Good call by league to step up QB protection [10:18 AM]
ESPN.com reports: 'Next season, the referee will be the QB's guardian angel. The league will instruct referees to consider disqualifying a defender for a flagrant foul against a quarterback. "If in doubt about a roughness call or a potentially dangerous tactic on the quarterback, the referee should always call roughing the passer," according to the rulebook.'
Christie, Flutie reunite? [6:21 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The San Diego Chargers are one of a handful of teams that have shown interest in Christie, a placekicker who became an unrestricted free agent last month when the Bills did not re-sign him.'
Erik Flowers answers fan e-mails [10:22 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "I know that I will have a larger impact this season because I didn't play that much last year. The 4-3 is what I have played in my whole life and that is what I am used to playing. I feel that I can do so much more in that style of defense..."
2001 PRESEASON NATIONAL TV SCHEDULE [7:05 PM]
NFL.com reports: 'An 11-game preseason national television schedule featuring rematches of two recent Super Bowls and an American Bowl in Mexico City was announced by the National Football League. [No Buffalo games are scheduled]'
QB showdown [6:56 PM]
LA Times reports: 'Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie had a not-so-friendly rivalry while competing for the quarterback position in Buffalo until Flutie was released and signed with San Diego. The teams will meet next season. "Yeah, I'm looking forward to it," said Johnson, the former USC quarterback. "This will definitely be a [big] game for many reasons. It's a game everyone will star or circle on their calendars. "They'll probably put it on Monday night even though neither of us made the playoffs."
Donahoe leaves bitterness behind [6:53 PM]
Post-Gazette reports: 'Donahoe's path eventually led to Miami and a temporary consultant's job with the Dolphins, to ESPN's studios in Bristol, Conn., and in January, to Buffalo where the Bills doubled his salary to $1 million and tripled his responsibilities by making him president and general manager.'
Bills express interest in signing former Titan [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams said Tuesday he would be interested in pursuing former Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Josh Evans if and when Evans is reinstated from a year-long substance abuse suspension this spring or summer.'
Bills seeing few thorns in prickly realignment [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The league will change from its current six-division setup to eight, four-team divisions in 2002. It remains likely that Buffalo, Miami, the New York Jets and New England will stay in the AFC East. Indianapolis almost surely will move out.'
Seahawks or Chargers could be headed to NFC [8:34 AM]
AP reports: "The NFC East and Central and the AFC East and West seem pretty well set," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said as he unveiled seven of the dozen or so plans under consideration. "The more difficult decisions are in the others."
Less Bulk in Defense Ends [8:32 AM]
The Sporting News reports: "We don't worry about if an end holds up against the run because you can always put more bodies in the box to coverup for a smaller guy,'' says Bills coach Gregg Williams, who had great success with Kearse when he was the Titans' defensive coordinator. "But if he has true defensive end speed, that's something you can't coach.''
Sam Rogers - forgotten free agent [8:29 AM]
The Sporting News reports: '[NOTE: Sam Rogers was an OLB not an ILB] ILB -- Sam Rogers, Bills. He was good enough to start for a good team for five years.'
NFL moves closer to realignment [8:28 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'If plan A1 makes 20 teams happy then the deal is done. The maintenance of rivalries will get the vote closer to 20. If those four proxies owned by Tagliabue count, 24 of 32 would be needed, and the commissioner would have the right to cast the votes for the Texans, Rams, Ravens and Titans.'
Super Bowl shuffles into February [8:29 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'While the Super Bowl has become a January tradition for the past thirty-five years, it will soon turn into a February feature. At the owners' meetings this week, commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced that starting in 2004, the Super Bowl will make a permanent move into month of February.'
NFL Coaches Double As Psychologists [5:12 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills coach Gregg Williams is a focus of this article on the need for coaches to know how to motivate their players.'
Phillips upset Bills won't pay remainder of contract [3:42 PM]
AP reports: 'Ralph is losing his marbles by pursuing this ill advised slap in the face to the coaching ranks.'
NFL awards Bills four more draft picks [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The picks are compensation for the losses the Bills suffered during last year's free-agency season. The Bills lost four unrestricted free agents to other teams - Kurt Schulz to Detroit, Thomas Smith to Chicago, Dusty Zeigler to the New York Giants and Sean Moran to St. Louis. They did not sign any from other clubs.'
NFL awards Bills four compensatory draft picks [8:40 PM]
AP reports: 'The allotment of compensatory picks is determined by a formula based on the salary, playing time and postseason honors of players the team lost to free agency in comparison to free agents the team added.'
Buffalo picks up four compensatory draft picks [4:23 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'GM Tom Donahoe got what he wanted Monday at the NFL owners meetings, as the Bills were awarded four compensatory draft picks for their free agent losses during last off-season. Buffalo will get an additional third-round choice (95th overall), along with a pair of sixth-round picks (195 and 196th overall), and a seventh-round pick (238th overall) at this year's draft.'
Canada dry: Satellite company loses fight to show NFL games [1:24 PM]
The Sporting News reports: PrimeTime 24 lost a Supreme Court appeal Monday that sought the right to transmit NFL games to customers in Canada. The court, without comment, turned down the company's argument that it could transmit the games without violating the NFL's copyright. Capturing the NFL game signal in the United States for transmission abroad is an unauthorized act under the copyright law.
Washington negotiation hits a snag [1:14 PM]
Chicago Tribune reports: The Bears have been counting on three factors being in their favor this year. Salary-cap problems have kept a handful of teams from being serious bidders for top players, leaving teams like the Bears with less competition for talent. Also, the talent pool particularly at defensive tackle has deepened with the release of veterans like Traylor, Lett, Randle, and Stubblefield. More cuts are expected after June 1. Finally, defensive tackle projects as one of the strongest positions in the upcoming draft. As many as a half-dozen defensive tackles are projected in the first round. Angelo Wright has also been in contact with the Patriots...
Realignment on owners' plate [11:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Last time the owners decided on realignment,... commissioner Pete Rozelle decided to let fate draw the NFL's look. Five of the acceptable proposals were put into a flower vase, and Rozelle's administrative assistant, Thelma Elkjer, drew out the winning hand that sucessfully integrated the AFL teams in the NFL.'
Bears, DT Traylor agree on 3-year deal [9:12 AM]
Chicago Sun-Times reports: The Bears agreed to terms with defensive tackle Keith Traylor on a three-year contract Friday but still consider themselves in the running for Ted Washington. Director of business operations Jim Miller says "I talked to Ted's agent [Friday]. It's not dead yet. They're asking for a lot of money. We have a disagreement on his value, but we're still talking." I think Ted is pricing himself out of the market. He better start skating at the Pepsi Center.
Wilson aims to deny Phillips pay for 2001 season [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the Bills are contending that Phillips breached his contract by refusing Wilson's directive to fire special teams coach Ronnie Jones after the season. Phillips got the first two checks he was scheduled to receive in the final year of his deal. But the letter said he will not receive any more. It's a pretty unusual move in the NFL.'
The League At Crossroads [8:18 AM]
TBD reports: 'Now that the dust has settled on one of the most tumultuous two month periods of Buffalo Bills history, a quick look back causes me a great deal of apprehension.'
Bills charge Phillips with insubordination [12:57 AM]
ESPN reports: 'It appears that the Ronnie Jones decision will continue to haunt Phillips. Just when Wade thought it was over Ralph Wilson refuses to pay the final year of his contract.'
Kelly's heroics make strong case for Hall election [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But Kelly is not about statistics. Never was. He was about leadership, true grit, toughness, unlikely comebacks and an ability to convince his teammates they could win games against formidable odds. His statistics were impressive, but his intangibles are the jewel of his resume.'
Keeping in shape for the cameras [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '[Steve] Tasker, the All-Pro turned broadcast color guy, is starring as Dr. Einstein - a disbarred, alcoholic, spineless plastic surgeon with an unsteady hand - in the East Aurora group's production of "Arsenic and Old Lace.'
Van Pelt Familiar With West Coast Offense [1:14 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'An article from the Bills official site that talks about Alex Van Pelt's familiarity with the west coast offense from his days at Pitt and it's value to the Bills offense....'
Ask an Alum: Charley Ferguson [10:59 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Charley Ferguson came to the Bills in the wide receiver position from the NFL's Minnesota Vikings in 1963 and played on the 1964 and 1965 championship Bills with the likes of quarterback Ed Rutkowski and punter Paul Maguire, both former Ask an Alum guests... Ferguson played for six seasons, retiring in 1969.'
Roth, Hulsey ready for NFL Europe [10:50 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Buffalo Bills fullback Josh Roth and guard Corey Hulsey arrived in Tampa this week to prepare for a trip to play in NFL Europe. The two players were assigned to the Amsterdam Admirals and look forward to impressing the new coaching staff, while gaining the opportunity to experience a foreign country.'
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