Bills' top two picks still haven't signed [6:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Talks with the agents for Flowers and Tillman were ongoing yesterday, but when asked if he'd get the two young defenders the Bills are counting on heavily this season under contract on time, Butler wouldn't say. "I have no idea, and I never do until a deal is done," he said.'
Reed brings Hall credentials to Denver [6:24 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"Last year I started every game, but I wasn't into playing as a starter. They made me feel like I wasn't even there. I just didn't want to be there. That's the bottom line. And I have nothing against the organization. I had some great years there. I was able to play with some Hall of Fame players and be coached by a Hall of Fame coach in Marv Levy. I will never downgrade some of the years that I had there. "It's just that last year left a bad taste in my mouth about the organization and about football, period. I vowed to myself if I get another chance to play, I'm going to go out on my own terms."'
Broncos make room for Buckley, Reed; set sights on Swann next [6:23 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Reed, the NFL's No. 2 all-time receiver, visited the Broncos complex Wednesday. He might be a natural fit as the No. 3 receiver. He also provides insurance should the league further discipline Rod Smith following his guilty plea in a domestic dispute.'
The dollars and sense of training camp [3:03 PM]
ESPNet reports: 'Buffalo Bills: Here's one the kids will love -- give your $10 admission fee to ticket taker Doug Flutie! He'll have plenty of spare time while Rob Johnson steers the offense in practice. Pat Doug on the head! See if your kid is taller than he is! Try to win your second consecutive jump ball against an NFL player!' (Thanks to CW for submitting this link).
Camp Buffalo comes east [1:34 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Russ Brandon is quick to note that his Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team in New York state. The New York Giants and Jets, their monikers aside, technically are residents of The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. But geographical quibbles aside, Brandon and the Bills hold no illusions about becoming the state's official football team. The fanatics behind the Giants and Jets have a firm grip on the turf of New York City and its environs. Beyond those boundaries, however, the Bills figure the rest of the state is up for grabs. And that fight to win the upstate fan's allegiance is why the Bills have moved into new summer digs a mere 75 minutes west of Syracuse.'
Broncos shopping as training camp nears [1:27 PM]
Denver Post reports: Today, one day before the team is scheduled to report to training camp in Greeley, the Broncos will host visits with former Buffalo standout wide receiver Andre Reed and Arizona's free-agent defensive tackle Eric Swann....But the depth the Broncos really would like to add is at wide receiver and defensive tackle. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan already has spoken with the 36-year-old Reed about signing with Denver, where he likely would be the team's No. 3 wide receiver, a position the Broncos have tried unsuccessfully to fill for years.'
Reed to sign with Broncos [12:00 PM]
The Sporting News reports: As soon as Broncos work Andre out and approve of his conditioning, he will sign.
Bills especially mindful of special teams [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Want to know why special teams will be a high priority for the Buffalo Bills in training camp? They ranked 22nd in kickoff returns, 21st in kick coverage, 18th in punt coverage and 11th in punt returns. There was also a certain kickoff return by the Tennessee Titans that shall remain nameless.'
O-line unsettled with coach away [7:19 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Wannstedt brought in former Buffalo assistant Tom Bresnahan to fill Boudreau's spot in the interim...Bresnahan last coached the Bills in 1997 and spent 16 years in the NFL. Bresnahan, 65, was given a crash course via telephone Monday and Tuesday by Boudreau, and he was scheduled to meet with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on Tuesday night. "I've been on the opposite side of the field from Chan, but I have a lot of admiration for what he does," Bresnahan said. "I don't know the intricacies, but I'm a pretty quick learner and I'm sure before long I'll be up to snuff."'
Dolphins turn to Bresnahan for fill-in coach [7:16 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports: 'Bresnahan's name should be familiar to Dolphins fans from his nine-year coaching stint in Buffalo. Not only did the Bills field dominating offensive lines during that span, but Bresnahan also served as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo teams that reached Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.'
Ex-Bills assistant to sub for Boudreau [7:13 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Tom Bresnahan, the former offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, will serve as offensive line coach while the Dolphins' Paul Boudreau undergoes surgery to remove what is believed to be a cancerous tumor from one of his kidneys. Bresnahan, 65, flew to South Florida on Tuesday from Phoenix, where he has lived since retiring from the Bills after the 1997 season. Bresnahan spent nine years with the Bills, helping them reach the Super Bowl four times during the 1990s.'
Bills address, don't expect camp troubles [6:23 AM]
D&C reports: 'In recent years, the Bills have a good, but hardly spotless, record of player behavior. There have been several incidents of domestic violence. Last fall, lineman Marcus Spriggs and wide receiver Jeremy McDaniel were arrested for an incident involving an off-duty female Buffalo police officer in a bar. During training camp at Fredonia, there were several occasions when players put their fists through drywall, usually after learning they'd been cut. Lost room keys and stolen linens added to the final bill. When the team trained at Niagara University, free-agent running back Terry Morehead went berserk after getting cut in 1984, throwing a chair through a window. He was given a police escort all the way to the Buffalo airport.'
You Make the Call! (#7) [11:01 PM]
TBD reports: 'It's playoff time in Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills are hosting the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game. Incredibly, after *two* overtime periods the two teams remain tied. Which of the following rules now applies...'
Buffalo Bills Survivor: Round 13 is complete! [9:07 AM]
TBD reports: 'The 13th castaway has been voted off Buffalo Bills Island. This former OLB was best known for his bone breaking tackle in the AFL Championship Game in 1964. That tackle defined this player's career, but it wasn't enough to save him this round.'
Raw notes: Free Safety Daryl Porter [9:06 AM]
Shout! reports: 'These are quotes from off-season conversations with free safety Daryl Porter. They don't include Mike Doser's questions, rather, it is just pure, uninterrupted comment from Porter about his off-season and preparing for his second year with the team.'
Bills sign two more [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills made two signings official Monday, announcing contract agreements with third-round draft choice Corey Moore and seventh-round pick Drew Haddad.'
New Bills camp lacks the charm of good old days [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The team transferred its operations to Fredonia State in 1981, but it wasn't until 1987 that the Bills created a personality for the training base. What did it was the coming of Marv Levy as head coach. There would be no more serious contact, much less scrimmaging. There would be an abundance of light sessions. Voices rarely were raised. Observers named the camp "Club Marv," a take-off on "Club Med," the famous string of resorts. Football watchers shook their heads in disapproval. What good could possibly come from such an easy training camp? Try eight winning seasons in the next 10 years, seven division champions and four Super Bowl teams. Rochester should be so kind.'
Option package [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '...the Bills think they have a tight end who can do a good impersonation of a fullback in Sheldon Jackson. Jackson is no Gash as a blocker - who is? - but the Bills believe he's capable. And what they might lose in knock-your-heels-over-your-head blocks they might gain in the element of surprise.'
Helmets, gum here; Bills next [6:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'All the activity was proof positive that this will be a different kind of training camp, a mix of marketing, merchandising and star-watching. "Years ago, you wouldn't see anything like this," Woody Ribbeck, the assistant equipment manager, said of the off-field activities at Fisher. "Everything has changed in football."'
QB Battles in Training Camp [3:54 PM]
The Sporting News reports: The article outlines a few of the QB battles in training camps around the NFL. They apparently concur with most fans that the situation in Buffalo doesn't really count as a battle because it's "... Johnson's job to lose. Flutie was clearly not the same quarterback he was in 1998."
Buffalo Bills Survivor: Round 12 is complete! [9:05 AM]
TBD reports: 'The 12th castaway has been voted off Buffalo Bills Island. This former WR was known as "Golden Wheels", due to his blazing speed. Although he retired 32 years ago, this player remains 4th on the Bills all-time receiving list.'
Plugging holes is name of game for Bills' defense [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Nine of the 16 players who left due to free agency or the salary cap were on defense, including four starters. Gone are the team's all-time sacks leader (Bruce Smith), its best cornerback (Thomas Smith) and its defensive quarterback (free safety Kurt Schulz). The Bills have several veterans back, but most of the defensive depth will consist of players who have little or no NFL experience. Getting those newcomers ready for the season will be vital when the team opens training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford.'
Camping out in style [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills have garnered 15 major corporate sponsors for training camp, putting them near the top of the league in the marketing and promotion of their summer site. They will train in the posh new facilities of St. John Fisher College, which are an upgrade over the accommodations they used at Fredonia State College the past 19 years. And they have assured themselves of reaching an audience that dwarfs anything they could get in Chautauqua County.'
The watch is on: It's time for camp [8:25 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Here are 25 people to watch this season:...7. Wade Phillips: The Bills coach's decision to bench Doug Flutie before a playoff game, then losing to the Titans, and his subsequent decision to start Rob Johnson, will have its ramifications. Phillips is second-guessed more in the rest of the country than he is in Buffalo, and he must hope the Bills' performance this season validates his judgments.
Bring on the Bills [8:06 AM]
D and C reports: '''Think of the camp as a thank you to the Rochester fan base,'' says Charles Goodwin of the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce. ''Those fans have turned out to buy a hell of a lot of tickets and a lot of corporate suites.'' Rochester has paid its football dues: the Bills say at least 25 percent of their ticket sales each year are made to residents of this area. In addition, local businesses helped greatly in the Bills' successful drive two years ago to sell luxury suites at the renovated stadium in Orchard Park, Erie County. Bills officials are hoping the Rochester connection will be strengthened by the training camp. In addition, they hope to draw fans from central New York and larger Southern Tier cities such as Elmira and Binghamton.'
Bills bet on marketing trifecta [8:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'And this training camp -- the first for the Bills in the Rochester area -- will offer even more. The Bills and Wegmans Food Markets Inc., the camp's primary sponsor, are transforming the camp from a sleepy summer rite to a football happening. If all goes well, this training camp could double as a theme park. ''They'll be more off-field elements than there's ever been,'' says Russ Brandon, the Bills' vice president of marketing. ''It will be a much different experience from the time fans arrive at camp.'' If enough fans come to the camp, the Bills, Wegmans and Fisher will all benefit. The team would expand its regional market. The small college would increase its visibility. The supermarket would underscore its identity with a popular team.'
Fan-tasyland: A tourist's guide to training camp [8:03 AM]
D and C reports: Beef on wick?
Spartan conditions greeted 1960 campers [8:01 AM]
D and C reports: 'Players were housed in the old Roycroft Inn. In many cases three and four guys were sardined into small rooms without any air conditioning during the dog days of summer. The locker rooms were about a quarter mile away at East Aurora High School. With more than 100 players in camp, there weren't enough lockers to accommodate everyone, so trainer Eddie Abramoski put up clothing hooks in the gym for the spillover. The practice field was the polo grounds of the Knox Estate, roughly three miles from the high school. Players either walked or rode school buses to and from the two-a-day workouts. ''We joked that Buster kept a couple of the guys on the roster until the end of camp just because they were good bus drivers,'' Abramoski recalled. ''It's not like today where everything is in one setting and every player zips around in a golf cart.'''
Patience, location, timing key for autograph success [7:59 AM]
D and C reports: '''Be patient,'' Bills fullback Jonathan Linton said. ''We'd like to get to everybody, but sometimes we can't. It gets even worse when somebody is willing to trample someone else for a signature. Especially when it's an adult. The kids are the most important people to autograph for.'' Linton admits that players are more likely to sign for a child than an adult, but doesn't advise people to ''borrow'' children to get an autograph. There are more prudent ways for older fans to ask players for a signature. The best time to ask a player for an autograph is after the second or afternoon practice, not earlier in the day. It is also wise to know where to ask for a signature. Although many Rochester residents may see Bills players at local hangouts or eating at area restaurants, these are not the best places to ask.'
Leaving Fredonia behind was 'a business decision' [7:58 AM]
D and C reports: 'The bottom line was the bottom line: Fredonia is about 40 miles southwest of Buffalo in Chautauqua County, a county with an estimated 137,431 residents. Monroe County, home of the Bills' new summer home at St. John Fisher College, has an estimated 712,419 residents.'
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