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Buffalo Bills News - January 23, 2002

Marker Jim Kelly talks to the media [1:10 PM] reports: '[Q:] If you had to pick one game that would describe what kind of player you were and what you stood for which one would it be? [A:] "The Dolphins game when I dove across the end zone at the end of the game. That game I was never so tired in my life. There are many games that I look back on but the Dolphins games will always be a special on in my mind. That game pretty much set us to be we needed to go."'

Marker Kelly's the class of Hall finalists [1:09 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'But among the 12 players in the final 15, nobody's credentials are stronger than Kelly's.'

Marker Bills' run should aid Kelly [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The greatest Bills quarterback ever is eligible for the hall for the first time and is widely considered one of the strong candidates among 15 finalists.'

Marker Top Seeds have not met in Superbowl since 1993 [9:06 AM]
CNN/SI reports: As likely as a Pittsburgh-St. Louis matchup may seem, having the top seeds in each conference advance to the Super Bowl has been the exception rather than the norm in recent years. The best regular-season AFC and NFC clubs have not met in the Super Bowl since 1993 (Bills vs Cowboys).

Marker Fina goes on the list for draft [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Fina, 32, is a 10-year veteran who has started at left tackle for the last nine seasons. He has a salary cap figure of about $4.4 million for 2002.'

Marker Revelations about RB Travis Henry and more [8:16 AM]
Shout! reports: RB Travis Henry is in more hot water other than the sexual activity with a minor. He missed the team flight to Miami and University of Tennessee did not fully disclose that Henry had a learning disability.

Henry will probably compete with Shawn Bryson for the starting job in 2002.

Marker Giambra knows that lease with Bills is on his plate [8:04 AM]
Buffalo Business Journal reports: Besides his regionalism concept, Giambra knows sometime in the next 24 months he has to sit down with the Buffalo Bills and talk about their lease, which has an escape clause after the 2003 season.

"I'd prefer to sit down with them now and start negotiations," Giambra said.

Giambra has met informally with Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., but their meetings have been more social than anything else. "The Bills are a very important piece to this community," Giambra said.

Marker Hall prospects excite Kelly [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: '"I think he's a slam dunk," said Felser, who will lead the campaign to get Kelly inducted when the voters meet on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.'

Marker QB Johnson available for Texans [5:04 AM]
D and C reports: 'Johnson and Fina come with hefty salaries that Houston would inherit.'

Marker Fina, Johnson among five players Bills place on expansion draft list [12:43 AM]
AP reports: 'John Fina, the last link to the Buffalo Bills' four Super Bowl seasons, is among the five players the team has placed on the National Football League expansion draft list, his agent said Tuesday.'

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January 22, 2002

Marker Two names leaked regarding expansion draft [7:09 PM]
Stadium Wall reports: Two names have been leaked to the Buffalo Press of names to be put on expansion list - Raion Hill, starting safety last year, and Avion Black, part-time WR and full time special teams player. Nothing published on Empire web site so keep reading the Stadium Wall for reports.

Marker Tom Donahoe: Predicts Patriots win over Steelers [10:26 AM]
The Sporting News reports: "I think the Patriots will win," says Tom Donahoe, the Bills' general manager. "The final score might be 3-2. This will be one of those knockdown-dragout, old-fashioned games in which every inch will be hard to come by. I am going to ride the hot horse all the way to the Super Bowl. There is something special going on with them, and the players have totally bought into it and totally believe in it, and I think it will carry them to New Orleans."

Marker The Thurmanator - The best all-around runner in team history [10:12 AM]
Bills Daily reports: There may have been flashier running backs in the Buffalo Bills storied history. Surely there was one who had the best season ever for the team. But there was no runner who was better all-round than Thurman Thomas.

Marker Patriots could be team of destiny [9:43 AM] reports: Vic Carucci makes the case that the Patriots, like the Bills when they rallied from a 32-point deficit in 1993 to win an overtime wild-card game against the Houston Oilers, might be a team of destiny who are going to win despite playing better teams.

Marker Cap relief the size of Texas? [6:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'Other players with suspect futures on the team and who would represent cap savings to the Bills if taken by Houston are cornerback Ken Irvin ($4.2 million) and defensive end Erik Flowers ($1.1 million).'

January 21, 2002

Marker A Fireside Chat with President Donahoe [12:12 PM] reports: Donahoe admits that the team's decision to chop away salary cap excess made for a tough 2001 season. "We were up front with the people what we were doing and what we were trying to do." he said.

January 20, 2002

Marker Hansen bids farewell [4:07 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Your kind words over the course of my career left impressions that will not be forgotten. The heart of Western New York is its working class people and I, for one, am grateful to have been associated with this community and its citizens.'

Marker Draft's abundance of underclassmen adds quantity, quality [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Last year's draft, Donahoe's first, added five starters. The next draft will need at least that many to push the Bills toward progress in 2002.'

Marker Kelly was a leader, winner, competitor . . . and Hall of Famer [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Kelly was all football player. Two weeks from now, if there is any justice in the world, he will realize his life's dream when he is voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.'

Marker Expansion list likely to include Johnson [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The other prime candidates to be on the Bills' list appear to be cornerback Ken Irvin, tight end Scot Osborne, tackle Kris Farris, receiver Avion Black, safety Raion Hill, linebacker DaShon Polk and defensive tackle Leif Larsen.'

Marker Kelly hopes son is there if Hall calls [8:13 AM]
Canton Repository reports: 'He retired maybe a season or two too soon. But he retired for the right reasons. "My focus, after Hunter was born, had to be somewhere else," Kelly said.'

Marker Williams draws optimism from progress Bills made [5:09 AM]
D and C reports: '"I really felt like we established a strong foundation," Williams said the other night. "I feel like the development of the young players that are going to take this franchise into the future, a lot of things were accomplished in that area."'

January 19, 2002

Marker Bill Bradley candidate for DC job in Washington [3:42 PM]
ESPN reports: Bill Bradley, former Bills DB coach (1998-2000) brought to New York Jets last year by Ted Cotrell, is a candidate for the Defense Coordinator position for the Washington Redskins. Redskins sought permission after interviewing Kurt Schottenheimer for the DC job.

Marker Levy makes pitch to return [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So the typical reaction of some - "Why doesn't he just relax and enjoy doing nothing?" - is absurd for anyone who knows Marv Levy. "There are eons to do nothing," he says.'

Marker NFL playoff changes are big failure with Buffalo fans [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '... the History Channel has just the special for you. At 10 p.m. Tuesday, the basic cable channel partners with NFL Films for "Stories From the Hall of Fame: Pro Football." Hosted by Hall of Famer Howie Long, two of the five stories involve Bills.'

Marker Bills appear set with staff; scouting next [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Grumbling among players during the season was directed mostly at the play-calling of offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard and at offensive line coach Ronnie Vinklarek.'

Marker Bills may 'tag' Cowart [5:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"We could do that," Donahoe said, "and that's still an option that we'll certainly take a look at. I don't like it because I think sometimes it creates hard feelings. But in the system that we have it's available to us. We would be foolish if we didn't explore it."'

January 18, 2002

Marker End of Rob Johnson's brief and ill-fated career with Bills appears imminent now [10:39 PM]
ESPN reports: Donahoe reiterated that Buffalo will not offer Johnson a long-term contract extension and still prefers a deal that allows the team one more season to evaluate him. The indications are that Johnson won't accommodate the club with that kind of contract.

Marker Donahoe doesn't rule out franchising Cowart [8:00 PM]
AP reports: '"I think it's totally unfair to expect a player, who would normally get his bonus at one time, be expected to tier it in a way that means he has to audition," Burrough said. "Once you activate a player, then you've determined by activating him that he's ready."'

Marker Bills sign three free agents [4:00 PM] reports: The Bills signed 3 free agents: WR Reggie Allen (1999, 2001 Bills training camp), WR Scott Keys (Eagles 2001 camp), and Safety Chad Sears (1996-2000 University of North Alabama).

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