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Buffalo Bills News - June 5, 2003

Marker Positives abound as Bills launch seat drive [9:38 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'One significant change for premium seat clients is the option to renew for either a three-year or five-year lease. In '98, only five-year commitments were accepted.'

Marker Bills start '04 sales drive far in advance [9:36 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We look at it as a 15-year lease," Bills President Tom Donahoe said. "Are there options within the 15 years? There are. But based on our team, based on our business (success) and based on Mr. Wilson's commitment to the area, right now it doesn't look like an option we'd explore."'

Marker Buffalo Hall gives Silver a reason to holler [9:35 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The others are: pro wrestler Dick "the Destroyer" Beyer, Basketball Hall of Famer Al Cervi, sportscaster Don Criqui, prep sports benefactor Dick Gallagher, Bennett High School three-sport standout Don Gilbert, Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek, former featherweight champion Tommy Paul, high school coach Art Serotte, Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas and NCAA gymnastics champion Lisa Zeis.'

Marker Bills sign veteran Cota as insurance at safety [9:31 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cota, an eight-year veteran, gives the Bills a little more insurance and competition on their depth chart, something team President and General Manager Tom Donahoe has been trying to create at virtually every position this offseason.'

Marker Bills Announce Renewal Program Underway [9:26 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Bills President/General Manager Tom Donahoe said, "We are announcing today that we have started our renewal program for the 2004 season for all of our suites and club seat holders. We are excited about the opportunity to continue our valued relationships with the many companies and individuals that support our franchise."

Marker Wednesday Roundup: Lack of evidence leads to Smith's acquittal [9:18 AM]
ESPN reports: The Bills continued to add more to their rebuilt defense by reaching a one-year, $680,000 agreement with Rams strong safety Chad Cota, including a $25,000 signing bonus.

Cota, 31, is entering his ninth season and will be joining his fifth team. He's played with the Panthers, Saints, Colts and Rams. Cota becomes the 12th veteran addition to the Bills. Earlier, the Bills signed Izell Reese, a safety, to a four-year, $3.2 million contract.

Cota's contract will count only $475,000 against the Bills salary cap.

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June 4, 2003

Marker Flashback: Bills 34, Dolphins 31 (OT) [5:25 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: This was the Bills first regular season appearance at Joe Robbie Stadium. Jim Kelly: "I don't know if this was my best game ever, but I'll tell you what, it's awfully sweet. I wouldn't trade this for anything. I prayed so much before that coin flip. I didn't want Marino to get the ball first."

Marker Tight End Campbell Ready to Contribute [4:28 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I know Dave (Moore) has been around a long time," Campbell said. "A coach can take you so far but I think you really learn a lot from players that have played against opponents and know things that maybe a coach wouldn't know because they aren't on the field. I look forward to becoming a better player and learning from Dave."'

Marker Mike Doser: Wire: 'D will wreak havoc' [3:30 PM]
Shout! reports: Q: Coy, how much different is this defense compared to last year’s?
Coy Wire: Schematically, it’s a lot different. The philosophy that we have on defense has changed a little too. I think we’re combining Dick LeBeau and Jerry Gray’s schemes and philosophies and now we have this defense that, to me, is going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.

Marker Takeo Spikes Q&A From Mini-Camp [3:29 PM]
WNSA reports: Q: Can you see where Coach LeBeau has put his stamp on the defense this year?
Spikes: “Yes. He came in and brought the “fire zone” and everything. And that’s going to help us out. Like I said, with Gregg (Williams) and then with Coach LeBeau and Jerry (Gray), we have the best of both worlds. Right now, I think I’m more familiar with the fire zones because that’s what I’ve been running every since I came into the league. But it’s all about getting everyone on the same page, so when we get ready to go out and do our thing – then it’s on.”

Marker Former Bills' RB Thurman Thomas To Be Inducted Into The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame [1:29 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas has been selected for induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame for 2003. He will be inducted along with ten other members of the Class of 2003 at an awards dinner on Wednesday, October 29 at the HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo.

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Greg Carter [9:42 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Only the second true punter ever drafted by the Bills and the first one to make the team, Greg Cater came to Buffalo after being selected in the tenth round of the 1980 draft out of the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga.

Marker Gift of Life Walk [9:02 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 Check-in: 9:00 to 10:00 AM Walk Start: 10:00 AM Walk Distance: 5K (3.1 Miles) Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium (One Bills Drive off Abbott Road)

Marker Bills ease need for speed by signing Raiders' Jett [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm real excited to come out here and compete and try to make this team better," said Jett, who watched the Bills' minicamp practice. "We had a couple guys who had been around forever and a young guy coming in last year, so I kind of got lost in the shuffle."'

Marker Bills sign former Raider Jett [8:57 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'The arrival of Jerry Rice in 2001 and the emergence of third-year man Jerry Porter in 2002, combined with the fact that Jett does not play special teams, made him a non-entity during the Raiders AFC championship season.'

June 3, 2003

Marker Buffalo signs WR James Jett [8:20 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The 32-year-old Jett posted career highs in catches (46) and touchdowns (12) in 1997. He then followed that season up with a career-best 882 yards in 1998.'

Marker Fletcher has help in bolstered Bills linebacking corps [8:17 PM]
AP reports: '''Nah, nah, I don't need to set a franchise record again,'' Fletcher said. ''When you have a defense where you have a great deal of talent on it, one person doesn't have to make all the plays.'' Also noting the addition of defensive tackle Sam Adams, Fletcher grinned and said: ''We've got a pretty stout group.'''

Marker Week 2 Of Mini Camp Starts With The Signing Of James Jett [8:02 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Jett says Sam Adams convinced him to come to Buffalo.'

Marker Bills sign ex-Raiders WR Jett [8:00 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills already have depth at receiver with Eric Moulds, Josh Reed and recent free-agent acquisition Bobby Shaw.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Introduce James Jett [6:56 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Why Buffalo? What made it attractive?
"I talked to a couple of guys and they said it was a great place to be, a great place to play, good people here in the organization and they need some speed."

Marker James Jett Bio [5:39 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 1998 Starter at wide receiver in all 16 league games for Raiders, finishing second on the team in receptions with 45, yardage with 882 and in receiving touchdowns with six…Average per reception of 19.6 ranked first on the Raiders and second in the NFL among receivers with at least 35 catches

Marker Bills Add Jett To Roster [4:19 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Jett, known for his world class speed, has spent the past 11 seasons with the Raiders where he has caught 256 passes for 4,417 yards (17.3 average). In 1997, Jett posted career highs in catches (46) and touchdowns (12). He followed that season up with a career-best 882 yards in 1998.

Marker Packers sign former Dolphins T Spriggs [2:10 PM]
NFL.com reports: Marcus Spriggs, a six-year veteran who has started at both left and right tackle in the NFL, was signed by the Green Bay Packers. The 6-4, 310-pound Spriggs was chosen by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 1997 draft, and has been with the Miami Dolphins the last two years

Marker Veteran Dusty Zeigler fails physical; released [2:09 PM]
NFL.com reports: Dusty Zeigler was signed by the Giants as an unrestricted free agent on March 6, 2000, after four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. With fellow veteran acquisitions Lomas Brown and Glenn Parker, he helped transform the offensive line into an efficient, effective unit that helped lead the Giants to a 12-4 record and a berth in Super Bowl XXXV. Zeigler was voted a Pro Bowl alternate that season.

Marker Bledsoe finds Portland a 'breath of fresh air' [11:37 AM]
Portland Tribune reports: 'Since January, when the purchase of his west-side house closed, Bledsoe has called Portland home.'

Marker Bills signee Simonton tearing up NFL Europe [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Simonton is realistic about his chances of making the Bills' roster. In addition to being at the bottom of the depth chart, he'll enter training camp after missing several minicamps and hours of on-field work and classroom study. But Simonton is confident his performance this spring has enhanced his chances of playing somewhere in the NFL. "I just want to play ball," he said. "I just feel like somebody will give me an opportunity if it doesn't work in Buffalo."'

Marker Dolphins' Taylor sees 'nail-biting' race [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Taylor, who led the National Football League with 18 1/2 sacks last year, thinks his Dolphins are going to get even more competition this year from the Buffalo Bills, who beat his club twice last year. "They've added some guys in Sam Adams and Takeo (Spikes) who will really help them out," he said. "They're going to be tough. The Bills fans are fired up. I'm sure in Buffalo they're always ready for football, because there's not a whole lot else going on around here. It's great for the game. It's a great rivalry between the two teams. And the AFC East is the toughest division in football."'

Marker Nevada's Top Fan: Jonathan Burdette [9:03 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I have only been to Buffalo once when I was a kid, but I brought back the greatest souvenir the city of Buffalo can offer, their passion for the Buffalo Bills.

Marker Book Review: The Making Of The Super Bowl [8:03 AM]
TBD reports: 'There are revelations about the personalities behind the scenes and those who were at the forefront of the battles. The "blackout" issue is widely discussed. There are many anecdotes about past Super Bowls (good and bad) and auxiliary NFL affairs.'

June 2, 2003

Marker Bills Fans Across America; Spotlight: Wyoming [4:21 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'No matter where I've lived, my love for all things BILLS has been my trademark. My husband enjoys watching what happens when someone who doesn't know me starts talking football, and crawls away after I've inundated them with BILLS smack.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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