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Buffalo Bills News - August 18, 2000

Marker Hansen steps out of the shadows [6:03 AM]
D and C reports: 'In reality, Hansen -- in his unassuming way -- has always been a reliable leader and coach Wade Phillips said that will not change. "He's still leading by example, but he's also a vocal leader, and he's been a captain for a number of years," said Phillips. "We get the leadership qualities we need from him and we always have." Said Hansen: "It's really hard to believe that Bruce, Thurman and Andre are gone, but now it's time for guys like myself and Henry to take a more prominent role. "I don't think it's a burden, I think it's my responsibility as a 10-year member of the Buffalo Bills to make sure that this team stays on course and does what it has done in the past and that's be a good successful team." The best way Hansen can do that is to lead by example, which is what he has always done.'

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August 17, 2000

Marker Bills Preparing for the St. Louis Rams [5:32 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Where was the second practice field? Where was the crowd? The Bills returned to the practice field outside the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse for a session closed to the public. The cloudy, breezy day was another reminder that fall was coming.'

Marker Former Bill reunited with ring [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills executive Chuck Burr was reunited with his lost championship ring Wednesday night as he and Paul Hudson, who found the ring, met for the first time. Burr lost his 1964 AFL Championship ring 30 years ago while playing catch on the edge of Lake Erie at Sherkston. Hudson found it in July off Wyldewood Beach at Sherkston Shores while snorkeling with his metal detector.'

Marker Bills happy to put camp in rearview [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This year's camp drew 122,000 fans and was considered a marketing coup, as the Bills tried to further regionalize the team.'

Marker UB rookies made it easier for each other [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Drew Haddad and Josh Roth found their first NFL training camp experience to be a bit wearisome. And they're glad they had each other as much as they're glad it's over. The rookies from the University at Buffalo broke camp with the rest of the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, departing St. John Fisher College for their local apartments. Haddad, a receiver drafted in the seventh round, and Roth, a free agent fullback, were roommates at camp. Whether things were going well or poorly, their friendship made the experience that much better. "We're very fortunate to have the opportunity we have," Haddad said. "Every night we would just sit there and joke and talk about the things that happened at UB. "Like when we won (the Bills' preseason opener) against Cincinnati. That was our first win in a long time."'

Marker Players glad camp grind ends [6:19 AM]
D and C reports: '"Rochester's nice, but you want to get home, sleep in your own bed and eat your own food," quarterback Rob Johnson said.'

Marker Bills offense still lacks chemistry [6:18 AM]
D and C reports: '"Offense takes a little more time than defense, we've got to be totally on the same page, and if one guy screws up, the play doesn't work."'

Marker Rookie Jones earns high praise from Bills [6:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'Early in training camp, Buffalo Bills veteran linebacker Sam Rogers pulled rookie Fred Jones to the side and whispered, in so many words, "Don't worry kid, you've got this team made." When word filtered back to coach Wade Phillips that Rogers might be filling Jones' head with grandiose praise, he quipped: "I want Sam and the rest of the team to worry about cuts. Maybe Sam better worry about Freddie." Indeed. Jones, like Rogers a product of the University of Colorado, began making plays in practice on Day One and hasn't stopped. With the first cut to 65 players fast approaching on Tuesday, Mr. Jones is among the few newcomers who can breathe easy, not that he'll allow himself that pleasure, despite what Rogers has told him. "I'd stress myself out thinking like that," he said. "Every day out here, anything can happen. All I can do is try my best. If it's not good enough, at least I know I tried."'

August 16, 2000

Marker Bills break camp with focus on regular season [8:34 PM]
AP reports: 'The new-look Buffalo Bills broke training camp Wednesday with much still to do, but with some pieces firmly in place. With almost three weeks of practices and two preseason games behind them, the Bills relocate to their Orchard Park home to concentrate on the regular season.'

Marker Bills end SJF workouts, then thank fans [2:37 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'After the separate offensive and defensive workouts and before the 7-on-7 drills, coach Wade Phillips interrupted Tuesday afternoon's practice for about 15 minutes and had players go the fences to sign autographs for the crowd of over 8,000. "The players want to get home to their families," Phillips said of today's expected hasty exit following practice. "And I didn't want it to look like we didn't care or that (the fans' support) wasn't important to us. "That's why I thought we should make the gesture to all the fans today. We opened camp that way (with an autograph session) and we finished it up that way."

Marker New Flutie Flakes on sale Wednesday night! [1:31 PM]
TBD reports: If you are one of the 1st three online orders - you will receive an autographed box! Find out more...

Marker Coverages still shy of special [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Considering how bad the Buffalo Bills' kickoff coverage looked on its final play of the 1999 campaign, maybe fans should be a little more forgiving when watching this year's unit get the kinks out. The Bills, who covered dozens of kicks in actual games and countless more in camps and practices, were embarrassed when their season ended on the Tennessee Titans' now-infamous Home Run Throwback return. So if the Bills' special teams can have that sort of letdown after all that repetition and with their playoff lives at stake, it only stands to reason those units will experience some growing pains this year with a new coach and a slew of young players. "They're going to make mistakes," coach Wade Phillips said after Tuesday afternoon's practice at St. John Fisher College. "I saw the aggressiveness I want, but some of the techniques and mental mistakes we've gotta correct. We've gotta get that aggressiveness tuned in."'

Marker Thomas surfaces as Dolphin [7:28 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Then there's the prospect of playing the Bills at least twice a year in the AFC East. Thomas insists that wasn't a factor in signing with Miami, but can hardly contain his desire to see the Bills again. Miami hosts the Bills on Oct. 8 and visits Buffalo on Dec. 3. "It won't be just another game for me," Thomas says. "It's personal." Thomas left Buffalo with a bitter taste, he says, because he learned the news that he, Bruce Smith and Andre Reed were going to be cut while watching ESPN2, when a news item "crawl" appeared at the bottom on the screen. He says it wasn't until after the release was official that GM John Butler called. Had the team approached him earlier, Thomas says, he might have just announced his retirement as a Bill rather than be humiliated with a release. Thomas and Reed share the Bills record for career touchdowns (87). "I was angry," he says. "I was upset over how it went down. But I'll use it to motivate me. I always seem to find something to keep me going."'

Marker Camp ends smash run [6:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'But from owner Ralph Wilson on down, no one on the Bills seems to question that the camp at Fisher met its marketing goals, showcasing the team before large numbers of fans. (Indeed Wilson believes that the camp may have outdrawn all other NFL camps.) "The reception by the people in Rochester was just great," Wilson said by telephone yesterday. "Our players, our staff, everybody was accepted. We were really pleased."'

Marker Fans and Fisher tops with Bills [6:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'By all accounts the Bills first 19 days have gone according to, or better than, planned with the three F's -- fans, facilities and food -- drawing the greatest raves from the players. "The accommodations are terrific, the dorm food is great, it's really been first class all the way around," said starting tight end Jay Riemersma, one of several players who also signed autographs after practice. "I haven't had a problem with anything out here so far."'

Marker Wiley expects to play against Rams [6:10 AM]
D and C reports: '"I felt quick," Wiley said after practice at St. John Fisher College. "I got some good moves in there and got to fly around. I was happy. Now it's time to get my body and my legs in sync with everything else. But the sky's the limit now. Physically I was cleared to go, so today was a mental hurdle I had to clear." Wiley, who has 8.5 career sacks, said he's pain free for the first time in years. "I'm much better as a player," he said. "My quickness, range of motion, everything is better. And sitting out the last six weeks, I actually got a chance to analyze the game. I think that's going to help me in the long run, too."'

Marker Wall of Fame celebration for Bills' Kelly long overdue [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'Steel-mill tough, Kelly helped keep the franchise in western New York and guided the Bills to an unprecedented four consecutive Super Bowls -- a feat in this age of free agency and salary caps that probably won't ever be duplicated...It has been four years since Jimbo called it quits. It's time to put his name on the Wall of Fame at the Ralph and officially retire his No. 12 in a gala celebration similar to the ones accorded Joe Montana, John Elway and Marino by their respective teams and cities. The honor is long overdue.'

August 15, 2000

Marker Wiley's back stands up after first test [7:24 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills defensive end, and successor to departed great Bruce Smith, was elated after taking part in full contact drills for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a bulging disc in his back early last month. "Oh, man, football," a happy Wiley said. "I'm just glad to get out there and see somebody 300 pounds in front of me and to get to run around him, run into him, get knocked down a couple of times. "It's time for me to go out there and show what I can do." Bills coach Wade Phillips said Wiley will get plenty of practice time this week, and that he'll "probably play" in this Saturday's preseason game against St. Louis.'

Marker Moulds banking on another great season [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Even before Andre Reed was sent packing, Moulds had already established himself as the Bills' go-to receiver. He led the Bills with 994 yards and seven touchdowns last season despite a nagging hamstring injury. Now healthy, he should be closer to the form of his breakout year in 1998, when he broke Reed's franchise record with an AFC-leading 1,368 yards. He has plenty of motivation. This is the final year of the five-year contract he signed after being the Bills' first-round draft pick in 1996. Barring injury, Moulds is looking at a multimillion-dollar payday in 2001.'

Marker Bulletin board [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills 1965 American Football League championship team will be honored by the Monday Quarterback Club at a Sept. 11 luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Adams Mark Hotel. Luncheon speakers will include team members Ed Rutkowski, Stew Barber and Billy Shaw as well as current General Manager John Butler, broadcaster Van Miller and Buffalo News sports editor Larry Felser, master of ceremonies.'

Marker Man behind the mania [6:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'The man Wade Phillips calls a worrywart can exhale now. Russ Brandon can put away the Maalox, pop open a brewski and toast a job well done. Bills training camp -- the project that has gnawed at Brandon's gut for more than a year -- will conclude tomorrow morning at St. John Fisher College to rave reviews. With an estimated four-week attendance of close to 120,000 and a sponsorship haul that would make NASCAR envious, the Bills' vice president in charge of marketing and business development clearly has scored a touchdown with football fans and his boss. "We dumped this project on Russ' lap, and he came through with flying colors," says Bills owner Ralph Wilson. "This was no small undertaking, and Russ and his staff pulled it off without a hitch. I can honestly say I heard no complaints -- not from the fans, not from the coaches and players, not from anyone. And that's saying something."'

Marker 19th Ward barber cuts way into Bills training camp [6:14 AM]
D and C reports: 'William Hood has dubbed himself the official Buffalo Bills barber.'

August 14, 2000

Marker Bills/Lions Photo Gallery [9:30 AM]
TBD reports: Check out photos from Saturday's game...

Marker Cowart goes all out in pursuit of greatness [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As good as Cowart is, Cottrell admires the fact that the player still strives to get better. "Sam is a pleasure to coach," Cottrell said. "He's a good student of the game, and his work ethic is tremendous. That's why he is going to be a great one in this league for a long time."'

Marker Several players in competition for final roster spots [6:17 AM]
D and C reports: '...Phil Stambaugh is history...Mike Cawley is in trouble....Phillip Crosby and Josh Roth are gone, while Jason Corle (out with a hamstring) may luck out and land on season-long injured reserve...Drew Haddad, Kevin Drake, Corey Sullivan, Scott Pingel and Kwame Cavil are fighting for the last position...Bye bye Ivan Gustafson and John's anybody's guess right now between Fred Jones, Kenyatta Wright and DaShon Polk.'

Marker Flowers' bonus healthy, but will he bloom? [6:12 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Flowers, taken 26th overall from Arizona State, has yet to play a down in the NFL and will be counted on to contribute, albeit sparingly, as a substitute player in his inaugural season. Flowers will be paid a salary of $400,000 this season and receive annual raises of $100,000 over the life of the five-year contract. Total value: $5.65 million. Second-round pick Travares Tillman, a safety from Georgia Tech, pocketed $900,000 when his four-year deal was signed. The total value is worth $2.11 million. The remainder of the Bills' draftees have three-year contracts, though they really should be interpreted as three, one-year contracts. Terms are dependent upon those players making the team each year. The bonus money paid to third-round selection Corey Moore ($375,000) right down to the final two selections, UB's Drew Haddad ($26,000) and Dashon Polk ($22,000), adds up to a total of $830,000. The signing bonus, then, is what really separates Flowers and Tillman from the rest of the rookie class.'

August 13, 2000

Marker Notes on Bills' preseason loss [3:36 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The real concern is that, for the second straight game, the Bills' first-team attack was uneven at best. Yeah, there was the pretty 72-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Rob Johnson to wide receiver Eric Moulds. However that wasn't great offense, it was a great play made by a superlative athlete on a perfectly thrown ball. But the overall performance by the first-team offense, which played into the third period, was decidedly unimpressive. The line, in particular, struggled.'

Marker Bills lose, defense shines [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' first-team offense and defense played well into the third quarter. It was obvious which side of the ball needed the most work.'

Marker Schulz adjusts to life with Lions [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It was difficult leaving Buffalo, both personally and professionally," Schulz said. "I owe the Bills organization a lot for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to have a career in the National Football League. "The change to Detroit was a pretty smooth transition, but the hardest part was moving the family. That was the biggest challenge."'

Marker Reed's football career may have a postscript with Broncos [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I feel like I'm 22 again," said the 36-year-old. "When I feel like that I'm usually good. It just shows that I can still do it. When you look at Bruce (Smith, now a Washington Redskin) and Thurman (Thomas, now a Miami Dolphin) you know they're thinking the same way. When we make plays, it will be all in the face of you know who." Translation: Bills' management.'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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