and it's going to need all of our attention."'

Marker With Milloy, Bills might be best in AFC [4:46 AM] reports: 'I am on record as picking the Bills to win the AFC East, a prediction made on the strength of their earlier signings. I am beginning to have second thoughts about selecting the Kansas City Chiefs as the winner of the AFC championship. Right now, the Bills have moved into that territory.'

Marker Bills Agree In Principle With Milloy [4:45 AM] reports: 'Milloy, 29, spent the last seven seasons with the New England Patriots, who selected him in the second round of the 1996 NFL draft out of Washington. He went on to appear in all 112 games for the Patriots since that time and has started the last 106 straight contests for New England.'

Marker Bills To Host Food Drive This Sunday [4:44 AM] reports: 'All donations will benefit the Food Bank of WNY. Food Bank volunteers and Bills wives and girlfriends will join the Buffalo Jills and members of the team's Blue Coat program to collect monetary donations and non-perishable food items at all gates.'

Marker Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript [4:43 AM] reports: 'First of all, the biggest change that I notice in Buffalo is on special teams. They have a new kicker but they have a very explosive return game. Their kickoff return game in preseason has been strong. The punt return game is probably as good as anybody's in the league. Antonio Brown has shown great speed and play making ability in that phase of the game. So that is a big change for them. Offensively, they have a number of new faces. They have [Sam] Gash at fullback. [Josh] Reed stepped in as their regular receiver. [Bobby] Shaw is their third receiver. It looks like there is a little more emphasis on some of their two-back runs with Gash in there but they also still have their passing game even without Price they still have a lot of weapons in the passing game. They get the ball down the field and do a pretty good job of balancing their attack between power running and giving the ball to [Travis] Henry who is one of the top backs in the league, and being able to sling it. Defensively, the additions starting, with Dick LeBeau. I think you can already start to see some of his influence in the defensive scheme, some blitz-zoning, some different pressures. They are doing a few things schematically a little different than they did last year on defense. They have added some players like Spikes and [Jeff] Posey, Adams to go with Pat Williams on the defensive line. [Ryan] Denney is starting for them at left end so they look like they have incorporated a little bit of some scheme changes and then also some personnel changes. They look bigger on defense especially with Adams in there and Williams. They have added some pass rushers in terms of Posey and some playmakers in terms of Spikes. They are a good solid team that has added some players and added some scheme things in the offseason. You see those things in the preseason games. I am sure they have got some things that they are holding back too.'

Marker Gregg Williams Conf. Call Transcript [4:42 AM] reports: 'Well, the position was open a few years ago because I had to have some changes being made and we went through those difficult changes. Where the Patriots are dealing with a cap issue this week, we dealt with a bunch of those my first year. We had a bunch of really good football players that were no longer here, and all of them basically were on the defensive side of the ball. So I totally understand how the nature of the business with the salary cap era here affects your team and your organization. We've gone through those that first difficult year, made some progress last year and then were able to have maybe a little bit more of an impact this year. With three good drafts, with good young players and having the ability to bring in some quality free agents this past year, hopefully we'll be able to take another step along the road to where we all went to be. And that's winning a division championship and competing for a world championship. That's what we want to do and it's just a matter of time. And in this new salary cap era you've got to go through some of those things. I think that Tom [Donahoe] and his staff have done a great job on how we've gone through that time. From a football point of view we have done a pretty good job of transitioning and doing what is best for the players that are here. This year we made a significant impact on our defense and hopefully we can take another step there.'

Marker Bills, Milloy Agree In Principle [4:41 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Milloy had also been named to the AFC's Pro Bowl squad four out of the last five years.'

Marker New Lawyer in Buffalo [4:40 AM] reports: '"We think he's still a good football player," said general manager Tom Donahoe. "We heard a lot of stories out of New England that Bledsoe was washed up too."'

Marker Milloy Price Too High [4:39 AM]
Viking Update reports: 'VU has been told that the Vikings were willing to offer Milloy something in the neighborhood of $2 million a year for a short-term deal, which was quickly dismissed. The Bills thought they had a deal done Tuesday, but Milloy's agent gave the Vikings, Jets, Saints and Redskins a chance to sweeten their offers. In the end, the Bills upped their own offer and signed Milloy.'

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September 3, 2003

Marker Gregg Williams Talks about Lawyer Milloy [3:32 PM] reports: '"I don't' think it's just pigeon holed to just a Lawyer. This happened to Neil O'Donnell. It happens every year, that's just part of the business. You have got to deal with now in this league. We dealt with that two years ago a bit, so we're out of the back end of those types of things. I think Tom (Donahoe) has addressed this before in the past. We hope that we can manage the situation so that we're not going through this type of situation this late in preseason, this late in training camp. We're not in that kind of situation right now. It's unfortunate that it happens but that's just a tough part of the business that we're in, in the NFL now."'

Marker 'Jumbogate' gets a 1-year reprieve [3:30 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: '"Although we're saddened that this will be the last year for 'Jumbogate,' we are thrilled with the cooperation we received from the Buffalo Bills and the NFL that let us go forward with the event," said Michael Gross, executive director of Heritage Centers.'

Marker Washington, New Orleans also in pursuit [2:43 PM]
ESPN reports: 'The Bills want more big plays from their safeties and their current starters, Pierson Prioleau and Coy Wire, combined for zero interceptions in 2002.'

Marker Bills wait as Milloy considers his options [2:40 PM]
AP reports: 'Still, Donahoe doesn't think Milloy lost any edge. ''We think he's still a good football player. Obviously, they do to. They tried to keep them,'' Donahoe said.'

Marker Tom Donahoe Talks About Lawyer Milloy [2:37 PM] reports: '"We're kind of in a holding pattern with this. We've been told that we are one of the teams that Lawyer is seriously taking a look at. We hope to know something today. We had hoped to know something last night but I guess they are still looking at the offers and trying to decide what they want to do."'

Marker Say it ain't so [1:13 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Either way, Milloy is outta here. His next stop? Would you believe the Bills, who just happen to be the Patriots' opponent in Sunday's season opener in Orchard Park, N.Y.? Buffalo, after all, had success with the last ex-Patriot to come down the pike. If Bledsoe can help broker a deal - had the suitors narrowed to the Bills, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins - Milloy, 29, could suit up for one of the Pats' fiercest competitors just five days after being pink-slipped.'

Marker Bills on hold with Lawyer Milloy [1:08 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have made a contract offer to safety Lawyer Milloy, who was cut Tuesday in a salary cap move by the New England Patriots, but Bills President Tom Donahoe says he needs a decision by today so the team can focus on Sunday’s opener against the Patriots.'

Marker Bills in the hunt for Milloy [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If signed, Milloy undoubtedly would play against his former team on Sunday. His greatest value to the Bills this week might be as provider of inside information on the elaborate defensive schemes devised by New England coach Bill Belichick.'

Marker Departed Jones realized his knee wasn't ready [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Marcus was as classy as anybody I ever cut, the way he handled things," said Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe. "He did the best he could do. In the end, he realized and we realized it just wasn't back enough to where he could trust it to put his leg in there and play the way he wanted. As a matter of fact, he told me (Sunday) he would have been disappointed if we would have kept him because he would have felt like he was stealing money."'

Marker With Beefed-Up Defense, Bills Appear Primed for Playoff Push [8:06 AM]
Washington Post reports: A burning question, however, is how well and how soon -- if at all -- the new players will fall into place as a cohesive unit. That said, there is plenty of talent on the roster. (registration required)

Marker Bills chasing released Milloy [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ Yes, we are interested,” Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said.'

Marker Perfectionist [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ Every kick is the same to me. We can be up by 40 in the fourth quarter, but to me it’s a huge kick. It’s not like I go out there and say ‘ We really, really need this one’ because I think we need every one.”'

Marker For Bills, D is the key [5:16 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"One of the things last year is Drew probably felt that every time he went out there he had to score because we would give up a lot of points," Donahoe said. "You're not going to do that and win in this league. Our offence is still going to have the potential to be explosive, but at least now we have some balance. The next step and the biggest step is to see if we can put it all together."'

Marker Ontario fans flock to see their squad [5:15 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'As any visit to Buffalo talk radio will confirm, Buffalo fans are wildly passionate about their Bills. And no more so than in the Stadium on game day. "No question, it is a great football area both in Western New York and Canada," Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe said. "We have great fans."'

Marker The AFC Least? Not these days [5:14 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'In December, three of Buffalo's four games are against AFC East foes, including a season-ending trip to New England. "We need to do a better job in our division," said Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who had his worst performances last year against his former team, the Patriots. "Our division is awfully tough."'

Marker Patriots pull a stunner with release of Milloy [5:13 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '"When I heard the news this morning, I told anyone around here who would listen that we had to go get Lawyer," said Bledsoe from his Buffalo-area home last night. "I was as surprised as anyone because, as a former teammate and a friend, I understand as well as anyone what Lawyer brings to a team. I don't know the circumstances of what happened, but being his teammate and playing against him last year, this is a guy who is the heart and soul of your team."'

Marker Saving money may be costly [5:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'More significant, though, may be that they face the possibility of Milloy being in Buffalo Sunday but in the employ of the Bills -- and with the Patriots getting no compensation. The Jets, Bengals, Seahawks, Lions, Chargers, and Redskins also were talking to the Postons about Milloy yesterday, with Milloy hinting that he might give a hometown discount to Seattle.'

Marker Milloy could play against New England on Sunday [5:11 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The Bills, in fact, made a contract offer to the four-time Pro Bowler as early as Tuesday afternoon, and if he accepts, he could be on the field Sunday when they host the Patriots in the season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium. That wouldn’t surprise anyone in the Patriots’ locker room.'

Marker ‘Shack’ still wants to coach [5:10 AM]
Rockford Register Star reports: 'Picked by the Buffalo Bills in the eighth round of the 1969 draft, the Grambling star who later went on to play for the Los Angeles Rams, was named the 36th most influential minority in sports by Sports Illustrated this year. But Harris wouldn't mind if he moved down that list because that might mean more blacks are getting more higher-profile jobs, especially in the NFL.'

Marker Off-balance [5:09 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'New Orleans and Washington are the other two teams seriously pursuing Milloy, but the Bills are believed to have the inside track. A league source said Milloy and his agent, Carl Poston, planned to lay out the options Tuesday night, before reaching a decision Wednesday morning.'

Marker Bills express interest in Milloy [5:08 AM]
AP reports: 'The Bills are considered to have the salary-cap room to sign Milloy, and could use an established safety in their continuing attempt to upgrade an already revamped defense. Buffalo's current starters are Coy Wire, who's coming off an encouraging rookie season, and Pierson Prioleau, a four-year veteran who was a first-time starter last season.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
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01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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