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Buffalo Bills News - July 29, 2002

Marker Fan of the Day [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: '"This team is going to be a lot better with (Drew) Bledsoe. I didn't like it when they released (Doug) Flutie and kept Rob Johnson. But I think this team is headed on the right track."'

Marker Fletcher liked that Bills wanted him [5:16 AM]
USA Today reports: '"My gut feeling was telling me this is the place for me. It was going to be hard for other teams to outdo Buffalo in the direction I feel the organization is headed and the way the organization is run."'

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July 28, 2002

Marker Bills Conduct First Full-Team Workout [8:09 PM] reports: 'The addition of Mike Williams allows the Bills to get right to work on finding the magic five that will start on the offensive line this year. "I feel good about how we are starting out with youth and experience and better athleticism, that's a big thing," Gregg Williams said. "As you watch these guys pull and do things in the run game and in the screen game we think this gives us the chance to put the best five guys out there right now."'

Marker Riemersma happy to take the field [7:57 PM]
AP reports: '"You have to have the mentality that you're a starter," Riemersma said of his mindset. "But certainly at the opening of camp, you have to reprove yourself. I've always been one of those guys that took competition very seriously. And I take my job very seriously. And I think it'll make us all better."'

Marker Williams ready to play for his big paycheck [7:55 PM]
AP reports: '"I get the sense that, yes, this is a fresh start and, yes, we have new expectations," Williams said. "And I know the coaches wouldn't put me in there if they didn't have the confidence in me. Hats off to them, because I appreciate the opportunity to step right in and make a difference."'

Marker Quarterback with spirit [4:55 PM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: '"Buffalo is a great football town," said Kelly, who still lives in the suburbs there. "People are very passionate about the team and support it as well as anywhere in the league. I can't imagine playing anywhere else than in front of those fans every week."'

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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