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Buffalo Bills News - August 3, 2003

Marker It's early, but Bills' defense is impressive [5:35 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“(The defense) looked pretty tough today,” he said. “The Browns had a lot of trouble getting back to the line of scrimmage (in the running game). “If they can play at that level all year, it will make things significantly easier for us as an offense and allow us to win some games defensively.”'

Marker Unbelievable fans, unrealistic expectations [5:34 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: 'Tickets were cheap for this football "friendly." The difference in turnout between yesterday and the recent soccer matchup that drew mostly out-of-staters to the stadium is that this brand of football offered the opportunity to boo Tim Couch.'

Marker Griffith is out with broken finger [5:33 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: 'Kevin Johnson was the player of the day, catching five passes for 78 yards, including a 20-yard TD from Holcomb in a red-zone drill. He also caught passes of 13 and 25 yards from Holcomb.'

Marker Browns get rowdy reception [5:32 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: 'They don't keep official score in scrimmages, which was a good thing for the Browns. They weren't the better team on their home field yesterday.'

Marker Davis might make switch in scrimmage partners [5:31 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: 'Davis said he would seek to replace the Bills as a workout partner, or might even add a second team to work against.'

Marker Joe D. earned respect from teammates, Canton [5:30 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: '"He was drafted specifically to block for O.J.," Felser said. The Bills already had a fine pulling guard in Reggie McKenzie. The two became a deadly blocking duo.'

Marker Score one for Holcomb [5:29 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'Couch supporters point out in the first live action of the preseason Couch faced Buffalo's first-team defense and Holcomb moved the ball against the backups. One other Buffalo player noticed that fact as well. '`Kelly had our twos out there and was able to be more effective,'' quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. ``I thought they both threw the ball very well. Kelly marched them down the field pretty good, and Tim threw some really nice balls. They're obviously two very good quarterbacks.'''

Marker Griffith breaks index finger, misses scrimmage [5:28 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'Players and coaches marveled at the huge crowd, which endured long lines to buy tickets at $5 apiece.'

Marker General Winfield always strategizing [5:27 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'Listening to Bills Coach Gregg Williams talk about Winfield, you get the sense that the organization will do everything in its power to work out an extension. ``I think this will be a really good year for Antoine,'' Williams said. ``The team had gotten better around him. He's a very smart player and pound-for-pound, you'll have a hard time in the National Football League seeing anybody hit harder than Antoine Winfield. I loved him when he came out of Ohio State and now that I get a chance to coach him, I've seen that he will rock you. He hits like a linebacker in a corner back's body.'''

Marker New season, same story [5:26 AM]
Lorain Morning Journal reports: 'On the positive side, the Browns did put pressure on the Bills quarterbacks. They were credited with six sacks, although in the scrimmage all the pass rusher had to do was tag the quarterback for a sack.'

Marker Make no mistake, Davis is watching [5:25 AM]
Lorain Morning Journal reports: 'A crowd of 37,818 watched the scrimmage. About 9,000 fans were walk-up customers. Many of them were still lined up outside Cleveland Browns Stadium when the scrimmage began. ''What a great, unbelievable turnout,'' Davis said. ''When I coached at the University of Miami, I'm sad to report we had regular season crowds that didn't draw 37,000. I think it's an indication of the preseason excitement.'''

Marker Fans show Holcomb their love [5:24 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'By the time Holcomb took the field, the Bills had replaced many of their starters. But nothing could disrupt the lovefest between the quarterback and the fans who remember his heroic effort in last season's playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns that day, and here he was again, filling the air with hope.'

Marker Safety Griffith's right index finger broken, X-ray says [5:23 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'This marked the third year the Browns and Bills have worked out and scrimmaged together over two days. "It was excellent work," Davis said, "because it gives us a chance to kind of measure some of the guys on our football team, whether it's for starting positions or (backups) or special teams."'

Marker Browns come away with win, but face several questions [5:22 AM]
Warren Tribune Chronicle reports: 'If you're counting touchdowns, the Browns were a 3-1 winner on the strength of two scoring throws by Holcomb and one by Couch. The Browns also held a 271-210 advantage in total yards.'

Marker Jones trying to catch spot with Browns [5:21 AM]
Warren Tribune Chronicle reports: 'Jones' chances are getting better by the day. Not only has he impressed in practice and the scrimmage, injuries are ravaging his competition.'

Marker Griffith looking to bounce back [5:20 AM]
Warren Tribune Chronicle reports: 'The Browns organization might have been caught off guard by the crowd of 37,818 that showed up for the scrimmage. Included in the attendance was a walk-up crowd estimated at 9,000. "What a great turnout," Davis said. "I coached at (University of ) Miami. Unfortunately, we had regular-season games when we didn't have 37,000. It's kind of an indication of preseason excitement."'

Marker Just Joe [5:19 AM]
Charlotte Observer reports: 'A regular Joe is what Joe is. This is a man who, when he emerged as one of the NFL's best guards in the 1970s, joined a bowling league.'

Marker Well-received [5:18 AM]
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports: (James Lofton) was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January and brought before reporters, assembled at the Super Bowl in San Diego, shortly after the balloting. Lofton spoke fondly of his years with the Packers but suggested that his ties to the Buffalo Bills were just as strong.

Marker They have the wind in their sale [5:17 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Bledsoe and his wife, Maura, paid an estimated $1.5 million for the land, which abuts a rhododendron preserve, to build their dream manse. In the time that it's been on the market, it has been looked at -- with reports of some big-paycheck pro athletes among the interested parties -- but no serious takers have surfaced.'

Marker HOF: It's Joe D's Day [5:16 AM] reports: '“I told the team that football is not a very complicated game,” DeLamielleure said. “You take it just one play at a time. The game doesn’t have to be played by rocket scientists. Jim Ringo, who was my line coach for eight of my 13 years was a man of few words, but that’s what he taught me.”'

Marker Controversy Continues [5:15 AM]
CNN/SI reports: I think Drew Bledsoe looked sharp in his work against the Browns secondary. He told me he thinks the offense will click fine without Peerless Price because of the impact Josh Reed will make in the passing game, and because Travis Henry has been doing a much better job hanging onto the ball than he did last year, when fumbling became his Achilles.

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August 2, 2003

Marker Huge Crowd Soaks Up Scrimmage [8:10 PM] reports: 'Buffalo got solid contributions from Travis Henry, Sammy Morris and Joe Burns in totaling 100 rushing yards on 29 carries.'

Marker Events from Saturday, August 02 [8:08 PM] reports: Photo gallery from today's practice.

Marker Holcomb wins fan approval in quarterback competition [7:58 PM]
AP reports: 'Cleveland ''won'' the scrimmage 18-6. Travis Henry had a short touchdown run for Buffalo's only score.'

Marker Bills Defense Passes First Test [7:49 PM] reports: '"I thought defensively we really swarmed the ball very well in that first series," Head Coach Gregg Williams said. "It was good work but we're a long ways off. We were a little bit stouter inside on the run defense, today against Cleveland. The pass rush was better today. It was fun to see Takeo (Spikes) and Jeff (Posey). New situations for them and they perked up."'

Marker Packers great Lofton headed for Hall of Fame [7:43 PM]
Madison Capital Times reports: Few players know more about catching footballs, running patterns, staying in shape - just stuff about the game - than Lofton, who is beginning his second year as the Chargers' receivers coach. And fewer still are articulate enough to explain it all at a level only a physicist could understand as well as at a level only a raw-boned rookie from an SEC school could grasp.

Marker Fletcher relishes Cleveland homecoming [7:42 PM]
AP reports: 'Fletcher said the crowd of 37,818 9,000 were walk-ups helped fire him up. So did Buffalo's starting defense, which looks vastly improved from a year ago. ''When I went out there and saw my friends and family it really got the juices flowing,'' he said. ''I just fed off the energy of the crowd.'''

Marker Scrimmage Preview - Bills Prospective [9:56 AM]
Bills Report reports: Most eyes, from a Bills perspective, will be on all the newcomers and changes this off-season brought.

Marker Lofton was always on track to greatness [9:41 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: Bill Walsh was in his first weeks as coach at Stanford when he found Lofton, who was preparing for his senior year. "Bill was the first collegiate coach, in football, who had confidence in me," Lofton says now.

Marker Training camp notebook [9:38 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It doesn't matter whether it's St. John Fisher or Berea, Ohio, every single practice session so far this summer, the best player on the field is Eric Moulds.'

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