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Buffalo Bills News - April 3, 2001

Marker NFL Talk preseason rankings [2:02 PM] 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?'

Marker 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.'

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April 1, 2001

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker Realignment progress highlights meetings [9:10 AM] 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.'

Marker Kenyatta Wright speaks at Bills Booster Club meeting [9:09 AM] 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.

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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."

March 30, 2001

Marker Former UB player picked up by Chargers [11:35 AM] 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.'

Marker 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.'

March 29, 2001

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.'

Marker Twice as nice [10:27 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'Current Buffalo head coach Gregg Williams was an Oilers defensive assistant on Fisher's staff in 1995. He was in the room where the McNair versus Carter debate raged, and remembered Wednesday just how tempted the Oilers were to go defense.'

Marker The AFL: A Football Legacy [10:25 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'That turned out to be a lucrative investment for Hunt, Adams and Ralph Wilson. Their teams (today Hunt has the Kansas City Chiefs, Adams the Tennessee Titans, and Wilson the Buffalo Bills) are now worth more than $500 million apiece. But Hunt, Adams and Hilton (who owned the Chargers) and the other owners were called "The Foolish Club" when the AFL began operations.'

Marker's 2001 NFL Mock Draft [10:23 AM]
CNN/SI reports: '[In caae you missed it] Here is our third Mock Draft of the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, compiled by a panel of seven "draftniks."... Buffalo Bills: Damione Lewis DT Miami (Fla.). Bills need a replacement for departed NT Washington.'

Marker Making plans for NFL realignment [10:20 AM]
AP reports: 'Seven plans under consideration for realignment when Houston rejoins the NFL for the 2002 season. There are other plans also under consideration.'

Marker League extends replay through '03 season [10:18 AM]
AP reports: 'The league voted Wednesday to extend the current replay system through the end of the 2003 season. One reason given: the league could make adjustments to replay without having to worry about the system being approved.'

Marker Good call by league to step up QB protection [10:18 AM] reports: 'Next season, the referee will be the QB's guardian angel. The league will instruct referees to consider disqualifying a defender for a flagrant foul against a quarterback. "If in doubt about a roughness call or a potentially dangerous tactic on the quarterback, the referee should always call roughing the passer," according to the rulebook.'

Marker Christie, Flutie reunite? [6:21 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The San Diego Chargers are one of a handful of teams that have shown interest in Christie, a placekicker who became an unrestricted free agent last month when the Bills did not re-sign him.'

March 28, 2001

Marker Erik Flowers answers fan e-mails [10:22 PM] reports: "I know that I will have a larger impact this season because I didn't play that much last year. The 4-3 is what I have played in my whole life and that is what I am used to playing. I feel that I can do so much more in that style of defense..."

Marker 2001 PRESEASON NATIONAL TV SCHEDULE [7:05 PM] reports: 'An 11-game preseason national television schedule featuring rematches of two recent Super Bowls and an American Bowl in Mexico City was announced by the National Football League. [No Buffalo games are scheduled]'

Marker QB showdown [6:56 PM]
LA Times reports: 'Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie had a not-so-friendly rivalry while competing for the quarterback position in Buffalo until Flutie was released and signed with San Diego. The teams will meet next season. "Yeah, I'm looking forward to it," said Johnson, the former USC quarterback. "This will definitely be a [big] game for many reasons. It's a game everyone will star or circle on their calendars. "They'll probably put it on Monday night even though neither of us made the playoffs."

Marker Donahoe leaves bitterness behind [6:53 PM]
Post-Gazette reports: 'Donahoe's path eventually led to Miami and a temporary consultant's job with the Dolphins, to ESPN's studios in Bristol, Conn., and in January, to Buffalo where the Bills doubled his salary to $1 million and tripled his responsibilities by making him president and general manager.'

Marker Bills express interest in signing former Titan [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams said Tuesday he would be interested in pursuing former Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Josh Evans if and when Evans is reinstated from a year-long substance abuse suspension this spring or summer.'

Marker Bills seeing few thorns in prickly realignment [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The league will change from its current six-division setup to eight, four-team divisions in 2002. It remains likely that Buffalo, Miami, the New York Jets and New England will stay in the AFC East. Indianapolis almost surely will move out.'

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