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Buffalo Bills News - January 29, 2002

Marker Phillips Still Front-Runner to Succeed Fox [5:04 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Phillips has spoken to Falcons coach Dan Reeves but is believed to favor the Giants.'

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January 28, 2002

Marker Fireside Chat with Tom Donahoe [11:41 PM] reports: The Best anjd the Worst of the Job
"Talking to the agents is really challenging because they have such a different agenda than we do", he said. "They're concerned about one player, we have to be concerned about 53 players, the salary cap and how it affects the whole team. That's challenging. I wouldn't say I dislike it, but there are other things that I would rather be doing."

Marker Maxie signs on with Bills [8:33 PM]
CP reports: 'Demetrious Maxie obviously had a change of heart. Last week, the Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive tackle said his first choice was to return to the CFL team. But on Monday, the six-foot-two, 290-pound Maxie signed with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Failure in Super Bowl brings lifetime of infamy [4:21 PM]
Charlotte Observer reports: The Irish rock band U2 has a new video centered on a field goal kicker who misses a kick in the final seconds of a big game. Video director Joseph Kahn said it is based partly on Scott Norwood, the Buffalo Bills kicker who missed a potential game-winning field goal in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXV. The ultimate indignity for Norwood, wouldn't you say, being thrust onto video shelves between the bare midriffs and the trashy rap?

Strange that U2 would choose such a subject for a music video, but give them this -- the title is appropriate. It's "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of."

That is the story of Scott Norwood's life, summed up in nine words.

Marker Bills sign free agent Demetrious Maxie of CFL [2:29 PM]
AP reports: 'Maxie, who indicated last week he'd like to return to Saskatchewan next season, said money changed his mind.'

Marker Donahoe rolls the dice on draft list [1:11 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Was it mere coincidence that the Bills announced the firing of offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard only moments before they revealed their expansion list?'

Marker Bills sign free agent Demetrious Maxie [12:18 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: '...he spent the past season playing in the Canadian Football League for Saskatchewan.'

Marker Fassel Set to Huddle With Wade [5:32 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Phillips, a former head coach with both the Broncos and the Buffalo Bills, had Fassel on his Denver staff in 1993-94. He is believed to be the leading candidate to replace John Fox, who became the head coach of the Carolina Panthers on Friday.'

Marker Phillips Tops List To Replace Fox [5:31 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Phillips has interviewed with Dan Reeves' Falcons, but he appears to be the Giants' leading candidate.'

Marker Jints Wade-ing after Phillips [5:30 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Fassel worked in Denver with Phillips, who was fired a year ago as head coach of the Bills. Phillips could be an immediate front runner for the most important position on Fassel's staff and Fassel may strike quickly, as there are other openings in the league and there will be competition for Phillips' services.'

January 27, 2002

Marker Wade Phillips on Fassel's docket [5:43 PM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Longtime NFL coach Wade Phillips is the front-runner to become the Giants next defensive coordinator and will interview for the position tomorrow.'

Marker Don't expect Johnson to do a Lamonica impersonation [9:32 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Johnson certainly has the talent to be a capable quarterback in the NFL. He's a nice guy and a good person. But putting him on the expansion list was the logical and correct thing for the Bills to do.'

January 26, 2002

Marker 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.

Marker 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.

Marker 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."'

Marker Gregg Williams press conference (1/25) [11:16 AM] 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.

Marker Tom Donahoe press conference (1/25) [11:13 AM] 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.

Marker Gilbride Will Likely Top Bills Wish List [10:44 AM] 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.

Marker 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.

Marker 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."'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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."'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

January 25, 2002

Marker 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.

Marker 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.

Marker 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.

Marker Falcons HC Reeves contacted Wade Phillips regard DC post [10:59 PM]
ESPN reports: 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.

Marker 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)

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