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Buffalo Bills News - March 22, 2002

Marker Bills looking to tackle draft [7:52 PM]
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com reports: Bills looking to tackle draft: While the Bills retain moderate interest in Riley and Denver unrestricted free agent tackle Trey Teague, look for Buffalo to use its first-round pick in next month's draft on either Mike Williams of Texas of Miami's Bryant McKinnie, the two highly-regarded tackle prospects in this year's lottery. GM Tom Donahoe personally scouted the campus workouts of both players and, on Wednesday, he and coach Gregg Williams spent extra time with Williams. A right tackle for the Longhorns, there is some question as to whether Williams can switch to the left side in the NFL, and the Bills made him do several drills with a left-handed stance. Buffalo would prefer to rid itself of 10-year veteran LT John Fina after June 1, when the impact of releasing him would be somewhat ameliorated on their salary cap. They could move second-year right tackle Jonas Jennings to the left side or draft one of this year's two top prospects. What they almost certainly will not do, despite rumors to the contrary, is use the fourth overall choice in the draft on Oregon QB Joey Harrington.

Marker Inside Slant - Buffalo Bills [7:52 PM]
USA TODAY reports: There is much speculation that Donahoe wants to trade down in the first round and acquire more picks, which he did last year. But his reputation as someone who always trades is unwarranted, Donahoe said.
"If it makes sense to sit there and take the pick, that's what we'll do," he said, adding that his philosophy is to be open-minded and ready to audible if a wise trade offer surfaces.

Marker Buffalo Bills Team Report [7:52 PM]
USA Today reports: As draft day nears, Buffalo continues to explore ways to upgrade its line through free agency, a tact that could change its draft-day game plan.

"Denver's still in the mix but right now, I'm just trying to see what's out there, maybe something that could be a good opportunity," Teague said. "I have a good feeling (about the Bills)."

Marker Chat wrap: Chris Mortensen [7:50 PM]
ESPN reports: Chris Mortensen: I bet Davis would love to get a shot at his Miami OT McKinnie but I'm not sure he would want to pay the price. I'm not ruling it out because I think the Bills (picking 4th) would be receptive to deal with the Browns (16th).

Marker Relatively Meaningless: Alex Van Pelt's Oscar picks [5:21 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Van Pelt's pick: Russell Crowe.'

Marker Redskins, Semple to Meet [5:20 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'The Redskins continued to wait yesterday for a resolution to their negotiations with free agent quarterback Jeff Blake. The Redskins seemed resigned to losing Blake when they were unable to complete a deal with him on Wednesday, but their hopes were boosted a bit when he did not immediately sign with the Buffalo Bills yesterday.'

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March 21, 2002

Marker Tinker for tinkering's sake but NO change of rule [12:31 PM]
WNSA FM reports: @ One more item they looked into and didn't act on. Of course, it came a result of a play involving Buffalo. Remember when David Patten fumbled after making a catch - the ball is in-bounds while his head was out of bounds but the leg was touching the ball. New England retained possession. Is it to tough to say, "If a ball is loose in bounds - it's a free ball."

Marker Bills may stick with Van Pelt [11:03 AM]
Fox Sports reports: @ If the Buffalo Bills don't sign free-agent Jeff Blake and don't draft Joey Harrington, they think they can win with Alex Van Pelt. Honest. If the team doesn't sign a QG, look for it to draft one next month. That doesn't mean it'll be one who's going to play; Williams and GM Tom Donahoe like what they have in third-stringer Travis Brown.

Marker Where have all the quarterbacks gone? [7:34 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ Wasn't it just a decade ago that we were treated to the wonderful passing wizardry of John Elway, Steve Young and Jim Kelly?

Now we have players like Jay Fiedler and Jim Miller getting lucrative multiyear contracts. Those are two players who spent time in the last five years knocking on doors just to have a job.

The major problem is a lack of aggression on the offensive side of the ball. "I think a lot of us are defensive-minded coaches, which is why maybe there isn't as much aggression," Bills coach Gregg Williams said.

Marker Kelly battles son's disease on all fronts [5:20 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Kelly, a native of East Brady, came to town with his wife, Jill, yesterday to speak at the Engineering Tissue Growth International Conference and Exposition at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. He explained what they go through with their son and the goals of their foundation, Hunter's Hope.'

Marker Relatively Meaningless: Alex Van Pelt's Oscar Picks [5:19 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Van Pelt's pick: Halle Berry.'

Marker Field of tissue engineering holds promise [5:18 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Yesterday, conference organizers used the event to put the spotlight on Krabbe disease, a rare, degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous system. There is no cure for the disease and research at the University of Pittsburgh caught the attention of East Brady native and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, whose 5-year-old son, Hunter, has the disease.'

Marker As Blake Fades, Matthews May Be in Picture [5:17 AM]
Washington Post reports: The Washington Redskins were growing increasingly pessimistic yesterday about their chances of signing free agent quarterback Jeff Blake.

March 20, 2002

Marker Thoughts on Sabres, Bills and the NIT [1:08 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Keion Carpenter, who started 10 games at the free spot, and Raion Hill, a 13-game starter at strong safety, have both been waived, with Atlanta signing the former. That says all you need to know.'

Marker New salary cap pool to insure working players get paid bonuses [11:19 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ Alex Van Pelt didn't get most of the pay, but got most of the playing time in Buffalo last season. The league announced it will reward players for playing-time incentives. For the first time, minimum-salaried players will have the chance to take the biggest chunk of the money.

The idea is that if a player participates in the majority of his team's plays, yet makes a minimum or low salary, he should be entitled to more compensation. Say a minimum-salary player beats out a high-priced veteran, then that player would be paid a certain amount of incentive money from a money pool for each team.

Marker New York City unlikely as 2007 Superbowl site [10:13 AM]
ESPN reports: @ "I'm as much in favor of helping those two cities [New York City and Washington] as anyone here," said Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson. "But if you're going to New York, then I can make a case for Buffalo, too. Someone is going to have to be pretty persuasive to get me to commit to this."

Marker Pierson Prioleau [9:56 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: How have you been spending your time this off-season? I've been relaxing, spending time with my family, working out and we just closed on a new house as well. I'm getting mind to rest while I'm away.

Marker Bledsoe may be offf the market due to lack of interest [9:19 AM]
ESPN reports: @ Tom Donahoe, the Buffalo general manager, reiterated Tuesday the Bills are intrigued by Bledsoe, and said there have been discussions with New England officials. But he emphasized that the Patriots did not set a price on what it would take to get Bledsoe, said he did not know if New England would deal him within the division, and noted that he will not overpay to land the veteran QB. Donahoe hinted the Bills might be willing to part with a third-round draft choice for Bledsoe, but not much more than that.

Marker Williams takes long view toward filling in lineup gaps [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The uncertain starting positions are: quarterback, left tackle, one of the two defensive tackles, one of the two defensive ends, weak-side linebacker, free safety and strong safety.'

Marker Redskins in Running To Acquire Blake [5:25 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'The Bills apparently were offering Blake a starting job. Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier has said he won't name his starter ahead of time and will play the quarterback who earns the job. But the Redskins hoped the lure of playing in Spurrier's high-powered passing offense would sway Blake.'

Marker Relatively Meaningless: Alex Van Pelt's Oscar Picks [5:18 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Van Pelt's pick: Jon Voight. "Don't think I'm making this selection because I'm an athlete and this is a sports movie. I think it's tough to play [Howard] Cosell because he's so familiar. Russell Crowe did a great job as Dr. John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind," but who really knows what Nash is like?"'

March 19, 2002

Marker Ostroski to accept award at "National Kidney Foundation" event tomorrow [2:03 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ On behalf of the Bills organization, Jerry will be accepting the Jeff Stoltzenburg Award, which is presented annually for service and contributions to the National Kidney Foundation. Jerry is also serving as the honorary chairperson of the ?2002 Gift of Life Walk,? which will take place on Sunday, May 19 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Marker 2002 Draft and online mock draft [9:39 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: This time of the year every one is an expert and everyone is a critic. It seems no matter where you go someone has an opinion on whom a team needs to draft.

Marker Bills have talked about Bledsoe [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If the Bills don't sign Blake, they would have to pay a large price in the Bledsoe bidding. New England is believed to be seeking two first-round draft choices for him. Even if they dropped the demand to one first-rounder, the price likely would be too steep for the Bills.'

Marker 2002 HOF enshrinee Jim Kelly sees the world in the right perspective [8:09 AM]
Canton Repository reports: '"Most of his time is dedicated to his family," said Ann Brooker, marketing manager at Kelly Enterprises. "He spends most of his time with his family at home." Kelly turned over his business, Kelly Enterprises, to his brother Dan. The marketing business was taking too much time from the business of fatherhood. Kelly and his wife, Jill, have three children, ages 2, 5 and 7. It is the 5-year-old who occupies most of dad's thoughts and time. "I just hope and pray Hunter is there in August," Kelly said.'

Marker This Kelly might be too big a hero [8:07 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'When the former Buffalo Bills great is enshrined Aug. 3, he said more than 1,000 friends and family members will be in attendance. Kelly has reserved every room in two Akron hotels and still needed 50 more rooms in the Canton area.'

Marker For Kelly, it's a family affair [8:07 AM]
Massillon Independent reports: '"Right now, the most important place for me to be is at home with my family," Kelly said.'

Marker Alex Picks Oscars [8:02 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Buffalo Bills quarterback Alex Van Pelt this week counts down his Oscar picks on buffalobills.com, although he says his formal training was one college course on Japanese film. Monday, he picked A Beautiful Mind's Jennifer Connelly, explaining: "She reminded me a lot of my wife, and not because she's married to a schizophrenic."'

Marker Bledsoe may fit the Bill in Buffalo [6:37 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Yesterday, Buffalo vice president Tom Donahoe said that if the Patriots would consider trading their franchise quarterback inside the AFC East, the Bills would definitely be interested. In fact, Donahoe said that conversations between the two teams have already begun.'

Marker Relatively Meaningless [5:56 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Alex Van Pelt is a smart man. He realizes that playing quarterback for the Buffalo Bills has about as much upside as waking up next to your cousin.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
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