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Buffalo Bills News - February 22, 2004

Marker Bills' interest in Henson depends on Texans' price tag [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If Henson's rights can be obtained from the Houston Texans for a second-round choice, either this year or in 2005, then it may be worth the risk.'

Marker Bills should develop a young quarterback [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'That's why the Bills can't afford to trade for Henson, whose college career consisted of eight starts for the University of Michigan. It's too risky. What they need to do is draft a quarterback in the second or third round and spend two years developing him for the post-Bledsoe seasons. It would be nice if he could also step in and hold the fort for four or five games in case of injury.'

Marker Tough guy for a tough job [5:15 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Mularkey, who became head coach of the Buffalo Bills last month, wanted to hire Whisenhunt as his offensive coordinator in Buffalo this year. But Bills president Tom Donahoe pressed him to hire Tom Clements instead...'.

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February 21, 2004

Marker Rivers' stock is rising [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It would be great," Rivers said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Jim Ritcher was a great center up there, his son was my teammate at N.C. State, so I've heard some good things about the place. There's really not a team that I don't want to go to. But certainly Buffalo would be a great place, and you've got a great franchise and a great bunch of guys surrounding you."'

Marker Murphy Calls [5:15 AM] reports: 'I think the biggest difference is going to be that I'll need to make instant identification of names and numbers which I really haven't had to do as a color commentator. You get a chance to look at the play and think about what you see for a second. This will be a little bit more instant identification of names of numbers.'

Marker Mularkey could be good for Bledsoe [5:14 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Still, even after that success, Henry's role figures to change. Last year's first-round pick, Willis McGahee, is expected to be recovered from a major knee injury and will press for time. In a perfect world, the Bills would be confident enough in McGahee's health and ability to trade Henry for draft picks. Because the Bills will have a tough time judging McGahee by April, it is more likely that Henry will be the feature back and McGahee will siphon off some carries, then one would be dealt in 2005.'

February 20, 2004

Marker Bills' brass has its eyes on the prizes [11:41 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, interior offensive line, defensive end and tight end will be the positions of interest for Donahoe, assistant GM Tom Modrak, head coach Mike Mularkey and the rest of the Bills' assistant coaches and scouting department when they evaluate the 337 college players at the annual NFL Scouting Combine in the RCA Dome.'

Marker Winfield tests market; Clarett won't work out [11:40 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We still would like to sign him, and we have made that clear," Donahoe said. "But one thing we did remind them is that when free agency starts for Antoine, it starts for the Buffalo Bills. We have to make sure that we prepare ourselves and help our team and that's what we're going to try to do."'

Marker Ex-Bengal Wyche back in game [11:39 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: "This was a flat-out pity hire," said Wyche, who never lost the will to crack a joke. "I was with Mike Mularkey at a golf tournament in Memphis and I wouldn't let go of his leg. He was dragging me around and I was begging him. It worked out.

Marker Wyche doles out laughs in appearance at combine [11:38 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"Besides being a good football coach, he cares about people," Mularkey said. "I'm glad to have him back."'

Marker Getting Henson may be costly [11:23 AM]
Miami Herald reports: Donahoe and new Buffalo QB coach Sam Wyche said Henson's workout last week was impressive. Donahoe didn't say whether his team would bring Henson in for a workout, but the Bills and Green Bay each brought in at least five coaches and/or personnel people to look at Henson.

Henson, who scored a staggeringly high 42 on the Wunderlich aptitude exam, also impressed Wyche with how much he retained after being away from the game for three years. The two talked after Henson's workout.

"He's a coach's son, so you know that he understands a lot of this stuff from way back," said Wyche, referring to the fact Henson's father, Dan, was a small-college football coach in Michigan. "But the time away didn't hurt him at all. He didn't forget much. Or if he did, he faked it pretty well."

Marker NFL Combine on TV a boon for Bills fans [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Frankly, there is no limit to interest in the college football draft.'

February 19, 2004

Marker NFL Combine: Mike Mularkey Transcript [4:03 PM] reports: '"We're in the process right now, personnel wise, of evaluating everybody. We just had completed the coaching staff with Sam Wyche. Their job now, before we can start looking anywhere else, is to evaluate ourselves offensively, defensively, and with Bobby April with special teams. We're here to get a feel for the players that are here but before we do that we have to start with our own. We are in the process of that right now."'

Marker Ask Cornerback Nate Clements [2:30 PM] reports: 'Clements isn't afraid to deliver the big hit and when he gets his hands on the ball he has a knack for finding the end zone.'

Marker Franchise tag can lead to problems [9:22 AM]
ESPN reports: There are some teams that, taking a cue from the Buffalo Bills' maneuver of a year ago, will use the franchise tag to retain a player's rights just so they can trade him. The Bills kept the rights to wide receiver Peerless Price via the franchise marker and then dealt him to Atlanta for a first-round draft pick.

Marker Bills Staff Ready to Talk to Prospects [7:54 AM] reports: 'The Bills representatives who will be handling most of the interviews together will be Coach Mularkey, Tom Donahoe, Tom Modrak, and either offensive coordinator Tom Clements or defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, depending on whether the prospect is an offensive or defensive player. The other assistant coaches will conduct some interviews as well.'

Marker Bills looking for tough men [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'About the only positions where the Bills could stand pat and be fine are running back and linebacker, two areas upgraded substantially last year with the additions of Willis McGahee, Takeo Spikes and Jeff Posey. That leaves a lot left to address, which is why Mularkey, to this point, has been reluctant to state his team’s top priority.'

February 18, 2004

Marker Bills CB Winfield intends to pursue free agency [5:13 PM]
AP reports: '''You don't play five years and get this close to free agency and say, 'No, I'm not going to see what my value is,' unless there's something on the table that we can't refuse,'' Katz said. ''And there's nothing there that we can't refuse. Tom and I have talked a lot and have agreed to disagree as to what the value is.'''

Marker The Bills Heading Out To Look At College Players [5:13 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The team is not commenting on the status of Drew Henson. Sources have said that the Bills have been very busy getting ready for this combine and haven't had time yet to bring the quarterback in for a visit.'

Marker Bills Get Ready For NFL Combine [3:54 PM] reports: 'President & General Manager Tom Donahoe, Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak, new Head Coach Mike Mularkey and the rest of the team's assistant coaches and scouting department will all attend the Annual Scouting Combine, which is being conducted February 18-24 at the RCA Dome.'

Marker Influx of eligible stars will leave many Hall of Fame hopefuls outside looking in [2:16 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: It also will be interesting to see how Thomas and Reed fare considering the Bills’ four straight Super Bowl losses. There is a feeling among some fans and media that players from the Vikings and Cowboys teams of the 1970s and the Broncos of the 1980s have been hurt because their teams lost multiple Super Bowls. However, Horrigan does not believe that is the case at all.

Marker Daniels' contract makes trade tough [1:13 PM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'One league source speculated that once Stewart gets his release from the Bears and surveys how few teams are interested in the veteran as a starting quarterback, he could land in Buffalo with new head coach Mike Mularkey and offensive coordinator Tom Clements.'

Marker Mularkey: right coach at right time [1:09 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But his most impressive move, after he got the job, wasn’t something he said, but rather something he did. When Mularkey hired Sam Wyche, the former Buccaneers and Bengals boss, to be Bills’ quarterback coach, it said a lot about his loyalty.'

Marker Bills turf supplier files for bankruptcy [10:45 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Southwest Recreational Industries Inc., which makes and installs synthetic and natural grass playing fields including one at Ralph Wilson Stadium, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in Georgia after buckling under heavy debt and rapid growth.'

Marker Major Alumni Highlights of 2003 [8:55 AM] reports: '2003 was a busy year for the Bills Alumni...'.

Marker Interview with Alumni Relations Coordinator Joni Graham [8:54 AM] reports: '"This year's president is Mark Brammer, Vice President is Lou Piccone, Treasurer is Charley Ferguson, and Bills Alumni Will Fowler and Bob Dugan are also officers. Ed Rutkowski, Ernie Warlick, Booker Edgerson, Jeff Nixon, Hilton Crawford and Carl Byrum are also extremely active. There are over 30 Alumni living in the WNY area and they all try to stay involved in one form or another. Their dedication to the WNY area is extremely admirable."'

Marker Bills' Winfield to test market [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“We were hopeful we could have some discussions, but they just seem to be pretty firm in the fact they want to get out there and test it,” Donahoe said Tuesday. “There’s not much we can do. When somebody doesn’t want to talk, it’s not a very good conversation.”'

Marker Henson intrigues Bills, but another look needed [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“We have interest,” said Bills general manager Tom Donahoe Tuesday when asked how serious the club is in making a Henson deal. “It was a good workout but there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Houston has to get him signed before they can trade him. Whether he’s signable is a major issue.”'

Marker Company that put in Bills’ AstroPlay field goes belly up [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'AstroPlay, comprising synthetic blades of grass and crushed tires, has a lifespan of about eight years in extreme weather conditions. The surface needs a once-a-year grooming by a ride-on broom machine.'

February 17, 2004

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Paul Seymour [5:21 PM] reports: '"I was surprised although the fact that Chuck and I didn’t get along, it probably shouldn’t have surprised me," Seymour said. "But I was surprised that it was an unconditional trade and that (the Steelers) didn’t know that I was coming off (knee) surgery. In fact, I told them that they were really getting the short end of the trade because I was still recovering. The week before (the trade) I could barely walk, but they put me in on a couple goal line plays in a game against Detroit and showed the film to Pittsburgh and said that I was okay. Pittsburgh believed it."'

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