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Buffalo Bills News - September 4, 2003

Marker Friends meet in opener [5:01 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'Centers, who admits he has been looking forward to playing Buffalo since signing with New England, is concentrating on keeping his emotions in check. His role diminished last season as Bledsoe's Bills begin throwing the ball more down the field. "I have to play within the scheme and not allow my emotions to become a factor, a negative factor," he said. "If anything, if I can utilize it in a positive way to help that would be good, but I have to just go out and be a professional."'

Marker Redskins lose bid for Milloy [5:00 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'The Redskins' best offer was a little more than $20 million over five years, sources said, but the early part of the contract wasn't as lucrative. Washington was set to pay a $3.5 million signing bonus and about $5 million total over the first two seasons.'

Marker Bills Are The High Bidders For Milloy [4:59 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'Terms weren't disclosed, but the Redskins' offer apparently was worth about half that of the Bills.'

Marker N.O. gave pair of free agents its best shot [4:58 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: '"We were in the mix. It was our understanding that Lawyer's agent would give us a chance to counter, but we never got a callback from him."'

Marker Not signing Milloy a mistake [4:58 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'It didn't matter that Milloy is just what the Vikings' defense needs. All that mattered was money and Vikings owner Red McCombs' reluctance to part with any more of it.'

Marker 10 who revolutionized special teams [4:57 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'According to his peers, Levy was the first coach to draft players solely for punt and kick coverage teams.'

Marker Will Milloy line up against Patriots on Sunday? [4:56 AM]
ESPN reports: 'The four-year contract is worth $15 million, nearly two-thirds of that in the first two seasons of the deal. Milloy will receive a $5 million signing bonus and base salaries of $2 million for 2003 and $2.75 million for 2004. The Washington Redskins, who finished as the runner-up team in the Milloy sweepstakes, offered about $6 million in the first two years of their proposal.'

Marker Bills, Milloy agree to four-year, $15 million deal [4:55 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'Though the Bills disclosed no contract figures, their deal with Milloy is believed to be for four years at $15 million, including a $4.75 million signing bonus and a $2 million base salary this season. The contract averages $3.75 million per season.'

Marker Milloy agrees to sign with Bills [4:54 AM]
AP reports: '''Buffalo was the team that set the market, set the tone,'' he said. ''Drew Bledsoe called me. Sam Gash called me. They got everybody on the phone that they needed to early in the process.'''

Marker Donahoe set stage for Bills to land Milloy [4:53 AM]
AP reports: 'If Milloy was looking for a way to get back at the Patriots for the way they treated him, he couldn't have picked a better place to go, an AFC East rival with intentions of making a run at the division title.'

Marker No decision announced on new starter at safety [4:52 AM]
AP reports: 'Antwan Harris, Chris Akins, Aric Morris and Je'Rod Cherry all could take Milloy's spot, although coach Bill Belichick didn't say who would start.'

Marker New England at Buffalo [4:51 AM]
AP reports: '``I will tell you this that everybody that plays against Lawyer is aware of where he is and aware of his ability to make big plays,'' Bledsoe said. ``As far as his speed, his aggressiveness, his physical style, I haven't seen a falloff at all.'''

Marker Bills agree to deal with Pro Bowl safety Milloy [4:50 AM]
AFP reports: 'With his original signing bonus, Milloy was to count for 5.8 million dollars against the salary cap this season. The Patriots were hoping to soften the salary cap hit, but could not reach an agreement with Milloy and waived him.'

Marker Milloy to Provide Defense for the Buffalo Bills [4:49 AM]
Reuters reports: 'A Patriots captain the last four years, Milloy will get his chance at revenge this Sunday when the Bills open the NFL season at home against New England.'

Marker Bills agree to deal with Pro Bowl S Milloy [4:48 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Milloy will have the chance to face his former team on Sunday when the Bills host the Patriots.'

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.'

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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
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