Conference Championships are about Redemption [11:23 PM]
USA Today reports: Inevitably, cameras will focus on these players (such as Antowain Smith, who was released by Buffalo last year) at the end of Sunday's games. Win, and they become the sentimental favorites, like John Elway finally having enough talent around him to win it all in Denver. Lose, and they almost become tragic heroes like the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s.
Len Pasquarelli's expansion draft list for Houston [4:37 PM]
ESPN reports: Forget the high priced players. Look at the 2nd teer agents such as Avion Black of Buffalo, a potentially solid kick-return man.
And don't forget about defensive backs such as Chris Hayes of the New York Jets, Tampa Bay's Eric Vance and Raion Hill of the Bills, all good cover men on the punt and kickoff teams.
Maxie shuffling off to Buffalo [4:16 PM]
Regina Leader Post reports: '"When the opportunity comes, I'll take it,'' Maxie said from Norwalk, Calif. "Money's the big thing because I have a family (with two kids) to look after. It's even more important now because of the Canadian dollar -- when you bring that money home to the States it doesn't amount to very much."'
Gregg Williams press conference (1/25) [11:16 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Gregg Williams speaks on letting of OC Sheppard go, that it was his decision and that he will be looking at the best offensive system to fit the players.
Tom Donahoe press conference (1/25) [11:13 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Tom Donahoe talks about expansion list (instructed to not say anything until Friday but due to links started notifying players on Tuesday. Bills have spoken to all the players on the list.
Gilbride Will Likely Top Bills Wish List [10:44 AM]
ESPN.com reports: Now that the Bills have fired offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard, expect Kevin Gilbride to emerge as the lead candidate for the job. Gilbride was supposed to get back to the New Orleans Saints about their QB coaching opening. He told the Saints that he had heard from another team this week. That team very well may have been the Bills. Gilbride also interviewed for the Vikings' offensive coordinator position.
Bills looking at UFA LBs, talks with Cowart stalled [10:07 AM]
ESPN reports: And Modok may stay in Buffalo because no GM positions opened for him.
Bills show offensive coordinator Sheppard the door [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Mike Sheppard is a quality person and a super individual. He's very organized, very detailed. But this business is about, you know, prove it, and handling the whole offense. I need to make a move and take a look at another person out there."'
Next mistake could be last for Williams [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Firing Sheppard is a clear sign that the pressure has intensified at One Bills Drive, a recognition by Williams that his own job and reputation are on the line.'
Bills Fire Offensive Coordinator Mike Sheppard After One Season [6:59 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Buffalo's offense ranked 13th out of 31 National Football League teams with 321.1 yards a game this season, but the team scored only 16.6 points a game, fifth-worst in the league.'
Williams fires Sheppard [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: '"We needed to win this year, that's how I look at it," said Williams, who is believed to have a three-year contract. "I'm going to coach in this league. The issue is how do we get better next year and that's what I'm addressing right now."'
Bills leave Johnson out in cold [5:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'Of course, a new dynamic is at work. Now that Mike Sheppard has been fired as offensive coordinator, depending on who his replacement is -- possibly Kevin Gilbride -- the Bills might try harder to re-sign Johnson to a new deal. Donahoe did not give an indication that talks were going smoothly.'
Sheppard's departure won't improve Bills [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'Imagine how much better Sheppard's unit might have fared with a healthier and better offensive line. Or with a quarterback capable of the quick-thinking and adjustments necessary to successfully run a West Coast offense and isn't on pace to break every negative sack record in league history. Or with veteran Antowain Smith instead of rookie Travis Henry as the designated heavy-duty running back.'
Bills may be looking North [11:42 PM]
Toronto Sun/Regina Leader-Post reports: The Toronto Sun reports Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) DT Demetrious Maxie is reportedly close to signing a two-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Although Maxie recently told the Regina Leader-Post he hopes to re-sign with Saskatchewan, a CFL source said Thursday that he is expected to join an NFL team. Demetrious Maxie was signed by a NFL team last year but failed to make the team and returned to the Roughriders.
Robert Hicks one of few players likely to stick with Texans [11:14 PM]
The Sporting News reports: Hicks (6-7, 324) surprised the coaches with his speed and mobility in workouts. He started 23 games for the Bills in 1999-2000, then was hurt coming into camp last year and was cut early by the new staff. He went to the Lions and was cut two weeks later. Hicks admits he "was still a Buffalo Bill at heart" when he went to the Lions and didn't perform the way he should have. He now says he's over the heartbreak and is eager to show the league he can still play. The Texans believe he has a good chance to show it with them.
No one seems to want Phillips as head coach [11:02 PM]
ESPN reports: It's funny, with winning coaches such as Tony Dungy and Schottenheimer getting jobs, that no one seems to be moving on Wade Phillips, who took the Bills to back-to-back playoff appearances. Phillips is a close friend with Chargers GM John Butler, but the Chargers are expected to wrap up some kind of deal with Schottenheimer over the weekend.
Falcons HC Reeves contacted Wade Phillips regard DC post [10:59 PM]
ESPN reports: ESPN.com has learned that Reeves met with former Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer early this week. In addition, he discussed the job with Wade Phillips, most recently head coach of the Buffalo Bills, and a man who worked as Reeves' defensive coordinator in Denver and who succeeded him as head coach of the Broncos in 1993.
Unprotected players for expansion draft [10:45 PM]
ESPN reports: Full list of expansion players (except final four playoff teams) has been released. QB Rob Johnson at $11,225,250 is the largest 2002 cap cost. Other ex-Bills players exposed include: CB Jeff Burris ($6,583,000), Safety Kurt Schulz ($2,100,000), Guard Glenn Parker ($1,663,357)
Bills jettison offensive coordinator Sheppard [10:35 PM]
ESPN reports: Despite an attack that statistically ranked 13th in the league, the Buffalo Bills on Friday dismissed offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard after only one season, feeling his philosophies did not jibe well with what head coach Gregg Williams had in mind.
Bills fire offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard [9:25 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"I just thought we needed to see if there was someone else out there who could improve the offense," Williams said.'
Donahoe says expansion-draft list doesn't mean Johnson will go [4:12 PM]
AP reports: 'Donahoe on Friday downplayed the significance of the quarterback's availability in expansion. "It doesn't really signify anything other than the fact that he's on the list. I can't violate the confidences of what I said with the players. Some players weren't happy, but I can't expect them to be thrilled. A large percentage won't get picked and will come back to the teams that put them on the list."'
No Surprises: Official Expansion List Announced. [1:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: Rob Johnson, John Fina, Ken Irvin, Raion Hill, Avion Black were placed on the expansion list.
Bills fire Mike Sheppard as offensive coordinator [1:26 PM]
AP reports: 'Sheppard was hired by head coach Gregg Williams last February. He spent the previous two years as quarterbacks coach in Seattle.'
Kelly deserves to be a first-ballot Hall selection [1:22 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"When I looked over Jim's stats," he said, "head-to-head against the three most heralded quarterbacks of his era, he had a .667 winning percentage against each of them ... and cumulatively. Against Dan Marino he was 14-7, against John Elway 4-2 and against Joe Montana (already in the Hall) 2-1. In playoff games he was 5-0, 3-0 against Marino and 1-0 against each of the other two.''
Sheppard is Gone. [1:20 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: All rumors to this effect are true. TD will hold a PC at 12:30 ET
OC Mike Sheppard Dismissed [11:48 AM]
WNSA reports: Stadium Wall regular Mike in Syracuse says that WNSA has reported that offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard has been fired after one year. Details to follow.
Moulds dreams of going from football to NBA [5:06 AM]
D and C reports: '"I'm going to look at my options and see what happens," Moulds said. "By no means am I just going to bolt the NFL and go to the NBA, but if it's something that I get the opportunity to do and it's a way to stay in shape and get ready for the football season (I'll do it)."'
David Carr, QB Fresno State, ESPN chat [7:01 PM]
ESPN reports: David Carr answered chat questions including one on Buffalo.
Q: Some mockdrafts done for a sports website has you going to Buffalo. What are your thoughts on that?
A: David Carr: I mostly followed QBs when I was younger so I didn't really have a favorite team. I just liked watching good players. I wouldn't mind playing for Buffalo. They have a good team and good players. The weather wouldn't bother me. But I will play anywhere.
Up close with Ruben Brown [5:35 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Ruben discusses his Probowl preparation; he is also bringing his son with him without his wife for she is due in February.
Johnson could lift off in Houston [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Whether the Texans pick him or not, his career with the Bills - which has spanned four rocky seasons - is likely over.'
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