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Buffalo Bills News - January 22, 2002

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).'

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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).

Marker Bills sign three free agents [3:30 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills signed three free agents on Friday, including receiver Reggie Allen, who spent part of last year on the team's practice roster.'

Marker Bills' great Kelly among finalists for Hall of Fame [9:07 AM]
AP reports: Marv Levy opened the door to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jim Kelly might be the first to follow him in. In his first year of eligibility, and a year after Levy was inducted, Kelly was among 15 finalists announced for selection into the hall. The class of 2002 will be determined on Feb. 2, a day before the Super Bowl, following a vote of the hall's board of selectors.

Marker Kelly, Lofton make Hall cut [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Whether it's this year, whether it's next year or two years down the road, my dream is that my son will be around to watch me go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Kelly said. "He's my life."'

Marker Freak show haunts Smith [6:54 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"Did I learn anything from that game? You bet I learned something from that game," said Smith. "I learned you have to be ready for all situations. I thought the Bills were ready for everything that Tennessee thought of for us except the last play of the game on special teams with that throwback. That taught me we have to be ready for all situations no matter what comes up and never stop playing."'

Marker Modell takes step toward Hall [5:24 AM]
Canton Repository reports: 'If there is a favorite among the 15 [finalists], it is Kelly, the only one in his first year of eligibility.'

January 17, 2002

Marker Kelly, Parcells and Modell among finalists [3:31 PM]
AP reports: 'Kelly is the only candidate in his first year of eligibility.'

Marker Parcells among finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame [3:30 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Quarterback Jim Kelly, Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell and punter Ray Guy were among the other finalists for the Class of 2002, which will be announced Febuary 2 in New Orleans.'

Marker Draft Dish: Bills show interest in Carr, Harrington [2:39 PM]
SportingNews reports: There's a strong sense around the NFL that Buffalo is banking on picking either Joey Harrington or David Carr, the top two QBs in this year's draft class. It's likely team president Tom Donahoe will let oft-injured QB Rob Johnson go, leaving Alex Van Pelt, who recently agreed to a five-year contract extension, as the starter.

Marker Fifteen Finalists for Hall of Fame Election announced [12:48 PM] reports: Jim Kelly, QB, 1986-1996 Buffalo Bills
James Lofton, WR, 1989-1992 Buffalo Bills (among others)

Kelly also played two seasons in the defunct USFL with the Houston Gamblers (1984-85).

Marker Big Ted going to Pro Bowl in place of Sapp [11:00 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Ted Washington never gets tired of going to the Pro Bowl.

Although he's a Pro Bowl veteran, this will be the first time Washington has represented the NFC. His other three trips -- 1996, 1997 and 2000 -- came when he was in Buffalo.

Marker Up close in the off-season: Dan O'Leary [10:21 AM] reports: Offseason plans: get an intern in Cleveland Clinic in their computer area.

Marker Chris Mortensen's chat items on Buffalo [9:49 AM]
ESPN reports: Just Buffalo related remarks:

Q: You recently said that Buffalo would try to get Harrington or Carr in the April draft, yet we're also hearing they are going to trade down for more picks. Any updates?
A: I think that the Bills are very high on Carr and Harrington, but there are a couple of other QBs that may catch their eye, too, like Kiitner and Davey, so if they got great value for the fourth pick that would enhance their overall draft - and still get a QB they believe will be a quality NFL starter - then I'm sure they would consider it. But that's what the next couple of months are about - to evaluate everything.

Q: What do you think of the Johnson situation in Buffalo? Personally, I think they should let him go if he wont accept contract changes. I doubt houston would want to take him in the Expansion draft.
A: Don't be so sure about that. Chris Palmer was one of Rob's offensive coaches in Jacksonville and he was pretty high on the guy, I think. Palmer is the Houston OC.

Marker Cottrell vs Dungy [9:19 AM]
ESPN reports: Ex-Bils DC Ted Cottrell is going head-to-head with Bucs ex-HC Tony Dungy for positions with Panthers and Jets. Indianapolis will interview New York Jets DC Ted Cottrell on Saturday and the Panthers will meet with him on Thursday. Dungy's agent is still working on times and places to meet.

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09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
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10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
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12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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