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Buffalo Bills News - March 9, 2002

Marker Bucs agree to terms with free agent QB Rob Johnson [3:15 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Two weeks after Gruden was introduced as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new coach, Johnson agreed to terms on a free agent contract Saturday.'

Marker Bucs add Rob Johnson to quarterback mix [3:14 PM]
AP reports: '"I can't wait to get to work with Coach Gruden and his staff," Rob Johnson said in a statement released by the Bucs. "He is a special coach and this team has special players. I look forward to competing and contributing here."'

Marker Johnson agrees to deal with Bucs [3:13 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Clearly, the Bucs organization believes that Johnson possesses too much physical skill to ignore, but it's not his athletic ability that has ever been questioned. Johnson never fit in with the Bills and did not make himself a part of the Buffalo community. He never bought a home, even rented an apartment, and lived in a hotel during the season there.'

Marker Bucs Nab Rob Johnson [3:03 PM]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers reports: 'In Rob Johnson, who threw for Gruden Friday morning and delayed his original flight out of Tampa to begin immediate negotiations that evening, the Bucs have found another intriguing option, an intelligent and tough passer with a strong arm and excellent mobility.'

Marker Healing Conaty signs new deal [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Donahoe said the Bills have not decided on whether to try tackle John Fina at center.'

Marker Dinkins heeds European vocation [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Dinkins is the most intriguing of the seven players the Bills are shipping overseas.'

Marker $2.3 million to help rehab stadium [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The $2.3 million the county has set aside for rehabilitation work at Ralph Wilson Stadium will allow the team to replace the outdoor grass practice field with an artificial-turf field, according to county officials.'

Marker Bucs Step Up Talks With Former Bills QB Johnson [7:34 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: 'He is looking to secure a starting role and has targeted Houston as his most desired destination. However, Johnson reportedly was put off by the Texans' plans to draft David Carr at No. 1 overall and immediately begin grooming him as their starter. He also was said to be unhappy with the Texans' offer of $1 million for one year.'

Marker Rob Johnson visits; Dunn tours Eagles [7:33 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: 'As for Johnson's visit with the Bucs, the team has three quarterbacks on its roster (Brad Johnson, Shaun King and Joe Hamilton), but Gruden has said he planned to bring in more to work out with the team, which has a quarterbacks camp scheduled March 25.'

Marker TE loves Steelers but may be a Bill [7:22 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: Dave Moore, a tight end who played at Pitt, said he wants to come back and play in Pittsburgh. Instead, he might be reunited with his former Panthers quarterback in Buffalo. Moore, an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay, was considering an offer from the Bills, where he would be reunited with former Pitt quarterback Alex Van Pelt. The Steelers talked with Moore yesterday about a position where he would compete with Jerame Tuman for their No. 2 tight end job and also serve as their long-snapper. However, Buffalo has made him an offer where he could become their No. 1 tight end.'

Marker Gilbride Reports New Perspective [7:08 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"Being out of coaching for a year really made me appreciate how much I missed being a part of it all," Gilbride said. "The competitiveness of football - the scheming, the working, the interaction with the players and coaches. That's what made me say I thought I could enjoy doing what the media does, and I did enjoy it. It was a great experience and it gives you a different feel for things."'

Marker My take on Blake: He's not right QB [5:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'I'd rather go with AVP as my caretaker, and draft my potential QB of the future next month. Unless Tom Donahoe and Gregg Williams believe Blake can win the big game for them, why waste time and precious salary cap money on him?'

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March 8, 2002

Marker Bills re-sign Conaty [8:59 PM]
AP reports: '"We felt last year he showed tremendous toughness and leadership on our team," Bills general manager Tom Donahoe said. "We're happy to have him because we think he's a good young player and we appreciate all that he did last year, playing hurt."'

Marker Mighty Quinn coming next week [4:36 PM]
KFFL reports: TriStar Sports Management has informed KFFL that unrestricted free agent QB Jonathan Quinn (Jaguars) will visit with the Buffalo Bills on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Marker Conaty Resigns with Buffalo [2:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "It will be a similar situation to that of the quarterback situation. We'll try to improve our team any way that we can. We drafted two very good young offensive linemen last year in Jonas Jennings and Marques Sullivan. Bill Conaty our center will be coming back next season, we've signed him to a new contract. Bill got a chance to play as virtually a rookie last year."

Marker Fletcher wants to energize Bills with his passion [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"My style of play is passionate," the Bills' new middle linebacker said Thursday. "That's one word I'd use. All-out effort, 110 percent. I feel I can energize a team, not just a defense. I'm going to play fast. I'm going to lead by example and from my style of play. I'm going to be physical."'

Marker Donahoe's defensive swap was impressive [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There are no questions about Fletcher's health. He gives the locker room a championship presence. The Bills potentially save $14 million on the cap over the next five seasons.'

Marker Wong gets the answer to dreams [8:01 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'The Texans' search for a quarterback remains up in the air as the team awaits a decision from Rob Johnson, who seemed all but signed, sealed and delivered a few days ago. Johnson is the Texans' first choice, but general manager Charley Casserly isn't going to wait on his decision much longer. Chris Chandler, who spent the past five seasons with the Falcons, appears to be the top fallback option, and former Saints quarterback Jeff Blake's name has begun to resurface although Blake has said he's leaning toward Buffalo.'

Marker Bills banking on Fletcher as new leader of defense [5:04 AM]
D and C reports: '"By them bringing me in as their first free agent visit, it showed me they really wanted me," Fletcher said. "Coach Williams looked me in the eye and I saw his passion for having me here. It would have been hard-pressed for any of those other teams to sell me on their organization."'

Marker Fletcher takes Cowart's spot [5:03 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I just thought it was time to move on," said Fletcher, a 26-year-old who won a Super Bowl with the Rams two years ago and played in their 20-17 loss to the New England Patriots last month. "My gut told me that I had done everything I could accomplish in St. Louis."'

March 7, 2002

Marker Bills sign ex-Rams LB Fletcher [11:16 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: @ Buchsbaum: The Bills, who needed an impact LB to replace injury-prone Cowart, signed former Rams LB London Fletcher. Fletcher can be a very effective player if the tackles in front of him keep him free. He?s extremely active and runs very well and has good instincts. However, at times he will gamble too much and take himself out of position. He has some hot dog in him and is a very aggressive player who will take some dumb penalties. He also likes to call attention to himself.

Marker Fletcher Is A Big Time Signing [11:02 PM]
BillsDaily reports: @ A scouting report on Fletcher from the view of a avid Rams fan.

Marker Info on Bills' new uniforms [10:37 PM]
Shout! reports: Shout's Mike Doser has inside info on new uniforms.

Marker Mike Caldwell speaks to media [10:07 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Where have you been and where are you heading? This is my first visit. I am headed to Chicago this afternoon and scheduled for Pittsburgh on Monday.'

Marker London Fletcher speaks to the Media [10:05 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"This is a true football town and I am thrilled to death about getting involved in the community and just becoming a true Buffalonian."'

Marker Fletcher signs with Bills [10:00 PM]
AP reports: '"I know there's not a lot of difference between winning and losing," he said, noting the Rams were 4-12 in his rookie year, 1998 and went to the Super Bowl the next season. "That year we were fortunate to get Marshall Faulk and a couple of other free agents. I hope we can get some other free agents excited about coming here."'

Marker Bills sign LB Fletcher to replace Cowart [9:59 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"I was a leader in St. Louis," he said. "I considered myself a leader from the moment I stepped into the locker room. I was captain of the special teams as a rookie. You don't have many guys who come in and be a captain as a rookie. I don't have a problem with being the leader."'

Marker Has motor, will play [9:58 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'That's what you have to like about the 5'-10" Fletcher, who wasn't even drafted. He has a MOTOR, and Donahoe LOVES players with MOTORS. They don't need fancy pep talks, they don't take plays off. That's London Fletcher, who led the Rams in tackles three years running. He also doesn't come off the field on passing downs, and in fact, had six interceptions over the past two seasons.'

Marker Jets give Cowart six-year contract [1:45 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'Now if linebacker Sam Cowart can return from a lost year as the human wrecking ball he was for Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell during two standout seasons in Buffalo, the Jets landed the steal of this free-agent class yesterday.'

Marker Fletcher Already talking about creating a Community Presence. [1:44 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: Fletcher has discussed what assistance the team's community relations department can offer in setting up inner city scholarships both in Buffalo and his Hometown of Cleveland.

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