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Buffalo Bills News - August 5, 2002

Marker Freelancer Leroy Andre has covered Jim Kelly from start of football career [5:40 PM]
Kittanning Leader Times reports: 'Andre also said that while Kelly was playing youth football he once got discouraged and quit the team. "But his father (Joe Kelly) told him there'd be no chance of him making it to the Super Bowl, so he kept on trying."'

Marker Hometown heroes [5:39 PM]
Butler Eagle reports: 'In fact, so many people from East Brady made the pilgrimage to Canton that the town was all but a ghost town Saturday. The streets were empty and only a few lonely shopkeepers and bartenders interrupted an otherwise still afternoon.'

Marker Day in the sun [5:38 PM]
Butler Eagle reports: '"Since the day I was elected, I prayed to God that my son would be here with me today," Kelly said. "God has granted me that blessing."'

Marker Bledsoe clearly focus of offense, team [4:42 PM]
ESPN reports: '"Sure, it's nice to be wanted," said Bledsoe, who further cemented his relationship with the fans on Saturday by hustling off to Kelly's induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. "I don't know any player alive who, given his choice, wouldn't want to be liked. It's been gratifying to be accepted, by my teammates and the fans and everyone, really, the way me and my family have been. But I've been around long enough to know that there's a lot more to it than this. But, yeah, we've been made to feel very much at home."'

Marker Bledsoe, draft picks bring optimism [4:41 PM]
ESPN reports: 'But when the Bills return to the playoffs, and some pundits feel that will be this season, it will be just as much a result of terrific drafts the past two years.'

Marker On the road again [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A sampling of Hall of Fame voters indicates Bruce Smith is a lock to be a first-ballot inductee when he is eligible, and Thurman Thomas is considered a lock to be inducted soon after he is eligible.'

Marker Bills' Hollis feels new home will kick-start his career [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Hollis' 64.3 conversion rate in 2001 wasn't much better that the collective efforts of Arians and Graham, but at least he has a proven track record.'

Marker As Bills jell, head coach feels the squeeze [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams can deny it if he pleases, but the truth is there will be more focus on the head coach this season than there was last season.'

Marker Rookie safety is tough as Wire [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: '"I still feel that way and now having the chance to meet my teammates, I'm just so thankful to be in a place like this," Wire said. "There are great people here and I'm just proud to be part of the Bills organization."'

Marker Fan of the Day [5:21 AM]
D and C reports: '"They made a lot of other good pick-ups, too. I think they'll be a lot better at quarterback and Mike Williams and Trey Teague are big improvements on the offensive line."'

Marker Deservedly so, Kelly is main attraction in Canton [5:20 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'As one Bills fan, Jason Cassata, told me Saturday, "Jim Kelly means everything to Buffalo. He put Buffalo on the map. Buffalo's not exactly a booming city, but he took us to four straight Super Bowls and made us proud to be Bills fans."'

Marker Kelly, Bills fans own the day [5:19 AM]
NFL Insider reports: "With all due respect to the other inductees -- John Stallworth, Dave Casper, Dan Hampton, and the late George Allen -- this day clearly belonged to Kelly and the thousands of fans who turned Fawcett Stadium into a sea of Bills blue." Vic Carucci

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August 4, 2002

Marker Bills, Browns get warmed up [2:50 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: '"We started off a little rough," Bledsoe said. "Their defense did a good job, but then we kind of got going."'

Marker Five's a crowd in Buffalo backfield [2:49 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: 'With five backs in the picture, Bryson's attitude seemed to suggest that a healthy dose of flexibility might be in order to all the Bills' running backs in the weeks ahead. "Whoever's going to play will be the best man, and the coaches will have to figure that out."'

Marker Jury out on Bills, Browns [2:47 PM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: 'Bledsoe could easily have been talking about either team yesterday when he said, "We've got potential, which simply means we haven't accomplished anything yet."'

Marker Levy can lend strength to friend Butler on cancer [10:35 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"In Ralph's eyes, Butler was the store manager of a 7-Eleven who knew how to make a slurpy and nothing else."'

Marker Kelly's Hall-mark moment [9:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"What a swashbuckling figure he cut as he led our team on drive after drive into our opponents' end zone," Levy said. "If they were to make a movie about the life of John Wayne, Jim Kelly ought to play the part."'

Marker Kelly joins new home with old company [9:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Like 51-3 all over again.'

Marker Bills fans turn Canton into Buffalo West [9:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'People leave Buffalo daily, but Buffalo never really leaves them. It's just Buffalo.'

Marker Text of Jim Kelly's Hall of Fame induction speech [9:44 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Thank you, Canton, thank you Buffalo and God bless.'

Marker Bills' defense steps forward [9:43 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' first-team defense dominated, creating three turnovers and two sacks during the Browns' initial offensive series.'

Marker QB Brown improves his stock [9:42 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I can't say enough about Travis Brown, he had a great scrimmage today," coach Gregg Williams said. "We'll be looking at getting him a lot of reps in the preseason. We want to see him get a lot of work. Today, he was fantastic, we gave him the game ball."'

Marker Browns' Lang provides education for Williams [9:41 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Despite his shaky start, Williams had a decent day in his first taste of NFL action. Of course, this was nothing compared to what he'll see once the season starts.'

Marker Training camp billboard [9:40 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A fan was commenting how well QB Drew Bledsoe threw the ball when a lady beside him uttered these stunning words: "When did we sign Drew Bledsoe?" Apparently, the news didn't travel to the cave she's lived in the last five months.'

Marker Cowboys' Smith has shot to break Payton's record [9:39 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A big reason why the flip-flop of Trey Teague and Jonas Jennings on the Bills' offensive line makes so much sense is that Teague has more experience than Jennings, and Teague figures to be a better communicator of line calls.'

Marker Kelly in Hall, his hero on hand [6:39 AM]
D and C reports: '"Since the day I was elected (in late January), I prayed to God that my son would be here with me today," Kelly said. "God has granted me that blessing. It has been written throughout my career that toughness was my trademark. Well, the toughest person I've ever met in my life is my hero, my soldier, my son, Hunter."'

Marker Bills fans roar as Kelly soars again [6:38 AM]
D and C reports: 'I thought I had showed up at a Bills' tailgate party at the Ralph, not the induction ceremonies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.'

Marker First impression wasn't good for Smerlas [6:37 AM]
D and C reports: '"But the minute he walked into the locker room, he walked up and spoke to me and Joe Devlin and Bruce Smith and Jim Ritcher and told each of us that he had followed us and he felt we had the material to become a winning football team. He immediately started rallying people. I had read him totally wrong."'

Marker Some signs of hope [6:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'All in all, the Bills performed admirably, but along with the good, there was more than enough bad that must be corrected before the Bills line up against the New York Jets in the season opener on Sept. 8.'

Marker Browns still struggle to move the ball [6:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'Missing featured running back William Green because of a minor injury to his right shoulder, the Browns first-team offense accomplished little, if anything, in the scrimmage at St. John Fisher College.'

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