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Buffalo Bills News - April 30, 2003

Marker Jayhawks flock to NFL [1:46 PM]
Lawrence Journal World reports: 'Former KU assistant coach Pat Ruel will be Sands' position coach with the Bills. Sands said he expected to sign his contract today and report to mini-camp Thursday in Buffalo. An intern in KU's weight room this semester, Sands will graduate next month with a degree in exercise science.'

Marker Bledsoe Visits Portland United Bills Supporters [1:28 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Quarterback Drew Bledsoe visited relatives in Portland, Oregon recently and visited the Portland United Bills Supporters (PUBS) chapter of Bills Backers.

Marker Andre Reed To Make NFL Europe Broadcasting Debut [1:27 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Former Bills receiver Andre Reed will be in the broadcast booth this weekend providing commentary on Fox Sports Net's national broadcast of NFL Europe's game of the week.

Marker Paris's move to Buffalo puts chill on Canadian hopefuls [1:24 PM]
Vancouver Province reports: 'Paris Jackson's roots may be a little hard to trace, but there's no doubt about the strides he's made in his football career.'

Marker Player Bio: T.J. Watkins [10:39 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Honorable mention All-ACC guard…first-team Strength All-American in 2001…started at three positions over his Clemson career…second on the Tigers in knockdown blocks in 2001 with 130…finished his career strong with 13 in the win over Louisiana Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Marker Bills discard Watson [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He was flagged for a team-high seven pass interference or illegal contact penalties. He also had one other penalty, a roughing-the-kicker call in New York on a 26-yard field-goal attempt. It gave the Jets first-and-goal at the 4 and started New York on the path to an easy win.'

Marker Making the grade [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills: Rolling dice on McGahee, but why not gamble on potential greatness? Second-round DE Chris Kelsay is first-round talent. Next three picks (LB Angelo Crowell, CB Terrence McGee and WR Sam Aiken) provide depth and special teams help. Grade: B.'

Marker Some win, some lose on a day of active trading [8:16 AM]
The Sporting News reports: Another player who was taken too early was RB Willis McGahee, but it wasn't to fill a need. That's what makes the Bills' 1st round selection even harder to figure. McGahee is not expected to be able to help the Bills much this season, and his ability to overcome the physical and mental barriers associated with tearing three knee ligaments is questionable. In the 1st round, risk should be at an absolute minimum.

Marker Booster meeting report [7:43 AM]
TBD reports: "We had fun."
-Tom Donahoe, on this year's draft

Second-best line of the night: emcee John Murphy asked TD (who had a root canal earlier in the day) whether he'd rather have three root canals or one telephone conversation with Drew Rosenhaus. That one got a big laugh.

Marker McGahee's deal with Bills a tough one [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'Instead of the six-year, $38 million deal with a $10.5 million bonus that San Diego gave LaDainian Tomlinson -- the last running back chosen in the top 5 back in 2001 -- the market for McGahee is more like five years, $7.5 million with a $3.2 million bonus.'

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April 29, 2003

Marker Bills release Chris Watson [8:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Watson struggled as the third cornerback last year, eventually losing his job to rookie Kevin Thomas at the end of the season. Earlier this month, the Bills signed free agent cornerback Dainon Sidney.'

Marker Watson released [8:05 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Watson's struggles in pass coverage last season led Bills fans to wonder, "What took you so long?"'

Marker Bills release Chris Watson [8:04 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Bills signed free agent cornerback Dainon Sidney earlier this month, making Watson expendable.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Draft Report Card [8:03 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Overall Draft Grade: C+'

Marker Jim Kelly Video [4:44 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Jim Kelly was drafted with the 14th overall pick in 1983.

Marker Bills Couldn't Pass On Willis McGahee [3:56 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Last year, on the second day of the draft, he engineered a trade with the Patriots that brought quarterback Drew Bledsoe and a lot of enthusiasm to Orchard Park. It’s fair to say Buffalo didn’t stand pat this year. About the only bigger surprise (outside of the Bills’ draft-room) would have been if NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced, ‘With the 23rd selection of the 2003 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills select … LeBron James.’

Marker Bills Make Roster Moves [3:36 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills today announced that the team has released CB Chris Watson. Watson spent the last three seasons with the Bills and played in 44 games and made 13 starts over that span.

The team has agreed to terms on a contract with OL T.J. Watkins, who was with the Seattle Seahawks as an UDFA during the 2002 preseason. Watkins played collegiately at Clemson, where he played both guard and tackle.

Marker Aiming High [12:51 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'That same little voice telling me the Bills just might roll the dice for McGahee, is now telling me not to be at all surprised, if one Willis McGahee is on the field by that time in a Bills uniform, making life miserable for the pro team he grew up watching.'

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: TE Raymond Thomas (Wake Forest) [10:58 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Good athlete who has made strides as a pass blocker…Has large, soft hands and quickness getting off the line.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: OT Justin Sands (Kansas) [10:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Former defensive lineman who made the successful transition to offensive line as a junior … Named team co-captain as a senior, he started 27 games on the offensive line during his career.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: WR Jerel Myers (LSU) [10:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Four-year starter at split end who ranked fourth in school history with 149 catches and is eighth in the LSU career record books with 1,843 yards receiving.

Marker Member of Bills Chain Crew Passes Away [10:16 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills organization was saddened by the news that Henry "Hank" Andrzejewski has passed away at the age of 93.

Marker Simonton Silences Thunder in Berlin [10:11 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Ken Simonton continues to haunt the Berlin Thunder, the team that he scored four rushing TDs against in Week 1, gaining 174 all-purpose yards last weekend in the Claymores 34-17 win in Berlin. Simonton gained 140 yards on the ground and 34 yards from 3 receptions.

Marker Long-snapper tops Bills' free agents [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The player considered the best long-snapper in college football - as well as one of the most compelling human-interest stories - was among nine rookie free agents signed by the Buffalo Bills on Monday. Jon Dorenbos, a long-snapper from the University of Texas-El Paso, agreed to terms with the Bills, who have a need at that position. Tight end Jay Riemersma, who was released in February, was the long-snapper last season.'

Marker Bills weren't 'tricked,' Rosenhaus says [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He acknowledged Saturday that he placed calls to McGahee's cell phone during the draft telecast to make it look like NFL teams were on the line with the running back.'

Marker Bills add 10 free agents to mix [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills signed 10 college free agents on Monday, including Arizona quarterback Jason Johnson and LSU wide receiver Jerel Myers.'

Marker McGahee pick draws opinions [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'If defensive end Chris Kelsay had been picked in the first round and McGahee in the second round, instead of vice versa, most Buffalo fans who consider GM Tom Donahoe reckless for this move might be calling him a football genius.'

Marker Bills know Drew's show [5:18 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"We knew it was a Drew show," Donahoe said. "We felt Willis McGahee wasn't going to work out like a running back. The only thing he is going to do is jog straight ahead, lift some weights. We didn't feel any need to see that. To be honest with you, I was shocked the nine teams went. What did they think they were going to see?"'

Marker Rogers grad goes to Bills [5:17 AM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'He woke up late Sunday afternoon when the phone rang. It was a call letting him know the Buffalo Bills were offering a free-agent contract. The contract arrived in the mail Monday afternoon and he'll leave for Buffalo on Thursday.'

Marker Willis McGahee says he can be another Emmitt Smith [5:16 AM]
Portland State University Vanguard reports: 'Consider that he tore his anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, three of the four that hold his left knee together. And the fourth, the lateral collateral, he blew out in 1999 when he was in high school.'

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