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Buffalo Bills News - July 8, 2004

Marker Gray preparing to guide Buffalo's defense [8:57 PM]
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports: '"My responsibility is to try and get us to the Super Bowl," Gray said. "If you go in with an attitude less than that then you don't have the right focus. We have a team, we have the players. We just have to put it together."'

Marker Brandt's 60-second previews: AFC [5:43 PM] reports: Three new coaches decorate the Bills as they head into 2004. Their new HC is former Steelers OC Mike Mularkey, and the new OC is Tom Clements, also from Pittsburgh.

But the addition of veteran coach Sam Wyche as QB coach could be the key to this team. Wyche is an innovative and creative coach who will serve as a guide to starter Drew Bledsoe and mentor to rookie J.P. Losman. In fact, Losman will eventually be the Bills' QB, but knowing Wyche, we may see him get some time in short-yardage situations since Losman is a bigger version of the Steelers' Antwaan Randle El.

Fellow rookie Lee Evans was another good draft pick for the Bills as the most experienced receiver in the draft (he spent six years at Wisconsin). That should help a team that finished 30th overall in total offense score some points. If Mularkey wants to see his team improve, the offense has to get back on track. If they do, this will be an interesting team to watch.

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July 7, 2004

Marker Bryant to get NFL tryout [8:40 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: '"If they're interested, they may sign him," Conquest coach Rick Buffington said Tuesday at a media luncheon. "He could get as far as the practice squad. They make good money right now."'

Marker Albany Conquest QB D. Bryant to tryout with Buffalo Bills on Thursday [8:39 AM] reports: '"This is tremendous opportunity for D. and he certainly deserves it," said Albany Conquest Head Coach Rick Buffington. "If Buffalo likes what they see they could sign him in the near future. D. will fly out from Buffalo to Green Bay to play in our game on Friday night against the Blizzard. He will not miss any practices this week since Thursday is a travel day for us."'

July 6, 2004

Marker Offseason Overview: Buffalo Bills [10:50 AM]
ESPN reports: There's no question that the Bills have all the pieces to have a potent, high-scoring offense. The key will be giving Bledsoe the time he needs to make his reads down the field. With all the weapons Mularkey has at his disposal, it's tough to imagine the Bills struggling on offense the way they did last season.

On the other side of the ball, status quo wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to a team that ranked second in the league in total defense. But there's a fine line between status quo and complacency and the Bills would be wise to toe it carefully.

If Mularkey is able to get the new additions to jell and work out some chemistry puzzles (i.e. Henry and McGahee), there should be plenty of cheers from Ralph Wilson and the patrons of his stadium.

Marker Cell Phones For Soldiers [10:15 AM]
CBS reports: Within two months, Brittany and Robbie have organized fundraisers to purchase old cell phones and prepaid calling cards. They have raised more than $130,000 through these events and their Web site, Cell Phones For Soldiers.

Their efforts have been acknowledged by the White House, members of the military, and Jim Kelly, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Kelly has also signed on as their celebrity spokesperson.

Marker A good deed, a great ride [10:14 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: The Bergquist siblings have been collecting a lot of stuff lately. Like e-mails from grateful soldiers in Iraq and their mothers, wives and fathers in the States; $500 donations from TV stars; backing from former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly; and lots of thank-yous from people all over the country.

July 5, 2004

Marker Not a bunch of Mularkey [9:17 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'As long as Eric Moulds stays healthy and Drew Bledsoe stays off his backside, this team will have a chance to post its first winning record in five years.'

Marker Inside slant [5:50 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills have the added challenge of signing two first-round draft picks this year and with training camp opening in less than a month, the clock is ticking on getting wide receiver Lee Evans and quarterback J.P. Losman into the fold.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:49 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Furthermore, with no CBA extension, new contracts can only be factored out over six years - that's if Donahoe were to get one done in 2004. Deals written next year will be under even tighter constraints, meaning Donahoe may not have the leverage it appears he has by suspending talks until further notice. One agent said Donahoe's fax was merely more posturing and he won't be bullied into a premature, under-market deal.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:48 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Ruben Brown may have been cut by the Bills but he has no hard feelings, at least not enough to let them get in the way of his charity work. The classy nine-year veteran went ahead with his fourth annual Ruben Brown Motorcycle Run to benefit the Salvation Army last weekend from the Ralph Wilson Stadium parking lots. Celebrity riders Jim Kelly, Fred Smerlas, Ted Washington, Sam Gash and Pat Williams took part.'

July 4, 2004

Marker NFL's never-ending offseason a concern to Vincent [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"When we spend time on certain tasks, on improving certain areas of our lives, we generally get results," Vincent said by phone last week. "If I spend time in the weight room, on the practice field, generally I'll get results on the playing field. There's a slim chance I won't get results. The same thing applies in our daily lives with our families. What you put in is exactly what you'll get out.''

July 2, 2004

Marker Soldiers Still Love Bills Overseas [11:30 PM] reports: 'The battalion has been stationed in Iraq since February 16, 2004, though many are confident their mission will not last much longer. "I will be there for the home opener," McKirchy said. "This is going to be an exciting year for the Bills and I'm not going to miss any of the action."'

July 1, 2004

Marker Presidential Bills [4:07 PM] reports: 'In honor of Independence Day Sunday, took a look back through the 43 years of Bills football to come up with a squad that shared the surnames of the 43 United States presidents, or other notable presidential candidates (or parties).'

Marker Bills Rookies off to a Good Start [4:07 PM] reports: 'The Buffalo Bills 2004 rookie class has yet to take a snap on an NFL field, but they are already champions. The six newest members of the Bills squad finished first in the Ultimate Rookie Challenge at the Rookie Symposium held in La Costa, California this past week.'

Marker NFL players give campers guidance on football and life [12:08 PM]
Winston-Salem Journal reports: 'Germane Crowell plays for the New Orleans Saints, and Angelo plays for the Buffalo Bills. The camp focused on improving football skills, but it included motivational talks by professional athletes and community leaders.'

Marker Patriots still the cream of the AFC East crop [12:07 PM]
Northwest Arkansas Times reports: 'Among the AFC East alsorans, Buffalo will make the most improvement, albeit without Drew Bledsoe taking the snaps. I like Bledsoe, but letís face it, my lardulous physique could avoid the rush better. With cocky rookie QB J. P. Losman and new head coach Mike Mularkey at the helm, the Bills will undergo an attitude adjustment that translates into more wins on the field.'

Marker Pro Energy to supply power for Bills stadium [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Former Bills special teams star Steve Tasker will appear in television commercials scheduled to be aired this fall as part of the company's business-to-business marketing campaign.'

Marker Bills should have a nice balance [7:32 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'The Bills were expected to be playoff contenders in 2003 but underachieved. They again will be in a position to achieve success in 2004.'

June 30, 2004

Marker Silver Creek company plugs in with Bills [9:16 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Electricity supplier Pro Energy has entered into a marketing agreement with the Buffalo Bills that includes providing low-cost electric power to Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Training Camp Schedule Takes On New Look [12:06 PM] reports: '"You're at training camp for a reason," said Mularkey. "You're creating your team's identity."'

June 29, 2004

Marker Buffalo Bills Training Camp History [7:19 PM] reports: 'The locker rooms at East Aurora High School were used by the team for dressing and training room facilities. The players were shuttled between hotel, locker room and practice fields by school bus, sometimes driven by players or team personnel.'

Marker These kids are ready to score points [6:24 PM]
The Sporting News reports: Because expectations were so high for the Bills' Mike Williams, the fourth overall pick of the 2002 draft, he has been perceived as a mild disappointment. Though Williams has been inconsistent, he has flashed dominance. Last season, for instance, he handled Jevon Kearse of the Titans. Williams has continued to get better, and his improvement should be accelerated this season. Playing next to him will be a rock in right guard Chris Villarrial, and coaching Williams will be Jim McNally, one of the best in the league.

June 28, 2004

Marker Evans, Krumrie now on the same page [12:17 PM]
Madison Capital Times reports: 'Make no mistake about it - Krumrie is a coach, a solid football coach, one of the most highly regarded defensive line coaches in the business. The Bills will have trouble holding on to him after his contract expires at the end of this season. He has friends all over the league, including LeBeau in Pittsburgh, Matt Millen in Detroit and Gregg Williams in Washington. Williams, who was fired by Buffalo at the end of last season, hired Krumrie away from the Bengals.'

Marker Peek at Bills is glimpse of good things [8:26 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Maybe itís that Mularkey was an NFL player, but the fact he instantly recognized that peer pressure could be more important than gratifying his own ego to get a result, showed insight I think will be appreciated and responded to by the current crop of Bills players.'

Marker Inside slant [4:45 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'A half dozen candidates will push Brown for the punt return duties this summer, and Haddad adds to the mix. After spending the 2000 season on the Bills practice squad, he joined the Indianapolis Colts. In the 2001 preseason, he returned 14 punts for 292 yards, a 20.9 average, including 84- and 94-yard TDs.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:45 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills, who had little depth at center, are giving Dan Koons a shot to backup Trey Teague, signing the University of Louisville standout earlier this month.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [4:44 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills still have about 1,000 indoor club seats left unsold for the upcoming season, with many fans telling officials the environment is "too antiseptic for what they want to experience going to a football game," GM Tom Donahoe said during a radio interview. Jacksonville recently lowered the price on 2,000 club seats but the Bills aren't ready to take such drastic measures yet.'

June 27, 2004

Marker Most Bills foes face quarterback problems [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If offensive coordinator Tom Clements is going use both Travis Henry and Willis McGahee in some of his formations, I hope sufficient time is spent in training camp on picking up blitzers. Foes are sure to test the willingness of both backs to protect Bledsoe when those human Humvees come crashing toward them.'

June 26, 2004

Marker Bills Pre-Camp Preview [2:40 PM]
Fox Sports reports: Travis Henry has quietly emerged as a productive workhorse for the Bills the past couple of years. He's tough, breaks tackles and plays hurt. At the same time, he puts up good numbers. Now add a hopefully healthy Willis McGahee to the mix. McGahee provides more athleticism and versatility blended with the tools to become an outstanding feature back himself. It's going to be interesting to see how the Bills blend these talents together.

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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