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Buffalo Bills News - January 3, 2001

Marker Christie: Bills divided by QB controversy [8:16 PM]
AP reports: 'He is the first Bills player to admit publicly how deeply the rift affected the team. Bills officials were not immediately available for comment.'

Marker Chargers close to landing Butler [1:49 PM]
North County Times reports: 'It's believed Butler will be accompanied to San Diego by a number of his underlings in Buffalo. The most prominent person is A.J. Smith, the Bills' director of pro personnel.'

Marker Titans miracle is thing of past, Gash concludes [12:27 PM]
Baltimore Sun reports: '"I don't care what happened back then, because it's not going to change," Gash said. "It's one of those things where you'll always remember it; you'll never forget it, but you learn from it."

Marker Chargers set to name Butler GM [12:23 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Barring an unexpected setback, the Chargers will announce fired Buffalo Bills executive John Butler as their new general manager by the end of the week, a source close to the situation said last night.'

Marker Wilson takes no action on Phillips [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills head coach Wade Phillips had a meeting with team owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. in Florida on Tuesday and walked away from it with his job intact, team sources said.'

Marker Housecleaning of Bills needs to start now [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Wilson is the owner. It's his team Phillips turned into a national laughingstock. He should pull the trigger and spare his new general manager - most likely, Tom Donahoe - the trouble of coming to town with blood on his hands.'

Marker Rooting for the enemy [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The handful of followers of the University at Buffalo women's basketball team were excited to see Bills quarterback Doug Flutie at the Bulls game at Boston College last week. They were disappointed to learn that Doug was rooting for the Eagles and not Buffalo, but they should take solace in the fact that Flutie didn't really seem to know who BC was playing.'

Marker Phillips job appears secure following meeting with Bills owner [6:35 AM]
AP reports: '"Mr. Wilson confirmed, as he did three weeks ago, that Wade Phillips is head coach of the Bills," team spokesman Scott Berchtold said after Wilson and Phillips held a daylong meeting at Wilson's home in West Palm Beach, Fla.'

Marker Chargers, Butler to meet again [6:33 AM]
AP reports: '"He's the one I'm putting most of my focus on," Spanos said. "He's the one who struck me as the most outstanding guy."'

Marker Phillips' fate remains uncertain [6:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Reached last night, Wilson praised the job Phillips has done in his three seasons but stopped short of saying Phillips would return for the 2001 season and the final year of his contract. That decision apparently will have to wait until the next general manager is named. Wilson fired former Bills GM John Butler on Dec. 19.'

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January 2, 2001

Marker Go west [9:04 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'Butler is expected to receive a multi-year deal worth in the range of $1.3 million to $1.5 million per season. He was fired two weeks ago by Bills owner Ralph Wilson, after in essence refusing to accept a contract offer of about $1 million per year from Wilson.'

Marker Seminoles still remember Bills' Cowart [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's actually changed the game," FSU defensive end David Warren said. "He's just a monster. "You have to pattern yourself after him."'

January 1, 2001

Marker Punt, pass and fail [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It could be argued that special teams cost the Buffalo Bills a shot at the Super Bowl last year. They probably cost the Bills a playoff berth this year.'

Marker Final report card [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quarterbacks: Rob needs better handling, more time to develop. C.'

December 30, 2000

Marker If Chargers want Butler, they'll have to hurry [12:54 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Butler, who was fired by the Bills last week, said yesterday he would like to sign with a new team before Jan. 8, the date teams open practice for the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco.'

Marker Donohoe seems like a natural fit for Bills [9:22 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The only reason Donohoe is out of a job is because he lost a power struggle with Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher. To settle it, Steelers' owner and president, Dan Rooney, opted to fire the personnel man, feeling it would have less effect on the team than axing the coach. He never said Cowher was more valuable than Donohoe.'

Marker Donahoe sold on Bills entering 2nd meeting [6:31 AM]
D and C reports: '"We had a good meeting and talked about a lot of things," said Donahoe, who met with Wilson on Wednesday. "Ralph's doing what any good owner should do at the end of a season and that's evaluate things in the organization. We decided we'd talk further at some point next week."'

Marker Ticket sales, loyalty to coaches could doom Phillips [6:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'If the fans voted on whether to retain Phillips he'd probably be a landslide loser -- with no recount necessary. Phillips refusing to fire at least two close friends on his coaching staff might be the perfect excuse for Wilson to can the coach -- and he might anyway.'

December 29, 2000

Marker Waiting For Donahoe [3:02 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'Donahoe's endorsement of Doug Flutie ... promises to make the Bills' first major offseason decision especially intriguing.'

Marker Butler dazzles Spanos [3:00 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"His experience and success in the past speaks for itself. He's got a great résumé. The thing that struck me most was his approach to player personnel."'

Marker Spanos meets with possible GM Butler [2:58 PM]
North County Times reports: 'Spanos, in Aspen for a family ski vacation, is expected to meet with Butler again next week.'

Marker Donahoe to get 2nd interview with Bills [9:06 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'There have been reports that Wilson is prepared to turn over some of his own duties to his next general manager and perhaps even name him president and general manager.'

Marker Wilson to meet Donahoe again [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The team said Wilson also plans to interview other candidates for the position made vacant by John Butler's firing on Dec. 19.'

Marker Return to sender [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Phillips was steadfast in his defense of the special teams. Many of the players who were released last offseason were major special teams contributors. And with so many spots filled by first- and second-year players, Phillips said breakdowns were inevitable.'

Marker Bills closing in on Donohoe [6:55 AM]
D and C reports: 'While Wilson could grant interviews this weekend to other candidates for the GM job made vacant by the firing of John Butler last week, it was learned, Wilson's meeting with the highly regarded Donahoe in West Palm Beach on Wednesday went well enough to just about convince the 82-year-old owner to look no further.'

December 28, 2000

Marker Bills close in on Donohoe [11:52 PM]
D and C reports: ...that Ralph Wilson and Tom Donahoe are close to an agreement. The two will meet next week where they are expected to finalize a contract and begin planning for the 2001 season.

Marker Chargers talking to former Bills GM [9:20 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'John Butler may have taken the first step toward becoming the Chargers' next general manager when he spent most of Wednesday afternoon and evening meeting with club president Dean Spanos in Denver.'

Marker Chargers president interviews John Butler [9:10 PM]
AP reports: 'While Butler might be the leading candidate, Spanos has said he'll consider others, some of whom might be with playoff teams. Johnston said Spanos told him he had spoken with another candidate, but didn't say who.'

Marker Donahoe earns second interview for Bills GM job [9:09 PM]
AP reports: '"Tom Donahoe and I had a discussion yesterday and we have decided to talk again," Wilson said in a statement Thursday. "It won't be in six months. It will probably take place in the first part of next week."'

Marker Bills head into an offseason of uncertainty [1:34 PM]
AP reports: '"It's not easy playing quarterback here with the situation I'm in. It takes its toll. If it's the same situation next year, I've got to get ready to deal with it all over again," Johnson said. "Public sentiment is so for Doug and it will always be for Doug."'

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