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Buffalo Bills News - August 18, 2001

Marker Gonzalez, Hawley vie for No. 3 QB [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Third-year veteran Pete Gonzalez is scheduled to take over for backup QB Alex Van Pelt to start the second half. The fourth QB on the roster is Jack Hawley, a rookie from San Diego State. There's no guarantee that either will win the third-quarterback job.'

Marker Channel 4 staff takes its Bills wrap-up show to Channel 23 [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In the first season since LIN put WNLO-TV (Channel 23) on the air, it has decided to carry a weekly Bills Sunday game highlight show, "Bills Wrap-Up," using WIVB-TV (Channel 4) sports personnel. The program will air at 10:30 p.m. Sundays, right after the 10 o'clock news. It will premiere on Sept. 9, the day the Bills open the regular season at home against the New Orleans Saints.'

Marker Hicks booted, message sent in Bills camp [7:57 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'And Hicks' release carries a message for the other marginal players on Buffalo's roster heading into tonight's preseason game against Philadelphia at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Rookie RB Henry to start tonight [7:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"We're better at running the football now than we were when I was on the other side of the ball (coaching with Tennessee)," Williams said of his Buffalo team, steadfastly ignoring what happened against the Rams. It's too early not to give Williams the benefit of the doubt on this one.'

Marker Williams to sit Johnson [7:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'If tonight's game with Philadelphia were a regular-season contest, Buffalo Bills quarterback Rob Johnson said, "I'd play." However, because former Syracuse University star quarterback Donovan McNabb leads his Eagles into Ralph Wilson Stadium for a preseason game, Johnson will not play.'

Marker Modrak knows how to pick 'em [7:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'Modrak, hired as the Bills' director of football operations 2 1/2 months ago, held the same job with the Eagles for the past three seasons. Despite playing a major role in transforming Philadelphia from a 6-9-1 team before he arrived to an 11-5 playoff club last season, he was dismissed in a bitter falling out with owner Jeffrey Lurie.'

Marker Someone likely to pick up Hicks [7:04 AM]
D and C reports: 'Hicks, who became a full-time starter in 1999 at right tackle in just his second season, played lethargically and lost his starting job last season. Though he returned this season in excellent shape, he continued to play disinterested, losing ground to rookie draft picks Jonas Jennings and Marques Sullivan and free agent Kris Farris.'

Marker Showing off [7:03 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills continue to host officials from other NFL clubs interested in their training camp operation at St. John Fisher. The expansion Houston Texans and Chicago Bears have been among the teams that have visited to gather ideas.'

Marker Bills' Conaty moves into starting position [7:02 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'Conaty, who lives in Ocean City in the offseason with wife Denise and 16-month-old son William III, said it was cool starting in the preseason opener last week against St. Louis. He is looking forward to playing against the Eagles, which he rooted for growing up in Pennsauken, but he is anxious for the regular-season opener.'

Marker Eagles (0-0) vs. Buffalo (0-1) [7:00 AM]
Trenton Times reports: 'Tom Modrak, who was fired last May as the Eagles' director of football operations, is the Bills' new director of football operations. Two Bills assistant coaches, Danny Smith (special teams) and Dan Neal (tight ends), were assistants for the Eagles. Smith worked under Ray Rhodes and Neal worked under Buddy Ryan.'

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August 17, 2001

Marker Modrak takes the high road discussing Eagles [9:16 PM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'The classy Modrak had nothing but good things to say about his three years in Philadelphia. He said he planned to say hello to Lurie on Saturday night when the Eagles and the Bills meet in a preseason game in Buffalo.'

Marker Eagles itching to finally open preseason against Bills [8:55 PM]
AP reports: '"I guess I wasn't ready last week. This week, I'm ready to go," said Morris, who had been bothered by a tight hamstring. "With the talent we have back there, there's no reason we shouldn't be moving the ball forward."'

Marker Johnson will miss Eagles game because of sprained finger [4:18 PM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo coach Gregg Williams said Friday he was resting Johnson only as a precautionary move after the quarterback sat out his third straight day of practice.'

Marker Leadership by example [12:08 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "Sam Cowart has really helped me come along," Robinson said. "He leads by his work ethic and if I have any questions I can ask. All the linebackers help each other out and they have all helped me in some way adjust to things here."

Marker Quiet Conaty calls loudly for center job [9:29 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Conaty is expected to be the starting center when the Bills open the regular season against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 9. He will be Buffalo's third starter at the position in the five years since Kent Hull retired, bringing Conaty a long way from the 1997 practice squad, even longer from two broken ankles over his last two seasons at Virginia Tech, longer yet since he was a 140-pound high school freshman.'

Marker Hicks cut as team looks toward youngsters [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Robert Hicks thought his career was about to blossom last season when he became a starting right tackle for the Buffalo Bills. But rather than improve each week, he became progressively worse. Thursday, he was released.'

Marker He's no longer a foe [5:14 AM]
D and C reports: '"I've been with Gregg since my rookie year and there's nothing more I want than to help him and this organization win a Super Bowl."'

Marker Cavil focuses on improving [5:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'But when the season ended, the fun-loving, quick-witted Cavil realized something. He was so busy having a good time, cracking jokes and reveling in his status as a NFL player, he didn't really improve his game the way he would have liked.'

Marker OT Hicks cut as Bills go to youth [5:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'Hicks, who became a full-time starter in 1999 at right tackle in just his second season, played lethargically and lost his starting job last season.'

Marker Rookie Spoon makes return [5:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Outfitted with a brace on his left knee, rookie linebacker Brandon Spoon returned to the practice field yesterday. The hard-hitting fourth-round pick from North Carolina sprained his medial collateral ligament early in rookie camp three weeks ago.'

August 16, 2001

Marker Van Pelt ready as Bills backup quarterback [8:27 PM]
AP reports: 'It's this unthreatening nature, his close bond with Johnson and his knowledge of the Bills newly installed West Coast offense that makes Van Pelt a good fit as the team's backup.'

Marker Bills release Hicks [8:25 PM]
AP reports: '"I don't think it was a question of what we didn't like, I think it was a question of what we liked about the young kids,'' Bills president Tom Donahoe said during training camp at St. John Fisher College. ``All we can evaluate is what we see, and we see some good things from our young people.'

Marker Tom Donahoe comments (8/16) [6:40 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "We made a roster move today, we released offensive tackle Robert Hicks, and you know it was not an easy decision. None of personnel decisions are, but we like a lot of our young tackles, and we feel that we have to get as much opportunity with them as we can these last three pre-season games, and get them as many reps in practice. That's what we've decided to do, and move forward."

Marker Bills release Robert Hicks [6:39 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills released Robert Hicks before Thursday afternoon's practice, and Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe said that it was the impressive play of some of the team's young tackles that led to the decision to release the four-year veteran.'

Marker Finger sprain revives injury issue for Johnson [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's just bad luck, I guess," he said. "It's stuff that's really out of your control, like a freak thing like hitting your hand on a helmet. I did it once, and I didn't miss a practice. I did it twice, and maybe I have to miss some time now."'

Marker NFL teams get glimpses of their futures [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills and every other team will know almost every opponent for the next eight years under a scheduling format released by the National Football League on Wednesday. The scheduling was completed as a result of realignment, which begins next season.'

Marker Bills need Flowers to bloom [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'You would have thought that Bowens' arrival would have been a wake-up call for Flowers. So far, it appears that Flowers is still asleep.'

Marker Chemistry 101 [8:16 AM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Judging from the first preseason game, the Bills have a ways to go before they are a cohesive unit on both sides of the ball. The unsettled situation at right tackle has prevented the offensive line from coming together.'

Marker Tale of the Tape, St. Louis versus Buffalo [7:55 AM]
TBD reports: 'Full contact NFL football is back. The Bills versus St. Louis matched the great offense of the Rams against a rebuilding and retooling Buffalo club. St. Louis carried the additional advantage of a full contact pre-season match the previous week."

Marker Johnson rests fretful finger [5:42 AM]
D and C reports: 'Though an X-ray and a magnetic resonance imaging exam Tuesday night did not show a fracture, the swelling and pain Johnson has are real, so Williams decided to sit him out of yesterday's and today's practices.'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
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