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Buffalo Bills News - July 29, 2002

Marker Big man on campus [2:45 PM]
Canadaigua Daily Messenger reports: '"I feel good … spending time with the fans and spending extra time signing autographs after practice. It doesn't bother me, I enjoy it."'

Marker Williams goes on the offensive [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He and the Bills reached agreement on a six-year deal believed to be worth $38 million. He got an initial signing bonus of $7.5 million and will get another bonus of $4.25 million next spring, according to an NFL source.'

Marker Jennings' progress at tackle puts Teague on center stage [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Teague, who's played left tackle his entire professional career, will begin his time in Buffalo as the first-string center, head coach Gregg Williams said Sunday. Jonas Jennings opens training camp as the Bills' projected starter at left tackle.'

Marker Top draft pick full of talent, and humility [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'After spending a short time with him, you come away with a sense that his smile and pleasant demeanor are very genuine. What you see is what you get.'

Marker Training camp billboard [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 83-year-old Wilson enjoyed a nice reception from the rest of the team, too. After the morning practice, he walked onto the field to applause from the Bills and delivered a speech while players huddled around him.'

Marker Kodak Fan's Fan Of The Day [8:40 AM] reports: One lucky fan - Traning Camp fan of the day

Marker Right on the money [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: '"I was relieved because I wanted to be up here and be with my teammates," said Williams, who signed a six-year contract worth a reported $38 million including $11.75 million in bonus money, $7.5 million to paid now and $4.25 million in 2003. "I was bored just sitting around waiting for him (agent David Dunn) to do the deal. I was excited and I'm ready to go full speed."'

Marker Riemersma back in action [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'Riemersma begins camp as the No. 1 tight end, but it is a tenuous grip as free agent Dave Moore -- signed from Tampa Bay -- will push him for that role.'

Marker Bledsoe era excites Wilson [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: '"Some people are just natural-born leaders," Wilson said. "You could see that with Jim, and you can see that already with Drew. He's a take-charge guy. He's been through the football wars and the other players really respond to what he wants them to do."'

Marker Fan of the Day [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: '"This team is going to be a lot better with (Drew) Bledsoe. I didn't like it when they released (Doug) Flutie and kept Rob Johnson. But I think this team is headed on the right track."'

Marker Fletcher liked that Bills wanted him [5:16 AM]
USA Today reports: '"My gut feeling was telling me this is the place for me. It was going to be hard for other teams to outdo Buffalo in the direction I feel the organization is headed and the way the organization is run."'

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July 28, 2002

Marker Bills Conduct First Full-Team Workout [8:09 PM] reports: 'The addition of Mike Williams allows the Bills to get right to work on finding the magic five that will start on the offensive line this year. "I feel good about how we are starting out with youth and experience and better athleticism, that's a big thing," Gregg Williams said. "As you watch these guys pull and do things in the run game and in the screen game we think this gives us the chance to put the best five guys out there right now."'

Marker Riemersma happy to take the field [7:57 PM]
AP reports: '"You have to have the mentality that you're a starter," Riemersma said of his mindset. "But certainly at the opening of camp, you have to reprove yourself. I've always been one of those guys that took competition very seriously. And I take my job very seriously. And I think it'll make us all better."'

Marker Williams ready to play for his big paycheck [7:55 PM]
AP reports: '"I get the sense that, yes, this is a fresh start and, yes, we have new expectations," Williams said. "And I know the coaches wouldn't put me in there if they didn't have the confidence in me. Hats off to them, because I appreciate the opportunity to step right in and make a difference."'

Marker Quarterback with spirit [4:55 PM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: '"Buffalo is a great football town," said Kelly, who still lives in the suburbs there. "People are very passionate about the team and support it as well as anywhere in the league. I can't imagine playing anywhere else than in front of those fans every week."'

Marker Ex-Bills coach to be speaker at breakfast [4:53 PM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'The event, Friday at the Canton Memorial Civic Center and Cultural Center for the Arts, is where the class of 2002 will receive its NFL Alumni gold jackets as members of the hall of fame.'

Marker Bledsoe fitting in with Bills [2:44 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: 'Bledsoe signs autographs for fans, answers questions with complete sentences and genuinely wants to be here. The same could not be said for Rob Johnson.'

Marker Reed catching on in Bills camp [2:42 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: '"The first mini-camp, I didn't really get it," he recalled. "But when I came back, things started coming to me."'

Marker Riemersma Taken Off PUP List [9:44 AM] reports: UPDATE: Tight end Jay Riemersma was taken off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and began practicing today.

Marker Bills lock up big man on O-line with big deal [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but the contract is sure to rival that of Eric Moulds, who last year signed a deal worth a little more than $40 million, largest in team history.'

Marker Gray matters [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If Gray is right, then the high expectations of Bills fans - created by the trade for Drew Bledsoe - just might be realized this season. If the expert analysts are right, and the Bills' defense needs one more offseason of rebuilding, then the Bills probably are headed for a last-place finish in the AFC East.'

Marker Just when we really needed a distraction, the Bills are back [9:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But at a time like this, it's a relief to see the football season looming on the horizon, if only as a distraction from all the disconcerting news that's swirling around us.'

Marker Fans vote 'yes' on Bills, but what of the coach? [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Donahoe has given Williams the tools to field a markedly better team. The essential question for the Bills is whether he's up to it.'

Marker Bills need preseason games to get defense ready for when it counts [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Eleven of the Bills' 16 games are against running backs who finished among the top 12 in the league last season.'

Marker Sunday's Camp Reopened To The Public [9:06 AM] reports: UPDATE: Sunday's AM practice has reopened and is now open to the public. The afternoon session is still scheduled for 2:45-4:45 PM.

Marker Sunday's AM Practice Moved Indoors/Closed To Public [8:03 AM] reports: UPDATE: Due to the inclement weather conditions, Sunday's AM practice has been moved indoors and is closed to the public. The camp is tentatively scheduled to open to the public at 1 PM for the afternoon session (2:45-4:45 PM). Check back for an update later in the day or call the training camp hotline (800-441-5942).

Marker Five off-season moves above all others [8:02 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: '4. Drew Bledsoe.....5. Wade Phillips.'

Marker Big money for Big Mike [6:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is believed the contract will run for six years, and Williams' signing bonus is in the $11 million range.'

Marker Bills have to prove themselves on the field [6:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'So when you ask Newman if he thinks media outlets are disrespecting the Bills by picking them to finish last in the AFC East this season despite all the positive changes, it's hard for the fourth-year linebacker to put up an argument. "When you look at it, how can we disagree with what they're saying," Newman said Saturday afternoon when he checked in at St. John Fisher College.'

Marker Driver stays on right track [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: '"Tony has probably had the best off-season of anybody on this team," Williams raved. "He has really had an impact on the coaching staff, and he's been a visible example to the rest of his teammates because they've seen him live in that training room, the weight room and the film room."'

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