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Buffalo Bills News - May 9, 2004

Marker Ritcher moved by selection [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I was a little undersized when I came into the league and in order to beat the lineman across from me I had to know where he was going before he started going there," Ritcher said. "Joe Devlin was a big reason I was able to do that. He took me under his wing and taught me how to watch film and helped me develop. Then you had Fred Smerlas across from me every day in practice. He made me a better player every day. I was blessed with good teammates."'

Marker Don't worry, Bledsoe won't be hurting for money with new deal [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The only way Bledsoe would get cut after 2004 is if he and the Bills have as miserable a season as they did in 2003. The expectation is Losman will be starting in 2006, if not some time during the 2005 season. So the chances of Bledsoe seeing the 2006 salary are questionable.'

Marker Ritcher fondly recalls K-Gun [5:23 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”We just had so many great people playing for the Bills, I didn’t think I’d stack up. There aren’t enough walls in that stadium to cover all the great players I was blessed to play with.”'

Marker Bills naming Ritcher to Wall of Fame was no surprise [5:22 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Beginning in 1983, Ritcher started every game he played for 11 seasons ... missing a mere four starts due to injury.'

Marker Bledsoe gambles on Bills, future [5:21 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I know I've been around a long time,'' said Bledsoe, 32, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft. ``But I don't feel like I am at the end yet. I don't see myself playing another 10 years, but . . . if we are headed in the direction that I believe we are headed in, we are going to be competing for championships, then I will play it until they kick me out.'''

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May 8, 2004

Marker NHL's labor limbo complicates Empire's future [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'On another note, Koshinski took issue with the industry perception that the Buffalo market couldn't support two sports-talk radio stations. He said the long-term plans for WNSA were disrupted years ago when former Adelphia executive Timothy Rigas made a last-minute decision that prevented the station from bidding for the Bills contract. "Our game plan was to carry the Bills games," Koshinski said. "We were 55 minutes away from doing that. Timothy Rigas pulled the plug then. We felt it was a very strong, competent bid. What we formulated as a business plan became flawed."'

Marker Reed stops to talk to kids on way to Canton [5:55 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: '''I felt I had at least another year or two left to play in the right situation,'' he said. ''But I didn't get the right situation and I wasn't going to go way out of my way just to prove to somebody that I could play another year or two. I left the game on my own terms, which is what you want as a player.'''

Marker Thomas: Players need to mature [5:53 AM]
Mobile Register reports: '"I think people are starting to realize now what we accomplished," he said. "Two years ago (former Bills head coach) Marv Levy got into the Hall of Fame, and Jim Kelly got in, too. We had some great players on those teams and that's starting to get noticed, too."'

Marker Peters may fill bill in Buffalo [5:45 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'In the end the Buffalo Bills signed the former Arkansas tight end as an undrafted free agent and will keep him at that position initially. However, some in the league believe he could be, with some work, a quality left tackle.'

May 7, 2004

Marker Some teams can't get enough tight ends [8:56 PM]
ESPN reports: The three-year contract is worth $18.5 million and drops Bledsoe's cap charge for 2004 from $8.33 million to a much more palatable $4.147 million. Bledsoe, who is coming off the worst season of his career, received a $6.5 million signing bonus. His base salaries will be $2.25 million (for 2004), $3.3 million (2005) and $4.35 million (2006). There are roster bonuses of $1.05 million each for 2005 and 2006. The salary cap charge will rise to $6.5 million for '05 and to $8.316 million for '06, but those are still far less than the cap charges for those seasons under the old contract.

Marker Evans: The Perfect Script [8:55 PM] reports: 'You can see the difference between the college and the pros right away. The defensive backs are a little bit more physical, a little bit quicker, a little bit stronger, so I have to use my speed and be physical too. Stepping out on that field was a blessing for me, now I just have to take advantage of it. Troy Vincent gave me some little pointers on certain things he's done in the League. Being patient, learning the game, and being a student of the game were probably the most important things he said.'

Marker Introducing… Tim Euhus [8:53 PM] reports: 'I usually throw up before a game.'

Marker CB Troy Vincent Answers Fan Questions [11:17 AM] reports: 'Q: What was the main factor when you decided to come to Buffalo over Kansas City and Cincinnati?
TV: Definitely the head coach.'

Marker New ruler of roost [5:21 AM]
Aurora Beacon News reports: 'Beebe said he plans on installing a West Coast offense similar to the K-Gun named after and run by Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, a good friend of Beebe's. Beebe, though, wants to "simplify the offense and gear it more towards high school."'

May 6, 2004

Marker Introducing… Dylan McFarland [4:20 PM] reports: 'Q: If not for football, what would you be doing/career?
DM: I'd probably go to law school. I think that's interesting. I want to be a judge someday hopefully. I wouldn't mind doing that.'

Marker Short Trip, Big Step for Graham [11:49 AM] reports: 'Mark Graham the second team All-MAC free safety from the University at Buffalo signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bills, participated this past weekend in the team's rookie orientation camp and couldn't be more wide-eyed. "It's a little overwhelming, a lot of plays, and the game is a little bit faster," said Graham after the weekend came to a close.'

Marker Travis Henry Plans Return to Polk [7:50 AM]
Lakeland Ledger reports: 'Buffalo Bills running back and Frostproof High graduate, Travis Henry, will be hosting his 1st Annual Travis Henry Day on Saturday, May 15th.'

Marker Bills' Wyche awed by QB Losman [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '”Sometimes when you put a list like that together, they are very tight in terms of feelings towards them,” Wyche said. “J.P., if I was to break it down, is a better athlete (than the other three). He’s niftier in the pocket, a scrappy kind of guy. He makes a decision and goes with it. He’s got as strong or stronger arm than those three other guys and football intellect, he’s going to be able to do anything we ask.”'

May 5, 2004

Marker Coaches Clinic Set For May 22nd [5:00 PM] reports: 'The clinic is free to high school and college coaches and will feature a series of seminars and lectures by new Bills head coach Mike Mularkey and his coaching staff that will discuss drills and techniques.'

Marker Introducing… Jonathan Freddie Smith [11:59 AM] reports: 'I have no idea what I would be doing without football.'

May 4, 2004

Marker Inside the Bills Draft Room [3:00 PM] reports: '"There's so much time and effort put in by a lot of people for these picks," said head coach Mike Mularkey. "All you can do is trust the opinions and the final grade and say, 'These are the guys.'"'

Marker Case signs free agent contract with NFL's Bills [1:27 PM]
Adams State University reports: 'This spring, Case has been playing minor-league arena football for the Casper (Wyo.) Calvary, a team in the National Indoor Football League’s Pacific West Division.'

Marker Bills' Recharged Offense Hinges on Bledsoe [1:24 PM]
Washington Post reports: "He didn't have a very good year, but no one around him had a very good year," Donahoe said at the NFL scouting combine. "None of us had a very good year. I think we've put people around him who will help him have a better year."

Marker Wilsons join Hospice ceremony [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., and his wife, Mary, on Sunday toured the expanded Hospice Inpatient Unit that bears their names, then rededicated the facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.'

Marker Anderson: Dreamed of Playing in the NFL [8:45 AM] reports: 'I have heard Bills games aren't that much different than Ohio State games. A lot of people said the fans are pretty comparable so that's definitely a good thing.'

Marker WR Evans looks like a winner [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Sure it was only four practices, the first of many more before the Bills kick off the season on Sept. 12, but Evans left no doubt he can be a factor his rookie season.'

May 3, 2004

Marker Three-quarterback monte [4:41 PM] reports: 6. I think these drafts I liked: Buffalo (because I love Lee Evans and think Losman's going to be a good player)

Marker NFL Network will allow all exhibition games to be televised [4:39 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: All of the NFL's 65 exhibition games this season will be available on television for the first time. The league's four network partners -- ABC, CBS, ESPN and Fox -- will show 11 games, and NFL Network will broadcast the other 54. Some NFL Network games will be shown on tape delay during the four weeks of exhibition play.

None of the Bills games will be shown nationally on any of the network partners.

Marker Brown treads water as QB pool deepens [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I do feel Travis is a guy that kind of gets overlooked in this situation," Bledsoe said at the Bills' rookie orientation camp this weekend. "Travis is a guy that is very smart. He has good ability. He throws the ball well."'

Marker Give it a rest! Football needs an offseason [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Levy was criticized for taking it easy on his players, but he always kept the game in perspective. Looking back, Marv was onto something.'

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