Running back Morris signs Bills' contract [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have signed running back Sammy Morris, a fifth-round draft choice this year. Morris, who played fullback and halfback over two seasons at Texas Tech, was the 156th player drafted overall.'
Rucker set for XFL; Morris, Malbrough sign [5:49 AM]
Lubbock Avalanche Journal reports: 'Former Tech running back Sammy Morris said he expects to sign a three-year contract today with the Buffalo Bills. The signing bonus is $100,000, according to Morris..."It's a good deal," said Morris, the Bills' fifth-round draft pick in April. "My agent was able to negotiate was able to negotiate a bigger signing bonus than guys taken before me in the draft."'
Steelers reach agreement with linebacker [5:41 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'More than likely, Northern will serve as a backup to Porter, the team's third-round draft choice in 1999 whose style of play reminds the team of a young Greg Lloyd. Porter had an outstanding training camp and preseason last year, and his development is one of the reasons the team elected not to re-sign free-agent Carlos Emmons, who started the past two seasons at right outside linebacker...Northern is 6 feet 2, 240 pounds and was a starter the past two years in Buffalo. But the Bills did not attempt to re-sign him because Keith Newman, a fourth-round pick in 1999, was expected to be the starter in 2000.'
Buffalo Bills Survivor! [10:53 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Beginning June 21st, for several weeks, 16 great football players will be marooned on a tropical island off the coast of Crystal Beach. Day by day Bills fans from across the world will analyse the list of castaways in search of the least worthy. The last survivor will be crowned "The Greatest Buffalo Bill of All-Time".'
Steelers Stay Active [9:02 PM]
Steelers Digest reports: 'The Steelers have apparently come to a contract agreement with linebacker Gabe Northern, although he has not officially signed a contract as of yet...The Steelers were one of three teams to show a strong interest in Northern, the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams being the other two, but the black and gold was the only team that didn't have an incumbent starter at the weakside linebacker spot.'
Four teams get a change of scheme [8:48 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Head coach Wade Phillips caused great debate in upstate New York last season when he benched Doug Flutie in favor of forgotten man Rob Johnson on the brink of the playoffs, despite the fact the diminutive folk hero completed his final 12 passes in a victory over the Patriots in the second-to-last regular-season game.'
Bills sign fifth-round pick [8:44 PM]
AP reports: 'Sammy Morris, the former Texas Tech running back selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft, signed with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday. During the recently completed minicamp, the Bills used Morris in the backfield and as a receiver.'
Bills Caravan To Make Stop At Wegmans Today [1:28 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: '‘‘Helping our players go out into the communities and interacting with our fans is one of the benefits of these caravan stops,’’ said Russ Brandon, the Bills Vice President/Business Development & Marketing. ‘‘We’ve had some great crowds on some of our recent stops and we are looking forward to the remaining visits.’’'
Bills sign rookie defensive tackle [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 6-foot-4, 300-pound [Leif] Larsen, whose first name is pronounced "Life," is the first member of the 2000 draft class to sign with the team.'
Kelly, Elway only wanna be with Dan during big bash [7:06 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Half of the Quarterback Class of 1983 will be on hand Aug. 23 at Pro Player Stadium when the Dolphins honor one of its grads, Dan Marino. John Elway and Jim Kelly will join the public tribute to Marino, which starts at 7:30 p.m. All three won more than 100 regular-season games and threw at least 200 touchdown passes.'
Elway, Kelly to honor Marino [7:00 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins announced Tuesday that Don Shula, John Elway and Jim Kelly will be among the guests for Dan Marino's retirement party Aug. 23 at Pro Player Stadium at 7:30.'
Steelers add linebacker to mix [6:20 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Gabe Northern, a starter for the Buffalo Bills at weakside linebacker the past two seasons, has signed a two-year contract with the Steelers, his agent said Tuesday.'
Steelers sign linebacker, agent says [6:17 AM]
AP reports: 'Free-agent linebacker Gabe Northern has signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday...Both the Bills and Steelers use four linebackers on defense behind three linemen. Northern, 26, a four-year veteran from Louisiana State, will be replaced in Buffalo by Keith Newman, a fourth-round draft choice last year.'
Buffalo Bills sign draft pick Leif Larsen [8:52 PM]
AP reports: 'A native of Norway, Larsen, 25, went to the Texas-El Paso on a track and field scholarship as a shot putter and never played football before college. He played 10 games last season and recorded 69 tackles. One of the strongest players in college football, he set the NFL combine record by bench-pressing 225 pounds 45 times.'
The Week That Wasn't [7:07 PM]
NFL.com reports: 'NFL Insider followed Flutie each day through one of the most tumultuous weeks of his pro career. Monday, January 3...'
You Make the Call! (#2) [8:52 AM]
Shout! reports: 'Tennessee is playing at Buffalo. It is 4th and 4, and the Bills are forced to punt. Daryl Porter is lined up in the "gunner" position for the Bills, near the right sideline away from the offensive and defensive linemen. He is checked in as an eligible receiver. Porter is looking to make a big play, and takes off as soon as the ball is snapped...'
The "L" word - Hansen and Leadership [8:51 AM]
Shout! reports: 'If any fans are thinking about coming to training camp and asking Phil Hansen about the "L" word when they get his autograph, they better reconsider. Hansen has been hammered with questions about leadership ever since Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed were released.'
Q & A with CB Kenny Irvin [8:50 AM]
Shout! reports: 'Ken Irvin suffered a torn ligament in his left ankle toward the end of last season. He has been rehabilitating it throughout the off-season. The June mini-camp was his first real action in more than six months. The ankle passed the test. Here is a Q&A with Irvin from Day 1 of June mini-camp.'
Fisher blends sport, study [7:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'When the Buffalo Bills hold training camp at St. John Fisher College this summer, academic performance will get attention on the same field as athletic prowess. Fisher will use the training camp to help launch a new department that is designed to prepare students for careers in the big business of sports, a broad category that includes high school athletic directors, marketers of clothing, managers of fitness clubs and executives with professional teams.'
Bills' man of action hopes to make a difference [7:18 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: '[Martin] Bayless, however, is also a man of action and perseverance. He played with the Bills and four other teams over the course of a 12-year National Football League career but it's what he has accomplished off the field that made him an attractive recruit by team management to fill the void of director of player development/special projects. Just what job is that you wonder? It is one all NFL teams, in light of the very disturbing series of arrests and allegations against numerous players, is taking quite seriously. In the past such hires would come about in a press release and in a wire transaction note. Now, the NFL wants these jobs to be more high profile. Thus, when the Bills announced Bayless, general manager John Butler was there and coach Wade Phillips presented Bayless as the replacement for Jerry Butler, who left the Bills and the post vacant over a year ago when he took a coaching job with the Cleveland Browns.'
Football Player Now Health Crusader [10:28 PM]
AP reports: 'Chris Spielman, a former Ohio State All-American, had been sidelined from the Buffalo Bills with a neck injury and was about to announce he was taking a year off to be with his wife and two young children.'
Bills end mini-camp [10:27 PM]
Shout! reports: 'The Bills' final mini-camp practice was its fastest. It appeared that their entire 11-on-11 session was entirely a two-minute drill, but in reality it was more like a double-time march up and down the field.'
New Administration Building [10:26 PM]
TBD reports: 'The new administrative building is in the final stages of interior finishing. This state of the art facility was provided for by the stadium improvement plan outloined in the lease extension agreement reached in 1998. The original administrative building was constructed at the same time as the stadium. The 1972 structure has been cramped and inadequate for years.'
You Make the Call! [10:25 PM]
TBD reports: 'Shout/TBD is starting a new feature, "You Make the Call." We will present for you both real and imagined NFL scenarios, and invite you to "make the call" based on the Official Rules for the NFL for 1999.'
Mini-camp wrap-up [10:24 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Wade Phillips said the June 2000 mini-camp really kicked off the new season for the Bills. He was pleased with the team's intensity as well as the talent levels of the younger players. This was recorded in Active Audio.'
Arli$$ not worth wading through to get to Phillips [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'One line, about one minute into the program. That summarizes Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips' appearance on HBO's "Arli$$" (9:30 p.m. Sunday, pay-cable), the series about a sleazy sports agent.'
Westminster's Scott Pingel signed by Buffalo Bills as Free Agent [9:28 AM]
Westminster College reports: 'Pingel was named Player of the Year in the Saint Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last season after breaking the NCAA all-divisions records for career receptions, career yardage, and career touchdown catches...Pingel, a native of Perryville, graduated cum laude from Westminster College this past May with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education.'
Kelly honored as father of year [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"One of the greatest professional quarterbacks of all time, Kelly is being honored for his work as co-founder, along with his wife Jill, of Hunter's Hope Foundation, founded in 1997 after their son, Hunter, was diagnosed with Krabbe Disease."'
Hopeful Bills consider minicamp a success [8:27 PM]
AP reports: '"We've definitely got the talent. If we can get the guys to know the system and be ready to execute, play mistake-free football and stay healthy, I think we'll have a good year," Cowart said. "It's going to be very vital that we cut down on mistakes." Added quarterback Doug Flutie: "We've got a lot of young guys, it's how quickly they get comfortable with the game that's important."'
It's no contest: Flutie's a rung below Johnson [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Johnson is the Bills' man for the foreseeable future. That was settled at the end of last season when he tore apart the Indianapolis Colts in the final regular-season game and then Wade Phillips handed him the starting assignment for the playoff game in Tennessee. The move should have been made weeks before, but the many Flutie loyalists still have the notion that Doug will be able to wrest the job back from Johnson if he outplays him in the summer games. That's not going to happen.'
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