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Buffalo Bills News - April 29, 2003

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.

Marker On Shocking Picks and Christmas Ghosts [12:30 PM]
BillsDaily reports: Then the camera shot broke to Willis McGahee talking on the phone. Damn
telemarketers – a guy is waiting to be drafted on national TV and someone is trying to sell him vinyl siding – man, those guys are annoying. The Commissioner stepped up to the podium and said something that sounded
like it was in slow motion or in a huge tin can or both. He said that the Bills had taken Willis McGahee – the college phenom with the bum knee.

Marker Draft report cards: How the 32 teams fared [10:28 AM]
CBSsportsline reports: General manager Tom Donahoe is one of the best in the business, but taking McGahee will be a decision that might haunt him. They re-grouped nicely to take Kelsay in the second round to help the pass rush.

Marker Bills draft analysis [10:27 AM]
Sportingnews reports: It's a good thing the Bills didn't need a lot of immediate help because they didn't get much. The team pulled the surprise of the draft by selecting running back Willis McGahee in the first round. This was a questionable selection

Marker McGahee pick is still talk of the town [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Even Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. said Sunday he had no idea the Bills would take McGahee until "about a half-hour before we made the pick."'

Marker Bills improve, but so does rest of AFC East [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It should make for a heck of a race. The Bills are better, but they're not alone. Miami didn't have much of a draft, but it signed linebacker Junior Seau to play alongside Zach Thomas. The Dolphins allowed the fewest points in the conference last season and they're the best defense in the AFC East until someone proves differently.'

Marker Aiken's awakening makes him quite a catch [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Aiken's NFL stock began to rise at the Senior Bowl. He had a great week of practice, showing he could get open against the best college cornerbacks. His strong week culminated in a six-catch, 69-yard outing that earned him offensive MVP honors for the South team.'

Marker Northwestern State's McGee gets up on right side of the bed [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I was in bed," he said during a conference call. "I heard the phone ring so I didn't get to watch it on TV. I was happy. I didn't really expect it."'

Marker Q&A with Ben Sobieski [8:06 AM]
Iowa City Press Citizen reports: '[Q:] In what round do you think you will be picked? [A:] I've heard as early as late in the third round. But I think a lot of teams have me fourth through sixth. My agent says that he's had guys rated fourth through sixth before and some of them end up in the second round and some of them have ended up as free agents.'

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