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Buffalo Bills News - April 26, 2002

Marker Bledsoe takes charge in first day with Bills [7:40 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams credited Bledsoe for showing the commitment to suit up for a camp that featured mostly rookies. "I thought that spoke volumes about him being in practice today and getting started as soon as he can," Williams said. "And he jumped right in with both feet today and took charge."'

Marker Rookie And New Player Orientation [6:43 PM] reports: In total, 57 players attended the first-day workout. Some of the big names taking part included quarterback Drew Bledsoe, wide receiver Reggie Germany, first-round draft pick offensive tackle Mike Williams and linebacker London Fletcher.

Marker Marketing The Bills [1:33 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: '‘‘We started calling ourselves ‘The Bills’ more, rather than ‘The Buffalo Bills,’ so people in a broader area would identify with us,’’ he said.'

Marker Bledsoe, Bills give area much needed boost [1:31 PM]
Wellsville Daily Reporter reports: 'Sure, it's only football, but Western New Yorkers follow their team with a passion unmatched in most other NFL cities. When the Bills are on the rise, spirits are lifted on the Niagara Frontier.'

Marker Bledsoe Takes Out Full Page Ad to Thank the Fans of New England [1:30 PM]
Boston Globe and Boston Herald reports: 'Please know that you have made a profound difference in my life and the way I will live it. And while I am very excited about my future in Buffalo, I will miss you.'

Marker Bledsoe Brings "It" Back To Buffalo [9:22 AM] reports: It’s back. It has been gone for five years, though we never knew how badly we missed it until we saw it return.

Marker Open Mike [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the most striking thing about his appearance is he does not look fat. He is just . . . plain . . . big. Wide. Thick. Big. He wears a size 60 sportcoat.'

Marker Bills' roster isn't only thing that's changed [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Here's betting this is the season we find out that Williams, now that he has the personnel, can flat-out coach.'

Marker New 'savior' is also a true role model [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Granted, the deadpan Bledsoe barely registers on the charisma meter. But he left a legacy beyond wins and losses in New England. The Boston Globe's Mike Holley: "He proved you don't have to be disrespectful to make a point, you don't have to be a self-promoter to draw attention . . . Bledsoe is the person all parents want their children to be."'

Marker Web writer stirs up a fuss in Foxboro by scooping the world on Bledsoe trade [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Tom Donahoe, the Bills' president and general manager, said this week that the Patriots posted the deal on their site before they formally replied to the Bills' offer.'

Marker Big Mike makes big splash [9:09 AM]
The Colony Courier Leader reports: '"In college my goal was to be the best," Williams said. "I knew I had the God given ability to be the best and I wanted to use those talents. I wanted to go out there and be the first offensive lineman taken and that's what I worked on everyday when I stepped out there on the field. To accomplish that goal is so satisfying and comes with a great responsibility."'

Marker Bledsoe makes Bills an easier sell [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'On a team void of star power, the Bills have a poster boy again. And boy did they need one. Last season, attendance dipped to a 14-year low...'

Marker Mike Williams All Smiles [5:22 AM] reports: The Bills first round draft pick rolled into town Thursday in preparation for the team's orientation camp for rookies and new free agents. Williams was all smiles at his press conference because he knows where he's going to begin his NFL career, "I have a home. When you go so many places and visit with so many teams you wonder where am I really going to be? It's like a big poker game and I was trying to play the draft myself, but with all the possible picks you just never know. Now the difference is I have a place where I feel very accepted."

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April 25, 2002

Marker Bills finally make move in right direction [9:44 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills drafted Texas tackle Mike Williams in the first round, a huge player who will be an immediate starter. Williams will likely play right tackle, which means Jonas Jennings, who played well as a rookie, needs to find a new home. Williams plans to look at Jennings at guard and left tackle, even though the Bills signed Denver lineman Trey Teague in free agency. The team is also high on second-year man Marques Sullivan. "The best five will play," Williams said. "We'll spend the next couple of months figuring out what's best for Jonas."'

Marker Williams vows that he's got Bledsoe's back [9:22 PM]
AP reports: '"I talked to Drew last night just briefly, and he said, 'All right, you got me don't you?"' Williams said on Thursday. "And I'm like, 'Yeah, Drew, I got you Drew. I'm kind of nervous, but I got you, Drew.' "He's the captain, and I'm going to work for him. I'm the workhorse."'

Marker Bills Introduce Mike Williams [7:02 PM] reports: I talked to Drew last night. He said 'Big boy you ready, you got me don't you?' I'm talking to big time (I thought). 'I got you Drew, I got you Drew.' I'm kind of nervous a bit but I got you Drew. He's the captain. I'm going to work for him. I'm the workhorse.

Marker Photos from Welcome Bledsoe rally [6:58 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports:

Marker Tom Donahoe on the Jim Rome Show [3:12 PM]
The Stadium Wall reports: -Decided Sunday to take off conditions and just make the trade for the pick straight up.
-Spoke highly of RJ as a person and a player but felt his injuries kept him from being a success. Classy treatment of RJ.
-Did say he feels Bledsoe can bring leadership that was lacking. Met him for the first time on the plane flight to Buffalo and said they guy is excited and dialed in on being the Bills QB. Impressed with his character.
-Said the turnout for a 5 minute rally was unbelievable.
-Didn't want to call the Bills a playoff team yet,the ability of the team to gel and foster some chemistry will go a long way towards their success.
-Said he IS glad the players are starting to talk playoffs. You want the players fired up as that can only lead to good things.
-Said he hasn't seen such excitement anywhere that he is seeing in Buffalo right now

Marker Bannan to roam in Buffalo [1:45 PM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Various scouting reports list his strength, intensity and awareness in getting to the ball among his pluses. Conversely, scouts say he sometimes relies too much on his strength when trying to disengage from blockers and lacks an explosive first step.'

Marker Bills take DL Bannan in 5th round [1:44 PM]
Boulder Daily Camera reports: '"I'm really excited with how it turned out. Just to be taken is an honor," said Bannan, who leaves for Buffalo on Thursday to participate in the team's first mini-camp. "I'm going to a great organization. They told me they needed help (at defensive tackle) and they made me feel wanted."'

Marker Bills take former GHS standout in seventh round [1:43 PM]
Gaffney Ledger reports: 'The Bills plan to use Stevenson at outside linebacker and in nickel situations, he said. He’ll also be used on the special teams. Stevenson doesn’t have long to celebrate his selection - he leaves Thursday for the Bills minicamp.'

Marker Buffalo and Bills give Bledsoe the star treatment [1:24 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Those who question Erie County’s unemployment figures would have done well to check the stadium parking lots on Wednesday. What other reason would there be for nearly 2,000 otherwise able-bodied folks to be out tailgating at “The Ralph” on a sunny weekday afternoon? There were even vendors hawking food, drinks and Bills’ merchandise.'

Marker Bledsoe Gets Kelly's Support [12:54 PM] reports: As Western New York welcomed Drew Bledsoe to the Bills family the newly acquired quarterback expressed his admiration for the Buffalo franchise. He said he always considered the Bills a high caliber organization. But what made him hold the team in such high regard, even as an opponent, was his respect for the team's quarterback at that time, "It means a lot to me to follow in the steps of one of my heroes, Jim Kelly, who was a guy that I admired greatly."

Marker Patriots violated a cardinal rule [12:53 PM]
Washington Times reports: 'Only a few laws in the NFL are inviolable — unless you're Al Davis, I mean. One of them is: Don't eat the yellow snow in Green Bay. And another is: Never trade a starting quarterback to a team in your own division.'

Marker Mini Camp Dates Announced [12:37 PM] reports: BUFFALO: April 26-28 (rookies); May 20-23; June 4-7.

Marker Thinking Super Bowl already, fans whoop it up for Bledsoe [10:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bledsoe looked like a rock star - a conservatively dressed rock star.'

Marker Faith, hope and clarity [10:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Drew Bledsoe's arrival has created very high expectations for the Buffalo Bills. Anything less than a winning season and the playoffs would be a disappointment. That's fine with Bledsoe because he feels the same way.'

Marker Kelly confident Bledsoe can be a hero, too [10:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Any time something like this happens, they seem to rally around the team, and it's really nice to see. It was a carnival atmosphere out there. You have to laugh to a certain point, but then you think about what it means for everybody here. It means on Mondays when they wake up to go to work they might be smiling again."'

Marker New QB pushes the right buttons [10:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's a rare town that will hold a rally for a football player and treat him like some head of state. But it's good that Buffalo can still turn on the small-town charm at times like these.'

Marker Part III: Fans React to Bledsoe Trade [10:09 AM] reports: A VERY BIG THANK YOU to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Donahoe, and Mr. Williams for bringing Drew Bledsoe to the Buffalo Bills! What an incredible stroke of luck and brilliance! I am so proud to be part of this community and to be a Buffalo Bills fan!

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