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Buffalo Bills News - May 8, 2003

Marker Butler remembered as tough, but with a soft heart [9:07 PM]
AP reports: '``He was devoted to the four F's -- family, friends, football and food,'' Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy said Thursday at a memorial service...``What kind of a man is John Butler? And the reason I ask, is because John Butler lives on. His legacy inspires us,'' Levy said.'

Marker NFL Europe - An Update on Buffalo's Players [3:53 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Ken Simonton earned Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in five weeks for his performance in the Claymores' 17-10 loss to Barcelona last Sunday. The Bills allocated running back came within three yards of becoming the first player in NFL Europe history to gain 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game. Follow Buffalo's players in NFL Europe

Marker New synthetic grass for Wilson Stadium [1:18 PM]
Shout! reports: '“Players tend to play with more confidence when they’re on a surface such as grass or something like this that’s more forgiving,” he said. “We could tell the difference when we’d come out of the Fieldhouse. The AstroTurf was a lot harder; we had more aches and pains."'

Marker Bills Training Camp Dates Set [1:15 PM]
Rochester D & C reports: Rookies, newcomers and selected veterans will report to Fisher on Wednesday, July 23 and begin practice the following day. The rest of the veterans will report on Saturday, July 26 with the first full practice sessions on Sunday, July 27. The Bills plan to break camp at Fisher August 20.

Marker Upcoming Bills Events - Key Dates [1:15 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Thursday, July 24 Early group reports to training camp
Saturday, July 26 Veterans report to training camp

Marker Butler memorial today in Oceanside [10:47 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Among those expected to speak at the service are ex-Bills coach Marv Levy, the Chargers' Marcellus Wiley and ESPN's Chris Berman. Chargers team pastor Shawn Mitchell will preside.'

Marker Chargers hope memorial helps fill Butler void [10:46 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'The Chargers will hold a memorial service at 11 a.m. today at New Venture Christian Fellowship, 4000 Mystra Drive in Oceanside, for Butler, who died last month of complications from lung cancer.'

Marker Ray Thomas battling for spot with the Bills [8:00 AM]
Hamilton Spectator reports: '"Putting on the Bills helmet was exciting."

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May 7, 2003

Marker Bills Back Shining In NFL Europe [6:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Bills RB Ken Simonton, who had another huge day in NFLE competition last week, will be back in action this Saturday as he leads the Scottish Claymores against the Frankfurt Galaxy. Kickoff from Frankfurt will be at 1:00 PM (ET).

Marker US Navy Visits Bills [5:38 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Photos

Marker GM Donahoe Assists Navy [4:55 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '" I set my alarm on Sunday mornings to watch the games,sometimes I'm up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the game at 6 a.m.," stated the dedicated sailor. "It's time well spent and well worth getting up that early. I'm excited for this year with a couple of night games on the Bills schedule I won't have to get up that early."'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: John Pitts [4:54 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I loved Buffalo. I will never forget, at 27 years old, I cried when I was traded."'

Marker What does McGahee do to chemistry? [2:57 PM]
Shout! reports: 'But sooner or later, perhaps even now, Travis is going to embrace it. He’s got to embrace it. If he doesn’t, he’s not the back he thinks he is.'

Marker Bills To Hold Select-A-Seat This Saturday [11:56 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Fans will also have the opportunity to check out the new playing surface that is being installed at Ralph Wilson Stadium. A special AstroPlay display will be set up so fans can see and feel the new surface for themselves.

Marker Reed won't accept No. 2 spot without fight [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Peerless was extraordinarily fast, but I think Josh can do some things well enough that we'll be fine," Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "He's going to give us some toughness. He'll give us a guy that runs with the ball very well after the catch. Not that Peerless didn't do a great job with those things because he was extraordinary. He was one of those guys that could take the ball and go the distance."'

Marker Bills will roll out the green carpet [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In a survey done by the NFL Players Association last season, The Ralph's surface was rated seventh worst in the league.'

Marker Bills plan to install a field of AstroPlay [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: '“There’s nothing but positives about it,” he said. “It’s nonabrasive. Kids can wear any kind of shoe they want on it. The drainage is unbelievable. We’ve been on it when it poured and there are no puddles. It also doesn’t get hard as a rock when it’s cold. It stays soft. It’s amazing stuff.”'

May 6, 2003

Marker Pierson Prioleau talks about AstroPlay [10:48 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "I think it's going to do well for us. Guys are very comfortable with it. We're excited. It's one of the few things we have to look forward to again this year. It's a new change and I think it's going to be good for us because players tend to play with more confidence when they're on a surface such as grass or something as forgiving as this new surface."

Marker Bills turf field by switching to AstroPlay [8:10 PM]
AP reports: '''We figure if it's good enough for the Army, it's good enough for the Buffalo Bills,'' Donahoe added.'

Marker Buffalo Bills pick SRI turf [4:30 PM]
Austin Business Journal reports: 'SRI's AstroPlay surface absorbs more shock from players and is more resilient to the harsh winters in Buffalo, N.Y., according to SRI.'

Marker Bills switching turf at stadium [1:36 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The cost of the new surface was not disclosed but it will be paid for by Erie County under terms the Bills stadium lease. Installation is to be completed by summer.'

Marker In-Depth Research Leads Buffalo Bills to Choose AstroPlay [1:13 PM]
SRI Sports reports: '"The immediate response from our coaches and players was that AstroPlay® was more comfortable to stand/play on," added Donahoe. "And, a key element in the Bills' climate, AstroPlay®'s rubber infill didn't freeze this past winter."'

Marker More Information on AstroPlay [12:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Here are but a few examples of the hundreds of fields installed: Buffalo Bills - Practice Facility University of Arkansas - War Memorial Stadium Boise State University - Humanitarian Bowl University of Illinois - Memorial Stadium University of Kansas - Memorial Stadium United States Military Academy - Michie Stadium

Marker Bills to tear up 'Turf [11:14 AM]
D and C reports: 'In a poll by the NFL Players Association that asked players which stadium has the best playing surface in the league, Ralph Wilson Stadium was ranked second-to-last (29 out of 31) stadiums.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Choose AstroPlay from SRI Sports [11:13 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"The players and coaches loved it (AstroPlay)," said Buffalo Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe. He said the team's two most important factors in choosing a field surface were safety and performance under adverse weather conditions.'

Marker Adams let go after 12 years with Bills [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We have opted not to renew Dwight's contract," team President and General Manager Tom Donahoe said in a statement. "We have decided to head into another direction, but we thank Dwight for his years of service in the Bills' organization and wish him the best of luck in the future."'

Marker Polian says Bills made right call with McGahee [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: '“Thurman had played his entire senior season,” Polian said. “In his case, it was the fact he was missing part of a ligament in his knee discovered during the physical exams. It never had an effect on how he played but everyone simply got cold feet. There is some parallel here but I can’t recall anyone injuring himself as badly as McGahee then being drafted as high as he was. Having said that, he certainly warrants the pick.”'

Marker Adams let go after 13 years with the Bills [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'He played a key role in Donahoe’s first draft in 2001 that brought aboard five current starters. Adams assumed a lesser role after the arrival of assistant GM Tom Modrak and pro personnel director John Guy.'

May 5, 2003

Marker Bills shift focus to Henry [9:56 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'And that's where Henry comes in. It is he -- not McGahee -- who will determine how effective Buffalo will run the ball, and a year ago he was good enough to rush for 1,438 yards and 13 touchdowns and be named to the Pro Bowl. But while that is impressive, this is not: Buffalo ranked 24th in rushing, and Henry was one of the league's most unpredictable backs.'

Marker Lions sign cornerback Watson [9:44 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"It gives us another guy to compete," head coach Steve Mariucci said. "He is a veteran and he has been a good player in this league. He is a good special teams player. He has some size to him. You like to have corners with some size to them. They don't all have to have size, but it is good to add another one who has that."'

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