Every team is not a viable contender [12:20 PM]
ESPN reports: Buffalo (6-10): There shouldn't be much dropoff, even if CB Antoine Winfield somehow escapes in free agency, from the defense that catapulted all the way to No. 2 in the league in 2003. The big task for rookie coach Mike Mularkey, the inventive offensive schemer, is to rehabilitate the career of QB Drew Bledsoe, whose numbers fell off precipitously last season. Buffalo could use another outside playmaker, but Mularkey and his staff figure to upgrade the performances of younger veterans like RB Travis Henry and WR Josh Reed. The OL needs a fix but veteran mentor Jim McNally has worked wonders with even less talent than is on hand here. Obviously, the Bills are in a difficult division, one that includes the reigning league champions, and will need more offense to compete.
Patriots decline to exercise option on Smith [11:30 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The New England Patriots did not exercise their option on RB Antowain Smith on Sunday, making the team's best runner an unrestricted free agent. Smith played four seasons for the Buffalo Bills before signing with the Patriots as a free agent in June 2001. He was a first-round draft pick in 1997.
Gbaja-Biamila summoned for Rice [2:11 PM]
Honolulu Star Bulletin reports: 'Levy, 78, said he welcomes the opportunity to be a real coach again. "It could always happen. I'm reinvigorated and in good health. If it comes I welcome it. Maybe people are looking at my age and saying I'm too old. I don't agree with them," said Levy, who led the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowls. "(Dick) Vermeil, Joe Gibbs coming back, Jack McKeon in baseball. Experience is a tremendous quality, as long as you haven't become complacent, or one of those 'We've always done it this way' people."'
New Turf, Old Field [2:10 PM]
Honolulu Star Bulletin reports: 'Takeo Spikes is one of the best players in the NFL, and has been since his rookie year of 1998. But only now, after his first season with the Buffalo Bills, has the former Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker garnered the votes necessary to play in the Pro Bowl.'
One tough Cookie who didn't crumble [2:09 PM]
Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports: 'It's too bad Gilchrist is all but forgotten, not only because of his legendary playing career but because he made pro football all-star game history off the field 39 years ago. He not only ought to be remembered for it, he should be celebrated for it.'
Wyche's interest in Bills speaks volumes about love of coaching [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Sam played quarterback in the league," said Bills offensive line coach Jim McNally, who served in the same capacity under Wyche in Cincinnati. "He played under Paul Brown and learned a lot from him. He was with Bill Walsh for a number of years. So he certainly knows all the basics of how to handle a quarterback. I think he's fired up and ready to go."'
Pros present awards to kids [9:01 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Coleman saw his first NFL action in 2003 after spending the previous season on the practice squad. An undrafted rookie free agent from Ferris State, he caught eight passes for 69 yards. Bills QB Drew Bledsoe spoke well of Coleman.'
Mularkey postpones decision about Wyche [5:26 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Wyche, 58, has been in Buffalo since Tuesday meeting and working alongside Mularkey and his staff in what has amounted to a tryout for the job. Mularkey had indicated he would make a decision on Wyche on Friday, but that did not happen.'
In Williams, Gibbs Knew What He Was Getting [5:25 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'If Williams, Buffalo's head coach the previous three seasons, has a defining style for his defensive teams, it is his stress on creativity and aggressiveness.'
Redskins' Williams ready to adapt [5:24 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'Williams' motto throughout his coaching career has stayed firm: don't try to make players fit your defense, make your defense fit the players.'
Relaxation Is the Theme for the Offseason [5:23 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: OT Marcus Price: '"Earlier in January I had to have knee surgery so I've been rehabbing that a little bit. I've also been to San Diego rehabbing. I'm just getting my body back and trying to get some rest but enjoying time with family. The next couple of weeks in Texas I'll get back on my workouts and get prepared for the 2004 season. During Super Bowl week I did some appearances in the area and but I didn't go to the game. I won't go to the Super Bowl game until I'm in it."'
Bills to attend QB Henson's workout [6:53 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills have a starting quarterback in veteran Drew Bledsoe, but team President Tom Donahoe is interested in acquiring someone who can be groomed to eventually take over. Bledsoe is also coming off one of the worst seasons of his 11-year career, finishing with 2,860 yards passing, with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 games.'
Ex-Buffalo coach Williams settles in with 'Skins [6:52 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams declined to comment on his time in Buffalo. "I'm a Washington Redskin," he said.'
Bills Interested in Henson [6:51 PM]
RNews.com reports: 'The Buffalo Bills are among the teams that plan on going to Houston to get a look at the former University of Michigan quarterback. He'll workout next Thursday and all NFL teams are welcome to attend.'
Transcript: Gregg Williams Press Conference [6:50 PM]
Redskins.com reports: '“I thought it was going to be pretty inconspicuous when he flew into town because nobody really knew officially that he was the head coach. But when he landed the private plane with the five-foot helmet on the side of the tail, it got out pretty quick around Buffalo that he was in town and we were talking."'
The Bills Are Still Evaluating Sam Wyche [3:08 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He's still being evaluated by new head coach Mike Mularkey to see if his health will allow him to endure the hours coaches put in.'
Summary of NFL transactions [2:44 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: New England
Feb. 4, 2004
Jan. 19-Feb. 3
Roster addition: FB Phillip Crosby (released from Bills reserve/injured 11/19).
Looking ahead [2:42 PM]
Patriots.com reports: According to NFLPA.org the Patriots have signed 10 free agents for next season, many likely to be sent to NFL Europe for the Spring. The list includes RBs Phillip Crosby, Malaefou Mackenzie and Frank Moreau, safeties Scott Farley and Jason Perry, WR Marquise Walker, cornerback Michael Hall, DE Buck Rasmussen, LB Lawrence Flugence, OL Jack Fadule.
Phillip Crosby was drafted by Bills in 2001 and was released this year after an injury settlement.
Bills looking at Henson [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills will be represented at quarterback Drew Henson’s workout next week in Houston, president and general manager Tom Donahoe said.'
Wyche returns to NFL [5:15 AM]
Pickens Sentinel reports: 'Pickens resident to coach QB's for Buffalo Bills'.
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NFL Europe Experience Proves To Be Valuable [5:14 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"It was a great experience," said Moorman. "I think it was the best thing for me as far as developing and showing teams that I am capable of playing in the NFL."'
Mularkey giving Wyche trial run in search of quarterbacks coach [11:39 PM]
CNN/SI reports: "We're kind of doing a trial run, to see if he's going to hold up,'' Mularkey said of Wyche on Thursday. "We've put him through a grind of talking a lot and being involved in all of our meetings. We'll ask him his opinion on this or that, and really are just gauging how he feels at the end of each day.''Wyche in recent years has dealt with both a rare heart condition, one in which the organ suffers from a lack of oxygen, and the misfortune of having one vocal cord accidentally cut during surgery.
Return Specialist Antonio Brown Learns Patience [10:17 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Basically the head coach and the coaching staff have a big influence on my play and how I present myself in practice week-to-week as an offensive guy and a return guy. I am a receiver. I do kickoff return as a specialist. I practice with the receivers all day.'
2004 NFL Draft: Mock Draft Picks [10:16 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Buffalobills.com has searched the internet and flipped through numerous draft publications to compile a list of mock draft picks for the Buffalo Bills.'
Young entrepreneur runs informative Bills Web site [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Although the site recently joined TheInsiders.com, a fan-site network that's partnered with Yahoo! Sports, Sports Illustrated and CBS SportsLine, the site's staff and writers are denied official access to Bills players and press events. Scott Berchtold, vice president of communications for the Bills, said the main reason the team withholds access from non-traditional media is a "credibility issue." "When information gets out there that isn't accurate and puts a negative emphasis on things, it can sometimes be a little tough for the team," said Berchtold, who pointed to false rumors surrounding the team's recent search for a head coach. Berchtold said he and his staff try to direct fans to the team's official site, BuffaloBills.com, for news and information.'
Fan poll rates Sabres 63rd, Bills 96th [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Coach/manager — Sabres 72nd and Bills 121st (Gregg Williams was rated dead last).'
Buffalo Bills 2004 Unrestricted, Restricted, and Exclusive Rights Free Agents [5:15 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The 2004 free agent period for the NFL begins on March 3 and the Bills have a total of 12 players that are either categorized as a EFA, RFA or UFA this offseason. Below is a complete list of Buffalo's 2004 free agents, broken down into their respective categories.
Bills hire Szabo to coach secondary [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Steve Szabo, who was a teammate and classmate of Roger Staubach at the Naval Academy and went on to a 34-year career as a college and pro coach, will be the Buffalo Bills' new defensive backs coach.'
Bills' Donahoe reaffirms vow to reach his AFC East rival's level. [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'New coach Mike Mularkey, the former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, was hired for his past skill in blending the run and the pass. “We believe in what we believe and we know it’ll work,” Donahoe said. “We just have to stay consistent with our philosophy and our plan and do it better.”'
Bills add DB coach [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The only staff opening left is quarterbacks coach, and Mularkey has interviewed ex-Cincinnati and Tampa Bay head coach Sam Wyche. He may also hire a special assistant.'
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