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Buffalo Bills News - April 21, 2003

Marker This Week In Bills History (April 20-26) [11:34 AM] reports: Under the leadership of President and General Manager Tom Donahoe, April 21 has been a significant date. On April 21, 2001, Nate Clements from Ohio State was the Bills' No. 1 pick (21st overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft. Then exactly one year later, Donahoe shipped the team's 2003 first round pick to the New England Patriots for Drew Bledsoe.

Marker New Wallpaper [10:18 AM] reports: Check out the latest wallpaper featuring Takeo Spikes

Marker Simonton scores a hit on his European tour [10:09 AM]
Portland Oregonian reports: 'Each NFL team must send at least six players to the six-team NFL Europe, whose 10-game season runs April-June. After that, players report to their NFL teams and stay on the roster as long as they can. Most NFL contracts are not guaranteed, and most NFL Europe players are like Simonton, who went undrafted and signed a free-agent contract with the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Sam Adams Assigned #95 [9:18 AM] reports: DT Sam Adams will wear 95.

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April 20, 2003

Marker Prospect Profile: TE Jason Witten [1:54 PM] reports: Well-built athlete with long arms and legs…Has the frame to add needed bulk without any drop-off in quickness…Has a sharp change of direction…Gets a good push off the defender to escape the jam…Stays low, extends his arms and keeps his feet shuffling when providing pass protection.

Marker Prospect Profile: DT Johnathan Sullivan [1:54 PM] reports: Plays with impressive quickness off the snap…Pursues until the whistle and is known as an all-out hustler…Has great hand strength, delivering a punishing jab to disengage from the blockers.

Marker Defense still tops Bills draft list [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'The defensive back crop is very, very good.'

April 19, 2003

Marker A.J. Smith wants opportunity at the GM job [9:56 PM]
ESPN reports: Smith and Butler were together with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL, the Chargers in the late 1980s and then spent 14 seasons with the Buffalo Bills, where Butler became GM in 1993.

Marker Bills Draft Central [6:30 PM] reports: Given what the Bills have done in free agency this offseason, their options are wide-open going into the draft. DE Michael Haynes, DE Rien Long, CB Dennis Weathersby, TE Jason Witten, and S Mike Doss are among the players that have been projected to fit Buffalo's needs.

Marker Prospect Profile: Safety Mike Doss [5:53 PM] reports: Has above average quickness, agility, awareness and acceleration…Has an explosive closing burst and is very effective mirroring the receiver’s moves in the short-to-medium areas…Supports with aggression in run force, showing the burst needed to close and stay in front of the opponent.

Marker Empire in danger of losing Rochester, Syracuse outlets [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Andre Reed is the latest former Buffalo Bill to head to the broadcasting booth. The Bills' all-time leading receiver will work two games in May for Fox Sports Net's coverage of NFL Europe.'

Marker Bills filled key void before draft [9:27 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'Just because the coach and linebacker came from Cincinnati, a 2-14 team, it will not prevent them from being impact people who will help put the Bills over .500 and into the AFC playoffs. LeBeau, who begins his 45th year in the NFL, will fill in the mental voids left by head coach Gregg Williams and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. Spikes, while vying with London Fletcher for vocal leadership, will fill in defensive voids.'

Marker Brandon makes impact [9:26 AM]
Las Vegas Review Journal reports: 'Thomas emerged for the Bills late last season, breaking up five passes in the final two games. He intercepted a Brett Favre pass against Green Bay, and started the finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. He will compete for the third cornerback spot this summer.'

Marker Delamielleures know the wait can be trying [9:25 AM]
Charlotte Observer reports: 'Then the phone rang. A guy identified himself as Ralph and welcomed Delamielleure to the team, adding that someone would be calling shortly. "I thought I had been drafted by the Steelers," he said. "I didn't realize Ralph was Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills."'

Marker Bengals try to gain leverage in negotiations [9:24 AM]
ESPN reports: The conventional wisdom has the Buffalo Bills choosing a defensive lineman, preferably an end, with their first-round draft choice. But the club is also looking hard at the cornerback spot. Always cognizant of what is upcoming for his team, general manager Tom Donahoe knows that current starting corner Antoine Winfield is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2003 campaign. And the feeling on the part of some Bills officials is that Winfield, given the spiraling rate of cornerback contracts, could be difficult to retain. Thus the interest in perhaps adding a quality corner in the draft and, quite possibly, even in the first round.

Marker Prospect Profile: DE Michael Haynes [9:23 AM] reports: 'Flashes explosion off the ball and has above average anchor and leverage ability to hold firmly at the point of attack…Shows power in his moves down the line…Has the instincts to react quickly to the play and is very aware of play action and fakes.'

Marker Prospect Profile: DT Rien Long [9:22 AM] reports: 'All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, ESPN and the Associated Press, adding second-team honors from CNN/SI…All-Pac 10 Conference first-team pick…Recipient of the Outland Trophy, given to the premier interior lineman in college football.'

April 18, 2003

Marker Prospect Profile: CB Dennis Weathersby [4:51 PM] reports: Has a lean, athletic frame…Gets good depth in his backpedal, showing a burst coming out of his breaks…Has the body control needed to plant and drive and flip his hips in transition…Has very good closing quickness and the deep acceleration to run with receivers off the line of scrimmage.

Marker Win a Mike Williams Autographed Football [11:50 AM] reports: Win an Authentic NFL Game Ball autographed by Mike Williams. Selected by the Bills with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 Draft, Williams was Buffalo's highest draft pick since taking Bruce Smith #1 overall in 1985.

Marker Prospect Profile: WR Taylor Jacobs [10:15 AM] reports: Good route runner with above average speed and quickness…Shows no wasted motion in his release and uses his hands effectively to beat press coverage…Runs precise routes and shows a sudden burst through his routes.

Marker Rookie Review: Coy Wire [10:09 AM] reports: Safety Coy Wire talked about last year's draft, his rookie season with the Bills, and his first NFL offseason in a exclusive interview with Selected in the third round (97th overall) out of Stanford, Wire started in 15 of 16 games for the Bills while increasing run support from the strong safety position.

Marker Bills could have 'big' plans in first round [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Anytime you look at your football team, you're always trying to add quality big people," Donahoe said during the Bills' predraft luncheon. "It's a game of big people. If we can add some big people on either side of the ball, we want to try to do that.'

Marker Bills excited about draft [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'It means that for the first time under Donahoe, the Bills can honestly use the first round to select the best player available regardless of need, and to address depth concerns later on.'

April 17, 2003

Marker Bills RB Henry approves one-year extension [8:16 PM]
AP reports: 'The deal, which includes a signing bonus, was confirmed Thursday by Henry's agent, Greg Johnson. The restructured contract also includes several incentives, and will pay Henry a base salary of $1.25 million in the final year.'

Marker Bills FB Morris accepts one-year deal [8:15 PM]
AP reports: 'Fullback and special teams captain Sammy Morris accepted the Buffalo Bills' one-year contract offer on Thursday. Morris will make $605,000 in his fourth season with the Bills and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next year.'

Marker Bills management talks draft [4:12 PM]
Shout! reports: 'The position where they fielded the most questions was the defensive line. Buffalo's first draft pick, 23rd overall, could be a D-lineman.'

Marker Live Press Conference - 12 Noon (ET) [11:35 AM] reports: Listen to President/General Manager Tom Donahoe and Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak talk about the 2003 NFL Draft. Live at 12 Noon (ET)

Marker Rookie Review: Justin Bannan [10:12 AM] reports: Justin Bannan - "I'm about as excited as it gets to see all the players that we have. Just today as we were working out you can see the chemistry building. It seems we're a lot further along than we were last year. At least that's the way it feels defensively. It's exciting. I think we are going to have one heck of a ball club next year, I can't wait to be a part of it. We can win! That's what we're here to do."

Marker Bills extend Henry pact through 2005 [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Johnson declined to give all the financial details, but it is believed Henry's new contract includes a signing bonus. It is believed he will make over $1 million in base salary in each of the next two seasons and more than $2 million in 2005. Henry also could earn between $700,000 and $1 million in incentives during the second year of the deal, which also includes a signing bonus.'

Marker Services for Chargers GM Butler [5:31 AM]
AP reports: 'Former Bills coach Marv Levy attended the services along with former Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly, Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer and quarterback Drew Brees.'

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