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Buffalo Bills News - April 24, 2004

Marker Wild ride will dictate Bills' new passengers [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's believed the Bills have Roethlisberger rated slightly ahead of Rivers. If the Chargers and Giants take quarterbacks, the chances of Buffalo getting a QB drop. In that case, Buffalo probably would have to move ahead of Pittsburgh to get Roethlisberger. If either the Chargers or Giants pass on a QB, then the odds of a passer for Buffalo go up.'

Marker Catch of the Day [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 2004 NFL draft shapes up as possibly the deepest ever at wide receiver. According to most projections, seven or eight could hear their names called in the first round, which begins today at noon on ESPN.'

Marker Gallery's the focus of big picture [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gallery is the only offensive lineman expected to be picked in the top half of the first round today. He is a 6-foot-7, 320-pounder who has been mentioned in the same breath as St. Louis' Pace and former Jacksonville Jaguar Boselli, two of the most heralded tackles to hit the NFL in the past 20 years.'

Marker Bills Draft Hits and Misses [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Best Bills Drafts: 1. 1985.'

Marker The Bills Draft: 1967-2003 [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '2003: 1. Willis McGahee RB Miami.

Marker Tillman death rekindles memories of Kalsu [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"What I remember most about Bob was he was a very, very smart kid and he was a happy kid; he always had a smile on his face," said former Bills trainer Ed Abramoski. "I remember the coaches saying if he made a mistake, he wasn't going to make the same one twice."'

Marker Bills ready to audible as needed [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'If the Bills elect to stay at 13, their options are numerous and any position but running back could easily be justified with their pick.'

Marker Healthy McGahee eager to run for real [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”Last year, when we took Willis, there were already nine defensive linemen selected and people thought we should go in that direction,” he said. “Of those nine, only Terrell Suggs (with Baltimore) made a significant contribution.”'

Marker Looking back on Buffalo's choices [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Like all teams, the Bills have made some dazzling picks in the draft, and they’ve made some real duds. Here is a review of Buffalo’s draft history...'.

Marker Quarterbacks are pivotal on NFL draft day [5:14 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The Bills also clearly need a big-play receiver to complement Eric Moulds and could bite on USC's Mike Williams should he still be on the board.'

Marker Bills lineman Kalsu killed in '70 in Vietnam [5:13 AM]
Arizona Republic reports: 'Kalsu quickly slipped out of the public's mind. It wasn't until 1978, after a campaign by a Buffalo sports columnist, that a plaque honoring Kalsu was placed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Twenty years later, the Bills added his name to the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker The unretiring pastor [5:12 AM]
Tallahassee Democrat reports: 'A career in the ministry had always been in the back of Bass' mind, but wasn't a priority during his seasons (1961-69) as a professional football player. "I had been wrestling with the ministry," said Bass, who played for the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers. "I was a sprinter, and I'd been running from God as long as I could."'

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April 23, 2004

Marker What will the Bills do? [8:57 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'Let’s face it. They need help in just about every position. If it isn’t a player they need to plug in right away, it’s a guy they need in the very near future. So not much will surprise me. Not with Tom Donahoe at the controls. What do you think?'

Marker Shaw recalls Kalsu in learning of Tillman's death [8:56 PM]
AP reports: '``What a tremendous character makeup both of these individuals had to put their careers on hold to defend our country,'' Shaw said. ``They are the real hall of famers.'''

Marker Tillman is the epitome of a hero [8:08 PM] reports: Tillman did not have to join the Army and no one would have criticized him if he did not. Tillman's decision brings to mind the same choice made by James Robert Kalsu, one of only two NFL players to die in the Vietnam War. In 1968, Kalsu played his rookie season for the Buffalo Bills and was a budding star. He belonged to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and was told his duty status could be indefinitely postponed while he was in the NFL. Since the war was then expected to wind down, Kalsu knew that postponing his service would mean avoiding exposing himself to combat. Instead he asked to serve, was sent to Vietnam in 1969 and died there in a mortar attack in 1970 at the age of 25. No one would have criticized Kalsu if he had not gone to Vietnam. He went because he thought it was right.

Marker Donahoe keeps everyone guessing on Bills draft plans [2:15 PM]
AP reports: '"A lot of times you don't know until it starts," Donahoe said of his draft strategy. "People like to play their cards close to the vest. And if it's to our advantage to trade up, we'll look at that. If it's to our advantage to trade back, we'll look at that as well. So I don't know if we ever go into draft and say, 'This is the plan."''

Marker Hojnowski Finalizes the Bills Future [10:16 AM] reports: '"My basic duty is to write the draft picks name on the card and make sure it gets submitted correctly," Hojnowski said. "I am on an open phone line with Orchard Park from 11:30 am on Saturday until the draft is over. The Bills have a speaker phone in the draft room and the person that I actually talk to is head trainer Bud Carpenter. He relays who the pick is because he will be standing next to Tom Donahoe, Tom Modrak, and Mike Mularkey."'

Marker Bills ready to be flexible on draft day [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Udeze, who has dropped more than 100 pounds since high school, may have more long-term potential. He's a powerfully built athlete who dominated USC's competition (NCAA-high 161/2 sacks in 2003). He was almost unblockable in the Rose Bowl against Michigan, recording four tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble to help lead the Trojans to a share of the national championship.'

Marker Will Bills play or pass? [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'There are a variety of scenarios revolving around Buffalo’s search for a young quarterback that could play out Saturday and Sunday. Here are a few...'.

Marker Signal's clear, Bills need quarterback [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The moment that slip of paper is handed to The Commish and the name “Ben Roethlisberger” or “Philip Rivers” or “J.P. Losman” is read, the clock starts ticking on Bledsoe. That’s especially true if it’s the first round.'

April 22, 2004

Marker The Colorado Bills Backers [7:19 PM] reports: 'For weekly gatherings Labatts Brewing Company has been a regular sponsor. They have provided the group with a live band for the Broncos pre-game party, tons of free hats, t-shirts, jerseys, bar mirrors, and other items that they use for weekly raffles and trivia contests.'

Marker Red eyes won't dim Modrak's vision in preparing Bills for draft [7:18 PM]
AP reports: 'In a business where a 40 percent success rate is excellent, Modrak is noted for holding his own. In nine years as the Steelers college scouting director in the 1990s, Modrak helped select eight Pro Bowl players, including linebackers Levon Kirkland and Chad Brown, defensive tackle Joel Steed and offensive tackle Leon Searcy.'

Marker AFC East Draft Preview [5:51 PM] reports: 'We've been over what the Bills are likely looking for on draft day, but what about the rest of the division?'

Marker Bills May Be Focus of Draft Talk - Again [4:23 PM] reports: '"If it's to our advantage to trade up, we'll look at that," Donahoe. "If it's to our advantage to trade back, we'll look at that as well. I don't know that we ever go into a draft and say, 'this is the plan', other than the fact that we want to add some good football players to our team."'

Marker QB Brown accepts tender to re-sign with Bills [3:43 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills retained Brown's rights by tendering him a contract in February, but the player was free to negotiate with other teams until April 16.'

Marker Travis Brown Accepts Offer [3:43 PM] reports: 'The Bills today announced that quarterback Travis Brown, a restricted free agent, has accepted his tender offer from the team. In accordance with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.'

Marker Donahoe takes ‘tough’ look at draft [1:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Donahoe emphasized, “I don’t think you can ever underestimate the adjustment a player has to make and that’s why we have to be more patient than you (media) do. We can be more patient because we live with these guys and we know the potential that they can get better."'

Marker 13th pick wrong spot to find QB [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills were bad enough last season to acquire a favorable draft position, but not bad enough to take the historically ill-advised gamble of selecting a QB from their spot on the board.'

Marker Feeling a draft [8:54 AM]
Rochester City Newspaper reports: 'Generally, Clements has been very good, Williams has been disappointing, and McGahee is a mystery. However, because of similar character descriptions between Flowers and McGahee, I will apply what I know about Flowers to McGahee.'

Marker First-round team target lists [8:53 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Mike Mularkey and Tom Donahoe are keeping an eye on the QB situation with Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers to develop behind Drew Bledsoe. At the same time, the Bills are interested in also building more talent around Bledsoe. Roy Williams would be very attractive at wide receiver if he remains on the board. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive ends Kenechi Udeze and Will Smith remain possibilities to upgrade their front four.'

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