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Buffalo Bills News - July 31, 2003

Marker Ticket sales brisk for scrimmage with Bills [5:15 AM]
Canton Repository reports: 'More than 20,000 have bought tickets for Saturday’s 10 a.m. scrimmage against the Bills. The club expects a crowd of 30,000, maybe more, in Cleveland Browns Stadium.'

Marker Call came at right time [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'He said his release from the Bills caught him by surprise. He thought he had heard Buffalo general manager Tom Donahoe tell him he was returning for another season.'

Marker In short, Centers did his homework [5:13 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Drew Bledsoe likes to throw long. Tom Brady likes to throw short. Centers is the most prolific pass-catcher out of the backfield in NFL history. Do the math.'

Marker Centers thinks the system is real good catch [5:12 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"The system fits well," said the NFL's all-time leader in running back receptions (808 for 6,691 yards). "It gives me an opportunity to catch a lot of footballs."'

Marker Another Big Grab [5:11 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'A three-time Pro Bowl choice, most recently for the 2001 Bills, Centers turned 35 June 1. He said several teams were interested in him, but the Patriots, who signed him to a one-year contract for the veterans' minimum of $750,000, seemed the best fit because Centers likes their coaching staff and the way they use their running backs.'

Marker Patriots sign vet Centers [5:10 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: '"That's not to knock or criticize anyone, and it was just a deal where Drew was much more comfortable and much more successful going down field than the quarterback the previous year."'

Marker Center of attention [5:09 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"Two years ago, I was in the Pro Bowl and was very productive on a not-so-good team," Centers said. "When we got the new offensive coordinator in, and Drew Bledsoe, the combination of the two probably kept me from being as productive as I was before."'

Marker Bills Defensive Backs Starting To Ball Hawk [5:07 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'It's a good thing for Driver he showed well today, because Battles could put Driver off the roster.'

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July 30, 2003

Marker Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills Exhibition [8:49 PM] reports: 'Gates open at 9:00 a.m.'

Marker Free at last [8:19 PM]
CNN/SI reports: '"It was like a dream coming true, like I was coming into the league all over again," said Spikes, who was the Bills' centerpiece addition in free agency this offseason. "It was almost like hearing the commissioner call your name again on that stage. That's the way I felt. Just to see it, man, I don't know. It was almost like, and I know I shouldn't say this because it sounds so harsh, but it was like I was a slave getting his slave papers."'

Marker Longshot Quarterback [8:16 PM] reports: '"I'm just trying to enjoy this experience and give it my all everyday," Johnson said following a recent practice. "I understand the Bills have three great quarterbacks, everyone's confident. I'm just trying to learn and give myself the best chance."'

Marker Henry intent on showing he's still Bills' No. 1 back [8:11 PM]
AP reports: '''Willis is a rookie and I'm competing with guys that are on the field,'' Henry said. ''And until Willis gets out here, I don't know. I'm having fun right now and trying to get better every day.'''

Marker A Closer Look at… Brian Moorman [7:19 PM] reports: What do you do on your free time?
"During training camp, I just go back to the room, maybe watch a movie. If I can get on a golf course I'll try to get on a golf course maybe play a few holes, but we really don't have time for that. I play some Tiger Woods golf on play station, kick back and maybe take a quick nap before practices."

Marker Wednesday camp report [7:11 PM]
The Stadium Wall reports: 'Wire was hitting everything that moved. Just squaring off and popping people. Not to hurt them, but to condition himself and the recipient. I looked at it as toughening both players. Simonton would square off and pop him back. It was fun to watch! On another play Wire ran in untouched and said hello to Drew (no contact on that one)...'

Marker Lofton intense, but a gentleman on the field [4:26 PM]
AP reports: 'Lofton didn't dance or get in any Raiders' faces after the first of his two touchdowns that day. He just came off the field as he always did, Bills coach Marv Levy recalled. ``You could read it in his face, but he was too much of a gentleman to give them the finger or anything,'' Levy said.'

Marker Williams No Deal No Big Deal [4:22 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'The players like Gregg Williams. But they aren’t out there on the field trying to get the coach a new contract. They know if they do their jobs, this team will win. If this team wins, Gregg Williams will be around for a long time. That is why I think come January, this question about the coach will answer itself.'

Marker Coach Pataki gives the Giants a pep talk: 'Go get 'em!' [4:19 PM]
NY Daily News reports: Later, and well away from the hulking players, the governor conceded that “growing up, I was a Jets fan” (even though that team wasn’t even founded until Pataki was 15 years old) and that “obviously, I love the Bills — the only real New York team right now.

Marker Still hungry [2:12 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Veteran DE Chidi Ahanotu, who started for the Bills last season, is at home in Toronto, taking care of his three young kids and hoping to make it to somebody's training camp. After eight years with the Buccaneers, Ahanotu was a late signee with the Rams in 2001 and ended up starting for the eventual NFC champions. Last year, he signed with the Bills on Aug. 19. "I think I'm being typecast," Ahanotu says. "Now teams see me as a guy they can bring in at the last minute and stick right in there. I would've loved to have signed early on (in the free-agency period). It's frustrating." Ahanotu received an early offer from the Bills, and the Broncos and 49ers have also shown interest.

Marker Patriots sign fullback Centers [1:20 PM]
AP reports: 'Fullback Larry Centers signed with the New England Patriots on Wednesday after spending the last two seasons with the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Training camp billboard [1:16 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe wanted to clear up a report in Tuesday's News that stated Willis McGahee will open the season on the physically unable to perform list. He still might, but the Bills will not make a definitive decision until he signs and joins them for training camp. McGahee will likely start training camp on the non-football injury list because his knee injury happened while he was at the University of Miami.'

Marker Filling In The Blanks [1:10 PM]
Morgan Messenger reports: 'Miami (12-4), Jets (10-6), Buffalo (9-7), New England (8-8).'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Dave Foley [1:07 PM] reports: '"The greatest thing that I can say about being on the Bills during the time that I was there was when O.J. ran for all the yards. The notoriety that the whole offensive line got as a group. That being, we went to banquets as a group and so forth. And our picture is in the Hall of Fame as a group. There are some neat things about that just because O.J. was the first running back in football to really bring his offensive linemen along with him. The deal is - everybody got something out of the experience."'

Marker The Don of NFL broadcasters to get his due [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Criqui, who along with Enberg is the co-host of the Hall of Fame Festival Parade on Saturday, is pleased that he is being honored the same weekend that two former Bills, James Lofton and Joe DeLamielleure, are entering the Hall of Fame. "I am a blown away Bills fan," he admits. "If I have one regret about the Hall of Fame, it's that (Bills owner) Ralph Wilson isn't in it."'

Marker Ballhawk Thomas learning to fly [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Thomas was overwhelmed and confused for weeks, if not months, and for most of last season it showed.'

Marker Gash a lineman at heart [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ People ask me if I would like to get the ball more, and I say, ‘ No way,’” says Gash, who has a total of four carries the past four seasons and only 120 during his 11-year NFL career. “ Those running backs have targets on their backs. They got 11 guys after them. I’d much rather be the guy doing the punishing. I love knocking a linebacker off his feet and watching a back like Travis Henry run down the field for a big gain.”'

Marker Bills' Maytag repairman [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ He can play center or guard and that makes him a valuable commodity in the NFL,” offensive-line coach Pat Ruel said. “ Trey Teague (the starting center) will be a better center because he has Mike behind him.”'

Marker Bills aren't in a rush to ink draftee McGahee [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Another possible stumbling block in talks is Buffalo’s plans for McGahee once he does sign. Donahoe is giving out signals he may place McGahee on the non-football injury list, meaning the Bills would not be liable for his base salary until he’s ready to play. Apparently the non-football designation can be used since McGahee was hurt while still in college.'

Marker Takeo Spikes is seen as key to improvement [5:16 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: '"I know a lot of people expect a lot of great things out of me," he said. "I expect a lot of great things out of myself. That's why I feel there's no pressure."'

Marker Spikes is a ready, able Buffalo soldier [5:15 AM]
USA Today reports: '"I could have gone anywhere and visited a lot of teams," he says. "This is where I wanted to be. I felt this was the best shot for me."'

Marker Bills try once-is-enough approach [5:14 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The drive from Albany to the Rochester suburb got me thinking: How do the folks in this portion of New York and the New York City area vote on things that affect each other? Granted they are considered the same state, but anyone who has ever driven in upstate New York knows that the area has about as much in common with the Big Apple, Long Island and Westchester as Alabama does. We don't have places that boast, "Mo's Truck Motel $15.99 per night" in New York City. They don't have subways packed with people who talk to themselves.'

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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
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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
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01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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