Updated first-round draft projection [8:46 AM]
ESPN reports: '14. Buffalo | Steve Hutchinson, OL, Michigan: A dedicated, versatile warrior like Hutchinson who could figure at guard or RT brings a great deal of value at this point in the draft.'
Top O-linemen available in draft [8:45 AM]
ESPN reports: 'Mel Kiper's analysis of the offensive linemen available in the 2001 NFL draft.'
Jay Riemersma answers e-mails [8:41 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Bills TE Jay Riemersma sat down with buffalobills.com Tuesday to answer your questions sent via e-mail over the last couple of days.'
Cramming for draft day [8:40 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Dwight Adams holds twice-daily meetings with his staff of 10 scouts. During the summer they attend practices to watch players at each position practice. They’ll also watch video of practices to talk about the skills they’ll look for in each position. They debrief on what they saw and talk about what they’ll seek.'
Recent AFC East draft history [9:42 AM]
NFL.com reports: 'An overview (courtesy of nfl.com) of the AFC East teams' draft history since 1985.'
Home office [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The strongest deciding factor was just Rob's overall athletic ability. He has great physical skills to play the quarterback position. Now the other things, that's why they hired us. Coaches have to teach players how to play. But coaches don't affect what mom and dad gave in the gene pool.'
Bills owner Ralph Wilson initiated benching of Doug Flutie [5:33 AM]
D and C reports: '"I was involved in that and I agreed that Johnson should start," Wilson said...I saw every game and Flutie made some big plays but mostly, he struggled. The defense bailed him out a lot. That was the reason."'
Wilson targets showdown with Chargers [5:32 AM]
D and C reports: '"I'd rather beat the Chargers this year than win the Super Bowl," Wilson said during a wide-ranging interview. "Yes, I am looking forward to that game."'
Martino Flynn gets Bills ad account [5:31 AM]
D and C reports: 'It's a touchdown for Perinton advertising agency Martino Flynn LLC.
The Buffalo Bills yesterday selected Martino Flynn to handle the team's advertising. The agency will create and produce the Bills' television, radio and print advertising as well as promotional brochures.'
Feuding Wins Championships [1:32 PM]
Slate.com reports: The bickering Bills are cited as one example of how internecine feuding in team sports can lead to success anyways.
Offseason moves put a charge in San Diego [9:28 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The cbs.sportsline power ranking has the Bills ranked 17th. Nice piece on Buffalo West, having the Chargers ranked 23rd. Potential sixth seed combatants? Perhaps the Bills/Chargers game will settle more than the QB controversy...'
Breaking down the five best, worst offseasons [11:00 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'Well it looks like another sportswriter has a dour feeling about the Bills. The author rates the Bills as having suffered the 4th worst performance of any team this offseason. He highlights the losses of Sam Rogers, Ted Washington, Joe Panos, and Chris Mohr as being crucial and damaging.'
NFL considering delaying announcing who plays in MNF games [2:03 PM]
Green Bay Press-Gazette reports: The National Football League is considering leaving the last two Monday night dates open this season in an attempt to televise meaningful games leading up to the playoffs.
"They asked us about it at the league meetings last week and everybody was very much in favor of it," Harlan said. "It's just whether they'll be able to start it in (2001) or '02."
Harlan said the league is considering waiting until possibly three weeks before the last two Monday night games before deciding which games would have the most appeal on those last two dates.
NFL Talk preseason rankings [2:02 PM]
NFLTalk.com reports: 'For those who believe football is a 12 month sport, here is some pre-draft fuel. Bills are on their poll choice list for team which has declined the most this offseason?'
Kelso a finalist for Academic Hall of Fame [8:29 AM]
CoSIDA Online reports: 'Cris Collinsworth, Mark Kelso, Megan Donnelly and Dr. James Martin are among a group of 25 finalists for induction into the 2001 Verizon Academic All-America Hall of Fame®. Five of the finalists will be inducted at ceremonies in New York in June.'
Players need to adjust [7:37 PM]
Shout! reports: '[This Steve Tasker column appears in Shout!'s 2001 NFL draft issue, on newstands this week. Call 1-800-932-4557 for a subscription.] The new off-season training program that Gregg Williams has instituted is really the players' best opportunity to adjust to the new coaches without the pressure of having to play a game the next Sunday.'
Butler hits San Diego ready to charge [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But his position seems obvious: He was waiting to get an offer that he considered good enough to make him want to stay. He didn't get it. Wilson fired him. Wilson says he is convinced there was no offer that could have kept him.'
Draft picks are coin of the realm in a free agent bear market [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Remember when the Bills signed Bryce Paup and Ted Washington in 1995, then added Chris Spielman the next year for the free-agency triple crown? We may never see that again.'
Flutie charged with winning [9:26 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'They both had their reasons for Doug Flutie's coming and his going, but in the end it came down to this: The club for which he won a lot of games believed he had less to do with those victories than the club that just hired him did.'
James Ailinger, Ex-N.F.L. Player, Dies at 99 [9:25 AM]
New York Times reports: 'In the autumn of 1924, while in his final year of dental school at the University of Buffalo, where he had been captain of the football and basketball teams, Ailinger joined the Buffalo Bisons of the N.F.L., which had been founded only four years earlier. Listed at 5 feet 11 and 185 pounds, he played guard on both offense and defense.'
Realignment progress highlights meetings [9:10 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'A final decision isn't due until June 1, although the issue could be put to a vote at a May meeting. The plan that many league and team officials believe has the best chance of receiving the necessary 24 votes for approval is called Option A1.'
Kenyatta Wright speaks at Bills Booster Club meeting [9:09 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "These guys, they're teachers and they want to work hard," explained Wright when asked about the new coaching staff and offseason conditioning program. "Actually, (DB's coach) Pat Thomas's nephew was my roommate in college, so I knew his style a bit. He's up in everyone's face. He gets down with the defensive backs and backpedals with them.
A Twist of Fate and a Super Bowl Player [9:07 AM]
Pro Football HOF reports: 'Being drafted versus doing the drafting certainly supplies different kinds of pressure. Marv Levy handled that pressure from inside the Buffalo Bills’ “war room” quite well... it comes as no surprise that two of the more memorable recollections of the Hall of Fame coach came in the late 1980s just prior to the Bills’ Super Bowl run.'
Draft 2001: Revised Mock Draft [8:59 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '14. Buffalo (8-8) - Marcus Stroud - DT - Georgia.
Bills front four has gone through some more major overhauling, and Stroud would be an excellent new anchor in the middle.'
QB carousel can make you dizzy [8:57 AM]
ESPN reports: "If you saw the film with Buffalo, (Bills linebacker) Sam Cowart rarely got touched," Washington said. "He went to the Pro Bowl. I'm not taking full credit for that, but that's my job. I don't like to see guards and centers get on the linebackers because of the size difference."
Former UB player picked up by Chargers [11:35 AM]
Chargers.com reports: 'Former UB Player Ed Ellis, 6-7, 325, appeared in 12 games for the Washington Redskins in 2000. He played exclusively on special teams on kickoff returns and field goal protection. A three-year starter at the University of Buffalo, Ellis originally entered the NFL in 1997 as New Englandís fourth-round draft choice. He spent three seasons (1997-99) with New England, playing in nine games with one start.'
Washington still stuck in unemployment line [8:28 AM]
ESPN reports: 'Top-flight veteran players who thought they were going to strike it rich as unrestricted free agents are finding out teams aren't willing to spend rarified salary cap money. Just ask former Bills nose tackle Ted Washington.'
Bills re-sign Hill [8:43 PM]
AP reports: 'Free agent Ray Hill, primarily used on special teams last season, re-signed with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday.'
Ailinger, oldest NFL player, dies at 99 [8:42 PM]
AP reports: 'Dr. James Ailinger, the National Football League's oldest former player, has died. He was 99...the former Buffalo dentist's NFL career began and ended in 1924, when he played one season as center and nose guard for the Buffalo Bisons, formerly called the Buffalo All-Americans.'
Time for a change [10:30 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Up front Phil Hansen and Erik Flowers will play on the ends and Pat Williams will slide over from nose tackle to one of the tackle spots. Coach Williams now has to find another starting tackle as the only one currently on the roster is second-year man Leif Larsen who played sparingly as a rookie.'
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