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Buffalo Bills News - June 9, 2003

Marker Simonton hoping to cash in with the Bills [9:50 PM]
Glasgow Herald reports: '"The reason for coming here was to make Buffalo's decision hard and, after I've come here and produced well, they have to make the decision," he said. "I don't have a problem moving on. I hope my opportunity is in Buffalo, but, if it's not, I'll make no beef about it. I just hope what I've been doing is not in vain. I know when I work hard that opportunities will come."'

Marker Bills Express Tickets Now On Sale [1:25 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Buffalo Bills Express is the easiest way for fans that live across New York State to attend the Bills home games. Passengers will board an Amtrak charter train on Sunday morning and travel hassle-free to the game. Fans aboard the Bills Express arrive at the stadium early without having to worry about driving and parking.

Marker Player Q&A: CB Kevin Thomas [1:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Cornerback Kevin Thomas enters his second season in the NFL. As a rookie, the former four-year starter at UNLV played in six games and made his first NFL start in the season finale against Cincinnati on December 29. For the season, Thomas recorded six tackles and one interception, which came on the opening drive against the Green Bay Packers on December 22.

Marker This Week In Bills History (June 8-14) [1:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: June 9, 1967 - BILLS & CITY AGREE ON A 3-YEAR LEASE City of Buffalo Mayor Frank Sedita and Bills' owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. agreed on a new three-year lease for War Memorial Stadium; the Bills paying the city four percent of its revenues and the city taking over stadium maintenance.

Marker Learn From The Pros… Punter Brian Moorman [1:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Catch the snap and hold the ball in your hand with the laces up. Hold the ball in front of your kicking leg as you take two steps. Do not throw the ball up or out in front of you. Drop it smoothly just before your second step hits the ground. Do not wind up your kicking leg for more power, as power comes from good technique.

Marker Tie-break fiasco robs Claymores of World final [11:26 AM]
Evening Times reports: Ken Simonton today urged the NFL to scrap the Europe League set-up after the Scottish Claymores finished tied for top spot but still missed out on World Bowl XI.
RB Simonton and his teammates defeated the Amsterdam Admirals 31-14 at Hampden Park yesterday to finish off the season with a 6-4 record.
That put Gene Dahlquist's on-form side level with German giants Frankfurt Galaxy and Rhein Fire after a dramatic final weekend of fixtures.
But they failed to qualify for the World Bowl due to an unusual three way tie-breaker system, which means Galaxy and Fire will fight it out at Hampden on Saturday.
And Buffalo Bills allocate Simonton, who capped a sensational season by rushing for 151 yards and was named MVP, reckons that is unfair. "My job is just to play football. At the end of it all we didn't do what we needed to do in order to get to the World Bowl," he said. "It is up to other people to examine how the league works. But I do think they have got to re-evaluate what's being done as it makes no sense. It doesn't add up."

Marker Ex-athlete helps youths score [5:24 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'He was an All-American guard on the University of Michigan football team and a six-time all-pro lineman in the National Football League, playing 13 seasons and opening holes for O.J. Simpson when the Buffalo Bills star became the first professional player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. After retiring from football, he moved into the front office of the Seattle Seahawks and experienced first-hand the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous at NFL owner meetings. But McKenzie never forgot where he came from -- the hard-scrabble neighborhoods of Highland Park and Detroit -- or the youngsters who reminded him so much of himself.'

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June 8, 2003

Marker Training Camp Preview: Buffalo Bills [10:48 PM]
Fanball reports: Position Battles: Reed wants to earn his starting assignment in training camp, but the job is already his—barring injury. The Bills brought in veteran Bobby Shaw and drafted Sam Aiken in the fourth round, but they will fall in line along with Charles Johnson at numbers three, four, and five. Shaw is the likely three, the role he played the last two seasons in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

Marker You never have enough running backs [10:47 PM]
NFL.com reports: The Buffalo Bills had the AFC's fifth best performer in Travis Henry last season, yet they still drafted Willis McGahee, who won't be ready for another year. The Bills may still need to add one more to the roster.

Marker Bills To Hold Public Practice On June 13 [10:04 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalo Bills fans will have a double treat on Friday, June 13th when the team will have an open practice on the final day of its Organized Team Activity, weather permitting. Fans will also get their first glimpse of the new AstroPlay surface inside Ralph Wilson Stadium at this time. There is no charge for admittance.

Marker Just sue, baby: Raiders lead league in litigation [10:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: Bucky Brooks, the former Bills WR, has taken a job as a scout with Carolina. He has scouted for Seattle the last three years. He's a native of Raleigh, NC.

Akili Smith was cut by Cincinnati this week. In four years, he earned about $12 million, or $4 million per victory. Not bad, but not quite as good as Rob Johnson, who got $18.8 million in four years with the Bills.

Marker Bills need to find out if coach is the ticket [9:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gregg Williams is the cloud hanging over all those high expectations. The Bills don't even pretend he isn't. They didn't offer him an extension to his first contract. It expires in January. When he's done, he's done unless he produces his end of the bargain. My guess is that Williams will have to steer the Bills to the playoffs, possibly even at least one playoff victory, to stick around Buffalo.'

Marker Mini camp open to public [9:41 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills will make the final practice of their "minicamp" sessions open to the public Friday. Gates 2 and 3 at Ralph Wilson Stadium will open at 10 a.m. Practice will start at 10:30 a.m. and end at 12:15 p.m. Admission to the workout, which the NFL calls an organized team activity, is free. It also will be the fans' first chance to see the new AstroPlay surface inside the stadium.'

Marker Veterans add to Bills depth [5:49 AM]
D and C reports: 'Donahoe said the Bills will look to add an offensive linemen and possibly a defensive lineman before camp starts July 23.'

June 7, 2003

Marker Titans waiting to make cap room for free agents [7:59 PM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'How concerned are the Buffalo Bills that rookie running back Willis McGahee will try to overdo it in his zeal to return from reconstructive knee surgery? Enough that they will send some of the team's medical staff to Miami twice in the month between the end of the team's current minicamp and the opening of training camp next month.'

Marker Travis Brown out to prove he's arrived [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's a big guy and has a great arm," Van Pelt said. "The only thing he's lacking is the experience. The more you get to play the more you feel comfortable. He'll get the chance to step in there and do it with live bullets. He definitely has all the skills."'

June 6, 2003

Marker Player Q&A: DT Justin Bannan [9:19 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Defensive wise we did bring in some guys that can make a huge impact. Change? I don't think we're going to change too much. I think we have great players. I think it was evident toward the end of last season when we started playing a lot better. What we are really doing is just trying to build on what we have. I think you're going to see a very noticeable difference this next year on defense. We are going to have a really good defense."'

Marker A Closer Look at… Mark Campbell [9:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'What restaurant has the best wings in Buffalo in your opinion?

"Oh boy, I don't know. I have only been to the Anchor Bar."'

Marker NFL Europe Update: Race to World Bowl [4:50 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: After nine exciting and competitive weeks, the World Bowl race will go down to the wire as three teams scrap it out in Week 10 to determine who will meet the Frankfurt Galaxy in the NFL Europe League championship game in Glasgow on Saturday June 14.

Marker Wolves rookie Akeiff Staples invited to tryout with Buffalo Bills [3:56 PM]
Arena Football league reports: Mohegan Wolves FB/LB AKEIFF STAPLES won’t be traveling with the team to Rochester (NY) this Saturday. Instead, the 6-2, 245-pound rookie from Temple will be heading a little farther west to Buffalo to work out for the Buffalo Bills.

Marker Empire: Interview with Keith McKenzie [3:55 PM]
Empire Sports reports: McKenzie's ankle is well. Says he is AMAZED at how hard everyone ESPECIALLY the veterans are working in minicamp. You can't help but feel the excitement and anticipation.

Marker Fans Across American winner from Utah [12:11 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: start game day off the same every Sunday. I make a huge breakfast for my family. All the time wearing one of my eight --Bills hats. Then a half hour before kickoff my 6 year old son and I put on our jerseys. (He wears Moulds and I now wear Bledsoe.)

Marker Cota finds a home with Buffalo [11:01 AM]
Medford Mail Tribune reports: '"By joining them this early I’ll get to know their system," says Cota, a former Ashland High and University of Oregon standout. "I’m hoping that will give me an edge."'

Marker Most underrated? Depends on who you ask (and we did) [9:09 AM]
CBS reports: Wannstedt: Bills DT Pat Williams. "He's dominating. He's my vote because this guy plays like a perennial Pro Bowler. He's a big-time difference-maker."

Marker Comments from Head Coach Gregg Williams [5:50 AM]
buffalobills.com reports: "The big thing is, it is fun to see how much enthusiasm the team has to practice and to get better each and every day. This week we are getting into some more of the situational things that we want to do in our systems and even adding to the scheme part of things that we covered last week. The last week (next week) of the OTAs will be a tremendous amount of 'special' situations work: short yardage, goal line, two-minute, four-minute, all those type of things."

Marker Bills sign Cota to help at safety [5:47 AM]
D and C reports: 'Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray plans on experimenting with different combinations. Last season, the Bills received no interceptions from their safeties. For his career, Cota has 15, including a career-high five for Carolina in 1996.'

June 5, 2003

Marker Bills Shout Song - Share Your Thoughts [11:56 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The 2002 season was the 15th Anniversary of the Buffalo Bills playing the Shout song after every touchdown. What are your thoughts?

Marker Bills agree to terms with Chad Cota [2:10 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'An eight-year veteran, Cota spent the 2002 season with the Rams and appeared in 14 games.'

Marker Safety Chad Cota agrees to join Bills [2:09 PM]
AP reports: 'He becomes the 15th veteran newcomer to join the Bills this offseason, and ninth addition to a defense that finished 27th in points allowed, 29th in yards rushing per game, and 32nd in takeaways last year.'

Marker Chad Cota Bio/Stats [1:20 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Signed by Rams 9/3/02 as unrestricted free agent…spent part of 2002 training camp with San Francisco 49ers. Saw action in 14 games, including one start vs. Oakland on 10/13…collected 15 tackles (5 solo) on the season, primarily playing on special teams.

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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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10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
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