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Buffalo Bills News - April 23, 2002

Marker Top Billing [5:39 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''I think you're always motivated to play at the highest possible level, and that won't change,'' said Bledsoe. ''This is a great opportunity for me to be a starting player again and resume my career. I get to do it in a terrific setting. It's a great opportunity to show I'm at the top of my game. And I want that more than anything.'''

Marker Buffalo glad it acquired marquee QB [5:38 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Let me say this. If New England let us talk to him before the deal, we would have given them more than we did. He is going to make a terrific impact on our team and this city. We've been selling tickets ever since the trade was announced.'''

Marker In no position to get choosy [5:37 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Though Patriots director of player personnel Scott Pioli spent several weeks trying to negotiate a Drew Bledsoe deal with more than one team, including the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills were the only ones who made an actual offer.'

Marker Bledsoe 'excited' by trade [5:36 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I am eager to get to Buffalo over the next few days to meet my new teammates and to look for a place to live. And, on the field, I could not be more enthusiastic about jumping into the next phase of my career and contributing to the success of the Buffalo Bills."'

Marker Bledsoe a blessing to Bills [5:35 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'This reporter was a guest on a Buffalo sports talk radio station yesterday morning. Opinion there was unanimous. Acquiring Bledsoe was the first stroke of good luck for the Bills franchise since Scott Norwood's kick went wide right in Super Bowl XXV. Not ``Hey, maybe with Bledsoe, we won't stink'' luck, mind you, but the ``Lombardi Trophy, here we come'' variety.'

Marker Game on for QBs [5:34 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'One thing's for sure. By December 8, we'll have a much better idea whether Bledsoe has anything left, and if Tom Brady still has it.'

Marker Bledsoe's dad keeps deal in perspective [5:33 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'In a frank talk from his Montana home yesterday, Bledsoe's father declined to talk about Bill Belichick, but he spoke of how much his son was looking forward to playing for the Bills, and, more than anything, stressed that Drew Bledsoe appreciated New England and knows that it appreciated him.'

Marker Bledsoe was disappointed about lack of playing time [5:32 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'In a conversation with The Boston Globe yesterday, Bledsoe said, "I've taken the high road, and that's the way it's going to end. I'm not going to say anything bad about anyone."'

Marker Bills' Top Draw Is Drew [5:31 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"I'm really excited about it," said Eric Moulds, the Bills' best receiver. "I feel like we're a legit contender. Not just a contender to win a division. But we're looking for bigger things right now."'

Marker Bledsoe Starts Over [5:30 AM]
New York Times reports: 'Here is what one pro personnel director, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about Bledsoe: "He's just one of those guys that looked like he went as far as he could go with New England. There was something about Brady that sparked that team, and Bledsoe didn't have it. He is the classic drop-back quarterback and he has good vision. There is no question he has some years left, but his best years are behind him."'

Marker Bills pick up Priestley [5:29 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: '"Early last season he was struggling, but so was their entire offense," Donahoe, a former Steelers director of operations, said yesterday. "They went back to running more conventional things that they had done in the past. I thought he really stepped up and made a lot of plays. He's smart. We like his arm, and we like his ability to run an offense."'

Marker Former U of L trio sign as free agents [5:28 AM]
Louisville Courier Journal reports: 'Mattingly, a former All-State linebacker from St. Xavier High School, signed as a long snapper with Buffalo. He said the Bills told him there was a chance they might draft him in the seventh round, but they took linebacker Dominique Stevenson. ''I just wanted to go to a team that wanted me and not have my agent calling around and begging,'' Mattingly said.'

Marker Ex-Tigers sign with pro teams [5:27 AM]
Baton Rouge Advocate reports: 'Linebacker Trev Faulk, offensive lineman Dwayne Pierce, wide receiver Ed Dangerfield and safety Ryan Clark have signed free-agent contracts, according to an LSU news release. Faulk signed with the Denver Broncos, while Pierce and Clark are headed to the New York Giants and Dangerfield will join former LSU teammate Josh Reed with the Buffalo Bills.'

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April 22, 2002

Marker The good doctor evaluates each team's draft-day efforts [11:21 PM]
CNNSI reports: Is it fair to count Drew Bledsoe? I mean, the deal was done on a draft day. But my gosh, look at the help they're giving him -- Mike Williams, 375 pounds of tackle, and Josh Reed, the Fred Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver who could have been a first rounder. They got him in Round 2. Their second pick in the same round, Ryan Denney, is a 6-foot-7 DE with great potential. Coy Wire in the third round is a good, sturdy, Adam Archuleta-type safetyman. Hell of a draft to go with the big trade. Grade ... A

Marker Rebuilt Bills ready for resurgence [11:21 PM]
CNNSI reports: "I was a little worried about Donahoe early on with the fire sale that we had that first year he got here," Brown said. "But now it's paying off."

"We were determined at the end of last season to do whatever we could to make this team better," Donahoe said. "But really, at this point, that's all we've done. We're a better football team on paper. Unfortunately, I've never seen any games played on paper. So we still have a lot of work to do."

Marker Bledsoe Press Conference On Wednesday [10:46 PM]
buffalobills.com reports: Please be advised that the Bills will introduce quarterback Drew Bledsoe to the media at a press conference on Wednesday at 3:00 P.M. Afterwards, Bledsoe will be introduced to Bills fans at an event outside the team's training facility in Orchard Park, NY.

More specific details on Wednesday's events will be released as they become finalized. Stay tuned to buffalobills.com.

Marker The draft's winners and losers [10:25 PM]
Sporting News reports: The Bills took big, tough players who are ready to contribute. They are a much better team today than they were before the draft. You can second-guess the Bills for taking Mike Williams instead of Bryant McKinnie, who is more of a natural left tackle. Pick by pick, this was as strong of a draft as any team had. The Bills should get at least four solid starters. Grade: A+

Marker Bills signing various Undrafted Free Agents [10:25 PM]
WGR55.com reports: Published reports have the Bills signing undrafted free agent quarterback, David Priestley out of Pitt. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review quoted Priestly as saying, "I was told I'll have a chance to fight for the number three spot and I believe that I'll have every opportunity to get it." The Bills are also said to have signed Notre Dame defensive end Grant Irons and Louisville long snapper Chip Mattingly.

Marker Farewell to arm: Bledsoe sent to Bills [8:07 PM]
Lowell Sun reports: '"I don't look forward to competing against him," said Belichick. "But you have to do what is best for your football team."'

Marker Bledsoe trade inspiring [8:03 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But unlike the pouting, petulant Doug Flutie who tore the Bills' lockerroom apart complaining about playing behind Johnson, Bledsoe reacted with class and dignity. He kept his mouth shut and dutifully mentored the quarterback who took his job.'

Marker Bledsoe eager to play for Bills [7:58 PM]
AP reports: '"I could not be more enthusiastic about jumping into the next phase of my career, and contributing to the success of the Buffalo Bills."'

Marker 2002 Buffalo Bills Draft Review [6:18 PM]
WGR55.com reports: A great draft recap by Chris Brown of WGR 55.

Marker Kirwan: Draft Analysis - Round 1 [6:17 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Williams teams up with free-agent signing Trey Teague at left tackle to give the Bills the best tackle tandems in the league. They'll run the ball better and the protection will be better, and the Bills, with 11 picks in this draft, are on their way to a recovery in 2002.

Marker Players reaction to Bledsoe Trade [6:00 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: I'm excited like everybody else. I think all of Western New York is excited. Especially the players and myself because we have a great quality quarterback. - Eric Moulds

Marker Statement from Drew Bledsoe [3:56 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: “I am very excited to join the Buffalo Bills, a team I have come to deeply respect over the past decade. I apologize for not being available to media and fans on Sunday but my little boy was in the hospital and my wife, Maura, and I were attending to him.

Marker Priestley signs with Buffalo [1:58 PM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Pitt quarterback David Priestley was not selected in the NFL Draft, but was signed as a free agent immediately after. Priestley joined the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night. He'll attend mini-camp next week to battle for the No. 3 quarterback spot with two-year veteran Travis Brown.'

Marker Bledsoe will throw in Buffalo [1:52 PM]
Springfield Union News reports: '"Buffalo's getting a good player," Belichick said. "Buffalo is paying a significant price, and they are getting a significant player."'

Marker Talk of trade is finally over [1:51 PM]
Springfield Union News reports: '...so this franchise quarterback finds himself gone with the Buffalo wind. And it's no cool, refreshing breeze, either, but a harsh, cold one that tells us some decisions are left to the cruelty of fate and the whim of sport.'

Marker Bledsoe finally a Bill [1:39 PM]
Florida Times Union reports: 'Coach Bill Belichick of the Patriots said, "We all knew what the situation was. A football team can have only one starting quarterback. In the end, it can be only one guy. When you put it all together, this is probably best."'

Marker Get ready for Bledsoe vs. Belichick [1:05 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '"We at first approached Mr. Kraft at the owners meeting (in mid-March),'' said Bills general manager Tom Donahoe. "We just took a shot at it. We didn't know how he would react to it. We had some hesitation whether they would be reluctant to trade within the division, Mr. Kraft said it wasn't (a problem) if it was the right deal."'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
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10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
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12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
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