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Buffalo Bills News - August 4, 2005

Marker The billboard [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In the afternoon, the first teams ran a spirited four-play goal-line drill in a full-pads, thanks due an inducement by Bills coach Mike Mularkey. "Whoever won was going to get some more time off tonight," Mularkey said. "So that sort of stirs up the competition. They take a lot of pride in their side of the ball."'

Marker Running back battle heats up [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Lee, returning veterans Joe Burns and Shaud Williams, and rookie Lionel Gates are the candidates competing for the important No. 2 role behind superstar Willis McGahee, a spot created by the pre-training camp trade of Travis Henry to the Tennessee Titans. It's a race too close to call, with every practice, every scrimmage, every preseason game scheduled for heavy scrutiny by the coaching staff and front office.'

Marker Bills sweat in the heat, try to stay cool [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"When I played for Bud (Grant in the early 1980s), there was no water on the field," Mularkey remembers. "But if there was a cattle warning on the radio and the farmers were warned to bring their cattle in, we'd get a water break."'

Marker Losman thrilled he will oppose Favre at Lambeau [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I'm a big, big fan, just the way he handles himself off the field," Losman said of Favre, 35, who is entering his 15th season needing just 266 yards to join John Elway and Dan Marino in the 50,000 Club. "It's going to be awesome to play against a guy like that. There probably hasn't been another quarterback other than Brett Favre that I want to take more from."'

Marker Bills eager to hit someone else [5:01 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: '“I know the guys are tired of hitting each other and tired of blocking each other — probably more so than me it’s good for them,” Bills quarterback J.P. Losman said. “They’re not able to hit people as hard as they want to. They don’t want to hurt teammates. It’s going to be good to get some different looks and see some different colors on the helmet.”'

Marker Losman taking hints from Favre on, off the field [5:00 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: '“I try to take things out of all types of quarterbacks throughout the years that I liked. (There are) certain qualities that I want to add to my game but there probably isn’t another quarterback that I want to take more from than Brett Favre.”'

Marker Competition to be McGahee’s back up is wide open [4:59 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: '“It’s just a matter of studying everyday,” Lee said. “Everybody just wants to compete right now.”'

Marker Thursday's Green Bay Coverage [4:58 AM] reports:
Green wants to cash in (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Scrimmage to be good test for test Rodgers, defense (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Hamstring injury may shelve Bedell (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Battle is on for return jobs (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Packers, fans gear up for Friday night party (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Buffalo fills bill as foe (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Scrimmage will highlight position battles (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Henderson still runs No. 1 at fullback (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Bedell injures hamstring (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Roman attempts cover-up (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Team officials mingle with Packer fans (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Franks missing camper (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Rodgers, Packers make deal with a future (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Hamstring injury a real pain for Poppinga (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Hunt opens this camp with some fire (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Grady's a PUP with some bark (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Thompson takes a stand for the defense (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Walker runs go route (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Underwood answers a vertical challenge (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Nall faces new test to pass with Packers (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Healthy Navies works to keep his job (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Hawkins' talent fills in for experience (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Henderson still runs No. 1 at fullback (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Scrimmage with Bills adds twist to training camp (Wisconsin State Journal)

Marker Losman is now in the driver's seat for Bills [4:57 AM] reports: 'The kid has the keys. Now it's time to see whether he can keep this car on the road.'

Marker Trafford Just Happy to Be Here [4:56 AM] reports: 'When he was 13 years old, the Bills’ tight end was involved in an automobile accident that probably saved his life. "When they were running my vitals at the hospital they found an irregular heartbeat,” Trafford said. “They checked into it and I had to have open heart surgery the next month. It's just been a pretty crazy ride, you know."'

Marker Bills Focus on Red Zone [4:55 AM] reports: 'Buffalo proved last year that success in the red zone is critical putting points on the board. In 16 games the Bills had the ball in the red zone 60 times and they scored 28 touchdowns and 21 field goals (81.7%). In the first six games alone, the offense failed to score inside the red zone on six different occasions. The final 10 games the Bills faired much better, coming away empty only five times, two of which came near the end of games the Bills had the lead.'

Marker McNally's work key to J.P.'s progress [4:54 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'With the Giants in 2000, he may have done his best job to date as he took a bag of spare parts, including former Bills’ starter Glenn Parker, to Super Bowl XXXV. At each stop, he has had success — which makes it hard for him to choose his best work. “I try to do the same thing every year. If I said one, it’d be bragging and I wouldn’t do that,” McNally said.'

Marker McGee hopes to return to Pro Bowl for more than just kick returns [4:53 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'Judging by McGee’s play in training camp, he plans to be shutting down the NFC’s top wideouts in February in Hawaii. Injuries in the secondary and McGee’s athleticism earned him a starting spot last year and forced Vincent back to safety.'

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August 3, 2005

Marker Bills Tight Ends Healthy in Camp [10:13 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'The tight end position is expected to play a big role in a transformed offense that features second-year quarterback J.P. Losman taking over as starter. "It's pretty important," coach Mike Mularkey said of having his top two tight ends back. "You had to think about that position going into camp. You kept saying, `They're going to be there.' And having them in there, I think our offense may be ahead."'

Marker Big Mike Ready for Big Year [9:46 PM] reports: '"I'm a lot more focused, both on and off the field," he said. "As far as last year, when you have things on your mind it's hard to focus and do what they ask you to do. This year it's totally different. I worked hard during the offseason, came in here in shape and focused. I'm ready to do what I know I can do and what the organization knows what I can do."'

Marker Losman looking forward to facing boyhood idol, Favre [9:45 PM]
AP reports: '"I don't want him to be anything else but him. But he's got to realize that all eyes are on him," Mularkey said. "He can't show his frustration all the time because I think teammates watch that, and it can be a negative for the team. But I think he's done a really good job of trying to control it."'

Marker All eyes on J.P. [1:55 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'The Bills are talented, hungry and hardly rebuilding. They ended the Drew Bledsoe starting era because they deemed the 12-year veteran had taken them as far as he could, which was to a 9-7 record last season, including eight wins in nine games stretching from Halloween to Christmas. Buffalo has a superb defense, outstanding special teams and enough young offensive weapons to give New England a run for its money in the rugged AFC East. If, that is, the Bills can get enough out of the kid quarterback who inspired them to ship three draft picks -- including their 2005 first-rounder -- to Dallas for the right to select him 22nd overall in the '04 draft. And Jonathan Paul Losman already has that much figured out.'

Marker Bills camp evolves into 'one and done' [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You have to save your guys," said quarterback Kelly Holcomb. "Way back when, guys were gone from the time the season finished until training camp. So they kind of got into shape. Now it's a year-round thing. We have minicamp. We have the OTAs. We're in football all year long with the exception of maybe two months. I think it's a great thing. You don't have to come out here and kill yourself. Guys know what they're doing."'

Marker Gudmundsen, Bills together by chance [5:07 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I'd always put myself in a spot wherever the o-line was and I was watching them all the time and seeing what coach McNally was teaching them," Gudmundsen said.'

Marker "Sleeper" Role Perfect for Aiken [5:05 AM] reports: '"Sam is a workout warrior," said Bills receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. "Josh Reed stayed with him the whole summer and Sam took him out and they went through his workout regime. So Josh Reed came back into training camp in the best shape he's ever been in in his entire life. Sam is a big-time workout warrior."'

Marker Fierce Battle at Running Back [5:05 AM] reports: 'The competition for the backup running back job is fierce and there's no question the ability to pick up blitzes will factor into the team's decision making process when cut-down time arrives.'

August 2, 2005

Marker Rookie Ritual [10:07 PM] reports: '“Whatever I did in college really doesn't mean anything right now,” Ezekiel explained. “What matters is what I do during practice, during the scrimmages, during the preseason games, and obviously when we watch film I have to be in the right place at the right time.”'

Marker Replacing Pat [10:06 PM] reports: 'Anderson is a second year man who played spraringly as a rookie. But he still feels he has a shot to win that starting job. "I try not to approach it any different, just try to focus on the little things, take one practice at a time, controlling what I can control. How I play and the way I'm using my techniques and things like that," Anderson said.'

Marker Bills tight ends healthy in time for training camp [10:05 PM]
AP reports: '"It's pretty important," coach Mike Mularkey said of having his top two tight ends back. "You had to think about that position going into camp. You kept saying, `They're going to be there.' And having them in there, I think our offense may be ahead."'

Marker Zebras patrolling sidelines at camp [3:12 PM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'The zebras were out in force at Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher College on Monday. The Bills brought in officials to work some of the drills at both of Tuesday’s sessions in an order to cut down on penalties. “We plan on having them for all of the double sessions,” Bills coach Mike Mularkey said.'

Marker Ten Questions with Willis McGahee [1:33 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'Is it a load off your shoulders to have the Travis Henry situation dealt with and know you're the Bills' No. 1 back?
"It's nice that I don't really have to worry about answering questions about how Travis and I get along. We always got along. There were no problems between us two. Remember, they drafted me. It wasn't like I picked Buffalo. That's what people didn't understand.'''

Marker Training Camp Postcard: Bills [1:12 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'J.P., take a tip. This is the NFL. The defenders are bigger, faster and stronger. Your ability to make plays on the run will serve you well, providing you don't rely on that part of your game too heavily. The pocket must become your friend.'

Marker The Dope Sheet [1:02 PM] reports: Press release for Packers-Bills practice.

Marker Bills TEs feel hale and hearty [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm pretty pleased," said coach Mike Mularkey. "I feel they haven't missed a beat since that infamous game in Miami. They've come in here confident and been very productive up to this point."'

Marker J.P. shows he's a run threat [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Is Mularkey concerned Losman's scrambling success in practice might cause the QB to run too much? "That to me is a serious threat that we're going to take advantage of," Mularkey said. "If he can see it and wants to take it, I'm not going to take that away from him. . . . He just has to know . . . he's got to be smart about it, and that tough-guy image has to take a break and get down or get out of bounds."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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