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Buffalo Bills News - April 11, 2003

Marker Dolphins hoping for big returns [5:19 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'With the Bills in 2002, Rogers averaged 20 yards on kickoff returns and 5.3 yards on punt returns. Both averages were lower than those of Dolphin returners Travis Minor (23.3) and Dedric Ward (10.6), but Miami thinks Rogers is better-suited for its return scheme than Buffalo's.'

Marker Dolphins pounce on return specialist Rogers [5:18 AM]
ESPN reports: 'In essence, the Dolphins will represent his fourth different team since the end of the 2001 season.'

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April 10, 2003

Marker Lary Bump: Simonton named Offensive Player of the Week [10:57 PM]
Shout! reports: Well, the Bills are at it again. Ken Simonton, a street free agent signed by Buffalo, was NFL Europe's Offensive Player of the Week for its season-opening weekend.

Marker Bills reach agreement with Sidney, sign Polk [10:00 PM]
AP reports: 'Polk accepted a qualifying offer of about $600,000 made in February.'

Marker PK Mike Hollis signs with Giants [9:59 PM]
AP reports: 'Hollis converted 75.8 percent (25 of 33) of his field goal attempts for the Buffalo Bills last season, finishing with 115 points, fifth among AFC kickers.'

Marker Busy Falcons agree to deal with Carpenter [6:53 PM]
ESPN reports: Carpenter, 25, came to the Falcons following three seasons in Buffalo, after the Bills did not tender him a qualifying offer last spring. He led all Atlanta secondary players with 73 tackles and also had four interceptions to go with 10 passes defensed.

The advantage Carpenter had when he joined the Falcons was a familiarity with the scheme being installed by first-year DC Wade Phillips, his head coaching for two of three seasons with the Bills.

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With Sidney; Polk Signs [5:00 PM] reports: 'Drafted by Tennessee in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Alabama-Birmingham, Sidney (6-0, 188) played for the Oilers/Titans from 1998-2002. During that time, he appeared in 48 games (six starts) and recorded six interceptions.'

Marker Bills add depth with acquisition of Sidney [3:57 PM]
ESPN reports: 'The five-year veteran spent his entire previous career with the Tennessee Titans and knee and forearm injuries have limited him to five appearances over the past two seasons. Sidney drew surprising interest, however, during the signing period, and rejected offers from the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions to join the Bills instead.'

Marker Bills owner to receive award [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills General Manager Tom Donahue, former coach Marv Levy and All-Pro player Ruben Brown will make the presentation. Many current and former players also will attend the event.'

Marker Bills interview O'Hara for right guard spot [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills could use someone to push two-year veteran Marques Sullivan, who started last season at right guard but is not proven enough to be entrenched at the position.'

Marker Eight-ball [9:00 AM]
CNNSI reports: What's not to like about Buffalo's aggressive overhaul of its defense, which ranked 27th in points allowed and 29th against the run last season? The Bills got better in terms of run-stopping with defensive tackle Sam Adams and end Keith McKenzie, improved their tackling and play-making at linebacker with Takeo Spikes and Jeff Posey, and upgraded at free safety with Izell Reese. Overall, they're quicker across the board on defense. Plus, they played the tricky Peerless Price situation like a Stradivarius, trading their No. 2 receiver to Atlanta for a No. 1 draft pick. That means they're back in the draft, even after giving up their 2003 No. 1 last year in the Drew Bledsoe deal. If Josh Reed steps up at receiver, replacing Price, the Bills are right there in the rugged AFC East. This much we're certain of: Nobody in the division has improved more.

Marker Kelly becomes latest NFL star to jump to NASCAR [6:48 AM]
Florence Times Daily reports: '"This sport is just incredible," Kelly said. "Being from Pennsylvania, I was more of an open-wheel fan growing up, but I got hooked on NASCAR later on. The sport is just so competitive. This gives me the opportunity to continue to compete."'

Marker Jets are talking to kickoff returner [6:46 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Buffalo Bills unrestricted free agent kick returner/running back Charlie Rogers visited the Jets on Tuesday and may end up being the replacement for the departed Chad Morton.'

Marker Miller close with Ravens [6:45 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'Shaun O'Hara, who could be the Browns' center in 2003, spent Tuesday in Buffalo visiting the Bills. It's not known how much interest the Bills have in O'Hara, but their right guard, Marques Sullivan, is not entrenched. O'Hara started 13 games at right guard for the Browns in 2002 and three games at center when Dave Wohlabaugh was injured. The Bills would have to complete a deal by April 18. After that date, restricted free agents become exclusive property of their former team.'

April 9, 2003

Marker "Corner"stone of the Bills "D" [9:31 PM] reports: '"We know each other's strengths and weaknesses and how each other reacts, which helps," said Winfield. "We had that familiarity with each other before so when Nate got here last year we picked up right where we left off. We didn't have to learn to react to each other."'

Marker Where Are They Now: Howard Kindig [9:30 PM] reports: 'The greatest thing was the closeness of the team. The guys were very, very close. To this day, I still get together with Ron McDole, Jim Dunaway and George Flint every year. Sometimes, a couple times a year," said Kindig. "It was just a bunch of great guys up there."'

Marker A 30-year look at the Bills’ best talkers [9:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'It contains five linebackers, four offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, three running backs, three tight ends, three wide receivers, two quarterbacks, a defensive back and a special teams star.'

Marker Ralph Wilson tabbed for Seymour Knox Award [2:25 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The award was established to recognize individuals that exemplify characteristics of the late Knox, including dedication to community, being active in humanitarian causes, support of the arts and humility. Wilson founded the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation in 1987 and has been a supporter of food banks in the Western New York area, Women's and Children's Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Ronald McDonald House, and the United Way.'

Marker Bills' Hull humbly joins Hall [1:50 PM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: '"Jim came into Fredonia (N.Y.) in a limo," Hull recalled. "And I went in there in the back of an equipment truck. I was sitting on a pile of helmets, footballs and jocks. There were helicopters following the limo, people hanging over the overpasses on the highway. It was 49 miles from Buffalo to Fredonia. I couldn't see any of it. The guy who was driving the truck told me about it."'

Marker Of dog sweaters and chicken wings, Hull is one gracious Hall of Famer [1:42 PM]
Vicksburg Post reports: 'Every game I was the first one in the lockerroom and the last one to leave. On that day, I looked over and Scott Norwood was sitting on the bench, still fully dressed in his uniform, and he was weeping. I told him I wasn’t leaving until he left, and that it wasn’t his fault. That was a 47-yard field goal on grass for someone used to kicking on turf. It was a very tough kick. I told him, ‘If I had done a better job, then maybe it would have been a 37-yarder, now get in the shower.’”'

April 8, 2003

Marker The Man Behind The Machines [9:22 PM] reports: 'It's the middle of the football offseason, so that means activity is at a lull at One Bills Drive right? Wrong!'

Marker Hull overcomes odds with strong woman by his side [1:22 PM]
Greenwood Commonwealth reports: 'Every time Hull overcame an obstacle in his football career, his wife, Kay, was by his side. "There are a lot of ups and downs in athletics, especially on the pro level, so the support that I got from Kay was so important. It took somebody strong like her to keep me going when things got tough...I wouldn't be receiving this honor today if it weren't for her. I have been lucky to have a strong woman behind me and understanding children."'

Marker County honors former NFL football player Hull [1:17 PM]
Greenwood Commonwealth reports: 'The Leflore County Board of Supervisors honored former All-Pro Buffalo Bills center Kent Hull with a resolution Monday. The tribute came after Hull was inducted Friday into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Last year, the Bills organization put the Leflore County native on its Wall of Fame.'

Marker RB Gary visits Lions [1:15 PM]
Detroit Free Press reports: His agent, Frank Murtha, indicated the Lions, Buffalo and Jacksonville have expressed interest in signing Gary.

April 7, 2003

Marker Chargers re-sign kicker Steve Christie [10:50 PM] reports: The Chargers re-signed kicker Steve Christie, one of the most prolific kickers in NFL history, to a one-year deal on Monday. The bulk of his career was spent in Buffalo, where he played for eight seasons (1992-2000). During his time in Buffalo, he became the Bills’ all-time leader in career points and field goals.

Marker Retro Draft: A Look One Year Back [7:21 PM] reports: Nearly one year later, here's a look back at the Bills' draft class of 2002, including a recap of their rookie-year contributions and a thought about where each player fits into the team's current plans.

Marker Bills work out draft plan [7:03 PM]
Shout! reports: The Bills primary objective this off-season was to upgrade a defense that ranked last in the NFL in takeaways, 27th in points allowed and 29th against the run.

Marker Reese flexible, plus other notes [6:59 PM]
Shout! reports: The coaching staff is addressing ways to cut down on the number of sacks allowed last season - 54, fourth most in the NFL. OC Kevin Gilbride, though, isn't lying awake nights. He's put the onus on QB Drew Bledsoe. "Some of that falls to him, getting rid of the ball and not trying to show his manhood every play," Gilbride said.

Marker The Buffalo skinny [6:56 PM]
Shout! reports: Signing Gash, a fan favorite during his first tour with the Bills, is the latest sign of the team's commitment to running the ball more and creating more balance for an offense that set numerous team passing marks last fall.

Marker Look for the AFC East to be a brutally tough battleground [6:54 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Buffalo — Sure, the Bills lost one key component off their explosive offense in WR Price, but GM Donahoe has radically improved the defense with the additions of DT Adams, LBs Posey and Spikes and highly respected assistant coach LeBeau. That, in turn, should take the pressure off the offense to have to put a ton of points on the board for the Bills to win. Bledsoe is a battle-tested QB who seems rejuvenated in Buffalo. RB Henry and WR Moulds are game-breaking talents and Buffalo believes second-year WR Reed can adequately fill Price’s big shoes. If the defense and special teams improve as they should, I look for the Bills to win a couple more games this season, leaving them in the running for a playoff spot.

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