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Buffalo Bills News - March 18, 2002

Marker Donahoe looking for help at safety, on lines [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We still would like to get better on both lines, and we have to get better at safety," Donahoe said Sunday at the NFL owners' meetings. "Those are priorities."'

Marker Coalition formed whose goal is to lure NFL team to Los Angeles [8:56 AM]
ESPN reports: @ With LA stating many times they would not support a publically supported football stadium, a new group of billionares are hatching a plan to build a privately funded one. With 32 teams, the NFL has no plans to immediately expand, which means any team headed for Los Angeles would be from an existing franchise that relocates. San Diego, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Buffalo are among the teams that could relocate to Los Angeles, although the list constantly rotates as leases expire or loopholes in stadium contracts are found.

Marker HOF inductee Kelly to address HOF lunch group [7:57 AM]
Canton Repository reports: 'It marks the first time an enshrinee will appear at the luncheon club between his Super Bowl weekend announcement and his actual enshrinement.'

Marker Alex Van Pelt to pick the Oscars [7:53 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: While NFL quarterbacks are known for their endless hours of film study, Bills quarterback Alex Van Pelt definitely takes it to another level when he breaks down the 2002 Oscar nominees all next week on buffalobills.com.

Marker Breakfast with Jim Kelly [6:43 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Q. So what's it like to win four AFC titles and lose four Super Bowls? A. Someone once asked me if I would have rather just gone to one Super Bowl and won it. I'd rather go to four. What we were able to accomplish, the resiliency we showed having to go back to training camp -- ground zero -- and get in a position to be competitive again is amazing. A devastating loss like that, you've got to sit with that for five, six months until you can compete again. I attribute Mark Levy, our head coach, with being able to put us in the right frame of mine. I'm proud to say I went to four, win or lose.'

Marker Bidding Begins for Free Agent Blake [5:59 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'Buffalo appeared to be the front-runner to sign Blake before he met with Redskins officials Thursday night and early Friday. But Blake's meeting with Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier seemed to go smoothly.'

Marker Fletcher rips Rams for underpaying him [5:40 AM]
AP reports: '"I played for the minimum and never said anything because of my love for the game of football," he said. " The Rams knew they were underpaying me."'

Marker Fletcher says Rams "sucked me dry for four years" [5:40 AM]
St.Louis Post Dispatch reports: '"Based on what I did for the Rams, I wish they would have shown me more appreciation," Fletcher said in a telephone interview. "I had given the Rams way more than they could ever give me. Sometimes you have to say: 'Enough's enough. There's no more blue light specials.'"'

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March 17, 2002

Marker Does Ex-Bill Rob johnson have a chance in Tampa? [5:41 PM]
The Sporting News reports: @ Johnson won't be forced to take on the roll in Tampa Bay that he had in Buffalo. What people don't realize is that Jon Gruden's offense doesn't put too much pressure on the QB. The "QB friendly" attack saw Rich Gannon have a couple of career years and should enable Johnson to have some success, too. It must be noted that Johnson comes into this situation as a backup, and he'll be playing under much less pressure. So yes, I do think there is a chance that, if he can get on the field, Johnson could succeed.

Marker Mike Doser: This is what I've concluded [2:40 PM]
Shout! reports: @ The OBD is not too keen on current weakside LB Jay Foreman.
@ They don't think SS Prioleau is final answer in 4-6 defense.
@ They are not sure about the long-term prospects of free safety Tillman
@ They're going to draft a defensive lineman in the first round.

Marker Van Pelt will make call on Oscars [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Who better than an NFL quarterback, a guy with endless hours of film study, to pick this year's Oscar winners? Buffalo Bills quarterback Alex Van Pelt, an avid moviegoer, will venture into the realm of serious film critique this week on the team's Web site, www.buffalobills.com.'

Marker Ravens crumbling quickly as dominating defense disintegrates [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But Hall of Fame officials have made accommodations to hold a bigger crowd by moving the ceremony from the front steps of the Hall to Fawcett Stadium, next to the Hall. The Hall could accommodate about 11,000 fans in the past. By moving to the stadium, the ceremony should be able to hold several thousand more.'

March 16, 2002

Marker Cowart gives credit to Cottrell [2:13 PM]
ESPN reports: @ The ever-affable Cottrell, of course, was a significant factor in Cowart moving to southern New York. "He taught me the NFL game from the LB position," Cowart said. "Some people told me when I dropped from the first round to the second round that maybe going to Buffalo was like a blessing in disguise, and it definitely was. As soon as I walked in, Teddy and I kind of connected, and I give him the credit for the player I am today."

Marker Two tackles work out for Bills [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Riley figures to be the much more expensive of the two. He is a former first-round draft choice who has started the past four years for the Chiefs at right tackle. He missed the last 10 games of last season with a broken right leg.'

Marker Redskins Lose Three More Free Agents [8:47 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'Blake said he probably will choose between the Redskins and the Buffalo Bills within the next few days.'

Marker Three more Redskins depart team [8:46 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'Blake visited Buffalo on Thursday before flying to Washington for dinner with Spurrier and owner Dan Snyder, and the Bills are prepared to give him their starting job. With Washington, Blake would have to beat out Danny Wuerffel, another Spurrier protege, and youngsters Dameyune Craig and Sage Rosenfels.'

Marker Steelers match Ross' contract [8:45 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Houston tendered [Kris] Brown an offer that would make his first-year salary cap figure about $1.2 million. They structured the contract with a higher first-year salary-cap as an attempt to thwart the Steelers' willingness to match it. The Buffalo Bills also considered presenting Brown with an offer sheet, but he prefers to play in his native Texas.'

Marker Texans ink Allen, fulfill goal at RB [8:43 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'The team made a formal offer to restricted free-agent kicker Kris Brown late Friday evening, but the offer sheet was completed too late to reach the league office by the close of business. It will be filed Monday morning. Brown, who spent the past three seasons with Pittsburgh, also visited Buffalo but prefers Houston because it's only four hours from his hometown of Southlake.'

Marker 2001 Class of Blue Coats Annual awards reception recap [8:22 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Buffalo Bills would like to congratulate their 2001 Class of Blue Coats on a job well done. The Blue Coat annual awards reception was held Friday, February 22nd at Brierwood Country Club and top Blue Coats were recognized for their accomplishments in 2001.

Marker Pair of offensive tackles visit Bills [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: '"I think this is a great place to play, because they have a chance to win," Riley said.'

March 15, 2002

Marker Riley, Teague talk with Bills [7:59 PM]
AP reports: '"Buffalo seems like a nice city, the coaching staff seems sincere and it looks to be going in the direction I want to go. I want to be on a good team that's on an upswing, and they're definitely headed in the right direction."'

Marker Flutie promises no QB controversy [9:42 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'If Brees won the job, Flutie told his new head coach, he would be supportive as his backup. There would be no sulking. There would be no lobbying. There would be nothing associated with Flutie's contentious relationship with Rob Johnson in Buffalo. In short, there would be no controversy.'

Marker OTs Teague and Riley Visiting Bills [9:40 AM]
Rocky Mountain News reports: While the Denver Broncos continued to look at prospective left tackles, their starter at the position last season headed to Buffalo for a visit. Trey Teague, who is an unrestricted free agent, was scheduled to fly to Buffalo on Thursday night and meet with Bills officials today. Coincidentally, Victor Riley, whom the Broncos brought in for a visit Wednesday, also was scheduled to arrive in Buffalo on Thursday night. Teague has a standing offer to return to the Broncos, but he is testing the market to establish his value. Riley, a starter with the Kansas City Chiefs, also has visited Cleveland.

Marker Gilbride makes Bills attractive to Blake [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Blake first met Gilbride as a freshman in college at East Carolina, where Gilbride served as offensive coordinator.'

Marker Gilbride wants balancing act from the Bills [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It looks like a young team in some spots," Gilbride said, "but a team that has a chance to be competitive if we can just get a few more pieces put together and do a good job coaching them."'

Marker Bills consider changing uniform [8:55 AM]
AP reports: 'The team said no change has been decided upon, but that paperwork has been filed with the NFL office.'

Marker Free-agent QB Blake likes Bills [5:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"It's got everything I'm looking for," Blake said. That would be good receivers to throw to (Eric Moulds, Peerless Price), a coach he's played for and respects (offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride), friends on the team and a nice community to raise his family.'

Marker Jaguars notebook [5:06 AM]
Florida Times Union reports: '"My meetings [with the Bills] have gone very well. It's refreshing that there are coaches who are different than Tom [Coughlin]."'

Marker Redskins turn attention to Blake [5:05 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'But there are two issues with Blake. First is whether Spurrier believes the quarterback can fit into his offense. Second, whether the Redskins are willing to meet Blake's contract demands. Blake would be more expensive than Matthews, who is scheduled to earn $750,000 this season.'

March 14, 2002

Marker Getting warmer [9:21 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'Williams doesn't have to deliver a winning season to the rebuilding Bills, but he does have to show real improvement to avoid the hot seat. Another 3-13 level debacle and he might not be asked back for the third and final year of his contract.'

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