Cowart goes all out in pursuit of greatness [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As good as Cowart is, Cottrell admires the fact that the player still strives to get better. "Sam is a pleasure to coach," Cottrell said. "He's a good student of the game, and his work ethic is tremendous. That's why he is going to be a great one in this league for a long time."'
Several players in competition for final roster spots [6:17 AM]
D and C reports: '...Phil Stambaugh is history...Mike Cawley is in trouble....Phillip Crosby and Josh Roth are gone, while Jason Corle (out with a hamstring) may luck out and land on season-long injured reserve...Drew Haddad, Kevin Drake, Corey Sullivan, Scott Pingel and Kwame Cavil are fighting for the last position...Bye bye Ivan Gustafson and John Jennings....it's anybody's guess right now between Fred Jones, Kenyatta Wright and DaShon Polk.'
Flowers' bonus healthy, but will he bloom? [6:12 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Flowers, taken 26th overall from Arizona State, has yet to play a down in the NFL and will be counted on to contribute, albeit sparingly, as a substitute player in his inaugural season. Flowers will be paid a salary of $400,000 this season and receive annual raises of $100,000 over the life of the five-year contract. Total value: $5.65 million. Second-round pick Travares Tillman, a safety from Georgia Tech, pocketed $900,000 when his four-year deal was signed. The total value is worth $2.11 million. The remainder of the Bills' draftees have three-year contracts, though they really should be interpreted as three, one-year contracts. Terms are dependent upon those players making the team each year. The bonus money paid to third-round selection Corey Moore ($375,000) right down to the final two selections, UB's Drew Haddad ($26,000) and Dashon Polk ($22,000), adds up to a total of $830,000. The signing bonus, then, is what really separates Flowers and Tillman from the rest of the rookie class.'
Notes on Bills' preseason loss [3:36 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The real concern is that, for the second straight game, the Bills' first-team attack was uneven at best. Yeah, there was the pretty 72-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Rob Johnson to wide receiver Eric Moulds. However that wasn't great offense, it was a great play made by a superlative athlete on a perfectly thrown ball. But the overall performance by the first-team offense, which played into the third period, was decidedly unimpressive. The line, in particular, struggled.'
Bills lose, defense shines [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' first-team offense and defense played well into the third quarter. It was obvious which side of the ball needed the most work.'
Schulz adjusts to life with Lions [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It was difficult leaving Buffalo, both personally and professionally," Schulz said. "I owe the Bills organization a lot for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to have a career in the National Football League. "The change to Detroit was a pretty smooth transition, but the hardest part was moving the family. That was the biggest challenge."'
Reed's football career may have a postscript with Broncos [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I feel like I'm 22 again," said the 36-year-old. "When I feel like that I'm usually good. It just shows that I can still do it. When you look at Bruce (Smith, now a Washington Redskin) and Thurman (Thomas, now a Miami Dolphin) you know they're thinking the same way. When we make plays, it will be all in the face of you know who." Translation: Bills' management.'
Lions Hold On [7:19 AM]
LionsFans.com reports: 'On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions -- with the exception Moulds' big play -- kept the Buffalo offense at bay for much of the game, forcing three turnovers and winning the time of possession battle (31:14 - 28:46).'
Bills not getting the basics [7:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'Two games into the preseason, the Buffalo Bills have the big play down cold. It's the basics that are bogging them down.'
Bills high on rising star Williams [7:05 AM]
D and C reports: '"Pat has talents we have to utilize and, of course, we know all about Ted," said defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who is looking for ways to keep his unit ranked No. 1 in the NFL despite the loss of four starters. "What we want is to find the right situations where we can get both of them out there together. In essence, it gives us more reps for Pat without taking any away from Ted."'
Hanson's 50-yarder gives Lions win [6:53 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'The defense had four sacks and two interceptions -- by linebacker Allen Aldridge and cornerback Marquis Walker. A holding penalty in the end zone against Bills guard Victor Allotey gave the Lions two points on a fourth-quarter safety. It cut Buffalo's lead to 13-12 and put the Lions in position to win on a field goal.'
Case has tough start [6:48 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'Saturday night's 8:35 kickoff was 90 minutes later than usual. The reason is because the game was televised by ESPN. The Lions never sell out exhibition games, so the live telecast was blacked out locally. It was a financial win for the Lions, though. They get an additional $400,000 for playing on ESPN, Lions chief operating officer Chuck Schmidt said. That is about $100,000 more than for their entire exhibition season TV contract, Schmidt said.'
Despite 15-13 win, Lions have plenty of work to do [6:46 AM]
Ann Arbor News reports: 'Detroit's defense, which has been impressive since the start of training camp, opened the game showing some firepower.'
Lions 15, Bills 13 [6:41 AM]
AP reports: '"That wasn't exactly a thrilling performance," Lions coach Bobby Ross said.'
Lions 15, Bills 13 [6:38 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Detroit Lions' kicking game is ready for the regular season. Jason Hanson kicked a pair of fourth-quarter field goals, including the go-ahead 50-yarder, as the Lions rallied for a 15-13 exhibition victory over the Buffalo Bills.'
Linton is forgotten back at stacked position [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bryson's play warrants the Bills finding time for him, but that could mean Linton's role in the offense may be reduced. Linton has a chance to prove his value to the team tonight when he starts for the Bills against the Detroit Lions at the Silverdome.'
Maguire back on familiar turf after short hop to Detroit [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Since he was in Japan, Maguire didn't see the Bills preseason opener with Cincinnati. But he knows what coach Wade Phillips is looking for tonight. "The young guys are stepping up, which is kind of neat," said Maguire. "When you are looking to replace seven starters you are putting people in positions and seeing how they react. You know what they can do physically. But this game is so mental."'
Lions, Bills Preview [7:49 AM]
LionsFans.com reports: 'At free safety, former Bills' defensive staple Kurt Schulz will start against the ball club he spent nearly his entire career with. Schulz left Buffalo for Detroit following a financial disarray on the Bills' part -- and has immediately plugged the gap left by former Lion Mark Carrier.'
For starters, Case is happy for chance to play [7:42 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'The Lions-Bills game is starting at 8:35 p.m. to accommodate ESPN.'
Giants keep it simple [7:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'Forget about marketing, shuttle buses, crowds and interactive games that can make a kid feel like a football player. In sharp contrast with the Buffalo Bills' training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, the New York Giants camp on the SUNY Albany campus is decidedly no-frills.'
Time running out for rookie [7:28 AM]
D and C reports: '[Ivan] Gustafson is the longest of long shots to make the Bills' roster, but that he is at St. John Fisher College trying to make it to the NFL is heartwarming. This is a kid who was bailing hay at his parent's farm outside Olympia, Wash., the day before he had to leave to come to Rochester for the start of camp. "I went to Whitworth, worked hard and had a fun college experience and got a college education which is what I wanted to do," said Gustafson. And that will someday reward him when he puts his degree in elementary education, as well as the masters degree he plans to obtain, to work. But as he said the other day, "everything is on momentary pause" right now because his stardom on the football field at Whitworth has opened the door to the NFL just a crack.'
Linton elated with start [7:26 AM]
D and C reports: '"I'm excited about this opportunity," Linton said. "Anytime you get extended minutes in a ball game, you have to make the most of it. I'm looking foward to showing the coaches I can make a big contribution to this team." Depending on the ability of Smith to shake his injury bug, Linton's contribution could be as big as last season or more.'
Competition at safety heats up [7:24 AM]
D and C reports: The competition for the Bills' vacant free safety job kicks into second gear tonight when the team meets Detroit. On the other side of the field, ironically, will be the reason Buffalo is looking for a new free safety. Kurt Schulz, who started six seasons for the Bills, signed with the Lions as a free agent. Keion Carpenter is expected to get the starting nod tonight for Buffalo, followed by Daryl Porter and rookie Travares Tillman. Carpenter also spent time at corner and strong safety this week in practice, and Porter also can play cornerback. Coach Wade Phillips has made it clear he wants to keep the best defensive backs overall, regardless of position. "That's the way coach Phillips handles things," Porter said. "If you're playing well and doing your job, he's going to play the best players. He's always saying, `I brought you guys here, I want to see you guys perform on Sunday.' That's nice to hear."'
Second preseason game important to Case, Johnson [9:00 PM]
AP reports: '"We didn't know how much we were playing against the Bengals," Johnson said. "We thought we could be out after the first drive. I think we eased up a little bit, which is not a good thing. "Hopefully, we can put some more drives together." Bills coach Wade Phillips plans to give Johnson and all the rest of his regulars a little more playing time this week. "I think we need some more work," Phillips said. "I think this game is where we're pointing to do that."'
Smith to sit out Bills preseason game against Lions [8:57 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills running back Antowain Smith, nursing a swollen right knee, will miss Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Smith, Buffalo's No. 1 rusher, did not participate in any contract drills at training camp this past week in Rochester. He was hurt in last week's preseason-opening victory against Cincinnati when he was struck by a helmet. Coach Wade Phillips, who insists the injury is to Smith's thigh, said the running back will continue to have fluid drained from his leg and should be ready to return next week.'
Hill climbs depth chart as he excels in camp [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Raion Hill wasn't a high draft pick. In fact, he wasn't drafted at all. He's not a household name like some of the other young players being showcased at the Buffalo Bills' training camp this summer. But when it comes to making an impression on teammates and coaches, few have done it with as much regularity as Hill. Hill is making a strong bid to secure a spot on the Bills' regular-season roster as the primary backup to strong safety Henry Jones. "Raion is having a terrific camp," defensive backs coach Bill Bradley said after practice Thursday at St. John Fisher College. "He's doing so well it's hard not to notice him."'
Camp attendance hits six figures [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills eclipsed the 100,000 mark in fan attendance in their inaugural training camp at St. John Fisher College. According to team officials, 8,400 attended the two sessions on Thursday, the highest single-day total thus far. Owner Ralph Wilson praised the fans in Rochester and the surrounding area who attended the practices, adding that attendance was "far beyond our expectations." "Maybe it's the highest turnout of any training camp in the country," Wilson said Thursday. "That I don't know, but it's really up there, first or second. It's been a great experience here."'
Johnson ready to break out for Bills [8:01 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Said current Cleveland Browns coach Chris Palmer, the former quarterbacks tutor in Jacksonville, who got to work one year with Johnson: "It's all there. He can throw every pass. And he's a lot more mobile than people think, too." Indeed, he flashed his surprising ability to buy time in the pocket while leading the Bills to what should have been a game-winning field goal in last year's playoff loss at Adelphia Coliseum. But the reason the Bills shipped first- and fourth-round choices in the 1998 draft to Jacksonville to get Johnson, then rewarded him with a five-year, $25 million contract had little to do with his feet. At 6-feet-4 and 212 pounds, Johnson is a prototype pocket passer, a player who can stretch the field vertically and one who should benefit from a solid supporting cast.'
Tillman gets better with time [6:14 AM]
D and C reports: 'Defensive end Erik Flowers had a sack, forced fumble and a tipped pass. Linebacker Corey Moore had a sack and a game-clinching blocked field goal. Wide receiver Avion Black scored on a dazzling 34-yard pass play. And free safety Travares Tillman? Well, the Buffalo Bills second-round draft pick didn't quite have the kind of splashy professional debut that the team's other top rookies did last Friday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Then again, the others aren't playing a position where the game is played more above the shoulders than below it.'
Hicks provides plenty of protection [6:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'If a man is big enough to blot out the sun, that's the kind of man you want serving as one of your bodyguards. All Rob Johnson wants is someone big enough to prevent opposing defensive ends and linebackers from breaking him in two on Sunday afternoons, and in mountainous Robert Hicks, Johnson has found his man. "The only problem with having someone so big over there, sometimes you can't see too well (downfield), but I'll take that any day," Johnson said with a smile. "He can be a dominant player because he's big, he's athletic, he's in shape. If he stays healthy, he can have a huge year." That's what the Bills are expecting from the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Goliath who is beginning his second year as the team's starting right tackle.'
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