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Buffalo Bills News - February 5, 2004

Marker Return Specialist Antonio Brown Learns Patience [10:17 AM] 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.'

Marker 2004 NFL Draft: Mock Draft Picks [10:16 AM] reports: ' has searched the internet and flipped through numerous draft publications to compile a list of mock draft picks for the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Young entrepreneur runs informative Bills Web site [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Although the site recently joined, 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,, for news and information.'

Marker 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).'

Marker Buffalo Bills 2004 Unrestricted, Restricted, and Exclusive Rights Free Agents [5:15 AM] 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.

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February 4, 2004

Marker 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.'

Marker 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.”'

Marker 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.'

Marker Miller recovering [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Van Miller, the longtime voice of the Bills, is recuperating in a Buffalo hospital following surgery for diverticulitis and will not attend Thursday’s Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions dinner.'

Marker Insanely early 2004 NFL predictions: AFC East [5:15 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'New head coach Mike Mularkey will open up the offense with gadget plays and fun not seen in these parts since the K-Gun offense of the late '80s and early '90s. This team is fully capable of reaching the postseason party.'

Marker Just what is the Patriots blueprint? [5:14 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'But while the Patriots o-line improved and Weis’ offensive system was the right one for his personnel, the Bills crashed and burned with the wrong system for the wrong personnel, and Bledsoe became the focal point of the criticism. While some of that criticism was certainly deserved, Bledsoe was by no means the main problem in 2003.'

February 3, 2004

Marker Bills hire Szabo to coach DBs [2:59 PM]
AP reports: 'Mularkey's staff is all but complete, depending on whether he hires a quarterbacks coach. Former Cincinnati and Tampa Bay head coach Sam Wyche is being considered for that job.'

Marker Szabo Added To Bills' Coaching Staff [2:09 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Szabo replaces Steve Jackson, who left to join Gregg Williams in Washington.'

Marker Bills Hire Szabo To Coach Secondary [2:00 PM] reports: 'Szabo (pronounced ZAY-bo) spent this past season as a volunteer assistant coach with the New England Patriots. Prior to that he coached linebackers with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1994-02 under Tom Coughlin and in 2004 he will be entering his 35th season in coaching.'

Marker Dodge Celebrity benefits United Way [11:10 AM]
Golden Gate Gazette reports: 'This inaugural celebrity golf tournament is a fundraising event to benefit the Hunter's Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1997 by Hall of Fame quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, Jim Kelly and his wife Jill after their son Hunter was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy. Kelly and several former and current Buffalo Bills players as well as other professional athletes, including Dan Marino, Bruce Smith and Bernie Kosar, will make their way to Southwest Florida to participate.'

Marker Bills Web site ranked fourth among pro teams [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This is the second time Sports Business Journal and UMass have undertaken this review. In 2002, also was ranked fourth overall.'

Marker Wyche, Henson interest the Bills [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills are committed to veteran Drew Bledsoe at least through 2004, but president and general manager Tom Donahoe reiterated on Monday that the team is doing some long-range planning at the position.'

Marker Bledsoe needs wins for his ticket to Hall [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It must have been difficult for Bledsoe to watch his former team win two of the last three Super Bowls, but the new coaching regime of the Buffalo Bills can only hope that the pass-happy QB will buy into the predominantly running attack the team is expected to emphasize in 2004.'

Marker Bledsoe's RV on eBay [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Meyers RV Superstores is auctioning off Buffalo Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s Winnebago Ultimate Freedom motorhome on eBay through Saturday until 4:55 p.m.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe's Winnebago Ultimate 40ED [5:17 AM] reports: 'Has never been registered, the title is brand new!'

February 2, 2004

Marker Bills consider Wyche as QB coach [4:34 PM]
AP reports: 'Wyche interviewed for the job with new Bills coach Mike Mularkey last week, a team spokesman said on Monday. Mularkey is also seeking a defensive backs coach to round out his staff.'

Marker Bills Website Ranks Among the Best In Sports [1:02 PM] reports: 'In a recent study conducted by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and the University of Massachusetts Graduate Sports Communications program, ranked fourth out of 131 professional sports team web sites.'

February 1, 2004

Marker Despite recent trends, elite QBs still matter [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Look for the Buffalo Bills to investigate the possibility of acquiring the rights to Drew Henson, the former University of Michigan quarterback who has struggled in the New York Yankees' minor-league chain.'

Marker Bills' Super defeats ‘never go away' [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“You think about what might have been, had we won, not just one of the games, but all four,” Talley says. “I’m greedy. I wanted to win them all, but gee, if it was just one, how kind would history be? We have a number of guys who will go to Canton and a number of us will be sitting on the fence, not knowing and wondering.”'

Marker Hansen: Waiting two weeks is a factor [5:19 AM]
Fargo Forum reports: 'The Bills, of course, lost all three Super Bowls in which Hansen played. So when asked for his analysis of today’s game, Hansen offered his opinions before adding -- humorously -- “However … since we lost all the games I played in, what do I know?” In Hansen’s three Super Bowls, the Bills had both one-week and two-week breaks before the games. So he is confident Patriots and Panthers players will have had their fill after two weeks of pre-Super Bowl pomp and circumstance. “Everybody wants a piece of you,” Hansen said.'

Marker Milloy is still a fan [5:18 AM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: '“This is their show,” Milloy said of his former teammates. “I’m here to support them. Hey, you know? I don’t even talk about the game. A lot of them know what to do, a lot of them have already been there. Just like any fan or any family (member), I try not to bother them. It should be business. There’s plenty of time to talk after this game. . . . That’s one thing you the media don’t see, are the friendships. I have a lot of friends over there and I support them.”'

January 31, 2004

Marker Milloy from sidelines: No regrets [9:23 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'In terms of wins and losses, Milloy got the short shrift. His new team, the Buffalo Bills, finished 6-10 and fired their head coach. Meanwhile, the Patriots went 14-2, allowed the fewest points in the league, and are in their second Super Bowl in three years. But Milloy got what he wanted, a lucrative four-year, $10 million deal in which $6.75 million was earned in 2003. He would have been paid $3 million in New England.'

Marker Milloy visits old pals [9:21 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Milloy, who remains very close friends with Ty Law [news] and Tom Brady [news], said he plans to support his former teammates but hasn't bothered to talk football with them. ``You know what, I don't even talk about the game,'' he said. ``I think they know what to do. A lot of them have already been there. Just like any fan or any family, I try not to bother them. It should be business. There's plenty of time to talk after this game. I'm here to support them. This is their show.'''

Marker Milloy here, then gone, but not forgotten [5:16 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Milloy won't be wearing a Patriots jersey Sunday because the team believed he wasn't worth a $5.25 million salary and he wasn't willing to take a significant cut. "Two days before the Super Bowl, I'd make the same decision," Milloy said. "The bottom line is, at that point, (the Patriots) weren't about winning championships. It's easy now to say that, because they're doing well. But I made the right decision. Now that they have more wins the story is different. But that was a business decision."'

Marker Milloy stops by, says he’ll be rooting for Pats [5:15 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"We lost a lot of close games, where New England won the close games," he said. "That's the difference in this league. So you have to know how to win those close games and that's what we didn't do last year. I've talked to Drew after the end of the season and our focus is on next year. Last year was very unusual for him and for me. It just didn't work out."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
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