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Buffalo Bills News - July 28, 2002

Marker Five off-season moves above all others [8:02 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: '4. Drew Bledsoe.....5. Wade Phillips.'

Marker Big money for Big Mike [6:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is believed the contract will run for six years, and Williams' signing bonus is in the $11 million range.'

Marker Bills have to prove themselves on the field [6:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'So when you ask Newman if he thinks media outlets are disrespecting the Bills by picking them to finish last in the AFC East this season despite all the positive changes, it's hard for the fourth-year linebacker to put up an argument. "When you look at it, how can we disagree with what they're saying," Newman said Saturday afternoon when he checked in at St. John Fisher College.'

Marker Driver stays on right track [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: '"Tony has probably had the best off-season of anybody on this team," Williams raved. "He has really had an impact on the coaching staff, and he's been a visible example to the rest of his teammates because they've seen him live in that training room, the weight room and the film room."'

Marker July 27 is Kelly Day [6:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'At Saturday night's training camp kickoff dinner, County Executive Jack Doyle and Mayor William Johnson presented the former Buffalo Bills quarterback with a proclamation declaring July 27 Jim Kelly Day in Rochester and Monroe County.'

Marker Fan of the day [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"I was a big Doug Flutie fan but I tried to support Rob Johnson as much as I could. The thing is, he was such a wimp."'

Marker Buffalo Bills training camp [6:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'Today, a.m.: Larry Centers, Curtis Alexander, Jarrett Ferguson. Entire team at the fence.'

Marker Rams rank first, Bills 20th in power ratings [6:05 AM]
D and C reports: '20. Buffalo Bills. Will be more fun to watch and should top last season's 3-13 record. They still need big improvement in rushing the passer and stopping the run to become a legitimate playoff threat.'

Marker Jim Kelly: A champion...after all [6:04 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Polian says Oakland and Dallas both tried to acquire Kelly's rights from the Bills. But Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson refused. "I went to Mr. Wilson very early," said Polian, who became Buffalo's general manager in 1986, "and I said I think we can trade the rights to Jim Kelly and probably get reasonably good compensation in return. This franchise was drawing 30,000 a game. Mr. Wilson, to his everlasting credit, said, no, we're signing Jim Kelly. Period."'

Marker Dinkins looking for clean bill of health [6:03 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: '"It's a little hole you get when you are a baby," Dinkins said. "A lot of times when you find out it hasn't closed, it's when something tragic happens. They find it in the autopsy. It was really scary, looking back. God pulled me through." Joe Linta, Dinkins' agent, called the discovery "a blessing in disguise." "Once it is corrected, he will be fine," Linta said.'

Marker Bledsoe gets a clean Bill [6:02 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'In 1983, the Bills drafted Jim Kelly in the first round. He showed up in '86 after the USFL folded and turned around the franchise. Bledsoe will try and do the same. "I've talked with Jim a bunch," Bledsoe said. "He was one of my heroes coming up and then when I first got in the league, he was one of the guys who kind of welcomed me and took me under his arm a little bit."'

Marker Bills Sign First-Round Draft Pick Mike Williams to Contract [5:15 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'The 6-foot-6, 370-pound Williams was the first offensive lineman taken in the draft after earning All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors last season. He allowed one sack in 2001 and just two sacks in 27 starts over his four seasons at Texas.'

Marker Bills sign T Williams, fourth overall draft pick [5:14 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Williams has the same size as Davis but could have a bigger upside. He started every game at the University of Texas last season and was a consensus All-America. He played right tackle, which was the blindside for southpaw quarterback Chris Simms.'

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July 27, 2002

Marker Remaining Veterans Report To Camp [9:52 PM] reports: Sheldon Jackson: "I'm looking forward to camp and getting on the field to focus on football," Jackson said. "My off-the-field issues have been resolved and now I'm just anxious to get on the practice field and concentrate on football."

Marker Bills sign top pick Williams [7:43 PM]
AP reports: 'Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the contract is expected to make Williams the highest-paid rookie in Bills history and the team's third-highest paid player behind quarterback Drew Bledsoe and receiver Eric Moulds.'

Marker Bills Sign Mike Williams [7:26 PM] reports: 'The Bills today announced that the team has signed offensive tackle Mike Williams, the team's first round selection in 2002 and the draft's fourth pick overall.'

Marker Bledsoe a Happy 'Rookie' [7:24 PM]
Toronto Star reports: '"Drew has never had to depend upon movement or athleticism, the stuff Rob Johnson could do, the stuff Mark Brunell could do, or what Kordell (Stewart) could do," Gilbride said. "He's won with his arm and he's won with his brain. He's seen things and got rid of the ball when he had to. None of that's diminished. He's still a bright, insightful young man who looks to have a pretty good feel for what (rival) teams are doing to him. I think he's anxious to prove that, maybe, the Patriots made a mistake."'

Marker Flowers needs to bloom [7:21 PM]
AP reports: 'Flowers' weight -- he's listed at 274 pounds -- has only been part of the problem, and it hasn't helped that he has trouble maintaining bulk on his lanky 6-foot-4 frame. Flowers has also wound up the odd-man out in the coaching upheaval that hit the Bills.'

Marker Centers optimistic as Bills start fresh [7:20 PM]
AP reports: 'Not only are the newcomers expected to fill a number of gaping holes on what had been a banged-up and inexperienced Bills team last year, but just as notable is the leadership qualities they bring. That's important for Centers. Although last year was his first in Buffalo, Centers quickly emerged as one of the team's leaders. Now that load can be shared.'

Marker Camp Report: Bills Hold Final Practice For Rookies/Selected Vets [2:02 PM] reports: The Bills held their final practice for rookies and selected veterans on Saturday morning. The entire team will resume practice on Sunday, as the veterans will be present to take part in practice for the first time since the 2002 Buffalo Bills Bausch & Lomb Training Camp started on Thursday.

Marker Photo Gallery: First Week Of Training Camp [9:32 AM] reports: The Buffalo Bills began practice this week at St. John Fisher College for rookies and selected veterans. Misc. photos...

Marker Driver on right track for Bills [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Driver certainly has taken advantage of a second chance to make a good impression. Over the past 12 months, he has become a favorite of the coaching staff because of his work ethic.'

Marker Alexander runs on home cooking [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: 'Last summer when Alexander tried out for the Bills, the team's hierarchy knew he could run, but running alone isn't good enough to make it in the NFL. You need to run, catch, block and play special teams, a fact Alexander became acutely aware of when he was cut despite leading the Bills' in pre-season rushing.'

Marker Moulds takes new route [6:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'Moulds stopped at the Kirkhaven nursing home in Rochester for a 30-minute visit as he prepared to report to St. John Fisher College today with the rest of the Bills veterans.'

Marker BYU's Denney is Bills' latest signing [6:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'Denney, Buffalo's second of two second-round picks (No. 61 overall), is expected to arrive in Rochester sometime today and will participate in the team's one practice Saturday morning.'

Marker Bills fan of the day [6:04 AM]
D and C reports: '''My family used to live down the street from the old Rockpile in Buffalo so being a Bills fan was bred into me. I've met them all: O.J. (Simpson), Thurman (Thomas), Bruce (Smith) and Jim (Kelly) ... This could be a great season if (Drew) Bledsoe stays healthy. The team made some bold moves but I think we had to put an end to that Flutie-Johnson era. I think we've got a quality quarterback with leadership and experience again.'''

Marker Bills training camp information [6:03 AM]
D and C reports: 'Players appearing in the McDonald's Autograph Tent, 20 minutes after each session. For kids 14 and under only. Today in a.m.: Alex Van Pelt, Mike Pucillo, Robert Hunt. Tight ends, kickers and punter at the fence.'

Marker Bills on parade in Pittsford [6:02 AM]
D and C reports: '"I love the Bills," said 14-year-old Mandy Weber of West Bloomfield, Ontario County, who arrived in Pittsford at 3:15 p.m. to secure good seats for the 6 p.m. parade. "We can't afford to all go to the stadium to see a game, so we came out here to see them," said Mandy's mother, Ann Weber. "This could be her only chance to see the Bills."'

Marker A primer on Bills’ training camp [6:01 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'In addition to the workouts and various merchandise and food vendors, camp also be highlighted by the Buffalo Bills’ Experience. Segments include the quarterback challenge, 40-yard dash, bungee run, down-and-out, field-goal kick, football toss, obstacle challenge, climb-and-slide, fair-catch zone, touchdown run, obstacle course and basketball free throw.'

July 26, 2002

Marker Buffalo Bills Parade In Pittsford [10:39 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'Each of the players was introduced, and Coach Gregg Williams and quarterback Drew Bledsoe spoke to the enthusiastic crowd.'

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