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Buffalo Bills News - June 11, 2003

Marker Bills Sign Lauvele Sape [6:49 PM] reports: Sape (whose name pronounced "la-VAH-lay sah-PAY) was a mainstay on the defensive line in his last two years at nose guard for Utah, where he started 14 of 35 career games. Last season, Sape was an All-Mountain West Conference second-team selection after starting every game at nose guard.

Marker A piece of history [6:49 PM]
Buffalo News reports: The oldest living NFL player begins another story. This one is about visiting the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse recently. There he met Gregg Williams and gave insight to the Bills coach about how the game was before agents, salary caps, ball control and even the wishbone offense.'

Marker Cota won’t join the Bills [1:36 PM]
Medford Mail Tribune reports: 'What Cota feared was spending mini camp and training camp in Buffalo and then getting cut before the season started in early September. The Bills were offering Cota the minimum salary for an eight-year veteran, believed to be more than $600,000, but he would collect virtually none of it if he were released.'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Greg Cater [1:27 PM] reports: 'It has been 20 years since he last played for the Bills, but Cater still has a job that requires him to work on Sundays. He is now the pastor of the Fairview Baptist Church in Rome, Ga.'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Jeff Wright [1:24 PM] reports: '"I was just watching it in the air the whole time and I saw Carlton out of the side of my eye. I thought if we both go for it, one of us is going to drop it. So I just put my hands in the air and moved back from it. I followed him in (to the endzone). That was the difference. That was a huge play. But I wish I would have caught it and been on ‘Good Morning America’ and get a little bit higher of a salary sooner," Wright laughed.'

Marker Aiken signs with Bills; Cota quits [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cota has not officially filed his retirement papers with the league. His agent said he is considering doing so.'

Marker WGR releases the Coach [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Dickerson, who shared the afternoon time slot with Mike Schopp last season after Schopp moved over from rival sports station WNSA, originally was supposed to take the winter and summer off and return in the fall in time for the National Football League season. Ried said the station decided against bringing back the Coach and disrupting the afternoon show that has been hosted by Schopp alone since Dickerson left for Florida.'

Marker Riemersma may be part of revamped passing game [5:22 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Riemersma, who had been asked to take a pay cut in Buffalo, said he wasn't disappointed that he had to leave the Bills after a productive 10-year career. "I left a great owner (Ralph Wilson), a great organization. There have been a lot of changes there the last two years, and I don't necessarily consider them changes for the better. It was just my time to leave and I sensed that and I'm actually happy the way things turned out. They got a new GM in there. I got along well with (former GM) John Butler. I didn't necessarily see eye to eye with some of the things that took place there in the last few years. We left amicably with ownership, and really, that's all I cared about."'
Editor's Note: Riemersma has played is in his 9th NFL season

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June 10, 2003

Marker Bills report: Notes, quotes, anecdotes [10:38 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Paul Tagliabue better watch out, Bills DT Sam Adams is grooming for his job. Adams, the colorful veteran signed by Buffalo this offseason, was named commissioner of the North American Football League recently. The league consists of 102 semi-pro teams nationwide. Adams owns the Eastside Hawks, located near Seattle, who finished 9-2 last season. "It's awesome and really fun," Adams said. "When you have guys who are hungry just to play, it's nice to see. I have guys 18 to 50 years old on my team."

Marker Veteran safety Cota calls it quits [7:43 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The 31-year-old Cota, who agreed to terms, but did not sign an official contract with Buffalo last Thursday, spoke with Bills head coach Gregg Williams over the weekend about the decision.'

Marker Bills sign 4th-round pick, WR Aiken [7:42 PM]
AP reports: 'Selected 127th overall in April's draft, Aiken was the first of Buffalo's eight draft picks to sign. He's expected to compete for the team's fifth receiver spot with Charles Johnson and James Jett, the former Oakland Raider who signed with the Bills last week.'

Marker Bills Install AstroPlay - Latest Photos [6:16 PM] reports: Photos of the field

Marker Bills Fans Across America [6:16 PM] reports: The Latest Winner is: Indiana - Peter Tertinek

Marker Bills Sign Sam Aiken [6:15 PM] reports: The Bills today announced that the team has signed wide receiver Sam Aiken, the second of Buffalo's two fourth-round picks in the 2003 NFL Draft and the 127th player taken overall.

Marker Simonton states his case [4:32 PM]
Albany Democrat Herald reports: '"I don't really hold any chips," Simonton said. "The NFL is so fickle. I don't know. How much comfort can you really take in this (season), you know? I came here, and I played hard, and that's what I wanted to do. (Buffalo is) going to have to make the decision on what they want to do. I just wanted to win. This is the only season I can control. I still can't control how they feel about me. I still feel like I fit in Buffalo as much as any other place. I've never been scared of competition. I don't worry about that. My job is just to make their decision as hard a decision as possible. That's just been my goal, to make their job tough. Hopefully, I've done that."'

Marker Chad Cota Reconsiders And Rides Off Into The Sunset [1:39 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Over the weekend, he had a heart to heart with coach Gregg Williams and decided eight seasons were enough in the NFL.'

Marker S Cota retires before signing with Bills [1:36 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills had hoped Cota would bolster their young defensive backfield. He was expected to compete with third-year safety Tony Driver for the backup spot behind Coy Wire, who is coming off a promising rookie season.'

Marker Cota Makes Decision To Retire [1:10 PM] reports: Williams said, "I talked with Chad over the weekend and he told me that he has reconsidered and will retire from professional football. I respect his decision and wish him the best of luck."

Marker Cota Decides to Retire [1:10 PM]
ESN reports: Cota agreed to terms of a contract with the Bills last Thursday, but did not sign the official document which would have made him a member of the club. He spoke with Bills Head Coach Gregg Williams over the weekend, informing him of his decision to retire.

Marker Ten 'must stops' on training camp tour [9:09 AM] reports: Pat Kirwan writes: "Last but not least, the Buffalo Bills. Tom Donahoe has done a masterful job over the past two years -- clearing cap space, acquiring Drew Bledsoe, drafting well and securing quality veteran talent for the defense. Even if rookie running back Willis McGahee is out in shorts doing some drill work, it makes this stop a must. I think the Bills are poised to make a significant move this year, and I want to know this team inside and out. "

Marker What's Willis worth? Contract for McGahee lies in the balance [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He gets deals done, I will say that about Drew," Donahoe said. "He does a good job for his clients. He fights for them. He's an advocate for them. When push comes to shove, he will get a deal done."'

Marker Friday the 13th lucky for Bills fans [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills will hold a free public practice from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday in Ralph Wilson Stadium, weather permitting. Fans will be able to get a glimpse of the new AstroPlay surface at that time.'

Marker Bills practice open [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills will have a free open practice at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Friday, playing on the team’s new AstroPlay surface.'

June 9, 2003

Marker Simonton hoping to cash in with the Bills [9:50 PM]
Glasgow Herald reports: '"The reason for coming here was to make Buffalo's decision hard and, after I've come here and produced well, they have to make the decision," he said. "I don't have a problem moving on. I hope my opportunity is in Buffalo, but, if it's not, I'll make no beef about it. I just hope what I've been doing is not in vain. I know when I work hard that opportunities will come."'

Marker Bills Express Tickets Now On Sale [1:25 PM] reports: The Buffalo Bills Express is the easiest way for fans that live across New York State to attend the Bills home games. Passengers will board an Amtrak charter train on Sunday morning and travel hassle-free to the game. Fans aboard the Bills Express arrive at the stadium early without having to worry about driving and parking.

Marker Player Q&A: CB Kevin Thomas [1:12 PM] reports: Cornerback Kevin Thomas enters his second season in the NFL. As a rookie, the former four-year starter at UNLV played in six games and made his first NFL start in the season finale against Cincinnati on December 29. For the season, Thomas recorded six tackles and one interception, which came on the opening drive against the Green Bay Packers on December 22.

Marker This Week In Bills History (June 8-14) [1:12 PM] reports: June 9, 1967 - BILLS & CITY AGREE ON A 3-YEAR LEASE City of Buffalo Mayor Frank Sedita and Bills' owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. agreed on a new three-year lease for War Memorial Stadium; the Bills paying the city four percent of its revenues and the city taking over stadium maintenance.

Marker Learn From The Pros… Punter Brian Moorman [1:12 PM] reports: Catch the snap and hold the ball in your hand with the laces up. Hold the ball in front of your kicking leg as you take two steps. Do not throw the ball up or out in front of you. Drop it smoothly just before your second step hits the ground. Do not wind up your kicking leg for more power, as power comes from good technique.

Marker Tie-break fiasco robs Claymores of World final [11:26 AM]
Evening Times reports: Ken Simonton today urged the NFL to scrap the Europe League set-up after the Scottish Claymores finished tied for top spot but still missed out on World Bowl XI.
RB Simonton and his teammates defeated the Amsterdam Admirals 31-14 at Hampden Park yesterday to finish off the season with a 6-4 record.
That put Gene Dahlquist's on-form side level with German giants Frankfurt Galaxy and Rhein Fire after a dramatic final weekend of fixtures.
But they failed to qualify for the World Bowl due to an unusual three way tie-breaker system, which means Galaxy and Fire will fight it out at Hampden on Saturday.
And Buffalo Bills allocate Simonton, who capped a sensational season by rushing for 151 yards and was named MVP, reckons that is unfair. "My job is just to play football. At the end of it all we didn't do what we needed to do in order to get to the World Bowl," he said. "It is up to other people to examine how the league works. But I do think they have got to re-evaluate what's being done as it makes no sense. It doesn't add up."

Marker Ex-athlete helps youths score [5:24 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'He was an All-American guard on the University of Michigan football team and a six-time all-pro lineman in the National Football League, playing 13 seasons and opening holes for O.J. Simpson when the Buffalo Bills star became the first professional player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. After retiring from football, he moved into the front office of the Seattle Seahawks and experienced first-hand the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous at NFL owner meetings. But McKenzie never forgot where he came from -- the hard-scrabble neighborhoods of Highland Park and Detroit -- or the youngsters who reminded him so much of himself.'

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