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Buffalo Bills News - April 1, 2004

Marker Deal imminent between Bears and Pro Bowl guard Brown [11:35 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Sources said Wednesday night that the last issue involved whether the contract would be for one or three years, but it was not considered a sticking point. It's expected that Brown will earn a salary approaching $1 million, slightly over the veteran's minimum of $760,000.'

Marker Bills Backers of Arizona [11:33 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Group gathers at the Native New Yorker Restaurant on Alma School road and Guadalupe road in Mesa Arizona.

Marker Clements says run more, set up pass [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”I know when I was a player I called my own plays and if I could hand it off to the running back, that takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback and it opens up a lot of things downfield,” Clements said. ”I played most of my career in Canada and you only have three downs to get a first down, but I think every year I played I had a running back who ran for over 1,000 yards, so even in a passing league you still had to run the ball.”

Marker Brown a Bear? His decision is due today [5:15 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'There have been no negotiations between the Bears and Brown's agent, Eric Metz, because it's basically a take-it-or-leave-it proposition.'

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March 31, 2004

Marker Buffalo Bills 2004 Draft Preview [4:38 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Bills enter the draft with a glaring weakness at wide receiver. Josh Reed showed he was better suited to fill the No. 3 role. Statistically, Drew Bledsoe was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league and the team came up empty in a bid to sign Billy Volek as its signal-caller of the future.'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Mark Pike [11:14 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I realized early that that was my meal ticket," Pike said. "I don’t want to say we didn’t focus on our positions, but we put the extra focus to our special teams, making that as important as playing offense or defense. We prepared that way, we studied film that way, we practiced that way. Steve and I became the two leaders of the special teams for years because of that. Later in my career, half the time I felt like I was a coach. We had so many young players, I was the guy that everybody came to. Your coaches can coach you so much, but then the younger players like to talk to players who have been through it."'

Marker Retooling Drew [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are counting heavily on their new offensive scheme to allow their 32-year-old quarterback to excel. It's a system that worked in Pittsburgh with quarterbacks Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox. "I have a different philosophy (than last year's staff) on how to attack," Mularkey said. "I think Tom (Clements) has the same one, which is why I feel comfortable with Tom calling the plays. He has seen it be effective. I think it improved Kordell's play, it improved Tommy's play. I think it will help Drew."'

Marker Healthy McGahee shaking off the rust [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's been impressive," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said. "I saw no hesitation at all with his knee. He looked very fluid and I think he built a lot of confidence in this camp. "We're going like he is full go. To me, sometimes you can make them too conscious of it. I personally don't ask him how he's feeling. I let the trainers tell me. We're trying to get him confident and it looks like he is ready."'

Marker Bills are interested in Stewart with a slash [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'However, if Stewart decides to join the Bills, Buffalo coach Mike Mularkey plans to use him on selected plays as a running back or receiver. "I'm intrigued by Kordell because of some of the abilities he has to do some of the things we talk about," Mularkey said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "I don't want to call it the slash role, but it's a little bit of that. To me, when he was the most popular player in the league, that's what he was doing best."'

Marker East rivals look in mirror [6:35 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'This is Mularkey's first year as a head coach and he admits he hasn't done a lot of in-depth study of the teams in the division. But he has seen tapes of both of the Bills' games against the Patriots and has a pretty good grasp on what he's facing.'

Marker Teague speaks to benefit Boys and Girls Club [5:16 AM]
Jackson Sun reports: '''You can do anything you can put your mind to,'' Teague said. ''Stay focused on your goals, start now and don't be afraid of standing up for what you believe in.'''

Marker After bummer season, new regime gives Bledsoe new start [5:15 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Can Drew still do? Does the wing that was as hot as any in Buffalo in 2002 have anything left? Or is this the end for a quarterback that has never really received the due he has deserved in his career? Time will tell, and there are seven million reasons why the Bills want an answer by late October.

March 30, 2004

Marker Troy Vincent elected president of players' union [9:49 PM]
AP reports: Bills cornerback Troy Vincent was elected president of the NFL Players Association on Tuesday.

Marker Drew's demise? [3:15 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: The personnel people I spoke to, almost to a man, echoed the same reasons for Bledsoe’s poor 2003 season — the loss of deep-threat weapon Price, the inconsistency of the offensive line, the stubbornness of the play-calling. These factors should all be rectified by the time the season begins in September.

Marker Bills sign lineman [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'General manager Tom Donahoe drafted the Notre Dame product in the fourth round in 1995 and was with the Steelers when head coach Mike Mularkey was on staff there. In Cincinnati, Gibson played for Bills defensive-line coach Tim Krumrie.'

Marker Titans Caravan finishes with 'Wycheck Day' [5:14 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'The date and time of the Titans-Bills preseason game in Buffalo has been set: Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.'

Marker Buffalo Signs Gibson [5:13 AM]
RNews.com reports: 'Gibson has appeared in 133 games with 57 starts.'

March 29, 2004

Marker Bears likely to add FB Johnson [11:10 PM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'The Bears also offered a three-year contract to guard Ruben Brown, an eight-time Pro Bowl player who was released by the Bills in a cost-cutting move. The Bears plan to start Mike Gandy at right guard but can't resist the chance to add a player with the resume of Brown, 32, a first-round pick in 1985 who became a perennial Pro Bowl selection over his 10-year career. He was waived because he carried a $5.8 million salary-cap number for 2004. The Bills replaced him with former Bears right guard Chris Villarrial. Brown is likely to take the Bears' offer and compare it to any other deals he receives. Brown is still talking to the Lions and Patriots.'

Marker McGahee As Ready As Ever [6:19 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I'm healthy and I'm going to go out there and give it all I've got," said McGahee. "Everybody gets better as the season goes on. The more you work out the better it gets."'

Marker Gibson Agrees To Terms With Buffalo [6:07 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He'll sign a reported two year deal.'

Marker Thou shalt draft impact players, regardless of position [6:03 PM]
SportingNews.com reports: "We'd never say because somebody is a safety that makes him less valuable," Bills general manager Tom Donahoe says. "It's not inconceivable that a safety or tight end could be the first guy in the draft, because for us, it's strictly a matter of evaluating the guy's skill."

Marker Michigan Sports Hall of Fame to induct 50th class [4:33 PM]
AP reports: 'Joe DeLamielleure, Pat LaFontaine and Chris Spielman will be among 10 people inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.'

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With Gibson [2:57 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'A graduate of Notre Dame with a degree in economics, Gibson entered the League when he was drafted in the fourth round of the 1995 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers (120th overall). He played for the Steelers from 1995-98 before signing with the Bengals as an unrestricted free agent in March of 1999.'

Marker Bills sign free agent DT Gibson [2:47 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The 32-year-old defensive tackle spent the last five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in all 16 games last season, marking the eighth time in the last nine years he has appeared in every contest.'

Marker Buffalo should sign Stewart as Bledsoe backup right now [1:12 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Donahoe can, and should, cross "find a backup quarterback" off the to-do list immediately. He's not going to find someone better suited to the job, or the situation, than Stewart.'

Marker Bills ink defensive tackle Gibson [12:43 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'In 133 career games, Gibson has recorded 243 tackles and 17 1/2 sacks. He is expected to compete for a backup spot with Justin Bannan and Ron Edwards.'

Marker DT Gibson agrees to two-year deal with Bills [12:42 PM]
AP reports: 'After tearing his Achilles' tendon in 2002, Gibson was used as a backup last year, and credited with 24 tackles and half a sack in 16 games. A fourth-round draft pick in 1995, he spent his first four seasons with the Steelers.'

Marker Bills find defensive line help in Gibson [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gibson is a 6-foot-2, 305-pounder who will vie for a roster spot behind starting defensive tackles Pat Williams and Sam Adams. The signing helps the Bills create legitimate competition at the position, something they are trying to do across the board on their roster. Ron Edwards and Justin Bannan return as reserve defensive tackles.'

Marker Inside slant [7:27 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"I think there's no question we underachieved last year," Bledsoe said. "I think we failed to play the style of football that we set out to play. This year, you're going to see us be a little more stubborn about playing the brand of football that fits our talent. We're going to pound the ball, we're going to play-action it, we're going to play great defense like we did last year, and we're going to score more points because we're going to avoid the mistakes that killed us."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [7:27 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'On the draft front, the Bills' eyes are wide open about the possibility of using the 13th pick on one of the two top pass-rushing ends, Ohio State's Will Smith and USC's Kenechi Udeze. Both players helped themselves dramatically with solid pro day workouts. Smith ran a dazzling 4.55 and Udeze a 4.72.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
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12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
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