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Buffalo Bills News - April 22, 2002

Marker Donahoe, Bills owner help make trade happen [5:54 AM]
ESPN reports: '"There's really a buzz here right now," Donahoe said.'

Marker Buffalo bound [5:54 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Bledsoe told the Patriots he would retire rather than return for his 10th season as a backup to Brady and that he preferred to remain in the AFC East. He turned down a chance to be dealt to Cincinnati.'

Marker Patriots Trade Drew Bledsoe to Bills for Draft Pick [5:52 AM]
Bloomberg reports: '"For many reasons and at many levels, this was a difficult trade to make,'' Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He gave our fans some of the greatest memories in the franchise's history. Drew Bledsoe is a special player."'

Marker Beyond Bledsoe, Bills plug holes with six more draft picks [5:51 AM]
AP reports: '"It's a significant difference from when I came here a year ago, let alone at the end of the season," Williams said. "Obviously, we've improved it in a lot of different ways. But now it comes time to continue to work. When we open up training camp, we've all got to be on the same page."'

Marker Pats finally deal Bledsoe - to Bills [5:51 AM]
Portland Press Herald reports: '"They've gotten some value," said Belichick. "We've gotten some, too."'

Marker Bills suddenly bolstered by Bledsoe deal [5:50 AM]
AP reports: '"Since Jim Kelly, we haven't had anybody good."'

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April 21, 2002

Marker Final 2002 Draft Wrap-up - Press Conference [9:59 PM] reports: Gregg Williams - "Obviously this is a very exciting day. It made us a much better football team. I think that we have done a great job since January in improving (the football team) and I think we've taken another great step today in improving (the team) with that acquisition."

Marker Bills Acquire Drew Bledsoe - Press Conference [9:59 PM] reports: We are thrilled to have Drew Bledsoe. We think he is a great quarterback. We think he is a tremendous competitor and he is going to bring excitement and energy to our football team and really provide us with, what we think, will be the type of quarterback that can help us as we go into the future.

Marker Bledsoe builds excitement in Buffalo [8:21 PM]
USA Today reports: 'Even before the deal was announced, the Bills opened their box office to accommodate fans who heard the trade was imminent. Buffalo, which failed to sell out four of its eight home games last season, drew 504,709 fans last year, the lowest since 1987.'

Marker Bledsoe bound for Buffalo [8:01 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Alex Van Pelt, who showed some promise down the stretch in place of the injured Rob Johnson last season, will be relegated to a backup role. The Patriots drafted Louisiana State QB Rohan Davey in the fourth round Sunday, which signaled something may indeed be in the works for Bledsoe, who was the first pick in the 1993 draft out of Washington State and owns nearly every Patriots passing record.

Marker Drew Bledsoe Profile / Game history [7:56 PM] reports: They neglect to mention the life threatening injury last year.

Marker Bills gave up too much for Bledsoe [7:32 PM]
Fox Sports reports: The Buffalo Bills chose not to sign free-agent Jeff Blake as their next quarterback and, instead swung a deal for veteran Drew Bledsoe. That was smart. But it took a first-round draft choice to get him, and that was too expensive.

Marker Fearlessly grading Saturday's first-rounders [7:19 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills thought long and hard (according to Bills not at all) about taking Albert Haynesworth here, but in the end Tom Donahoe opted to go for Williams. He's a big, powerful player who can play right or left tackle -- probably right for the Bills. That will allow them to move Jonas Jennings to guard in what shapes up as a decent line. Grade: B. That defensive line still has a huge hole in the middle.'

Marker Bledsoe move good for Pats, but great for Bills [6:59 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Buffalo Bills are now a playoff contender. There, it's said. Crazy? Did anyone think the New England Patriots could win the Super Bowl last season? Didn't think so.

Marker 7th Round pick - part 4: ILB Antone 'Dominique' Stevenson [6:09 PM] reports: College: Tennessee Height: 5-11.6 Weight: 222
Very quick and active run stuffer... Stays under control knifing through the line of scrimmage... Has good strength to take on the fullback to fill the rush lanes... Uses his hands well when covering the tight ends and running backs in the short area passing game... Has the quickness to string plays wide and prevent the long gain around the outside corner... Adjusts to the flow of traffic and has fluid lateral agility... Could shift to fullback at the pro level.

Marker Super Bowl champs trade Bledsoe to Buffalo [6:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Even before the deal was announced, the Bills opened their box office to accommodate fans who heard the trade was imminent. Buffalo, which failed to sell out four of its eight home games last season, drew 504,709 fans last year, the lowest since 1987.'

Marker 7th Round pick - part 3: FB Jarrett Ferguson [5:52 PM] reports: College: Virginia Tech Height: 5-8 Weight: 222
Bruising inside runner with good weave-and-hip movement upfield... Changes direction well and has an assortment of moves to cut back outside when turning the corner... Breaks arm tackles easily and has excellent short-area quickness... Has large, soft hands and great ball awareness as a receiver out of the backfield.

Marker 7th Round pick - part 2: WR Rodney Wright [5:50 PM] reports: College: Fresno State Height: 5-8 Weight: 175
Crisp route runner with an explosive burst off the line ? Can transition quickly, showing a fluid change of direction ? Fearless in a crowd and has the acceleration needed to defeat defenders racing down the sidelines.

Marker Post Pick Press Conference On OG Mike Pucillo [5:47 PM] reports: [NOTE: writer is slightly confused or in a hurry - they list him as a 6th round pick]
Q: Do you like him as center?
A: We thought that he had the ability to play center. We took him as a guard; at least what we valued the most was him at a guard. He's a smart kid and has enough athletic ability to add to that spot as maybe a backup or a second at the position. As you know in the NFL especially in the NFL the more positions you can play and the more flexible you are the better. The more things you can do to be the utility guy, especially when you dress 8 guys, you have to have someone who can play at center as well in this league.

Marker Bills aquire Bledsoe in Trade with New England [5:10 PM] reports: The Bills today announced that the team has acquired quarterback DREW BLEDSOE from the New England Patriots in exchange for a first-round pick in 2003

Marker Mike Pucillo picked by Bills [4:51 PM] reports: Started every game at right offensive guard... Earned Tiger Offensive Player of the Week honors vs. Mississippi and Florida... Graded 83.5% for blocking consistency and came up with 71 key blocks for an offense that generated 3947 yards, an average of 358.8 yards per game.

Marker 7th Round Pick: OG Mike Pucillo [4:29 PM] reports: College: Auburn Height: 6-4 Weight: 317
Intelligent lineman who compensates for a lack of an athletic physique with sound technical skills... Has effective linear speed... Shows good hand placement and takes excellent blocking angles with surprising quickness, despite his frame... Dominates defenders with his lateral agility, showing suddenness to reach and zone... Knows how to sink his hips to maintain balance... Shows good explosion coming off the snap

Marker Drew in blue [3:53 PM]
CNNSI reports: 'The Bills landed the best remaining available veteran quarterback, filling their most glaring need in a way that puts them in position to win now. And yes, they're going to enjoy telling Jeff Blake to take a barrel over Niagara Falls. '

Marker Marvin 'Kevin' Thomas picked by Bills. [3:33 PM] reports: Cornerback for University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels. Four-year starter with a knack for making the big play...Good athlete with a quick burst off his backpedal...Very smooth in transition...'

Marker 6th Round Pick: CB Marvin 'Kevin' Thomas [2:42 PM] reports: College: UNLV, Height: 5-11 Weight: 180
Good athlete with a quick burst off his backpedal - Very smooth in transition - Is not afraid to battle for the ball - Shows superb jump ability going after the pass and has natural hands to make the interception - Athletic in the open field, driving with his legs and with arms extended to wrap and secure as a tackler - Very aware of his responsibilities in the zone - Makes proper reads and shows good field vision - Covers the short routes well, breaking on the ball quickly.

Marker Bills acquire QB Bledsoe from Patriots [2:17 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'After much speculation and several trade overtures, the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills reached an agreement Sunday to trade quarterback Drew Bledsoe, the Super Bowl champions' Web site reported. The Patriots will receive the Bills' first-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft for Bledsoe.'

Marker Fifth Round Pick: DT Justin Bannan [1:33 PM] reports: Defensive Tackle, Colorado, Height: 6-3 Weight: 300
Has thick muscle development in his arms and chest... Recognizes the plays and shows awareness getting to the ball... Holds his ground firmly at the point of attack and shows the power to stack... Uses his arms to defeat blocks... Wrap-up tackler with explosiveness behind his hits... Can control combo blocks with his hand punch... Has a sharp burst to close on the quarterback once he gets past the blocker... All-out effort type with good functional power.

Marker Bills Draft a Buffalo [1:31 PM] reports: Justin Bannan, 6'3", 300 pounds DT for the Colorado Buffaloes. Profile linked.

Marker Art Shell on Williams pick [1:05 PM] reports: As the clock was ticking on this pick, my thought was, "I don't pass on those big tackles." With Williams and Miami's Bryant McKinnie still available, it was a no-brainer. Whatever happens with the Buffalo quarterback situation, the Bills have a big, athletic offensive tackle to anchor the line.

Marker It's Official: Bledsoe to Buffalo for 2003 1st Round Pick [12:55 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The New England Patroits website reports the deal is complete but the Bills appear to be working out some details directly with Bledsoe before they make it official.'

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