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Buffalo Bills News - June 16, 2000

Marker 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."'

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June 15, 2000

Marker 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."'

Marker 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.'

Marker Byrd persists, looks to secure roster spot with Bills [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Before the stabbing, Byrd was projected as an early-round draft pick. After the stabbing, he went undrafted. Now, as a free-agent pickup, he tries to cling to a Bills team replete with openings in the secondary. To do so, the Schenectady native needs to use the speed that made him such an attractive commodity in the first place. Though after the stabbing he lost about two-tenths of a second off his sprinter's speed - Byrd took a year off from football at Syracuse to run track - he said he still runs around 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, certainly passable for an NFL cornerback. But Byrd's natural speed will not alone win him a roster spot. He must use the June minicamp to memorize the Bills' complicated zone defenses and multiple schemes.'

Marker Buffalo catches on to Pingel [7:28 AM]
Columbia Daily Tribune reports: 'Although he spent his first day of mini-camp mostly observing after re-aggravating a hamstring injury, Bills head coach Wade Phillips took notice of the tools Pingel used to shatter 15 Division III records and seven all-division marks during his four years in Fulton for Westminster. "When you look at that guy and you see the mechanics of catching the football, somebody taught him something somewhere," Phillips told The Buffalo News. "Somebody did a good job with him."'

June 14, 2000

Marker Bills backups play [11:27 PM]
Shout! reports: "Wade Phillips had said the Bills' rookies and other younger, backup players would have more playing time, more reps, during the second week of the mini-camp. This afternoon, they did. A thunderstorm again pushed the practice inside the fieldhouse, where it was hot and humid."

Marker Bills' Phillips to appear on HBO's Arliss [8:41 PM]
AP reports: 'Phillips was asked by reporters if he'd consider working on other HBO series, like "Sex And The City." "Well, I don't know about that," he said, laughing. As for The Sopranos? "I'd get killed on The Sopranos."'

Marker Johnson focused, No. 1 at Bills' mini-camp [8:39 PM]
AP reports: "Rob Johnson has come to the Buffalo Bills minicamp calm, cool and focused, having reclaimed the title of No. 1 quarterback. Johnson even was spotted sharing a couple of laughs with fellow quarterback — and sometime nemesis — Doug Flutie during practice Wednesday at Orchard Park Fieldhouse."

Marker Pingel will try to put Westminster College on the NFL's map [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills coach Wade Phillips needed another receiver because rookie free agent Corey Jones hasn't shown up this minicamp and likely never will. Pingel is wearing No. 18, the jersey number assigned to Jones.
"When you look at that guy and you see the mechanics of catching the football, somebody taught him something somewhere," Phillips said. "Somebody did a good job with him."'

Marker Bills draft picks appearing at hospital [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: "Eight first-year Buffalo Bills players will participate in a pizza party with patients and staff members at Buffalo Children's Hospital tonight from 6-7."

Marker Small-school receiver Pingel about to catch up to Rice [8:04 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: This is an older article written before last year's college season about the Bills newest roster addition - WR Scott Pingel.

Marker Bills sign wide receiver Scott Pingel [7:32 AM]
AP reports: "Playing for Westminster College in Missouri, Pingel was a three-time All-America and was selected Division III player of the year in 1999. He holds seven Division III records, including 436 career receptions, eclipsing the mark of 301 set by Jerry Rice, now of the San Francisco 49ers."

June 13, 2000

Marker A third receiver should be first priority [1:40 PM]
Colorado Springs Gazette reports: 'Earlier, the Broncos had talked to 36-year-old Andre Reed, recently cut by Buffalo after 15 seasons. Reed had 52 receptions for 536 yards last year, continuing a decline in productivity that has coincided with the Bills' erosion since Jim Kelly's retirement. Initially, we heard the Broncos might not be able to afford Reed. Of course, Shanahan was saving money for Young. Now Denver can use that cap room for a No.3 receiver. Either Dawkins or Reed could fill that role, but Dawkins should be the first choice.'

Marker Fisher hopes his 'summer vacations' will lead to job in 2001 [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'For the past two summers, Bryce Fisher has used up all his vacation time to fly in from Colorado and attend Buffalo Bills training camps.
Yet he is not an avid fan. Nor does he visit Western New York to collect autographs. Fisher was one of the Bills' seventh-round picks in last year's draft. He was the defensive tackle who recorded four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, and helped cause an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the preseason opener at Seattle. The next day, he was back in Colorado Springs, fulfilling his obligation to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Fisher hasn't played a game of football since his debut, but he's with the Bills again and is set to play the full preseason slate this time around. Of course, he still has at least one more year to serve and will not play a down of regular-season action this year. Nevertheless, he burns up his furlough time working at his second job.'

June 12, 2000

Marker Bills back at Camp [2:26 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Wade Phillips welcomed the players back from their weekend off, gathering them together before practice in the fieldhouse for another reminder. "I talked about the mental aspect, stressing the mental part of the game and being prepared."'

Marker Money games [9:06 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'By 1999 the Bills average ticket cost had escalated to $40.89, about a 50 percent jump over 10 years, and a 15 percent increase in a year's time. Last year the average cost of an NFL ticket was $45.63. The addition of premium club seating is a primary reason for the increase. Like the Sabres, the Bills in recent years have steadily remained on the low end in average ticket costs. Since 1994, the least expensive seat at Ralph Wilson Stadium has gone up to $30, a $4 boost. "There are a lot of factors that go into (ticket prices) and there is not any single factor that dominates the conversation," said Bills' vice president/communications Scott Berchtold. "We look around the league and Western New York."'

June 11, 2000

Marker Tasker still getting into coverage areas [3:52 PM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'When wide receiver and special teams ace Steve Tasker played for the Buffalo Bills, he planned carefully for his future after retirement. During his off-seasons, Tasker worked for Buffalo's WKBW-TV (Ch. 7), an ABC affliate. "I was there for six or eight years,'' Tasker said. "I was an intern there. I ran scripts around, did all that. I wrote a story or two for the 11 o'clock news, so that helped me out with my writing.'''

June 10, 2000

Marker Nice practice Friday [11:33 AM]
Shout! reports: 'Phillips ended a crisp, spirited afternoon practice by telling his players not to be foolhardy with their weekend off. "You represent yourself, your family, the Buffalo Bills and me. Do the right thing this weekend."'

Marker Walton's a bore, and WNYers are not tuning in [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are replacing Ray Bentley, who now is coaching the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena League, with veteran play-by-play man Jay Randolph on their preseason telecasts. Steve Tasker will be the analyst for the two games in August, which will be carried locally on Channel 49. "We love Ray, but we thought it was in the best interest of both of us to make the change," said a Bills spokesman.'

Marker Ceremony honors Tobia for keeping Bills in Buffalo [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Nine days after the birth of the namesake grandson he never got to see, Vincent A. Tobia, the late Buffalo Bills lawyer and legendary State Police undercover mob and narcotics investigator, was lauded by Gov. George E. Pataki and the State Legislature at a Buffalo ceremony Friday. A State Legislature resolution praising Tobia, who died of a heart attack at 60 last July 7 was presented to his son, attorney Vincent J., and his 81-year-old father, Vincent. During the noontime ceremony in Erie County Hall, Mayor Anthony M. Masiello cited Tobia's business and legal skills as key factors in keeping the NFL franchise in Buffalo while teams moved out of much larger, more media-intense cities over the past decade. Masiello told the courtroom filled with the late lawyer's friends that Tobia had played "an integral role" in keeping professional football alive in Buffalo.'

June 9, 2000

Marker Moore's size not an issue as far as Bills are concerned [9:11 PM]
AP reports: '"Size," Moore said, pausing, following a mini-camp session this week. "I never really thought much about my size. Other people, they're always talking about my size. But I just constantly wanted to go out and make plays. And that's what I do best. "So don't worry about my size. I just let my play-making take control of that."'

Marker Red zone work [1:20 PM]
Shout! reports: "Attendance was at its lowest for the mini-camp, but that didn't keep the 67 Bills who took part from engaging in the most spirited practice to date as rain pelted the fieldhouse roof. The team went 11-on-11 in the morning for the first time."

Marker Starter Johnson ready to finish [9:17 AM] reports: "Rob Johnson understands the skepticism. If he were looking at himself from the outside, he, too, would question his ability to withstand the rigors of a 16-game NFL season."

Marker Wilson, wife advance [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: "It appears Ralph Wilson has more talents than running a football team. The Buffalo Bills owner and his wife, Mary, have advanced to the semifinals of an 80-and-over international tennis doubles tournament in Europe."

Marker Kelly's close call should spur reflection [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: Nancy E. Brock (Williamsville) shares her thoughts about Kelly's misfortune.

June 8, 2000

Marker Bills' Jackson hopeful with move to H-back [9:38 PM]
AP reports: "So impressed are the Bills with [Sheldon] Jackson's size and ability, they've come up with a creative way of giving the second-year player more responsibility. Utilizing Jackson's blocking and ball-carrying skills, the Bills plan to incorporate him into an H-back -- a quasi-tight end who lines up in the backfield."

Marker Bills name Bayless development director [8:45 PM]
AP reports: "Former Buffalo Bills safety Martin Bayless is the team's new director of player development/special projects."

Marker Bills fit or fined [6:56 PM]
Shout! reports: "They're getting pretty tough on players this year as far as your weight and body fat go," he said. "(Strength and conditioning coach) Rusty Jones is coming down on us. I think there's going to be some fines involved this year. It's going to be the first time since I've been here. But (conditioning) is important. It will be good for our team." . . .

Marker Rob Johnson impresses [2:44 PM]
Shout! reports: "On a day when the offense rebounded, Rob Johnson was the most impressive performer. He zipped pass after pass past defenders and into receivers' hands. First, he hit Avion Black for a diving catch. Then Peerless Price beat Courtney Jackson deep. Then it was Bobby Collins down the middle."

Marker Recap of Day Two at the Bills Mini-Camp [2:43 PM]
WGR55 reports: "To their credit, most of the players looked a lot leaner at the Mini-Camp weigh-in. Ted Washington looks as if he's dropped 15-20 pounds and is checking in at 335-345. Ruben Brown looks to have lost five to 10 pounds and is down to 300. Robert Hicks looks great. He doesn't even have love handles anymore! His 330 pounds look great on his 6'7" frame. Antowain Smith also looked chiseled at 229 and four percent body fat. Unfortunately the same can't be said for outside guard Jamie Nails who's 355 at best."

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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