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Buffalo Bills News - April 29, 2003

Marker Jim Kelly Video [4:44 PM] reports: Jim Kelly was drafted with the 14th overall pick in 1983.

Marker Bills Couldn't Pass On Willis McGahee [3:56 PM] reports: Last year, on the second day of the draft, he engineered a trade with the Patriots that brought quarterback Drew Bledsoe and a lot of enthusiasm to Orchard Park. It’s fair to say Buffalo didn’t stand pat this year. About the only bigger surprise (outside of the Bills’ draft-room) would have been if NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced, ‘With the 23rd selection of the 2003 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills select … LeBron James.’

Marker Bills Make Roster Moves [3:36 PM] reports: The Bills today announced that the team has released CB Chris Watson. Watson spent the last three seasons with the Bills and played in 44 games and made 13 starts over that span.

The team has agreed to terms on a contract with OL T.J. Watkins, who was with the Seattle Seahawks as an UDFA during the 2002 preseason. Watkins played collegiately at Clemson, where he played both guard and tackle.

Marker Aiming High [12:51 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'That same little voice telling me the Bills just might roll the dice for McGahee, is now telling me not to be at all surprised, if one Willis McGahee is on the field by that time in a Bills uniform, making life miserable for the pro team he grew up watching.'

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: TE Raymond Thomas (Wake Forest) [10:58 AM] reports: Good athlete who has made strides as a pass blocker…Has large, soft hands and quickness getting off the line.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: OT Justin Sands (Kansas) [10:57 AM] reports: Former defensive lineman who made the successful transition to offensive line as a junior … Named team co-captain as a senior, he started 27 games on the offensive line during his career.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: WR Jerel Myers (LSU) [10:57 AM] reports: Four-year starter at split end who ranked fourth in school history with 149 catches and is eighth in the LSU career record books with 1,843 yards receiving.

Marker Member of Bills Chain Crew Passes Away [10:16 AM] reports: The Bills organization was saddened by the news that Henry "Hank" Andrzejewski has passed away at the age of 93.

Marker Simonton Silences Thunder in Berlin [10:11 AM] reports: Ken Simonton continues to haunt the Berlin Thunder, the team that he scored four rushing TDs against in Week 1, gaining 174 all-purpose yards last weekend in the Claymores 34-17 win in Berlin. Simonton gained 140 yards on the ground and 34 yards from 3 receptions.

Marker Long-snapper tops Bills' free agents [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The player considered the best long-snapper in college football - as well as one of the most compelling human-interest stories - was among nine rookie free agents signed by the Buffalo Bills on Monday. Jon Dorenbos, a long-snapper from the University of Texas-El Paso, agreed to terms with the Bills, who have a need at that position. Tight end Jay Riemersma, who was released in February, was the long-snapper last season.'

Marker Bills weren't 'tricked,' Rosenhaus says [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He acknowledged Saturday that he placed calls to McGahee's cell phone during the draft telecast to make it look like NFL teams were on the line with the running back.'

Marker Bills add 10 free agents to mix [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills signed 10 college free agents on Monday, including Arizona quarterback Jason Johnson and LSU wide receiver Jerel Myers.'

Marker McGahee pick draws opinions [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'If defensive end Chris Kelsay had been picked in the first round and McGahee in the second round, instead of vice versa, most Buffalo fans who consider GM Tom Donahoe reckless for this move might be calling him a football genius.'

Marker Bills know Drew's show [5:18 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"We knew it was a Drew show," Donahoe said. "We felt Willis McGahee wasn't going to work out like a running back. The only thing he is going to do is jog straight ahead, lift some weights. We didn't feel any need to see that. To be honest with you, I was shocked the nine teams went. What did they think they were going to see?"'

Marker Rogers grad goes to Bills [5:17 AM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'He woke up late Sunday afternoon when the phone rang. It was a call letting him know the Buffalo Bills were offering a free-agent contract. The contract arrived in the mail Monday afternoon and he'll leave for Buffalo on Thursday.'

Marker Willis McGahee says he can be another Emmitt Smith [5:16 AM]
Portland State University Vanguard reports: 'Consider that he tore his anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, three of the four that hold his left knee together. And the fourth, the lateral collateral, he blew out in 1999 when he was in high school.'

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April 28, 2003

Marker Undrafted Free Agent Bio: QB Jason Johnson [10:34 PM] reports: Two-year starter who was not afforded the luxury of operating behind a balanced offensive attack, as his teams did not have the featured running back the Wildcats were known for in the past

Marker Undrafted Free Agent Bio: WR Paris Jackson [10:34 PM] reports: Tremendously improved from first year … No. 2 at split end ("X" receiver) … tall and athletic … runs 4.60 40.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent Bio: Ken Hilliard [10:33 PM] reports: Possesses good size at 6-2 and 205 pounds… will be remembered for his game-saving interception in the late stages at Southern Miss, which propelled TCU into the Bowl and, through a strange set of circumstances with the BCS rating system, helped Nebraska to a spot in the National Championship game vs. Miami.

Marker Updated Buffalo Bills Roster [10:31 PM] reports: Rookies Assigned Numbers: Willis McGahee (42), Terrence McGee (36) Angelo Crowell (54), Mario Haggan (53), Ben Sobieski (64), Lauvale Sape (66), Chris Kelsay (72), Sam Aiken (89)...

Marker Sape, Freitas get their shots in the NFL [9:45 PM]
Honolulu Star Bulletin reports: '"This is shocking for me. I have wanted to play in the league for a long time and a lot of people didn't think I was going to get drafted," said Sape, a 6-foot-1, 297-pound defensive tackle who still calls Wahiawa home.'

Marker Bills agree to terms with nine undrafted free agents [4:42 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills agreed to terms Monday with two wide receivers and two offensive tackles among nine undrafted free agents.'

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: S Jerton Evans [3:11 PM] reports: Four-year starter who is a hard-hitting safety playing with a linebacker's mentality … Has started 42 games during his career … Recorded 293 tackles (194 solos) with 8 stops behind the line of scrimmage, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 13 deflected passes and 6 interceptions in 47 contests.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: LS Jon Dorenbos [3:10 PM] reports: Pronounced: Dorn-bus…moved from linebacker to fullback in the spring.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: Offensive Tackle Gary Byrd [2:45 PM] reports: Has a strong, thick frame with good foot balance, impressive strength and quickness out of his stance.

Marker Haggan 'crushed' over seventh-round selection [1:45 PM]
Clarksdale Press Register reports: '"He's crushed," said Phillips referring to Haggan's late selection. "He thought he was a second-round pick. He's just crushed. There's nothing wrong with him. physically at all. This was a huge blow to him in many ways including financially."'

Marker Donahoe finds another draft gem [1:16 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Besides, Buffalo's situation and McGahee's potential made grabbing him a bet too good to pass up. Especially since Donahoe placed it with found money.'

Marker It’s too early to grade the Bills’ draft [1:11 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I don’t think it’s ever been detrimental in football to have depth and competition. For the people who are in personnel, that’s our job, to get as many good football players at as many positions as we can.” He concluded, “That (competition) sorts itself out. Sometimes it’s because of injuries and sometimes it sorts itself out as far as what a player can or can’t do. Some players rise to the occasion in a competitive situation ... and some don’t.”'

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With 10 College Free Agents [12:51 PM] reports: The Bills today announced that the team has agreed to terms with 10 undrafted college free agents.
Gary Byrd, OT, Clemson; Jon Dorenbas, LS, UTEP; Jerton Evans, S, Virginia; Anthony Floyd, S, Louisville; Ken Hilliard, CB. TCU; Paris Jackson, WR, Utah; Jason Johnson, QB, Arizona; Jerel Myers, WR, LSU; Justin Sands, OT, Kansas; Randy Thomas, TE, Wake Forest

Marker Regarding Henry [12:48 PM] reports: It's a business, a tough business. Maybe they figure since you were the 58th pick in 2001, and if they can get 3,600 yards in three years out of you, and turn that into, say, the seventh player in 2004, they're making a great investment. Those are lots of maybes, but that's the only way this thing makes any sense to me at all.

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