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Buffalo Bills News - March 25, 2004

Marker Volek says he chose family, comfort over chance with Bills [6:28 PM]
AP reports: 'The Titans signed Volek to a five-year deal Thursday after he visited twice with the Falcons and even looked at houses in Atlanta, where he received an offer. Buffalo also made an offer to let him compete with Drew Bledsoe immediately. ''But my heart was here,'' Volek said at a news conference with his wife and three small children. ''It was really hard to walk away from this place. This place has been awesome to me.'''

Marker They never promised us a rose garden, but... [3:54 PM]
Azle News reports: 'Song No. 4 is “Too Hip for the Room” with Jamie Warren (another country singer whose career was apparently destroyed by this collaboration) and Buffalo Bills Chris Mohr and Steve Tasker. They can’t sing worth a hoot.'

Marker Taylor latest to leave the nest [3:36 PM]
Trenton Times reports: 'The Eagles are looking to move wide receiver James Thrash before they release him and may have an interested partner in the Buffalo Bills. According to league sources, the Bills might be willing to part with a conditional 2005 draft pick in exchange for Thrash, who has started every game but one (the meaningless 2001 season finale at Tampa Bay) in his three years with the Eagles.'

Marker Kordell Stewart Willing To Take a Backup Role [3:21 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"It went well. I got in Tuesday. I came in and met with coach (Mike) Mularkey and Sam (Wyche), the quarterbacks coach. I had a reunion type situation with coach Mularkey. I've been with him forever. Knowing that he's the head guy around here. it made the visit a little bit more laid back and settled because I knew what I was anticipating and getting myself into."'

Marker Bills Begin First Camp Under Mularkey [9:38 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I had a lot of things going on in my mind," Mularkey said referring to the night prior to camp opening. "To me, first impressions are pretty important, and I really wanted to make sure they knew where I was coming from and be upfront. I wanted to let them know what the expectations were and the roles that these guys were going to play. I was thinking to make sure I said the right things, and I feel like I did."'

Marker Mularkey is low-key on first day of minicamp [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I've been waiting for this," he said. "I'm very comfortable. I feel like I'm supposed to be doing this. It was good that I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys that I am with on this coaching staff. It makes it much more comfortable to come out here and know it's going to get done the right way."'

Marker Stewart sees Bills as good fit [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It helps a lot," Stewart said in the team's field house. "Obviously I know the system. I guess you could say I was the guy who christened this offense in 2001. This is obviously a situation that is sort of a no-brainer. You want to be in a situation where you can land on your feet."'

Marker Bills' Mularkey at ease in first practice [9:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”Mike’s real. That’s the best way I can describe him,” said quarterback Drew Bledsoe on Wednesday at Ralph Wilson Stadium where the Bills’ new coaching staff kicked off a three-day, getting-to-know-you veterans camp.'

Marker Bills look to Stewart for possible Bledsoe backup [9:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”So as excited as I am, I have to step back and get a big picture and full glimpse of what’s taken place. Whatever situation I end up in, it’s going to be a good situation."'

Marker Stewart Watches The First Day Of The Bills Veteran Orientation [9:01 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The offense used various formations that included both Travis Henry and Willis McGahee. Last year's number one pick looked good and didn't even wear a knee brace. After session two he said that he has no problems and feels he's going to keep getting better as the off season progresses.'

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March 24, 2004

Marker Bills re-sign defensive end McKenzie [9:51 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'A seventh-round draft pick out of Ball State, McKenzie was drafted by Green Bay, where he spent four seasons. He has also spent time with Cleveland and the Chicago Bears.'

Marker Mularkey introduces low-key style to Bills [8:01 PM]
AP reports: '''Someone said to me, `Hey, coach.' And I said to them, `What, player?,'' Mularkey said with a smile on Wednesday, following the first of a three-day minicamp. The conversation with the player concluded with Mularkey saying: ''You can call me, `Mike.''''

Marker QB Stewart expresses interest in Bills [4:37 PM]
AP reports: '''It's not easy, but I think to get where you want to go, you have to take a step back sometimes,'' Stewart said. ''I would think it would be a great one-two punch, and it's going to do nothing but make our team stronger if I wind up coming.'''

Marker Bills re-sign DE McKenzie [3:19 PM]
AP reports: 'McKenzie, an eight-year veteran, saw limited playing time in his first season with Buffalo last year. The signing came in time for McKenzie to take part in Buffalo's first minicamp session under new coach Mike Mularkey later in the day.'

Marker Mularkey To Get First On-Field Look at Bills [9:16 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Mini-camp rules for new coaches allow for an additional camp and Mularkey has chosen to make his first one as a Bills coach mandatory. "Most teams do have one camp that's mandatory," Mularkey said. "We anticipate our players having a high attendance for the whole offseason and after this week the rest of our camps are voluntary."'

Marker Bills to get acquainted in minicamp [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This first minicamp will serve as an introduction to the coaching staff, especially the new coaches who are on the staff," Mularkey said. "It will also serve as an introduction to the new offensive system and some of the changes that are going to be made. It is really to get a feel for our philosophy as a team and how we want to approach the season starting early on in March."'

Marker Bills fail to obtain Volek [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Staninger said Buffalo’s offer was structured in a way that made it competitive with Tennessee’s. Volek chose to stay in Nashville in large part because of personal reasons, not wanting to uproot his young family from a community they’ve embraced. ”The Bills were disappointed but they understood,” Staninger said.'

March 23, 2004

Marker Ex-Falcons QB Johnson visits Bills [10:18 PM]
AP reports: '''Who knows how long he's going to play,'' Johnson said of Bledsoe, an 11-year veteran. ''And there's a clear distinct spot for a No. 2 guy, and I've got a lot of experience coming off the bench and winning games.'''

Marker Kozlowski Could Fit in As a Second Tight End [10:18 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Very good. I enjoyed talking to Mike Mularkey, Frank Verducci and all the other guys. I liked what I heard so far. It's great to be up here in Buffalo, an hour from my home town of Rochester. I've enjoyed everything so far. The facilities are phenomenal. They really compare to some of the best in the league so it's nice to see. Hopefully things might work out."'

Marker Cousin Believes Buffalo is a Playoff Caliber Team [10:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Playing here would be good. I know guys there. I know their system there. If I'm here I can help. As far as the process of us playing them twice a year, that helps. Being able to play against New England, played them in the Super Bowl, that helps. Being very familiar with being on different teams and organizations helps out being here."'

Marker Johnson Calls Buffalo's Offense Player Friendly [10:16 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"At one point or another the whole country gets to where it's cold as cold. I know it's a cold place here but the other team has to come and play in the same atmosphere. If it's cold for us it's cold for them. I would have no problem coming here."'

Marker Kozlowski Visits Bills [10:16 PM]
RNews.com reports: 'Rochester native Brian Kozlowski was among three free-agents to visit One Bills Drive on Tuesday. Kozlowski, a Webster High School graduate has played ten seasons in the NFL.'

Marker The Bills Bring In Two Falcons Including A Quarterback [4:52 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Defensive back Terry Cousin was the third player to visit. He played with the NFC champion Panthers last year. He has five career interceptions, but none last season. His seven years in the NFL has seen stops in Carolina, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago.'

Marker QB Volek turns down Bills [11:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Doug Johnson, free-agent backup for the Atlanta Falcons, is scheduled to visit the Bills today. Johnson, 26, has started 11 games in the NFL, eight after Falcons starter Michael Vick broke his leg last season. He threw for a career-high 352 yards in a 39-26 loss to Minnesota.'

Marker Volek decides to stay put with Titans [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Meanwhile, the Bills are scheduled to entertain Atlanta free-agent quarterback Doug Johnson today at One Bills Drive. Johnson, 26, is a former undrafted free agent who has played in 23 games in four years with the Falcons.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Backers of Naples [8:28 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills Backers of Naples, Florida gather for all preseason, season, and postseason Buffalo Bills games at Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub located at the corner of Radio Road and Santa Barbara Boulevard in the Berkshire area of Naples, Florida.'

Marker Bills strengthen push for Volek [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Meanwhile, free-agent tight end Mark Bruener of Pittsburgh, who was a top candidate to rejoin coach Mike Mularkey in Buffalo, signed with Houston. That may open the door for Rochester’s Roland Williams, who visited with Bills coaches last week. But as of Monday, the former East High and Syracuse star who earned a Super Bowl ring with St. Louis still had not heard from the Bills regarding a contract offer.'

Marker QB Volek returning to Titans [5:14 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'It looked as if the Titans would lose Volek, who also received an offer from the Falcons and said he was ''pretty close'' to signing there after making a second trip earlier this month. But Volek said at the beginning of the process he wanted to return to the Titans. His four-year deal is worth roughly $7 million, though that number will increase significantly if the option is exercised to include the 2008 season.'

Marker Volek to stay a Titan [5:13 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'Volek and the Titans agreed in principle to a four-year deal Monday night that will keep the backup quarterback in Tennessee after he had serious overtures from both the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills, as well as visits to the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos. The deal, worth a reported $6.8 million, contains an option bonus in the third year that could trigger a fifth contract year. That would push the contract value to around $12 million.'

Marker Falcons, Bills pursued Volek to no avail [5:12 AM]
ESPN.com reports: Offered more money by the Atlanta Falcons and the chance for more playing time by the Buffalo Bills, much coveted unrestricted free agent quarterback Billy Volek has opted to return to the Tennessee Titans instead, ESPN.com has learned. Late Monday night, Steve McNair's backup signed a four-year, $6.8 million contract with an option for a fifth season.

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