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Buffalo Bills News - April 21, 2003

Marker Buffalo Bills draft needs [3:31 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Seeking a third defensive tackle to rotate behind Pat Washington and Sam Adams makes Ty Warren of Texas A&M enticing if he's still available at No. 23.'

Marker Buffalo's draft options open; Hall execs keep soiling shrine [1:12 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Thanks to Donahoe's work over the past two years, Buffalo enters this draft without a singular glaring need. The Bills still don't have a pass-rushing end who can remotely approximate the havoc wrought by Smith, but they don't have to reach for one if he's not really there.'

Marker Facts & Figures On 2003 NFL Draft [12:13 PM] reports: WHEN: Noon ET, Saturday, April 26, 2003 (Rounds 1-3). 11:00 AM ET, Sunday, April 27, 2003 (Rounds 4-7). The first three rounds will conclude on Saturday by approximately 10:00 PM ET. In 2002, the first round consumed five hours and 48 minutes; the second, three hours and 15 minutes; and the third, one hour and 30 minutes. The draft will resume on Sunday at 11:00 AM ET for the final four rounds, ending at approximately 6:00 PM ET.

Marker NFL Europe - An Update on Buffalo's Players [11:43 AM] reports: The Rhein Fire improved to 2-1 on the year as they defeated the visiting Scottish Claymores 34-17. Ken Simonton was held to 46 total yards but found the endzone for his fifth TD of the season late in the 4th quarter, cutting the Fire lead to 10.

Marker This Week In Bills History (April 20-26) [11:34 AM] reports: Under the leadership of President and General Manager Tom Donahoe, April 21 has been a significant date. On April 21, 2001, Nate Clements from Ohio State was the Bills' No. 1 pick (21st overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft. Then exactly one year later, Donahoe shipped the team's 2003 first round pick to the New England Patriots for Drew Bledsoe.

Marker New Wallpaper [10:18 AM] reports: Check out the latest wallpaper featuring Takeo Spikes

Marker Simonton scores a hit on his European tour [10:09 AM]
Portland Oregonian reports: 'Each NFL team must send at least six players to the six-team NFL Europe, whose 10-game season runs April-June. After that, players report to their NFL teams and stay on the roster as long as they can. Most NFL contracts are not guaranteed, and most NFL Europe players are like Simonton, who went undrafted and signed a free-agent contract with the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Sam Adams Assigned #95 [9:18 AM] reports: DT Sam Adams will wear 95.

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April 20, 2003

Marker Prospect Profile: TE Jason Witten [1:54 PM] reports: Well-built athlete with long arms and legs…Has the frame to add needed bulk without any drop-off in quickness…Has a sharp change of direction…Gets a good push off the defender to escape the jam…Stays low, extends his arms and keeps his feet shuffling when providing pass protection.

Marker Prospect Profile: DT Johnathan Sullivan [1:54 PM] reports: Plays with impressive quickness off the snap…Pursues until the whistle and is known as an all-out hustler…Has great hand strength, delivering a punishing jab to disengage from the blockers.

Marker Defense still tops Bills draft list [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'The defensive back crop is very, very good.'

April 19, 2003

Marker A.J. Smith wants opportunity at the GM job [9:56 PM]
ESPN reports: Smith and Butler were together with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL, the Chargers in the late 1980s and then spent 14 seasons with the Buffalo Bills, where Butler became GM in 1993.

Marker Bills Draft Central [6:30 PM] reports: Given what the Bills have done in free agency this offseason, their options are wide-open going into the draft. DE Michael Haynes, DE Rien Long, CB Dennis Weathersby, TE Jason Witten, and S Mike Doss are among the players that have been projected to fit Buffalo's needs.

Marker Prospect Profile: Safety Mike Doss [5:53 PM] reports: Has above average quickness, agility, awareness and acceleration…Has an explosive closing burst and is very effective mirroring the receiver’s moves in the short-to-medium areas…Supports with aggression in run force, showing the burst needed to close and stay in front of the opponent.

Marker Empire in danger of losing Rochester, Syracuse outlets [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Andre Reed is the latest former Buffalo Bill to head to the broadcasting booth. The Bills' all-time leading receiver will work two games in May for Fox Sports Net's coverage of NFL Europe.'

Marker Bills filled key void before draft [9:27 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'Just because the coach and linebacker came from Cincinnati, a 2-14 team, it will not prevent them from being impact people who will help put the Bills over .500 and into the AFC playoffs. LeBeau, who begins his 45th year in the NFL, will fill in the mental voids left by head coach Gregg Williams and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. Spikes, while vying with London Fletcher for vocal leadership, will fill in defensive voids.'

Marker Brandon makes impact [9:26 AM]
Las Vegas Review Journal reports: 'Thomas emerged for the Bills late last season, breaking up five passes in the final two games. He intercepted a Brett Favre pass against Green Bay, and started the finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. He will compete for the third cornerback spot this summer.'

Marker Delamielleures know the wait can be trying [9:25 AM]
Charlotte Observer reports: 'Then the phone rang. A guy identified himself as Ralph and welcomed Delamielleure to the team, adding that someone would be calling shortly. "I thought I had been drafted by the Steelers," he said. "I didn't realize Ralph was Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills."'

Marker Bengals try to gain leverage in negotiations [9:24 AM]
ESPN reports: The conventional wisdom has the Buffalo Bills choosing a defensive lineman, preferably an end, with their first-round draft choice. But the club is also looking hard at the cornerback spot. Always cognizant of what is upcoming for his team, general manager Tom Donahoe knows that current starting corner Antoine Winfield is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2003 campaign. And the feeling on the part of some Bills officials is that Winfield, given the spiraling rate of cornerback contracts, could be difficult to retain. Thus the interest in perhaps adding a quality corner in the draft and, quite possibly, even in the first round.

Marker Prospect Profile: DE Michael Haynes [9:23 AM] reports: 'Flashes explosion off the ball and has above average anchor and leverage ability to hold firmly at the point of attack…Shows power in his moves down the line…Has the instincts to react quickly to the play and is very aware of play action and fakes.'

Marker Prospect Profile: DT Rien Long [9:22 AM] reports: 'All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, ESPN and the Associated Press, adding second-team honors from CNN/SI…All-Pac 10 Conference first-team pick…Recipient of the Outland Trophy, given to the premier interior lineman in college football.'

April 18, 2003

Marker Prospect Profile: CB Dennis Weathersby [4:51 PM] reports: Has a lean, athletic frame…Gets good depth in his backpedal, showing a burst coming out of his breaks…Has the body control needed to plant and drive and flip his hips in transition…Has very good closing quickness and the deep acceleration to run with receivers off the line of scrimmage.

Marker Win a Mike Williams Autographed Football [11:50 AM] reports: Win an Authentic NFL Game Ball autographed by Mike Williams. Selected by the Bills with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 Draft, Williams was Buffalo's highest draft pick since taking Bruce Smith #1 overall in 1985.

Marker Prospect Profile: WR Taylor Jacobs [10:15 AM] reports: Good route runner with above average speed and quickness…Shows no wasted motion in his release and uses his hands effectively to beat press coverage…Runs precise routes and shows a sudden burst through his routes.

Marker Rookie Review: Coy Wire [10:09 AM] reports: Safety Coy Wire talked about last year's draft, his rookie season with the Bills, and his first NFL offseason in a exclusive interview with Selected in the third round (97th overall) out of Stanford, Wire started in 15 of 16 games for the Bills while increasing run support from the strong safety position.

Marker Bills could have 'big' plans in first round [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Anytime you look at your football team, you're always trying to add quality big people," Donahoe said during the Bills' predraft luncheon. "It's a game of big people. If we can add some big people on either side of the ball, we want to try to do that.'

Marker Bills excited about draft [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'It means that for the first time under Donahoe, the Bills can honestly use the first round to select the best player available regardless of need, and to address depth concerns later on.'

April 17, 2003

Marker Bills RB Henry approves one-year extension [8:16 PM]
AP reports: 'The deal, which includes a signing bonus, was confirmed Thursday by Henry's agent, Greg Johnson. The restructured contract also includes several incentives, and will pay Henry a base salary of $1.25 million in the final year.'

Marker Bills FB Morris accepts one-year deal [8:15 PM]
AP reports: 'Fullback and special teams captain Sammy Morris accepted the Buffalo Bills' one-year contract offer on Thursday. Morris will make $605,000 in his fourth season with the Bills and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next year.'

Marker Bills management talks draft [4:12 PM]
Shout! reports: 'The position where they fielded the most questions was the defensive line. Buffalo's first draft pick, 23rd overall, could be a D-lineman.'

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