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Buffalo Bills News - September 2, 2003

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: John Skorupan [10:05 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'For the past six years, Skorupan has worked as the director of business development for Marsico Corporation, which is a commercial general contractor in Pittsburgh. "We’re about a $30 million company and half of our work is done through private negotiated work. The other part is through bidding process. We do schools, hotels, office buildings. So I work with developers and architects and try to negotiate projects (in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio)."'

Marker Finally, Bills can zero in on the Pats [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This is a game we all want to jump on and redeem ourselves because we didn't play as well as we probably could have last year against them," Williams said. "We made some strides against some of the other teams. Now our guys have a real good, focused approach that what has to happen (on Sunday). I like their attitude, I like their work ethic and I like their concentration level right now. They're pretty focused."'

Marker Chips fell Sammy's way after all [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the workload was misleading. The Bills were giving Gary every chance to impress them, to show flashes of his 1,159-yard season of 1999. Morris had done all his impressing early in training camp, demonstrating time and again his sure hands, his ability to run after the catch, his desire to expand his duties beyond special teams.'

Marker Donahoe passes on third QB - for now [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We'll see how it goes," Donahoe said after practice Monday. "We're comfortable at least starting out that way."'

Marker Denney named a starter for Bills [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“ I went home and got in shape, started lifting weights and ran a bunch and made strides in the mini-camps,” he said. “ I was able to get some good reps and work on the things that I needed to work on, and that’s what helped me the most. I think I improved a bunch because of the mini-camps. I wanted to progress throughout the four preseason games, and I think I did that. I played better each game.”'

Marker Gary good fit as Lion [5:14 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'Gary auditioned -- unknowingly -- for the Lions in Thursday night's final exhibition game. He gained 57 yards on 16 carries. When Stewart went out on the second possession of the game, President Matt Millen began talking to Bills General Manager Tom Donohoe.'

Marker New RB Gary faces crash course in Lions’ offense [5:13 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'Instead of backing up Bills running back Travis Henry, however, Gary found himself as the No. 3 running back with the possibility of rookie Willis McGahee getting off the reserve/non-football injury list in mid-season. So when the Lions approached the Bills with a trade, Gary didn't mind making the move to a team that had lost its own starting back -- James Stewart -- indefinitely to a shoulder injury.'

Marker Bills comfortable opening season with two QBs [5:12 AM]
AP reports: 'The Bills are trying to reach an injury settlement with the four-year veteran, opening the possibility of re-signing him after Week 10 of the season.'

Marker Henry Expects To Be Ready For Opener [5:11 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Olandis was probably going to have a hard time making this team," said Bills President/General Manager Tom Donahoe. "That's not a knock against Olandis. Some people just did really well this summer. Sammy Morris had a great camp, Joe Burns, Travis and obviously the two full backs. We felt that when we looked at the final numbers we could only keep five running backs."'

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September 1, 2003

Marker Bengals cut Neil Rackers [9:04 PM]
AP reports: The Bengals replaced him with Shayne Graham, claimed off waivers from Carolina. Graham lost a preseason competition with John Kasay for the Panthers' kicking job. Graham went 6-of-8 on field goal tries for Buffalo in 2001, then filled in last season when Kasay missed 14 games at Carolina because of a hernia.

Marker Playoffs or bust for Bledsoe's Bills [6:03 PM]
AP reports: '``Across the board, we're a big step ahead of last year,'' Bledsoe said. ``We're ready to roll.'''

Marker QB Johnson lands on Bills practice squad [6:02 PM]
AP reports: 'Initially released during training camp, Johnson was re-signed last week to fill in for injured third-stringer Travis Brown. An undrafted free agent, who established several passing records at Arizona last year, Johnson was released again on Sunday when the Bills pared their roster to the 53-player limit.'

Marker The Bills Sign Five For The Practice Squad [4:01 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have brought back five players that they cut in training camp to make up their practice squad.'

Marker Gary ready to step in with Lions [3:43 PM]
AP reports: '``Everything has been going pretty fast in the last few days,'' Gary said. ``It never entered my mind on Thursday that I was going to be a Lion, but that's what the NFL is all about. You have to learn to adjust in a hurry or you will be out of the league.'''

Marker Bills Sign Five To Practice Squad [3:42 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Jerton Evans DB Virginia
Jason Johnson QB Arizona
Richard Seals OL Utah
Ken Simonton RB Oregon State
Rodney Wright WR Fresno State

Marker Addition and subtractions [2:43 PM]
Oakland Press reports: 'In Buffalo's 22-16 victory over the Lions Thursday night, Gary rushed 16 times, all in the second half, for 57 yards and a one-yard touchdown. He also fumbled twice, but both were recovered by the Bills. It's probably not mere coincidence that Gary saw so much second-half action after Stewart went down for the Lions in the first half. Gary had carried 20 times total the previous three Bills preseason games.'

Marker Last Hurrah [2:42 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'I'm picking a Rams-Bills Super Bowl. Regarding the Bills: New additions Jeff Posey and Takeo Spikes will make the linebackers group a premier one. Cornerback Antoine Winfield will emerge as a real star. The offense will be more balanced, by far, than any in its division. Running back Travis Henry will be reliable and great. An anonymous offensive line will hold up.'

Marker Gary trade helps Bills make cut to 53 [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"As good as drafting McGahee was for the franchise, it obviously wasn't going to be good for Olandis' playing time, whenever Willis comes back," said Gary's agent, Frank Murtha. "Olandis' goal through all this was to go somewhere to get playing time. Detroit is an ideal situation. They have an immediate need."'

Marker Bills' receivers coach catches new challenge [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cancer hasn't killed Graves. If anything, it helped spring him back to life.'

Marker Bills trade Gary for draft pick [5:38 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Olandis Gary, we hardly knew you.'

Marker Lions get Gary as insurance [5:37 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'In the three years since then, injuries and the Broncos' ability to turn out productive running backs have worked against him. By the time he returned to health in 2002, the Broncos had uncovered two more productive runners -- Mike Anderson and then-rookie Clinton Portis -- and he became expendable.'

Marker Lions acquire Gary in anticipation that Stewart may be out longer than they hope [5:36 AM]
Booth Newspapers reports: '"Olandis Gary is a player we brought in in the off-season and considered signing him as a free agent. He's a veteran who has played well in the league," Mariucci said.'

Marker Bills Trade Running Back Gary to Lions [5:34 AM]
Reuters reports: 'The Lions were desperate for a running back because starter James Stewart is expected to be out for six weeks with a dislocated right shoulder.'

Marker Bills trade Olandis Gary to Lions [5:33 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Bills already have an emerging star in the backfield in Travis Henry, a capable backup in fourth-year player Sammy Morris, and should be activating injured rookie first-round draft choice Willis McGahee later in the season.'

Marker Bills adjust roster [5:33 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Buffalo parted ways with defensive ends Grant Irons and Marcus Jones, quarterback Jason Johnson, running back Ken Simonton, defensive back Scott Turner and wide receiver Rodney Wright.'

Marker Lions aquire Olandis Gary for future draft pick [5:32 AM]
LionsFans.com reports: 'Gary has never been able to recapture that magical season and has been plagued by a number of injuries that led to his exodus from Denver.'

August 31, 2003

Marker Big jump in record unlikely in today's NFL [8:21 PM]
ESPN reports: So, which teams will leverage their last-place schedules into a breakthrough season? The most likely candidates are a pair of 8-8 teams from the competitive AFC East and AFC West Divisions. Buffalo, at 8-8, was last in the AFC East, while Kansas City was 8-8, last in the AFC West. Some experts feel they both have the opportunity to execute an instant replay of the Baltimore Ravens, who went 8-8 in 1999, then won SB XXXV the next year.

The funny thing? Because they both finished last, the Bills and Chiefs play each other in one of their two positional games. In the parity-leavened NFL, that Oct. 26 game could be the difference.

Marker Quoting Steve Mariucci On the roster transactions [7:08 PM]
DetroitLions.com reports: On the trade for RB Olandis Gary: “Olandis Gary was a player that we brought in during the off-season and considered signing him as a free agent acquisition. He’s a veteran, he’s played in the league and he’s played well. Given the health of our situation at tailback, a trade was a possibility so we pursued it. Matt (Millen) worked on it for the last day or two and ended up getting it done. He gives us another veteran back on board. Shawn Bryson is really the only other one that’s played a little bit. Avon Cobourne is a rookie and we don’t know quite how long James will be out so we felt to sure up that situation a little bit, adding a back like Olandis Gary gives us a bit of a security blanket there.”

Marker Gary Is Traded To Detroit While 6 Are Cut To Get The Bills To 53 [5:24 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'None of the Bills draft picks this season got released. Chris Kelsay is pushing Ryan Denney to start at LE. Mario Haggan and Angelo Crowell both looked very good in camp providing depth at linebacker. Guard Ben Sobieski looked very good against the Lions. CB Terrence McGee showed great return ability and improved quite a bit in his coverages. Lauvale Sape looks undersized to me at defensive tackle so I was surprised he made it over Irons.'

Marker Updated Buffalo Bills Depth Chart [5:18 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Updated as of 53 man roster cuts.

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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
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10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
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10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
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