Lots and lots of heart in Buffalo [8:58 AM]
USA Today reports: Nice article about the fine people of WNY: "This lovable rust-belt city is full of blue-collar guys of every ethnic background who get together on Sunday to watch the Bills and remove their shirts in 35-degree weather. (We) support everything from tractor pulls to the philharmonic -- and hardly any drive-by shootings..."
Flutie is new favorite for QB job [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I'd like to re-speculate. I think Johnson will be slipped the queen of spades and Flutie will be the starting quarterback for the 2001 season.'
Kelly welcomes 'Day of Hope' [6:43 AM]
USA Today reports: '"I learned about his toughness because we see what he goes through and are amazed by how he pulls through. It makes me realize that football was fun, but this is real tough."'
Bills hire five more assistants [5:57 AM]
D and C reports: 'New Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams officially added five more assistants to his staff yesterday, including two holdovers from the 2000 season -- Chuck Lester and John Levra.'
Butler went to San Diego; What about Johnson? [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'I'm not ready to write off Johnson, but in fairness, he was a coach killer with his performance last season.'
Saints emulating Buffalo - expanding base [9:34 PM]
Sun Herald reports: 'Buffalo, which has two fortune 500 companies, use the power of the medium sized businesses to increase the market share and ticket sales. Now the Saints, which has only ONE fortune 500 companies is trying to do the same.'
Kaiser takes coaching job in Buffalo [8:20 PM]
Stillwater News Press reports: 'Kaiser is the second former Cowboys' coach to join Williams' staff in Buffalo. Ronnie Vinklarek, OSU's offensive line coach for two years, has also joined the Bills staff.'
Bills hire three assistant coaches [8:14 PM]
AP reports: 'Neal, 51, was the offensive assistant for Titans coach Jeff Fisher...Kaiser, 48, spent six seasons at Oklahoma State...Kragthorpe, 35, has been the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M for the past three seasons.'
Bills agree to terms with three more assistants [5:06 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills today announced that the team has agreed to terms with three more assistant coaches - Tommy Kaiser (offensive assistant/special teams assistant), Steve Kragthorpe (quarterbacks) and Dan Neal (tight ends).'
Donahoe and media meet (off the record) [1:22 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"I expect criticism...it's the personal stuff I don't want. If you don't like me because of the color of my hair or the color of my eyes, I can't do anything about that, and that has no place in reporting. "But," he continued, "if you want to criticize our moves or our decisions, you have every right to do that...in fact, it's your responsibility."'
Is RB-by-Committee Finally Dead? [11:09 AM]
fanball.com reports: 'Phillips was fired on January 8th, opening the door for the gifted Bryson to challenge the hulking Morris for the starter's role in Gregg Williams' new offense. Williams' familiarity with Eddie George should insure that he knows the value of establishing a workhorse back.'
Bills new defensive coordinator all about adjustments [11:00 AM]
WGR55 reports: 'Gray has the same aggressive, attack style approach that Williams does disguising their defensive intentions with a host of different packages. But what he's most interested in pulling off is the big play, "I know two years ago when we (Titans) went to the Super Bowl the defense really stepped up.'
A Dynamite Drumroll and Three Rivers Stadium Bows Out [10:37 AM]
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: In case you missed it live there are a couple videoclips, although they were taken from across the river. Plenty of photos....
Bills in Cap Hell [10:07 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Buffalo Bills, who have a new general manager and a new coach, will probably have a new look as well in 2001 because of a $12.7 million cap overage. Certainly the club will not be able to afford both Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie at quarterback and likely will be forced to sacrifice at least two defensive starters.
"Let's face it, we're hostage to the cap right now," said new president and general manager Tom Donahoe. "It's kind of like being in a cap jail. But you have to dig your way out and part of that is making tradeoffs. You have to ask yourself, 'If I keep the guy at this position, where do I scrimp to make up for it? Is there somewhere I have a young player ready to step up, a spot where I can let a veteran go and play the cheaper guy?' It's all about tough decisions and having to handle as many as possible in the right way."
Bills splurge now a purge [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: '[Ralph Wilson:] "This is second guessing by me, but we probably had people we should've cut but instead we retained and gave bonuses to in order to extend their contracts and get us down (under the cap)."'
Split decision [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If the Bills go with Johnson, they're putting their future in the hands of a guy who has been knocked out of eight of 19 Bills starts. If they go with Flutie, they're putting their future in the hands of a guy who will be 39 in October.'
Brees only first-round QB option for Bills [7:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'Unfortunately, the only QB most scouts consider a sure thing to enjoy a successful NFL career -- Virginia Tech's Michael Vick -- will be chosen long before Buffalo's No. 14 overall pick. The next-best QB in the ratings is Purdue's Drew Brees, who is rated in the bottom half of the first round in most mock drafts.'
Flutie will be odd man out [7:23 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Washington has already indicated a desire to sign Flutie to compete with Jeff George when Brad Johnson leaves for free agency at the end of the month. Detroit and San Diego are also possible Flutie suitors. And so is Tampa Bay, despite its denials.'
Tom Donahoe press conference (2/9) [1:08 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'When you're a good football team like Buffalo's been, you're always trying to find ways to keep your players, and when you do that, you push potential cap problems into the future, but eventually, you have to pay the piper, and we're at that stage.'
Season tickets now on sale [1:05 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'A new season is just around the corner, with new expectations, new faces and a newly renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium. Make sure you are there to FEEL THE NEW POWER of the Bills. For information on 2001 season tickets, call the Buffalo Bills Ticket Office at 1-877-BBTICKS!'
DeGeorge quits after Empire pumps up Sabres [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'DeGeorge resigned after a Monday staff meeting in which General Manager Bob Koshinski disclosed plans to emphasize coverage of the Buffalo Sabres and possibly drop aspects of its Buffalo Bills coverage.'
Bills will free one QB to go shopping [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The reason is the NFL trading period doesn't begin until March 2. That's the first day the salary cap for the 2001 season goes into effect. So a team has to have room under its salary cap for 2001 to have a player on the roster in order to trade him.'
2nd man booked in Gretna carjacking [8:52 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'New Orleans police booked a second man Friday in the Jan. 22 robbery and carjacking of Buffalo Bills defensive back Raion Hill in Gretna.'
Assistant football coaches to leave for NFL [8:10 AM]
Bryan-College Station Eagle reports: 'Kragthorpe told his players he was leaving to become the quarterbacks coach of the Buffalo Bills, an A&M source said Thursday. Kragthorpe coached the Aggies for four seasons, the last three as offensive coordinator.'
Two offensive coaches will leave A&M [8:09 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'Kragthorpe arrived at A&M in 1997 to coach receivers. He was promoted to offensive coordinator the following year. When Kirksey joined the staff last season, Kragthorpe's responsibility shifted from receivers to quarterbacks.'
A&M coaches take NFL jobs [7:55 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Two more key offensive assistants have jumped from Texas A&M to the NFL, leaving Aggies head coach R.C. Slocum with a gaping hole in his staff for the 2001 season. Offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe is going to the Buffalo Bills as quarterbacks coach, and assistant head coach and wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey is headed to the Detroit Lions as receivers coach.'
Johnson or Flutie likely won't be traded [7:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'Since the trading period in the NFL doesn't open until March 2, which is also the start of free agency, the Bills can't deal a player without accounting for his contract on their salary cap. The deadline for hitting the $67.4 million cap is March 1 and the Bills are millions over.'
New deals for Fina and Brown [12:46 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'John Fina agreed to reduce his base salary for 2001 from $2 million to the new NFL minimum of $484,000. The balance, $1.516 million, is guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus... Ruben Brown, has also agreed to reduce his base salary from $3.5 million for 2001 to the same minimum and taking the balance in a signing bonus. That deal should save the Bills about $2.4 million in cap value.'
Cuts expected as Bills tackle salary cap woes [9:13 PM]
AP reports: 'The team's highest-priced players going into next season include both quarterbacks, defensive linemen Washington and Phil Hansen, linebackers Sam Rogers and John Holecek, defensive backs Henry Jones and Ken Irvin, and offensive linemen Jerry Ostroski and Joe Panos.'
Suspect arrested in hijacking of Buffalo Bills player [9:11 PM]
AP reports: 'Police booked a second man Friday in the Jan. 22 robbery and carjacking of Buffalo Bills defensive back Raion Hill.'
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