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Buffalo Bills News - July 23, 2003

Marker Straight talk from Tom Donahoe [10:37 AM]
D and C reports: Based on our defense last year, we actually started paying attention to the entire linebacker market from the midway point of the season on. We knew we would like to get two linebackers, but we weren't sure we would be able to do that cap-wise or talent-wise. Takeo was a guy that we really targeted, but we didn't know what his status was going to be with the Bengals. We didn't know if they were going to franchise him or if they were going to try to get a deal done with him. When they put the transitional tag on him, we were excited because we knew we would at least have a legitimate chance to try and go get him. He clearly was the best guy available. He's a guy who performed at a very high level all five years he was in Cincinnati, and that's not an easy thing to keep doing when your team is losing a lot. People might not know as much about Posey, but we are very excited about him, too. We studied him very hard, and we believe he is on the verge of becoming a very, very good player.

Marker Williams reaches a critical juncture [10:36 AM]
D and C reports: Williams is a good man but one who has grown reserved in his words, seemingly uncertain of his standing as his strings have been pulled regarding everything from when to speak to the media to whom to hire for his staff. The exodus of offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard in 2002 and offensive line coach Ronnie Vinklarek and linebackers coach Miles Aldridge this offseason was not a result of Williams concluding that he needed to go in a new direction. It was Donahoe telling him to.

Marker Spikes now has opportunity to display how talented he is [10:35 AM]
D and C reports: As she lay in her hospital bed, nursing her newborn, reports of a Japanese prime minister named Takeo kept popping up in the news on the television screen. "Hmm," she thought to herself. "Takeo Spikes. I kinda like that. Has a nice ring to it." She decided to do a little research and discovered the name was Japanese for "great warrior." And that is how the linebacker, who could transform the Buffalo Bills defense from awful to very good this fall, became known as Takeo Spikes.

Marker Bills hope Adams anchors D-line [10:34 AM]
D and C reports: "I could've gotten more money up front to go to Cincinnati, but I love this city," says Adams, who walked away from a $5 million bonus offered by the Bengals and their new coach, Marvin Lewis, his former defensive coordinator in Baltimore, to sign an incentive-laden deal with Buffalo. "I've always been envious of the Bills' crowd and the support they got. I want to be here. People have asked me a lot about the money, but I could care less. There are things like integrity and principle."

Marker Have a problem in this league? Take it to the Commish! [10:33 AM]
D and C reports: 'Buffalo Bills free-agent defensive tackle Sam Adams was recently named commissioner of the North American Football League, a 5-year-old organization of 102 minor league teams.'

Marker Offense will be well-grounded [10:32 AM]
D and C reports: That means that while the Bills are going to try to run more, Bledsoe's arm isn't going to fall off due to rust. "Now that we've changed our complexion a little bit, I think you're going to see us be a more balanced offense and I think you're going to see us be more patient with the running game," he said. "But it's not going to take away our aggressiveness. We're going to throw the ball, we're going to be effective with it. If there comes a time when we have to throw it a bunch to win a game, we'll do that."

Marker Autograph tips [10:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'Use the right pen. Use a Sharpie marker for players to sign trading cards, 8-by-10 pictures and mini-helmets. A paint pen works best on footballs.'

Marker Push coming to shove at key positions [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'After starting all 16 games at a new position, you would think Marques Sullivan's job would be secured. Think again.'

Marker Rookies, some veterans report to camp today [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We like some of the things we've been able to do with players and with the coaching staff. Now we get to the important phase, and really the fun phase of trying to put it all together."'

Marker Bills would be wise to follow Bucs' plan [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bledsoe threw 10 of his 15 interceptions during last season’s 3-5 slide in the second half. Many now wonder if his record-setting first eight games were merely the product of adrenaline and the element of surprise after being dissed by New England and traded to Buffalo. Maybe the second-half Drew is closer to the real thing. A solid player but one who is a lot closer to Brad Johnson than Brett Favre. He’ll play to the level of his teammates, but nothing more.'

Marker Expert believes McGahee's timetable points to October [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: '“ Assuming everything is going great with his rehab, I wouldn’t want him back to full contact before nine months,” said Bronstein, who estimates he performs 100 ACL repairs and three to four multiple-ligament reconstructions per year.'

Marker Kelly on new track [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'A season-ticket holder, Kelly is very excited about his old team’s chances this season. “ How can you not be excited after what they did for the defense this off-season?” he asks. “ I think everything is there for them to go a long way."'

Marker Inside slant [12:05 AM]
USA Today reports: Instead of heading into training camp with more holes to fill than a road crew in Western New York, the Bills' starting 22 — give or take a position — is set.

Marker NFL, IBM Team Up in 3-Year Marketing, Video Pact [12:04 AM]
Reuters reports: 'The NFL is teaming up with computer maker IBM to convert up to 80 years of pro football films into digital form for players, coaches and fans, the new partners said on Tuesday. '

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July 22, 2003

Marker Hunter’s Hope Candlelight Ball This Friday [9:17 PM]
WROC-TV reports: 'This Friday at High Falls, you can join Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife Jill, for their first ever Candlelight Ball here in Rochester.'

Marker Rochester has a lot to gain from Bills camp, PGA championship [9:09 PM]
WHEC-TV reports: 'On one side of main street: Bills football camp banners and on the other side PGA banners.'

Marker McGee And Haggan Agree To Terms And Will Be In Camp [8:57 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Tom Donohoe says the club has a verbal agreement with 3rd round pick, linebacker Angelo Crowell.'

Marker Bills sign 7th round selection Haggan [8:41 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills signed seventh-round draft pick Mario Haggan on Tuesday, a day before rookies were to report to training camp.'

Marker Bills Sign Mario Haggan [8:40 PM] reports: 'After moving from defensive end to linebacker for his senior season, Haggan led Mississippi State in tackles with 119 (66 solo) in 2002 and was an All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection. He started three years for the Bulldogs and led the team in tackles each of those years, registering 359 stops for his career.'

Marker Bills Set To Open Training Camp [4:35 PM] reports: '"We do have a signed contract with Mario Haggan, our seventh round pick," said Donahoe. "We have a verbal agreement with Angelo Crowell, our third round pick and we're very close with Chris Kelsay and Terrence McGee. We'd like to have them all there (at opening practice on Thursday) but it's still too early in the week with regard to (Willis) McGahee to say where that will be on Thursday."'

Marker Optimistic Bills set to open camp [1:15 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'It already shows in seat purchases, as the Bills will sell more season tickets this year than in any campaign since 1994.'

Marker Catching up with ... Takeo Spikes [1:14 PM] reports: 'So how do you look in blue and red compared to orange and black? Spikes: I look like a winner.'

Marker Terrence McGee and Mario Haggan signed [12:52 PM]
ESPN reports: 4a. Terrence McGee, Northwestern (La.) State (No. 111 overall): Signing bonus: $307,500. Base salaries: $225,000 (2003); $305,000 (2004); $380,000 (2005). Total: three years, $1,217,500. Cap charge: $327,500.
7. LB Mario Haggan, Mississippi State (No. 228 overall): Unsigned

Marker Improvements, rookie rumblings [11:58 AM] reports: Offseason, Defense gets praise from Vic Carrucci

Marker Under the gun [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Despite his limited success, Williams' approval rating is high in the organization. Donahoe has praised Williams for the improvement he's made over the past two seasons.'

Marker Dupree back in NFL as scout with Redskins [8:54 AM]
ESPN - Len Pasquarelli's Tip Sheet reports: The seven-year contract agreed to by Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman earlier this week was kicked back by the Management Council because the two sides violated the 30 percent raise rule on base salaries. Not to worry. The parties raised the 2008 base salary to come into compliance, and took the difference off the '09 salary, but the total numbers still add up the same.

Marker Fisher's boss of moss manages Bills fields [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'The former facility manager at Frontier Field and two-time International League Groundskeeper of the Year for the Ottawa Lynx, Dungey and his six-person staff lord over 4 1/2 acres of impeccable turf at Fisher.'

July 21, 2003

Marker Tops Disappoints Bills Fans [9:27 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'Peggy Crawford, a Bills fan for 20 years, said she stopped at the Henrietta Tops to get tickets. When the window opened, the first three people in line were served, then the computers went down. After the computers came back up, store workers served three more people and then announced that the tickets were sold out.'

Marker Pat Williams Quotes from ESN Jim Brinson show [5:10 PM]
The Stadium Wall reports: Contributed by Ann Burke, Former WGR Host
1. Has his weight down to 305 -- with Sam Adams on the line--he can afford to be smaller and quicker
2. Expects to be in the backfield a lot -- since teams can't double him with Sam there to require their attention.
3. Stated emphatically: "No one will run on the Buffalo Bills this year'

Marker Tickets To Second Night Practice Gone In 15 Minutes [1:11 PM] reports: 'The practices (July 28 & Aug. 4) run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will feature an autograph session involving the entire team afterward.'

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