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Buffalo Bills News - July 27, 2004

Marker Bills come to terms with third-round pick [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He will wear No. 69 with the Bills.'

Marker Bills sign third draft pick [5:30 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Four draft picks down, two to go.'

Marker Bills tough guy Henry needs more respect [5:29 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Henry has rushed for 1,438 yards and 1,356 yards in the past two seasons. He also has caught 71 passes for 467 yards and scored 25 TDs over that span. He reduced his fumbles from eight in 2002 to three last season. Yet when “experts” rate the NFL's running backs, Henry seldom cracks the top 10.'

Marker Wanted: star RB [5:10 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins also contacted a half-dozen other teams, including the Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, an NFL source said.'

Marker Anderson Accepts Contract [5:09 AM] reports: 'The 6-foot-3, 305 pound defensive tackle was a three year starter for Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes win a national championship in 2002.'

Marker The Bills Get Anderson In Before Camp Starts [4:38 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Anderson had 11 career sacks at Ohio State. He started 36 of the 44 games he suited up for the Buckeyes. Anderson could become an important piece of the Bills puzzle should they not be able to keep Pat Williams who's an unrestricted free agent after this season.'

Marker Bills agree to terms with defensive lineman Tim Anderson [4:32 AM]
AP reports: 'The Bills still have to hash out contracts with wide receiver Lee Evans of Wisconsin and quarterback J.P. Losman of Tulane. Evans was the team's first pick in the first round draft, Losman was the second selection in round one.'

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July 26, 2004

Marker AFC Signing Status of Draft Picks [10:11 PM]
Sports Radio 810 reports: TE Tim Euhus (Oregon State/No. 109 overall): Signing bonus: $321,500. Base salaries: $230,000 (2004); $305,000 (2005); $385,000 (2006). Total: three years, $1,241,500. Salary cap charge: $337,167.

Marker Marriage, Workouts Highlight Kelsay’s Offseason, Prepares For Second Season in Buffalo [5:50 PM]
Nemaha County Herald reports: (scroll down to middle of page)
'Coming from supportive atmospheres in Auburn and the University of Nebraska, Kelsay notices similarities in the football fanaticism of the home fans in Buffalo. “Buffalo is a very supportive city. Lincoln just has Nebraska football. We have the Sabres (NHL) and a Triple A baseball team (Buffalo Bisons). But the city really thrives on Buffalo Bills football. It’s great to go out every Sunday and see all that red and blue,” Kelsay said.'

Marker Van Pelt Adjusting to New Challenge [5:22 PM] reports: '"I'm just really excited to call a live game," Van Pelt said. "I've been doing a lot of practice games so far trying to get a feel for the process. It's been a lot of fun."'

Marker Sam Wyche's silent count [4:21 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'As for the other big comeback story in the quarterback scenario, Wyche isn't ready to give up on Bledsoe. "I looked at a lot of film on Drew and he has not hit the wall," Wyche says. "He's not done yet."'

Marker President Fred Engh Speaks at Breakfast of Champions Seminar [4:17 PM] reports: 'Fred Engh, founder and president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), spoke to nearly 200 youth football coaches and administrators on Saturday, July 17, at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The seminar was sponsored by the Western New York Youth Tackle Football Federation, which represents 185 football and cheerleading teams with 8,000 football players and 6,000 cheerleaders.'

Marker Inside slant [12:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills think veteran linebacker Jason Gildon can help them but the contract they gave him is something less than convincing. His one-year deal valued at between $1 million and $1.25 million with incentives came with a signing bonus of no more than $500,000, making the Steelers' all-time sack leader a candidate to be cut with no significant salary cap impact if he fails to perform in training camp.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [12:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills are close to signing DT Tim Anderson, their third-round pick out of Ohio State, leaving only two picks unsigned heading into training camp. Those picks, unfortunately, are first-rounders Lee Evans and J.P. Losman, and as GM Tom Donahoe says, "Signing first-round picks is never easy."'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [12:51 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'WR Josh Reed doesn't want to relinquish his starting job, but he's wide open to the idea of returning to the slot where he had more success as a rookie. In 2002, he caught 37 passes for 509 yards and 2 TDs - a 13.8 average. Playing on the outside last season, he caught 58 balls but for just 588 yards - a 10.1 average. From the slot, catching short balls over the middle, Reed can use his run-after-the-catch abilities more effectively. "The coaches have done a great job so far," he said. "They're going to put us in the positions that we need to be to make this team better. I'm just going out there and doing what they ask of me."'

Marker My Thoughts On...The Bills Getting Started [12:50 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'Change was needed, but that doesn’t make everything better. Gregg Williams made mistakes, but if you think dumping him is all good, you are mistaken. The defense has lost Williams and have lost Dick LeBeau. Jerry Gray is a very good football man. But the heat is on him to not miss a beat without his mentor.'

Marker Bills' camp goes back to basics [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's not as grueling as it sounds," Mularkey said. "I know it hasn't been like that here in years past but I'd rather start at this level, and if we need to cut back, fine. Because you can't start here (a low number of sessions) and then say, "We don't have enough practices, we're not hitting hard enough.'"'

Marker Get out of town! [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Children under the age of 14 can get autographs after each practice at the McDonald's Kids Autograph tent.'

Marker Williams' retirement big boost for the Bills [5:22 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills won't shed any tears over Williams' departure. In five career games against Buffalo, he ran for 682 yards (136.4 yards per game) and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. His departure leaves the Bills with arguably two of the three best running backs in the AFC East (with New England's Corey Dillon). Needless to say, it would be a waste of Miami's time to talk trade for Travis Henry or Willis McGahee.'

Marker Wire Could Become New Free Safety [5:00 AM] reports: '"Lawyer was a blessing to me because the experience he has in the NFL," Wire said. "He kind of took me under his wing. We're great friends off the field as well, which has meant a lot to me."'

Marker Punt Return Competition Wide Open [5:00 AM] reports: 'The Bills averaged just six yards per punt return last season, 3.5 yards below the league average. In 2003, Antonio Brown started off the year as the main man, but by the mid-point in the season he was replaced by cornerback Nate Clements. Both men could be in the competition this year as well.'

Marker Bills Team Report [4:59 AM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Expect new coach Mike Mularkey, a former NFL tight end, to make Campbell a bigger part of the offense this season.'

July 25, 2004

Marker An irresistible force [11:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I just liked the way he carried himself," said Odioso, who now works for the Fox Sports television network. "He had a good presence about him. I knew he was smart, and I had the impression he'd be good at getting people to work together and making everybody feel they were heard without getting sidetracked by listening to too many opinions."'

Marker Bills' talent pool fails to make splash in fall previews [11:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Here's a position-by-position look at what's being said about the 2004 Bills."

Marker Experts predict Bills to tie for last place in AFC East [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It looks like Mularkey brings a clear-cut identity to the squad and his staff has experience at the most important coaching positions. The Bills will not abandon the run and should utilize their weapons better. ... Despite all the moves, the Bills shape up as a mystery team. How much different will the team look under a new coaching regime? How much of an impact can Willis McGahee make? Can Drew Bledsoe rebound from a poor season? The answers will determine if the Bills can turn around a streak of four straight non-winning seasons.”'

Marker Playing politics [5:19 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'While Kemp said he always saw himself as an activist when it came to sports (he was the founder and president of the AFL Players Association during his playing days), he didn't necessarily know a life in politics would have been so successful. But with two years remaining on his football contract in 1970, Kemp decided to forgo his final days on the field to represent western New York in Congress. "I told people in Buffalo if they didn't elect me to Congress, I'd come back and play quarterback again," Kemp joked, recalling his final two seasons as a struggle for on-field success. "So they sent me to Washington."'

July 23, 2004

Marker Linebackers Only Getting Better [5:38 PM] reports: '"We have a feel for each other now and how we all play the game," Posey said. "We can take more chances on the field because we know we'll be there to cover for each other."'

Marker Player Spotlight : Willis McGahee [5:37 PM] reports: Travis Henry finished his second year in the NFL in 2002 with a 1,438-yard, 14-touchdown campaign and ended up getting taken out back behind the woodshed while his team drafted his replacement in the following spring's draft. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "how's that for being born under a bad sign?"

Marker Henry, McGahee Geared-Up For Season [12:18 PM] reports: '"I'm just ready to play football," McGahee said. "Playing with Travis (Henry) will be great. We always need to have our best players on the field and when we're both on the field someone's going to be open. They can't cover both of us."'

Marker Baking an NFL Player [12:18 PM]
Rochester City Newspaper reports: If you're going to Bills training camp at St. John Fisher you might as well get something out of it. So, starting this week, I'm issuing scouting guides to help keep your mind occupied through all the stretching and hydrating. Now your trip will be more useful than a tube of toothpaste.

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
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