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Buffalo Bills News - August 20, 2003

Marker Rookie McGee looking to turn the corner [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Terrance has come an awful long way," said Pat Thomas, the Bills' cornerback's coach. "He's learning the system, gradually, and is getting better. He's shown the athletic ability to play in the NFL, he's shown the desire, it's just the matter of learning the techniques. Everyone here likes what we're getting out of Terrence right now, we just have to refine him as much as possible to where he'll be able to take the next step."'

Marker Training camp billboard [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Rookie running back Willis McGahee did some light running drills on Tuesday with a football but without a helmet and pads. McGahee, the first-round pick out of Miami, is still recovering from knee surgery last January.'

Marker Empire Sports Network trims its lineup, staff [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It is sacrificing one of the network's signature programs, "Fan TV." The hour-long 7 p.m. weekday program has been eliminated, meaning anchors Jim Brinson and Bob Trimble will have new roles if they want them.'

Marker Halfway to the house: Some highlights of camp high life [9:03 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Funniest thing I've seen: At the Browns-Bills scrimmage, I was huddled with Buffalo head coach Gregg Williams, trying to hog his time after a workout. In the middle of the conversation a Bills employee sheepishly tried to interrupt to deliver what could be construed as a pretty pertinent message. "Uh coach, I'm not sure how to tell you this," said the Bills PR man. "The buses left without you."

Marker Training-camp reports [8:12 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Rookie to watch: DE Chris Kelsay, the team’s second-round pick, is in a position battle he can win on the left side. Veteran Marcus Jones’ knee problems are improving, but he’s not yet there. Ryan Denney has looked good, but Kelsay has the inside track if he plays well from here on out.

Marker Patriots sign veteran lineman Lacina [8:07 AM]
AP reports: He was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 1993 draft. He spent the majority of his rookie year on the Bills practice squad, but started 10 of 11 games in 1994. He played for the Bills through the 1997 season.

Marker Patriots trade for nose tackle [8:01 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Washington is a four-time Pro Bowler, having been selected in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001. After three seasons in San Francisco, he went to Denver for a year before playing six seasons in Buffalo. He left Buffalo in 2001 to join the Bears and was a force in the middle of a strong defense during the 2001 season in which Chicago finished 13-3.

Marker Patriots obtain DT Washington from Bears for draft choice [7:59 AM]
AP reports: The Chicago Bears traded veteran nose tackle Ted Washington to the New England Patriots on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in the 2004 NFL draft.

Marker Patriots trade pick for DT Washington [7:59 AM]
ESPN reports: This will be Washington's fourth team, but he's been a part of taking three different franchises to the playoffs -- San Francisco, Buffalo and Chicago. Washington has been to the playoffs in seven of his 12 years

Marker Bills linebackers boost quality of special teams [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'From 1 to 9, it’s not a stretch to say that the linebackers have been the most impressive unit in training camp for the Bills. Translation: The team’s special teams stand a chance to be better.'

Marker Unheralded but talented [5:14 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ He’ll get enough attention when he produces on the field,” said defensive line coach Tim Krumrie. “ All my guys are going to have a big impact. They’re all going to play and they’re all going to roll.”'

Marker Henry's run quiets McGahee hoopla [5:13 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ I think everybody knows I can play,” Henry said. “ Ripping off that run, what people will say is, ‘ I knew he had the speed, I knew he could do it.’ There are people who will jump on the bandwagon. But I don’t feel (I was shutting people up).”'

Marker Bill-ed for a challenge [5:12 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Thomas has spent most of his time with second- and third-teamers but has dressed for the Bills' first two pre-season games where he has seen most of his time on special teams. There has been the odd bullet coming his way from Bledsoe in practice, though, for a real taste of the big leagues.'

Marker Steckel shuffles off to Buffalo [5:11 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: '''Fred Graves is our wide receivers coach,'' Steckel said. ''What happened is he came down with prostate cancer. Gregg came to me and said 'I know you can coach wide receivers.' So now I'm coaching the wide receivers and trying to look out the corner of my eye for the running backs and fullbacks. We've asked an intern coach to help oversee things until Fred comes back, but I'm busy with meetings. It's been a challenge, but a good one. It speaks for the character guys Buffalo has.'''

Marker Bills hope to ease Bledsoe's load [5:10 AM]
USA Today reports: '"A huge offseason factor for us was, 'How do we get better around Drew Bledsoe?' " coach Gregg Williams says. "He's proven year after year he can play in this league. We had to get players around him to do their jobs so that we're not just depending on him to win ballgames. Defense is a big part of that."'

Marker Former Bills Star Launches SLT [5:09 AM]
RNews.com reports: 'Thurman Thomas will be at Eastview Mall Friday evening to introduce "Sports Legends Telecom.” Its top service provides home telephone service with unlimited local and long distance calls.'

Marker FB Gash leaves the running to others [5:08 AM]
AP reports: '''If you went in the dictionary and looked under 'Old-school football,' you'd find Sam Gash's picture,'' said quarterback Drew Bledsoe. ''The guy just loves to hit. When he's on the field, linebackers know he's on the field. And a lot of times, if they're smart, they'll try to kind of duck and hide a little bit because he brings it when he comes to hit.'''

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August 19, 2003

Marker Matawan's Rogers finds new life with Dolphins [2:54 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: '"(The Bills) definitely didn't spend enough time on special teams even though they thought they were putting in enough time," Rogers said. "I was on special teams that were No. 1 in the league in Seattle, so I know what it takes. I was always going to the coaches for more special teams practice, and they didn't use the best players they could on special teams. That kind of hurt."'

Marker Bills Join Campaign To Tackle Prostate Cancer [2:53 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“I’m very glad to be a part this campaign,” said Reed. “All of us learned first-hand how common prostate cancer is when Coach (Fred) Graves was diagnosed last month. We’re all thankful that it was detected early and because of that he’s well on his way to a full recovery. Hopefully this program leads to more education, more screenings, and more successes in the battle against it.”'

Marker Balanced Attack Hurt By Penalties [2:53 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'In order for the Bills to maintain a more balanced offensive attack this year they must avoid the yellow flag, something that Williams chalks up to inexperience in the preseason. "When you take a look at the guys that had them, especially in the second half, many of those guys that had them won't be here," said Williams. "They won't be here by the time we have to play a regular-season game."'

Marker Bills' McGahee continues his rehabilitation [2:42 PM]
Elizabethton Star reports: 'Although the odds are still stacked against him, he's just happy to be in a program with a new-found emphasis on running the football. "These guys did a real good job tonight," he said. "Travis Henry did a good job with the long run he had, Olandis had two touchdowns and it was all nice. I'm just happy to be here with these guys. We'll see how things work out."'

Marker Empire Sports cuts staff, programming [2:25 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Also remaining up in the air, is its post-game coverage of home Buffalo Bills games.'

Marker McKenzie believes he's close to old form [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We've got some good speed at the ends and we're going to have some good battles overall with how many ends we keep on this team," said Bills coach Gregg Williams. "Keith does a very good job and he elevates his play on game day. He does a good job practicing, too, but he brings some speed to our end positions, and the fact that he can play both sides is helpful to him."'

Marker Training camp billboard [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I really don't look at the "gassers' (wind sprints) as punishment for penalties. I think we needed the conditioning more so than anything else. I remember in Cincinnati we ran a streak without any penalties and we still ran gassers." - Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes, who sat out Saturday's game and still ran wind sprints following practice.'

Marker Bills hustle to fix flaws [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ Gregg’s just trying to find a way to drive home the point,” said Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown, who had a holding call against Tennessee. “ Is this how you fix it? We’ll see. But I’m behind whatever he decides to try.”'

Marker Talley makes a visit to camp [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ I guess times have changed, the game has changed, but you still have to play between these lines,” Talley said. “ As long as they can keep their minds between the lines and not on the hoopla, they should be in good shape.”'

Marker Bills sweat over silly penalties [5:16 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"It's been a while," veteran Bills offensive guard Ruben Brown said when asked the last time he was put through such post-practice penance. "If that's what it takes for this team to be a winning team, I'm going to do it. Gregg's trying to find a way to drive home the point. Hey, is that going to be the answer? We'll see. But I'm behind him."'

Marker Bills End Final Night Practice [5:15 AM]
RNews.com reports: 'The Bills will conduct a one hour special teams practice Tuesday morning. The entire team will return to practice in the afternoon. Both sessions are at St. John Fisher College, and opened to the public.'

Marker Scouting the Bills [5:14 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'This could be a very competitive group heading in the right direction. The defense should be stabilized, but could be another year away from truly becoming a true contender. Buffalo will push for a playoff spot with eight to ten wins if they avoid injuries.'

Marker NFL PREVIEWS: Buffalo Bills [5:13 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Bills won’t win the division. But they won’t finish at the bottom the way they have the past few seasons, either.'

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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
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10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
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12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
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