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Buffalo Bills News - July 28, 2002

Marker Ex-Bills coach to be speaker at breakfast [4:53 PM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'The event, Friday at the Canton Memorial Civic Center and Cultural Center for the Arts, is where the class of 2002 will receive its NFL Alumni gold jackets as members of the hall of fame.'

Marker Bledsoe fitting in with Bills [2:44 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: 'Bledsoe signs autographs for fans, answers questions with complete sentences and genuinely wants to be here. The same could not be said for Rob Johnson.'

Marker Reed catching on in Bills camp [2:42 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: '"The first mini-camp, I didn't really get it," he recalled. "But when I came back, things started coming to me."'

Marker Riemersma Taken Off PUP List [9:44 AM] reports: UPDATE: Tight end Jay Riemersma was taken off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and began practicing today.

Marker Bills lock up big man on O-line with big deal [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but the contract is sure to rival that of Eric Moulds, who last year signed a deal worth a little more than $40 million, largest in team history.'

Marker Gray matters [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If Gray is right, then the high expectations of Bills fans - created by the trade for Drew Bledsoe - just might be realized this season. If the expert analysts are right, and the Bills' defense needs one more offseason of rebuilding, then the Bills probably are headed for a last-place finish in the AFC East.'

Marker Just when we really needed a distraction, the Bills are back [9:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But at a time like this, it's a relief to see the football season looming on the horizon, if only as a distraction from all the disconcerting news that's swirling around us.'

Marker Fans vote 'yes' on Bills, but what of the coach? [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Donahoe has given Williams the tools to field a markedly better team. The essential question for the Bills is whether he's up to it.'

Marker Bills need preseason games to get defense ready for when it counts [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Eleven of the Bills' 16 games are against running backs who finished among the top 12 in the league last season.'

Marker Sunday's Camp Reopened To The Public [9:06 AM] reports: UPDATE: Sunday's AM practice has reopened and is now open to the public. The afternoon session is still scheduled for 2:45-4:45 PM.

Marker Sunday's AM Practice Moved Indoors/Closed To Public [8:03 AM] reports: UPDATE: Due to the inclement weather conditions, Sunday's AM practice has been moved indoors and is closed to the public. The camp is tentatively scheduled to open to the public at 1 PM for the afternoon session (2:45-4:45 PM). Check back for an update later in the day or call the training camp hotline (800-441-5942).

Marker Five off-season moves above all others [8:02 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: '4. Drew Bledsoe.....5. Wade Phillips.'

Marker Big money for Big Mike [6:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is believed the contract will run for six years, and Williams' signing bonus is in the $11 million range.'

Marker Bills have to prove themselves on the field [6:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'So when you ask Newman if he thinks media outlets are disrespecting the Bills by picking them to finish last in the AFC East this season despite all the positive changes, it's hard for the fourth-year linebacker to put up an argument. "When you look at it, how can we disagree with what they're saying," Newman said Saturday afternoon when he checked in at St. John Fisher College.'

Marker Driver stays on right track [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: '"Tony has probably had the best off-season of anybody on this team," Williams raved. "He has really had an impact on the coaching staff, and he's been a visible example to the rest of his teammates because they've seen him live in that training room, the weight room and the film room."'

Marker July 27 is Kelly Day [6:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'At Saturday night's training camp kickoff dinner, County Executive Jack Doyle and Mayor William Johnson presented the former Buffalo Bills quarterback with a proclamation declaring July 27 Jim Kelly Day in Rochester and Monroe County.'

Marker Fan of the day [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"I was a big Doug Flutie fan but I tried to support Rob Johnson as much as I could. The thing is, he was such a wimp."'

Marker Buffalo Bills training camp [6:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'Today, a.m.: Larry Centers, Curtis Alexander, Jarrett Ferguson. Entire team at the fence.'

Marker Rams rank first, Bills 20th in power ratings [6:05 AM]
D and C reports: '20. Buffalo Bills. Will be more fun to watch and should top last season's 3-13 record. They still need big improvement in rushing the passer and stopping the run to become a legitimate playoff threat.'

Marker Jim Kelly: A champion...after all [6:04 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Polian says Oakland and Dallas both tried to acquire Kelly's rights from the Bills. But Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson refused. "I went to Mr. Wilson very early," said Polian, who became Buffalo's general manager in 1986, "and I said I think we can trade the rights to Jim Kelly and probably get reasonably good compensation in return. This franchise was drawing 30,000 a game. Mr. Wilson, to his everlasting credit, said, no, we're signing Jim Kelly. Period."'

Marker Dinkins looking for clean bill of health [6:03 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: '"It's a little hole you get when you are a baby," Dinkins said. "A lot of times when you find out it hasn't closed, it's when something tragic happens. They find it in the autopsy. It was really scary, looking back. God pulled me through." Joe Linta, Dinkins' agent, called the discovery "a blessing in disguise." "Once it is corrected, he will be fine," Linta said.'

Marker Bledsoe gets a clean Bill [6:02 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'In 1983, the Bills drafted Jim Kelly in the first round. He showed up in '86 after the USFL folded and turned around the franchise. Bledsoe will try and do the same. "I've talked with Jim a bunch," Bledsoe said. "He was one of my heroes coming up and then when I first got in the league, he was one of the guys who kind of welcomed me and took me under his arm a little bit."'

Marker Bills Sign First-Round Draft Pick Mike Williams to Contract [5:15 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'The 6-foot-6, 370-pound Williams was the first offensive lineman taken in the draft after earning All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors last season. He allowed one sack in 2001 and just two sacks in 27 starts over his four seasons at Texas.'

Marker Bills sign T Williams, fourth overall draft pick [5:14 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Williams has the same size as Davis but could have a bigger upside. He started every game at the University of Texas last season and was a consensus All-America. He played right tackle, which was the blindside for southpaw quarterback Chris Simms.'

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July 27, 2002

Marker Remaining Veterans Report To Camp [9:52 PM] reports: Sheldon Jackson: "I'm looking forward to camp and getting on the field to focus on football," Jackson said. "My off-the-field issues have been resolved and now I'm just anxious to get on the practice field and concentrate on football."

Marker Bills sign top pick Williams [7:43 PM]
AP reports: 'Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the contract is expected to make Williams the highest-paid rookie in Bills history and the team's third-highest paid player behind quarterback Drew Bledsoe and receiver Eric Moulds.'

Marker Bills Sign Mike Williams [7:26 PM] reports: 'The Bills today announced that the team has signed offensive tackle Mike Williams, the team's first round selection in 2002 and the draft's fourth pick overall.'

Marker Bledsoe a Happy 'Rookie' [7:24 PM]
Toronto Star reports: '"Drew has never had to depend upon movement or athleticism, the stuff Rob Johnson could do, the stuff Mark Brunell could do, or what Kordell (Stewart) could do," Gilbride said. "He's won with his arm and he's won with his brain. He's seen things and got rid of the ball when he had to. None of that's diminished. He's still a bright, insightful young man who looks to have a pretty good feel for what (rival) teams are doing to him. I think he's anxious to prove that, maybe, the Patriots made a mistake."'

Marker Flowers needs to bloom [7:21 PM]
AP reports: 'Flowers' weight -- he's listed at 274 pounds -- has only been part of the problem, and it hasn't helped that he has trouble maintaining bulk on his lanky 6-foot-4 frame. Flowers has also wound up the odd-man out in the coaching upheaval that hit the Bills.'

Marker Centers optimistic as Bills start fresh [7:20 PM]
AP reports: 'Not only are the newcomers expected to fill a number of gaping holes on what had been a banged-up and inexperienced Bills team last year, but just as notable is the leadership qualities they bring. That's important for Centers. Although last year was his first in Buffalo, Centers quickly emerged as one of the team's leaders. Now that load can be shared.'

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