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Buffalo Bills News - July 21, 2000

Marker It's Day 1 for Bills to overhaul the lineup [6:25 AM]
D and C reports: '"There may have been some questions by a lot of people, a lot of guys on the team even, about the moves that were made in the offseason," veteran strong safety Henry Jones said. "It was a time to clear the air for us and to say, 'OK, every year there's change, the only difference this year is that some veterans who were here a very long time are gone.' But that just means some guys are going to have to step up and play."'

Marker Bills can contend, says ESPN's Clayton [6:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'Though he has not seen the Bills do any type of work since their wild-card playoff loss to Tennessee in January, Clayton -- as he does every team in the league -- has a good feel for what to expect from the Bills this season. "They've been drafting well year after year, that's the one thing this franchise has done, they've brought in good athletes and because of that, they have a chance," he said. "And this division is the most changed in the league. Every team has taken a step back except Indianapolis. "I think Indy has the best team and there's going to be a battle for the No. 2 spot between Buffalo and Miami and right now I think Buffalo has the advantage."'

Marker No resting now [6:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips said only two players will not participate in the opening workout. Defensive end Marcellus Wiley is recovering from lower back surgery, and free agent cornerback Courtney Jackson will be placed on the injured reserve list and will miss the entire season after blowing out his knee during the last mini-camp in June. Also, Erik Flowers' situation remained up in the air as of last night. As for the rest of the players, Phillips expects everyone to be in tip top shape and ready to work.'

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July 20, 2000

Marker Buffalo Bills Survivor: Round 14 is complete! [10:58 PM]
TBD reports: The 14th castaway has been voted off Buffalo Bills Island. This former OG was recently elected into the NFL Hall of Fame. His combination of grit, skill, and determination finally won him his place in Canton. Only two players are left! Vote in the final round!

Marker Wade Phillips press conference (audio) [10:54 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Recorded in active audio, Wade Phillips says the Bills will likely be without Erik Flowers and Travares Tillman for at least the first meeting of training camp this evening. This was his first press conference of training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y.'

Marker Tillman and Bills Agree to Contract [10:53 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Bills second-round draft pick Travares Tillman agreed to terms Thursday, leaving only first-rounder Erik Flowers unsigned. Tillman was expected to arrive in Pittsford, N.Y., in time for the team's first training-camp meeting, at 7 p.m.'

Marker Bills banking on Peerless living up to his name [10:50 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: "He's so smooth that sometimes it seems he's not moving so fast," said Johnson, whose superior arm strength should boost the a 6.10 yards per pass play rating that ranked in the middle of the NFL statistics last season. "Peerless sort of glides by people and then, when the ball is in the air, he kicks it into another gear and really goes after that thing."

Marker Bills sign second-round pick on eve of training camp [9:24 PM]
AP reports: 'Sensing he had more to lose by missing training camp, safety Travares Tillman, a second-round draft pick, agreed to a four-year deal worth more than $2.1 million with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday..."It's a good deal for everyone. We're glad to get it rectified because it wasn't worth it for him to hold out,'' Dogra said. "We were very close, the difference was so minute, it made sense to get the deal done. ... You've got to seize the opportunity."'

Marker Bills' Washington is ready to carry his weight again [4:57 PM]
SportsWritersDirect reports: "I lost a nice amount of weight, but I'm not telling how much," he said. "I took it upon myself to get a new diet, without starving myself, and a lot of treadmill, bike, Stairmaster. I took a six-week program, and I'd say I'm 90 percent better and stronger coming into this year than last year. I have a better look, attitude, feel, more strength, everything."

Marker Reed, Buckley agree to contract terms with Broncos [4:14 PM]
AP reports: '"It was just a matter of time,'' Reed said of his contract negotiations. "I wanted to finish on my own terms and go where I thought I could fit in. I think that's here."'

Marker Bills set to start at new summer home [4:12 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The switch came down to numbers. Chautauqua County, where Fredonia sits on the northern edge, lists a population of just under 140,000. Rochester's Monroe County has over 700,000. While the Bills rarely drew 1,000 fans in a day at Fredonia State, they're hoping for five times that many at St. John Fisher. "The move to Rochester has been a major success for us", said team owner Ralph Wilson Jr. "It gives us a presence in an area we're trying to promote as a regional franchise. "Fredonia was great to us, but it's not centrally located ... people wouldn't drive there. I was surprised how few fans came to camp last year". And, oh yeah, the Bills sell 20 percent of their tickets in Monroe County, 14 percent in Rochester alone.'

Marker Sign of the times: Autographs tougher to get at Bills' new camp [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are addressing the demand for autographs this camp by creating the McDonald's Kids Autograph Tent. Children under the age of 14 will have a chance to get autographs following each practice session. Three players per session will be available for 15 minutes, and each child will be able to have one item signed. Because of high demand, the lines will be cut off at a certain point. The Bills want to avoid a situation in which a child stands in line but doesn't reach the players' table during the 15-minute signing period.'

Marker Bills Training Camp Schedule [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports:

Marker Are you ready for some training camp? [6:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills' staff was busy getting ready for the coaches and players, all of whom are to be on campus by 4 p.m. Thursday. "We're working diligently," said Russ Brandon, the Bills' vice president for marketing, just before he ran off to take care of another detail. All of the players and staff will stay in dorms at Fisher.'

Marker Training, business merge at Bills camp [6:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'Never in the team's 40 years have the two facets of football, the game, and football, the business, been so intertwined. Only 10 years ago, Buffalo's marketing staff consisted of one person; it now numbers near 30. For 19 summers, the team was content to train in sleepy Fredonia, Chautauqua County, drawing a couple hundred fans per practice on average. In Rochester, the Bills' second-largest fan base with tentacles that can reach as far east as Albany, they expect crowds in excess of 5,000. The Bills say they can't survive into the new millennium without becoming a regional franchise, much like a Green Bay or a Kansas City or a New England. "This is about the long-term viability of our franchise," said Russ Brandon, vice president of business development and marketing.'

Marker Bills' top two picks still haven't signed [6:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Talks with the agents for Flowers and Tillman were ongoing yesterday, but when asked if he'd get the two young defenders the Bills are counting on heavily this season under contract on time, Butler wouldn't say. "I have no idea, and I never do until a deal is done," he said.'

Marker Reed brings Hall credentials to Denver [6:24 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"Last year I started every game, but I wasn't into playing as a starter. They made me feel like I wasn't even there. I just didn't want to be there. That's the bottom line. And I have nothing against the organization. I had some great years there. I was able to play with some Hall of Fame players and be coached by a Hall of Fame coach in Marv Levy. I will never downgrade some of the years that I had there. "It's just that last year left a bad taste in my mouth about the organization and about football, period. I vowed to myself if I get another chance to play, I'm going to go out on my own terms."'

Marker Broncos make room for Buckley, Reed; set sights on Swann next [6:23 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Reed, the NFL's No. 2 all-time receiver, visited the Broncos complex Wednesday. He might be a natural fit as the No. 3 receiver. He also provides insurance should the league further discipline Rod Smith following his guilty plea in a domestic dispute.'

July 19, 2000

Marker The dollars and sense of training camp [3:03 PM]
ESPNet reports: 'Buffalo Bills: Here's one the kids will love -- give your $10 admission fee to ticket taker Doug Flutie! He'll have plenty of spare time while Rob Johnson steers the offense in practice. Pat Doug on the head! See if your kid is taller than he is! Try to win your second consecutive jump ball against an NFL player!' (Thanks to CW for submitting this link).

Marker Camp Buffalo comes east [1:34 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Russ Brandon is quick to note that his Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team in New York state. The New York Giants and Jets, their monikers aside, technically are residents of The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. But geographical quibbles aside, Brandon and the Bills hold no illusions about becoming the state's official football team. The fanatics behind the Giants and Jets have a firm grip on the turf of New York City and its environs. Beyond those boundaries, however, the Bills figure the rest of the state is up for grabs. And that fight to win the upstate fan's allegiance is why the Bills have moved into new summer digs a mere 75 minutes west of Syracuse.'

Marker Broncos shopping as training camp nears [1:27 PM]
Denver Post reports: Today, one day before the team is scheduled to report to training camp in Greeley, the Broncos will host visits with former Buffalo standout wide receiver Andre Reed and Arizona's free-agent defensive tackle Eric Swann....But the depth the Broncos really would like to add is at wide receiver and defensive tackle. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan already has spoken with the 36-year-old Reed about signing with Denver, where he likely would be the team's No. 3 wide receiver, a position the Broncos have tried unsuccessfully to fill for years.'

Marker Reed to sign with Broncos [12:00 PM]
The Sporting News reports: As soon as Broncos work Andre out and approve of his conditioning, he will sign.

Marker Bills especially mindful of special teams [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Want to know why special teams will be a high priority for the Buffalo Bills in training camp? They ranked 22nd in kickoff returns, 21st in kick coverage, 18th in punt coverage and 11th in punt returns. There was also a certain kickoff return by the Tennessee Titans that shall remain nameless.'

Marker O-line unsettled with coach away [7:19 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Wannstedt brought in former Buffalo assistant Tom Bresnahan to fill Boudreau's spot in the interim...Bresnahan last coached the Bills in 1997 and spent 16 years in the NFL. Bresnahan, 65, was given a crash course via telephone Monday and Tuesday by Boudreau, and he was scheduled to meet with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on Tuesday night. "I've been on the opposite side of the field from Chan, but I have a lot of admiration for what he does," Bresnahan said. "I don't know the intricacies, but I'm a pretty quick learner and I'm sure before long I'll be up to snuff."'

Marker Dolphins turn to Bresnahan for fill-in coach [7:16 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports: 'Bresnahan's name should be familiar to Dolphins fans from his nine-year coaching stint in Buffalo. Not only did the Bills field dominating offensive lines during that span, but Bresnahan also served as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo teams that reached Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.'

Marker Ex-Bills assistant to sub for Boudreau [7:13 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Tom Bresnahan, the former offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, will serve as offensive line coach while the Dolphins' Paul Boudreau undergoes surgery to remove what is believed to be a cancerous tumor from one of his kidneys. Bresnahan, 65, flew to South Florida on Tuesday from Phoenix, where he has lived since retiring from the Bills after the 1997 season. Bresnahan spent nine years with the Bills, helping them reach the Super Bowl four times during the 1990s.'

Marker Bills address, don't expect camp troubles [6:23 AM]
D&C reports: 'In recent years, the Bills have a good, but hardly spotless, record of player behavior. There have been several incidents of domestic violence. Last fall, lineman Marcus Spriggs and wide receiver Jeremy McDaniel were arrested for an incident involving an off-duty female Buffalo police officer in a bar. During training camp at Fredonia, there were several occasions when players put their fists through drywall, usually after learning they'd been cut. Lost room keys and stolen linens added to the final bill. When the team trained at Niagara University, free-agent running back Terry Morehead went berserk after getting cut in 1984, throwing a chair through a window. He was given a police escort all the way to the Buffalo airport.'

July 18, 2000

Marker You Make the Call! (#7) [11:01 PM]
TBD reports: 'It's playoff time in Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills are hosting the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game. Incredibly, after *two* overtime periods the two teams remain tied. Which of the following rules now applies...'

Marker Buffalo Bills Survivor: Round 13 is complete! [9:07 AM]
TBD reports: 'The 13th castaway has been voted off Buffalo Bills Island. This former OLB was best known for his bone breaking tackle in the AFL Championship Game in 1964. That tackle defined this player's career, but it wasn't enough to save him this round.'

Marker Raw notes: Free Safety Daryl Porter [9:06 AM]
Shout! reports: 'These are quotes from off-season conversations with free safety Daryl Porter. They don't include Mike Doser's questions, rather, it is just pure, uninterrupted comment from Porter about his off-season and preparing for his second year with the team.'

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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
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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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