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Buffalo Bills News - April 24, 2004

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.'

April 21, 2004

Marker Bills Re-Launch Website In Time For This Weekend's NFL Draft [10:42 PM] reports: 'The re-launch will take place this Thursday and feature vastly improved content, functionality, design, and exclusive contests. Visitors to the site will notice multiple top stories each day, more photos, audio and video of players, coaches and personnel, an interactive "view from your seat" map and a virtual tour of the stadium, and an improved message board for individuals to interact with Bills fans worldwide. The enhanced site will continue to serve as the best source for official team merchandise and tickets.'

Marker Chris Brown's 2004 NFL Mock Draft [4:31 PM] reports: 'WR Lee Evans - Washington
WR Rashaun Woods - Oklahoma State
QB Phillip Rivers - N.C. State'

Marker Giants' decision will have domino effect [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's well known the Bills are looking to get a quarterback at some point in the draft. They probably would select one with the 13th pick if one of the Big Three - Eli Manning of Mississippi, Philip Rivers of North Carolina State and Ben Roethlisberger - falls to them. Assuming the San Diego Chargers don't trade out of the No. 1 slot, they are expected to take Manning. After that, it's anyone's guess where Rivers and Roethlisberger will end up.'

Marker Wooden relishes new role as scout for Bills [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”For me, personally, this is a lot more difficult than playing,” he said. “When I was playing, I could rely a lot on my natural athletic skills. This is all mental. You aren’t just measuring a guy’s strength and speed and intelligence, you’re also trying to measure his heart and project whether he will be able to contribute to your team down the road.”'

Marker Bills prepare search for Bledsoe's potential successor in draft [5:14 AM]
AP reports: '''What you think is a franchise (quarterback), we may not think is a franchise,'' Donahoe said to reporters.'

April 20, 2004

Marker Bills move on without Clarett, Williams eligible for NFL Draft [5:33 PM]
AP reports: '''It doesn't complicate matters at all,'' Modrak said on Tuesday, a day after the court's ruling. ''We hung them up on the board. Now if they're not there, they're not there. We just take the plaques down and they're not there anymore.'''

Marker Player Perspective of Draft Weekend [10:46 AM] reports: '"We put our trust and faith in Mr. Donahoe and Mr. Modrak," said Bills guard Ross Tucker. "I think we're all confident that they are going to look at it from a business perspective and do what they think is in the best interest of the organization. Hopefully they can help make our team stronger and continue to get us more and more good players so we can have a winning season."'

Marker Another Schobel ready for NFL [10:46 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"Aaron said the one team he never talked to was Buffalo. I visited about five other places but not here. I knew that they were in need of a tight end but -- you never know and (Bo) probably knows that more than most of the other guys in this draft."'

Marker Draft day fixation: The fast go first [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Mr. Nobody was suddenly a somebody. Beebe was drafted in the third round by the Buffalo Bills and would go on to play nine seasons for the Bills, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers, appearing in a record six Super Bowls.'

Marker Conaty keeping his life centered [5:17 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'Conaty recalls that play as being the end of an era in Buffalo. "As a team and an organization they put all their eggs in one basket," he said. "They had overpaid some guys and, after that, they started cutting players like Bruce Smith and Andre Reed. In the locker room, there was a lot of disarray and disbelief, but life goes on."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
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09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
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11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
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