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Buffalo Bills News - March 14, 2001

Marker Draft Dish: Nebraska center Dominic Raiola [7:46 PM]
The Sporting News reports: Gary Horton writes: 'While we were in Indianapolis for the combine we heard Buffalo took exceptional interest in Nebraska center Dominic Raiola. Apparently, that still is the case. Even though eight-year veteran Jerry Ostroski currently is Buffalo's center, he was a tackle two years ago. There is a chance he could move back to right tackle, where the Bills have had trouble, and the team would insert Raiola into the starting lineup. . . . '

Marker Williams is a class act [4:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Gregg Williams is a class act and we are lucky to have him here in Buffalo. Before making his way up north, Williams had the distinction of coaching with only one other NFL team, the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. There were many reasons that Williams stayed in Tennessee and many that made him decide to move.'

Marker Bills practices will now always start with special teams [4:00 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills' new coaching staff will emphasize special teams for the 2001 season, and after starting out each of their workout sessions this week with special teams work, coach Gregg Williams said that's no accident.'

Marker Salary Cap Status (as of March 12th) [10:19 AM]
ESPN reports: They don't list the number of players under contract. The Bills have the most "room" in the East - $2.6 mil. (NY: $2.5m; NE: $1.9m; Indy: $1.1m; Miami: 600k) Cap totals range from the Titans ($48k) to both Ohio teams ($10.1m).

Marker Lance Brown could help on special teams [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Brown, 29, is a fifth-year veteran who spent two seasons each in Pittsburgh (1998-99) and Arizona (1995-96). He was out of football last season. Brown played in Pittsburgh while Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe was the Steelers' director of football operations.'

Marker Falcons sign P Chris Mohr [5:42 AM]
Falcons Insider reports: 'What Mohr also brings is an experienced and competent holder.'

Marker Falcons getting Mohr experience at punter [5:37 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Mohr, born in Atlanta, attended Briarwood Academy in Warrenton, about 40 miles west of Augusta, and his offseason home is in nearby Thomson.'

Marker Bills considering various kickers [5:29 AM]
D and C reports: '...Al Del Greco, cut recently by the Tennessee Titans; Richie Cunningham, who had two strong seasons for the Dallas Cowboys in 1997 and '98; and Jon Hilbert, who was in the Bills' training camp last season. GM Tom Donahoe has also not ruled out re-signing Steve Christie...'

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March 13, 2001

Marker Bills add DB Lance Brown [11:39 PM]
Shout! reports: 'On the second day of the Bills' off-season conditioning program -- don't you dare call it a mini-camp -- they added free agent defensive back Lance Brown. He has played four NFL seasons with the Cardinals and Steelers, but was out of the league last season after being cut by Pittsburgh.'

Marker Like what's new? [11:38 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Yesterday after practice I approached linebackers Keith Newman and Corey Moore and asked them, "Hey, what's new?" They looked at me like I was an idiot, though I was simply trying to strike up a conversation (my pick-up lines are just as good).'

Marker Banking on the future [8:22 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Marcellus Wiley isn't what you would call a name player. But he is 26 years young, plays a position (defensive end) coaches covet and has improved each year he's been in the league. That is why San Diego struck quickly to get his signature on a six-year, $40-million contract.'

Marker Defensive back Lance Brown signs contract with Bills [8:20 PM]
AP reports: 'In Buffalo, Brown is reunited with Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe, who drafted Brown for Pittsburgh in the fifth round in 1995 out of Indiana University. He split that season between the Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, played in '96 for Arizona and returned to play in Pittsburgh for two seasons before being cut last season.'

Marker Falcons sign P Chris Mohr [8:19 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Atlanta Falcons filled a void Tuesday by signing punter Chris Mohr, who spent the previous 10 seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 11-year veteran replaces Dan Stryzinski, who signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs.'

Marker Falcons sign punter Mohr [4:42 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Eleven-year veteran punter Chris Mohr, an Atlanta native released last month by the Buffalo Bills for salary cap reasons, has signed a two-year contract with the Falcons. The financial details were not yet available on the deal.'

Marker Mohr is no Mohr a Bill [3:37 PM]
KFFL.com reports: 'SportsLine.com's Len Pasquarelli reports the Atlanta Falcons have signed free agent P Chris Mohr (Bills) to a two-year deal. Financial details have not been released.'

Marker Bills Sign Free Agent Defensive Back [1:32 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Buffalo Bills today announced that the team has signed free agent defensive back Lance Brown. In accordance with club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Brown, 29, enters his fifth season in the NFL after spending two years in Pittsburgh (1998-99) and two in Arizona (1995-96). A special teams standout in his two seasons with the Steelers, he recorded 36 special teams tackles and two forced fumbles in the two years. Brown spent the 2000 season out of football.

Brown will join the team on the field during their three-day offseason conditioning program this week. The Bills have two on-field sessions remaining this week, today and tomorrow from 1:30-3:00 PM each day.

Marker Defense excited about switch to 4-3 scheme [12:11 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'While the buzz around the recent coaching changes in Buffalo have centered around the West Coast offense, there will be a significant change on the other side of the football as well, as the Bills will be slowly shifting to a 4-3 defense for next season.'

Marker Fina ready to learn despite recovering from surgery [12:10 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "Iím kind of the guy who encourages them, Iím not so much the teacher. I will tell them what I think, because you just have to, when you are in a position like mine, you just have to encourage them, and give them things to think about because they get enough direct instruction."

Marker The first day of school [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams confirmed Monday what most observers presumed since he was hired: He wants the four-man line with three linebackers to be the Bills' base defense. The Bills gave it a whirl for the first time as they opened their offseason conditioning program with the first of three days of practice on the field.'

Marker Flowers needs some pruning for next season [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So, as the Bills began their 16-week offseason conditioning program Monday, Flowers is taking steps to become a lean, mean quarterback-sacking machine.'

Marker Pact with Van Pelt expected soon [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Three players who aren't under contract were in attendance, along with all of the team's regulars. Quarterback Alex Van Pelt, defensive lineman Shawn Price and defensive back Ray Hill, all unrestricted free agents, each were on the field working out on a limited basis. All three are interested in rejoining the Bills.'

Marker Free agent Price works out with Bills [8:35 AM]
AP reports: 'In a show of good faith and in hopes of landing a job, defensive end Shawn Price was one of three free agents to take part in the Buffalo Bills workout session Monday.'

Marker Former Aquinas star visits Dolphins [6:17 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Buffalo safety Daryl Porter, a former St. Thomas Aquinas standout, visited the Dolphins and had a physical exam Monday. Porter, 27, would presumably be a nickel or dime defensive back for the Dolphins. Earlier this month the Dolphins hosted Buffalo defensive back Donovan Greer.'

Marker In Bills' 4-3, Cowart moves outside [6:05 AM]
reports: '"We're all trying to reach the goal of the Super Bowl, and I'll chart my goals up this year and try to make the Pro Bowl at two positions."'

March 12, 2001

Marker Williams introduces changes as Bills open 3-day camp [8:28 PM]
AP reports: 'Kicking off a three-day camp on Monday, Williams made it clear that he has no patience for "fat guys," wants players training together in Buffalo to build camaraderie, and is preparing to revamp the defensive scheme.'

Marker Van Pelt to take backup role [7:29 PM]
ESPN reports: John Clayton posted this "rumor" yesterday: 'By Monday, the Bills should complete a one-year, $477,000 deal to have Alex Van Pelt as the team's backup quarterback. The cap-strapped Bills have the luxury of paying a lot for a backup, and Van Pelt wanted to return and accept an incentive-laden contract. The Bills may also bring in quarterback Pete Gonzalez, who is a favorite of new team president Tom Donahoe. Gonzalez would then be the third quarterback.'

Marker Photos from March 12th conditioning session [7:25 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Receivers and defenders listen; Working on snapping; Rob Johnson works out with Alex Van Pelt; Players stretch out; Players limber up; The line listens to instruction.

Marker Gregg Williams press conference [1:28 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: On overweight players: "Don't like them at all. At all. What we can't coach is guys who run fast and move fast. You're born with that. When all of the sudden your body weight inhibits your way to move fast, no matter how much technique we coach you..."

Marker Pat Williams chats with buffalobills.com at WNY Sports Festival [12:34 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "The strength coaches have been killing me this past week. I've been running, lifting weights, and I've got my diet plan going on. I'm just trying to get down to my assigned weight they've got for me, and be ready to play on every down!"

Marker Sam Cowart moves to OLB [12:15 PM]
reports: Head Coach Gregg Williams said today that John Holecek would remain in the MLB position and Sam Cowart would be moved to OLB.

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