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Buffalo Bills News - August 16, 2003

Marker Challenge awaits with tough Titans [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'No. 2 quarterback Alex Van Pelt probably will play just a series, like last week. Then No. 3 QB Travis Brown will enter and play probably for a full half.'

Marker Bills have plenty of 'backers [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This summer, the depth situation is much improved. In fact, it looks like the team will have to cut two players it drafted in recent years by the time the roster is pared to 53 players.'

Marker Bills back in Nashville [5:32 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Only six current Bills played in The Music City Miracle, — er, nightmare: guard Ruben Brown, receiver Eric Moulds, fullback Sam Gash, quarterback Alex Van Pelt, defensive tackle Pat Williams and cornerback Antoine Winfield. The irony is that five former Titans coaches and players are now working for Buffalo.'

Marker Game Preview: Bills at Titans [5:31 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Titans defensive end Kevin Carter will perform the national anthem on his saxophone.'

Marker McGahee preparing to play in '03 [5:30 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: '"Am I prepared for [sitting out]?" he asked. "I haven't really thought about it. That's not in my mind right now."'

Marker Williams, Fisher table friendship at kickoff [5:29 AM]
AP reports: 'But Williams said he wouldn't mind if Fisher wins this game. ''We'll win the one in December,'' Williams said. ''That's all right.'''

Marker Williams makes his first trip back to Tennessee [5:28 AM]
AP reports: '''I'm glad we're doing it in a preseason setting for the first time than maybe a more tense regular season setting because in preseason you can be a little bit more laid-back and enjoyable,'' Williams said.'

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August 15, 2003

Marker Notes: Eight teams hope they aren't kicking themselves [9:40 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Giants completely overhauled their special teams after last season, including bringing in veteran kicker Mike Hollis. He is in a battle with incumbent Matt Bryant, but Hollis has the edge. Bryant might be better on kickoffs, but the Giants might opt for the steadier Hollis on field goals, unless they decide to keep both -- which isn't likely. Hollis had a good year in Buffalo last season, so he can handle the elements, which was a question after seven years in Jacksonville.

Marker AFC MVP's [9:38 PM] reports: Offensive MVP: Quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe exploded onto the scene as a leader and big-time producer on the field. With the emergence of running back Travis Henry, it will be up to Bledsoe to keep the Bills' offense balanced.

Marker Titans to go against familiar defense Saturday [8:44 PM] reports: '“And believe me, it pained me to see what we had to do managing the cap was letting all of those very good defensive players go when we first got here because of the way their contracts were structured,” Williams said. “That was tough being a defensive guy letting that happen and being involved in those decisions. Now, this is a year that we targeted on getting back over on that side of the ball. We’ve done a very good job of attracting a few key people. Spikes is one of them…We’re not as fast and as good as that defense in Tennessee when I was there, but we’re approaching and getting closer to improving our team speed.”'

Marker Departure leaves Jets hurting up front [1:23 PM]
ESPN reports: Six-year veteran guard Tom Nutten, abruptly announced his retirement, leaving the team puzzled but also perilously thin on the offensive line. Nutten who got a Superbowl ring with Rams started in the league as a Buffalo Bill in 1995.

Marker Training camp billboard [1:22 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Most likely, McGahee will go on reserve/NFI once the regular season starts. Then the Bills would have the option of having him start practice between Weeks Six and Nine, if he's ready. The other alternative would be to keep him on the roster as one of the final 53 players and make him inactive each week.'

Marker Reese looking to turn heads in battle for a starting job [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: "It's hard to tell where you stand out there, but it's good to get reps with both teams just to get a feel for it," Reese said. "So when they do name the starters, if they've already named the starters, whatever the case may be, if somebody gets injured, it's good to be able to play with the first team and know what it feels like to play with the first team."

Marker Morris commands teammates' respect [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ He very quickly gets the attention of his teammates, which tells you a lot.”'

Marker Future rests in Jett's hands [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Eric Moulds and Josh Reed will start, and Bobby Shaw was signed as a free agent from Jacksonville to be the No. 3 receiver. Jett and veteran Charles Johnson will battle with youngsters Sam Aiken and Rodney Wright for the other spots.'

Marker Walla Walla natives will meet on Nashville field [5:17 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''Drew was what a quarterback should be in high school — he's always been a good guy, everybody liked him. He always handled himself well and he still does,'' Sirmon said. ''Everybody looked up to Drew, but I think I wore 12 just because that's a generic high school number.'''

Marker Bills will make trip despite blackout [5:16 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''We have checked and everything, as of right now, is still on with our charter,'' Williams said. ''Now, we may be re-routed in some way, but we have extra time built into our schedule.'''

Marker Mickelson turning into a Buffalo soldier [5:15 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' training camp is only a couple of miles down the street from the site of this PGA Championship, so Phil Mickelson made a visit there Wednesday. You can fill in the punchline. Both are notorious, of course, for failing to win the big one.'

Marker Mickelson, Bills share misses as mates in misery [5:14 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'Maybe the best approach with Mickelson is to expect nothing. And then bet on the Bills.'

Marker Williams faces team he helped shape defensively [5:08 AM] reports: '“There are a lot of guys I have a lot of strong feelings for Jeff (Fisher), my best friend in coaching, and some of those players that were there that I was a part of drafting and teaching and coaching,” Williams said. “It’ll be a fun deal.”'

August 14, 2003

Marker Mickelson: golf's version of the Buffalo Bills [9:07 PM]
AP reports: 'Phil Mickelson spent the day before the PGA Championship visiting the nearby training camp of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. He must have felt right at home. They've never won a major championship, either.'

Marker Bills' Williams returns to Nashville [4:30 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Williams spent 11 years with the Titans from 1990-2000 in various positions, including defensive coordinator, special team and linebackers coach.'

Marker Bills expect packed house for Saturday game [1:37 PM]
AP reports: '"We're expecting it to be loud down there," Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe said Thursday. "That's why we've been practicing our silent counts. One of the things that makes it so hard to win in this league is that crowd noise."'

Marker Bills, PGA Championship sharing same ground [1:16 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“One of the things we think is kind of nice is that the fans have a chance to come out here and see the Bills,” he said, “plus the chance to see some of the best athletes in the world in that sport ... and that’s really neat. There’s a lot of golf fans on our team and on our staff, and we invited (the pros) to come over and watch practice.”'

Marker Williams looks forward to return visit to Nashville [11:42 AM] reports: 'I feel real good about the direction. I’ve got really good people here I’m working with again and quite honestly would not have left that situation down there, which I think is an outstanding situation, had it not been for the opportunity to work for and work with Tom Donahoe, who’s another person for me to learn from, and Ralph Wilson, another AFL original owner like Mr. Adams. I think that was appealing to me to take that step, and I feel real good about where we are right now."'

Marker A Tennessee homecoming for Bills RB Travis Henry [11:41 AM] reports: '“It was surprising because they have Travis, but that’s no knock on him,” four-time Pro Bowler Eddie George said about the Bills decision to draft McGahee. “His future is going to be fine. All he has to do is stay focused and keep working hard.”'

Marker Bills bring revamped defense into Coliseum [11:40 AM] reports: 'Titans C Tom Ackerman agreed. “Takeo Spikes,” he declared when asked which Buffalo off-season acquisition would have the most impact. “He is a great player, plays hard. He is one of the top linebackers in the league. I think he’s going to bring in energy for them, a name, and leadership. He’s going to bring that whole defense to another level."'

Marker Bills WR Moulds to provide stiff test for Titans secondary [11:39 AM] reports: '“I think anytime you loose a good player like Price, it can change things,” Walters said. “But I don’t know if it will make him any less effective. I think he is one of the best in the business. He was over at the Pro Bowl with us and I can see why he is a good player. He’s a big guy and fast with great hands.”'

Marker McGahee thinks he can play in 2003 [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He has rare power, speed, big-play ability," coach Gregg Williams said. "It's hard to find guys like that at any level of football that can dominate the game the way he was dominating it before he got hurt. There's no doubt in my mind he'll get back to that level."'

Marker Pucillo a true jack of all trades [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's good they had me out there to get some reps with the "ones' and see how I do," said Pucillo, a 6-foot-4, 311-pounder. "It felt good to be out there. They're just taking a look at me at different positions, center and guard."'

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