Van Pelt Adjusting to New Challenge [5:22 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I'm just really excited to call a live game," Van Pelt said. "I've been doing a lot of practice games so far trying to get a feel for the process. It's been a lot of fun."'
Sam Wyche's silent count [4:21 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'As for the other big comeback story in the quarterback scenario, Wyche isn't ready to give up on Bledsoe. "I looked at a lot of film on Drew and he has not hit the wall," Wyche says. "He's not done yet."'
President Fred Engh Speaks at Breakfast of Champions Seminar [4:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Fred Engh, founder and president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), spoke to nearly 200 youth football coaches and administrators on Saturday, July 17, at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The seminar was sponsored by the Western New York Youth Tackle Football Federation, which represents 185 football and cheerleading teams with 8,000 football players and 6,000 cheerleaders.'
Inside slant [12:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills think veteran linebacker Jason Gildon can help them but the contract they gave him is something less than convincing. His one-year deal valued at between $1 million and $1.25 million with incentives came with a signing bonus of no more than $500,000, making the Steelers' all-time sack leader a candidate to be cut with no significant salary cap impact if he fails to perform in training camp.'
Strategy and personnel [12:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills are close to signing DT Tim Anderson, their third-round pick out of Ohio State, leaving only two picks unsigned heading into training camp. Those picks, unfortunately, are first-rounders Lee Evans and J.P. Losman, and as GM Tom Donahoe says, "Signing first-round picks is never easy."'
Notes, quotes, anecdotes [12:51 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'WR Josh Reed doesn't want to relinquish his starting job, but he's wide open to the idea of returning to the slot where he had more success as a rookie. In 2002, he caught 37 passes for 509 yards and 2 TDs - a 13.8 average. Playing on the outside last season, he caught 58 balls but for just 588 yards - a 10.1 average. From the slot, catching short balls over the middle, Reed can use his run-after-the-catch abilities more effectively. "The coaches have done a great job so far," he said. "They're going to put us in the positions that we need to be to make this team better. I'm just going out there and doing what they ask of me."'
My Thoughts On...The Bills Getting Started [12:50 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'Change was needed, but that doesn’t make everything better. Gregg Williams made mistakes, but if you think dumping him is all good, you are mistaken. The defense has lost Williams and have lost Dick LeBeau. Jerry Gray is a very good football man. But the heat is on him to not miss a beat without his mentor.'
Bills' camp goes back to basics [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's not as grueling as it sounds," Mularkey said. "I know it hasn't been like that here in years past but I'd rather start at this level, and if we need to cut back, fine. Because you can't start here (a low number of sessions) and then say, "We don't have enough practices, we're not hitting hard enough.'"'
Get out of town! [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Children under the age of 14 can get autographs after each practice at the McDonald's Kids Autograph tent.'
Williams' retirement big boost for the Bills [5:22 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills won't shed any tears over Williams' departure. In five career games against Buffalo, he ran for 682 yards (136.4 yards per game) and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. His departure leaves the Bills with arguably two of the three best running backs in the AFC East (with New England's Corey Dillon). Needless to say, it would be a waste of Miami's time to talk trade for Travis Henry or Willis McGahee.'
Wire Could Become New Free Safety [5:00 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Lawyer was a blessing to me because the experience he has in the NFL," Wire said. "He kind of took me under his wing. We're great friends off the field as well, which has meant a lot to me."'
Punt Return Competition Wide Open [5:00 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills averaged just six yards per punt return last season, 3.5 yards below the league average. In 2003, Antonio Brown started off the year as the main man, but by the mid-point in the season he was replaced by cornerback Nate Clements. Both men could be in the competition this year as well.'
Bills Team Report [4:59 AM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Expect new coach Mike Mularkey, a former NFL tight end, to make Campbell a bigger part of the offense this season.'
An irresistible force [11:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I just liked the way he carried himself," said Odioso, who now works for the Fox Sports television network. "He had a good presence about him. I knew he was smart, and I had the impression he'd be good at getting people to work together and making everybody feel they were heard without getting sidetracked by listening to too many opinions."'
Bills' talent pool fails to make splash in fall previews [11:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Here's a position-by-position look at what's being said about the 2004 Bills."
Experts predict Bills to tie for last place in AFC East [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It looks like Mularkey brings a clear-cut identity to the squad and his staff has experience at the most important coaching positions. The Bills will not abandon the run and should utilize their weapons better. ... Despite all the moves, the Bills shape up as a mystery team. How much different will the team look under a new coaching regime? How much of an impact can Willis McGahee make? Can Drew Bledsoe rebound from a poor season? The answers will determine if the Bills can turn around a streak of four straight non-winning seasons.”'
Playing politics [5:19 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'While Kemp said he always saw himself as an activist when it came to sports (he was the founder and president of the AFL Players Association during his playing days), he didn't necessarily know a life in politics would have been so successful. But with two years remaining on his football contract in 1970, Kemp decided to forgo his final days on the field to represent western New York in Congress. "I told people in Buffalo if they didn't elect me to Congress, I'd come back and play quarterback again," Kemp joked, recalling his final two seasons as a struggle for on-field success. "So they sent me to Washington."'
Linebackers Only Getting Better [5:38 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"We have a feel for each other now and how we all play the game," Posey said. "We can take more chances on the field because we know we'll be there to cover for each other."'
Player Spotlight : Willis McGahee [5:37 PM]
Fanball.com reports: Travis Henry finished his second year in the NFL in 2002 with a 1,438-yard, 14-touchdown campaign and ended up getting taken out back behind the woodshed while his team drafted his replacement in the following spring's draft. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "how's that for being born under a bad sign?"
Henry, McGahee Geared-Up For Season [12:18 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I'm just ready to play football," McGahee said. "Playing with Travis (Henry) will be great. We always need to have our best players on the field and when we're both on the field someone's going to be open. They can't cover both of us."'
Baking an NFL Player [12:18 PM]
Rochester City Newspaper reports: If you're going to Bills training camp at St. John Fisher you might as well get something out of it. So, starting this week, I'm issuing scouting guides to help keep your mind occupied through all the stretching and hydrating. Now your trip will be more useful than a tube of toothpaste.
Wire to get chance now [7:37 AM]
Harrisburg Patriot News reports: '"For the short time that I've been around Coach Mularkey, I feel that he is a man of integrity and character," Wire said. "He has the respect of the players, and everybody is optimistic about the season. With the players we brought in, especially on defense, we should be even better."'
Bills sign Gildon to boost pass rush [5:28 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Gildon was due to earn $3.65 million with the Steelers this season, but the Bills awarded him a one-year deal reportedly worth $1.25 million with a $500,000 signing bonus. It's believed, however, the deal is closer to $1 million with a $100,000 bonus plus incentives.'
NFL referee reveals his human side to sports editors [4:51 AM]
Russellville Courier reports: 'This time, it was a November 1998 contest against Buffalo with a playoff berth on the line, and the Patriots scored on the last play of the game — a touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe to Ben Coates — for a 25-21 victory. Two calls that were made in the final drive that made Buffalo fans enfuriated: a pass that was ruled complete and a pass interference call in the end zone to set up the winning score...“I got to the office, and the receptionist wanted to know what I had done,” he said. “The phone had been ringing off the wall, and the fax machine had been going crazy. I found out that a disc jockey in Buffalo had found out the dairy’s number and fax number and told Buffalo fans to call or send their fax to me.”'
Gildon Ready for Any Role with Bills [2:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I definitely feel like I'll be given the opportunity and all I'm after is the opportunity to compete," Gildon said in a news conference with the Buffalo media. "I definitely have something to offer."'
Some tips on going to Bills’ training camp [1:14 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Two other key training camp dates are consecutive Wednesdays, Aug. 4 and 11, when the Bills will conduct night practices. Both are free, but tickets are required.'
Gildon moves to comfort zone [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gildon, who turns 32 on July 31, said he believes he has plenty of football left in him. What remains to be seen is how the Bills plan to use him. "I talked to (defensive coordinator Jerry) Gray and he definitely said he has some things that he feels I fit in," Gildon said. "I'm looking forward to working with him and he assured me that he's looking forward to working with me."'
Bills Introduce Jason Gildon [9:36 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Interest in the free agent LB wasn't all that high, but Gildon says he understands, "They tend to have an idea...'well maybe he can only play in a certain defense'...I'm a linebacker. I feel I can play in any defense given the right situation and so I think that was one of the factors that maybe kept people away from pursuing me...but other than that, I still feel that I have a lot of football to play."'
Bills sign Gildon to one-year deal [8:51 PM]
AP reports: 'Gildon had narrowed his choices to Buffalo, Green Bay and Cincinnati. He chose Buffalo not only because of his familiarity with Mularkey and Donahoe, but also because he thinks the Bills can make the playoffs this year despite their disappointing 6-10 mark last season. ''I think (we) have the potential to definitely challenge for a championship,'' Gildon said.'
Gildon Officially Signs with Bills [5:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"They're very optimistic on the upcoming season," Gildon told the media. "Not only did I talk to Takeo Spikes, but I talked to Travis Henry. He shared with me some of his thoughts from last year and he thought they definitely will be better this year, offensively."'
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