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Buffalo Bills News - March 12, 2003

Marker Designation tags are risky business for teams [3:44 PM]
ESPN reports: The franchising of Price was pure brilliance by general manager Tom Donahoe.

Marker Spikes Has Arrived In Buffalo [2:21 PM] reports: Recently-acquired LB Takeo Spikes has arrived in Buffalo. Spikes will be officially introduced as the newest member of the Buffalo Bills at 3:15 PM this afternoon. Listen to the press conference live on After his press conference, Spikes will read through some of the emails he's received. Here's your chance to send him a question or comment and welcome him to Buffalo.

Marker Former Bills Safety Steve Freeman - Now NFL Back Judge [1:42 PM] reports: From 1975 until late in the ‘84 campaign, Freeman was in on a lot of plays. And in fact, did not miss a game. A 144-game streak. However, during a November game against New England, he suffered a ruptured thigh muscle. The Bills lost that afternoon to go 0-11, but it never crossed Freeman’s mind to let the injury heal properly and finish the disappointing season on the sideline.

Marker Vikes' back pays visit to Bills [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: ' The Buffalo Bills took a look at two more free agents Tuesday, bringing in running back Moe Williams and defensive tackle Henry Ford. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver/kicker returner MarTay Jenkins is scheduled to visit today.'

Marker Buffalo already knows Dyson [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: '“I just want to go somewhere where I can make a difference and make plays,” Dyson said. “Buffalo has a Hall of Fame quarterback and he looks for his receivers to make plays, so to have an opportunity like that would be something I would definitely look forward to.”'

Marker Bills are off-season's big winner so far [5:14 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'In essence, the Bills dropped nine spots in the first round — the No. 14 they sent to the Patriots compared to the No. 23 they acquired from the Falcons — and traded a receiver to land a franchise quarterback in Bledsoe. On the surface, it’s an outstanding deal for the Bills. Scratch the surface, and it’s even more impressive.'

Marker The Week That Was: Falcons' crest [2:28 AM] reports: As the NFL continues its' "trade renaissance," one deal has stood above the rest and will impact two teams greatly in 2003. While the Falcons hope their latest move makes them "peerless," the Bills selected a new route for their receiving corps.

Marker Bills get defensive [2:28 AM] reports: Look for the Bills to readjust their offensive focus to a more defensive-friendly scheme that places greater emphasis on the run and includes higher-percentage, ball-control passing. And look for their defense to give the offense more favorable field position by turning up the heat against quarterbacks, such as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Chad Pennington of the Jets, that often made producing big plays against Buffalo look a bit too easy.

Marker Four ways to handle star players [2:27 AM] reports: The best example of how to control the market and get full value for a star player even when he's out of contract was the Buffalo Bills' handling of WR Peerless Price . Bills GM Tom Donahoe was not about to let a talented young receiver just go free and sign with a new team. He decided to put a franchise tag on him and force teams interested in Price to come forward and surrender a high draft pick for the right to sign him. Atlanta surfaced and eventually gave the Bills the 23rd pick in the first round for the rights to Price. The Bills got value for a player they could have easily kept on their roster. As one GM said to me, "I would have kept Price on my roster with Drew Bledsoe under center, but it was a masterful job by Donahoe of getting great value for him." Teams flirting with Price tried to get away with offering the Bills a second-round pick, but Donahoe held his ground and got what he wanted.

Marker Bowen becomes Redskin [2:24 AM]
Washington Times reports: Meanwhile, long snapper Ethan Albright confirmed that he was cut and re-signed last week to take advantage of the veterans' cap credit. He wanted to make the move last year but the NFL wouldn't allow it. He said Cleveland and Buffalo both called during the five minutes he was on the market, but he never had any intention of leaving the Redskins.

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March 11, 2003

Marker Bills To Officially Introduce Takeo Spikes [10:48 PM] reports: Recently-acquired linebacker Takeo Spikes will be in Buffalo on Wednesday, March 12, to be officially introduced as the newest member of the Buffalo Bills. Bills fans currently have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of Authentic Takeo Spikes Reebok Jerseys by ordering them in the Online Pro Shop. Orders will also be taken now for Reebok Replica Jerseys, which will be first available for delivery on April 11, 2003.

Marker Bills Fans Play Big Role In Recruiting Spikes [3:49 PM] reports: "I thought I was coming out in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium that last game of the year," said Spikes. "They made me feel welcome. So that's a big plus. I remember one guy said, 'Play well, Takeo. Just don't hurt anybody so you can get ready for us next year.' It was impressive."

Marker Moe Williams (Vikings) Visits Bills [12:44 PM] reports: Free Agent running back tours Buffalo.

Marker LeBeau, Spikes together again [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Talks between Adams' agent and the Bills appear to be in a holding pattern while the Bills entertain more free agents. Adams, a two-time Pro Bowler, was the key run-stuffer on two AFC Super Bowl teams the last three years (Baltimore and Oakland). He remains interested in joining his friend, Pat Williams, on the Bills' defensive line.'

Marker Bills nail down Spikes [5:31 AM]
D and C reports: 'A dialogue with Adams’ agent, Angelo Wright, was kept open through the weekend and the sides spoke again on Monday. “I’m upbeat,” Wright said. “I think both parties recognize Sam could be an integral cog in the Bills getting to a Super Bowl.”'

Marker Williams, LeBeau foresee teamwork on Bills [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: '“He brings a ton of NFL experience, and we’re very excited about what he can add to our organization, what he can add to our coaching staff and what he can add to our team with his ability. We’re excited about what he can bring to us to help take us to the next step. For 40-plus years Dick has been one of the best in the league.”'

Marker Miracle man Dyson relives play during visit to Buffalo [5:29 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''If I don't sign here, it was a lateral,'' he said. ''If I sign here, it was a completely phony, bogus play that shouldn't have counted.'''

Marker Spikes leaves No. 51, Cincinnati in his past [5:28 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Spikes will be reunited with his old coach and defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau, who was introduced Monday as Bills assistant head coach. "That's my man," Spikes said.'

Marker Bengals 'new day' begins without Spikes [5:27 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'Calling it "the beginning of a new day in the Bengal organization and in the shaping of the team under my direction," head coach Marvin Lewis announced the club won't match Spikes' six-year, $32 million contract with Buffalo, allowing him to join the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker LeBeau's going to add zone-blitz fire [5:26 AM]
Shout! reports: New assistant head coach Dick LeBeau began his Bills coaching career on Monday. He will primarily be involved in better implementing the zone-blitzing schemes into Buffalo's defense, particularly the pass coverages that help make zone blitzing so effective.

March 10, 2003

Marker Washington is busy, but so is Buffalo [9:40 PM]
AP reports: 'Also pretty active are the Buffalo Bills, who officially added linebacker Takeo Spikes to what was one of the NFL's worst defenses last season.'

Marker LeBeau, Spikes reunited to bolster Bills defense [9:39 PM]
AP reports: '``I didn't even know he was coming,'' LeBeau said of Spikes. ``But I'll tell you one thing, you've got a pretty good football player in that young man.'''

Marker Lewis' New Day doesn't include relieved Spikes [8:11 PM] reports: “It works out for both parties,” said cornerback Artrell Hawkins. “It’s only fair after Takeo has said he doesn’t want to be here to let him try to make a name for himself somewhere else. It was a pretty fair deal because we get three really good players in spots we need.

Marker Peter King: Free-agent frenzy [8:07 PM] reports: I called Price Friday afternoon to ask him whether he is confident he can be Michael Vick's franchise receiver in Atlanta, despite the fact a lot of people who watch the game think Price will struggle in that role. Price is 26, and at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, he'll take some punishment from some very good defenses in Tampa Bay, Carolina and New Orleans in the AFC South. "It's interesting," he said of the Moulds' comparison. "I weighed that in my decision. I think Moulds and me complemented each other. Given the opportunity to be a No. 1, I knew I could do it, and I wanted to do it. I know everyone thinks I'm a No. 2, but that's not what I think. The thing I don't think people realize is what happened to us in coverage last year. After we got off to such a great start in Buffalo with Drew [Bledsoe], teams started playing us Cover Two Man -- a corner on us all the time, usually with the safety over the top. So I feel like I got doubled almost every play for the last 10, 12 games of the season. Ask the coaching staff in Buffalo. They'll tell you we saw pretty much the same coverage."

Marker Bills Introduce Dick LeBeau [7:40 PM] reports: "Basically I really wanted to coach but once you make a commitment to an employer, it's always been my goal to think that he got a good deal in the agreement and I wanted to make sure that I could hold up my end. I want to go into a position with an earnest work ethic to try to accomplish and help anybody who was interested in my services. Coach (Williams) expressed that interest and I was certainly interested in his football team and his organization. It was mostly just getting into a situation where I felt positive and knew this is where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. That's why I'm here."

Marker Coach Gregg Williams Discusses Free Agency [7:40 PM] reports: "It's been awful exciting here in a short free agency period. I think that we will continue to work all the way up to training camp, that's when the off-season ends. It's been exciting to see us hit the ground running. We had a plan; we worked hard to develop in January and February. It's nice to see that we've made an impact early."

Marker Bills Officially Acquire Takeo Spikes [7:39 PM] reports: The Cincinnati Bengals have officially declined to match the Buffalo Bills' offer sheet to Takeo Spikes. "We're very excited," said Gregg Williams. "He's a tremendous addition to our team in the respect of ability at that position." Spikes is expected to be in Buffalo later this to week to be introduced as the newest member of the Bills.

Marker A Price-less Trade- and Much More [4:47 PM] reports: Drew Bledsoe for Peerless Price. Would YOU make that swap? I don't care if it's bubble-gum cards, fantasy football, or real live players. Anytime you can deal Peerless Price and get Drew Bledsoe, it's a darn good trade. And that's exactly what the Buffalo Bills did on Friday when they shipped Price's signing rights to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a first-round draft slot this April.

Marker Bengals Lose Spikes, Acquire Tory James [3:21 PM]
Reuters reports: 'Spikes had been Cincinnati's leading tackler four of the last five years but after five losing seasons he had asked the team not to stand in the way of move.'

Marker Bengals Don't Match Buffalo's Offer Sheet to Linebacker Spikes [3:19 PM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Spikes joins a Buffalo defense that ranked 27th of 32 teams in points allowed last season. The Bills, who had an 8-8 record in 2002, were 28th against the run and forced a league-low 19 turnovers.'

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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
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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