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Buffalo Bills News - July 20, 2000

Marker Reed, Buckley agree to contract terms with Broncos [4:14 PM]
AP reports: '"It was just a matter of time,'' Reed said of his contract negotiations. "I wanted to finish on my own terms and go where I thought I could fit in. I think that's here."'

Marker Bills set to start at new summer home [4:12 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The switch came down to numbers. Chautauqua County, where Fredonia sits on the northern edge, lists a population of just under 140,000. Rochester's Monroe County has over 700,000. While the Bills rarely drew 1,000 fans in a day at Fredonia State, they're hoping for five times that many at St. John Fisher. "The move to Rochester has been a major success for us", said team owner Ralph Wilson Jr. "It gives us a presence in an area we're trying to promote as a regional franchise. "Fredonia was great to us, but it's not centrally located ... people wouldn't drive there. I was surprised how few fans came to camp last year". And, oh yeah, the Bills sell 20 percent of their tickets in Monroe County, 14 percent in Rochester alone.'

Marker Sign of the times: Autographs tougher to get at Bills' new camp [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are addressing the demand for autographs this camp by creating the McDonald's Kids Autograph Tent. Children under the age of 14 will have a chance to get autographs following each practice session. Three players per session will be available for 15 minutes, and each child will be able to have one item signed. Because of high demand, the lines will be cut off at a certain point. The Bills want to avoid a situation in which a child stands in line but doesn't reach the players' table during the 15-minute signing period.'

Marker Bills Training Camp Schedule [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports:

Marker Are you ready for some training camp? [6:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills' staff was busy getting ready for the coaches and players, all of whom are to be on campus by 4 p.m. Thursday. "We're working diligently," said Russ Brandon, the Bills' vice president for marketing, just before he ran off to take care of another detail. All of the players and staff will stay in dorms at Fisher.'

Marker Training, business merge at Bills camp [6:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'Never in the team's 40 years have the two facets of football, the game, and football, the business, been so intertwined. Only 10 years ago, Buffalo's marketing staff consisted of one person; it now numbers near 30. For 19 summers, the team was content to train in sleepy Fredonia, Chautauqua County, drawing a couple hundred fans per practice on average. In Rochester, the Bills' second-largest fan base with tentacles that can reach as far east as Albany, they expect crowds in excess of 5,000. The Bills say they can't survive into the new millennium without becoming a regional franchise, much like a Green Bay or a Kansas City or a New England. "This is about the long-term viability of our franchise," said Russ Brandon, vice president of business development and marketing.'

Marker Bills' top two picks still haven't signed [6:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Talks with the agents for Flowers and Tillman were ongoing yesterday, but when asked if he'd get the two young defenders the Bills are counting on heavily this season under contract on time, Butler wouldn't say. "I have no idea, and I never do until a deal is done," he said.'

Marker Reed brings Hall credentials to Denver [6:24 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"Last year I started every game, but I wasn't into playing as a starter. They made me feel like I wasn't even there. I just didn't want to be there. That's the bottom line. And I have nothing against the organization. I had some great years there. I was able to play with some Hall of Fame players and be coached by a Hall of Fame coach in Marv Levy. I will never downgrade some of the years that I had there. "It's just that last year left a bad taste in my mouth about the organization and about football, period. I vowed to myself if I get another chance to play, I'm going to go out on my own terms."'

Marker Broncos make room for Buckley, Reed; set sights on Swann next [6:23 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Reed, the NFL's No. 2 all-time receiver, visited the Broncos complex Wednesday. He might be a natural fit as the No. 3 receiver. He also provides insurance should the league further discipline Rod Smith following his guilty plea in a domestic dispute.'

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July 19, 2000

Marker The dollars and sense of training camp [3:03 PM]
ESPNet reports: 'Buffalo Bills: Here's one the kids will love -- give your $10 admission fee to ticket taker Doug Flutie! He'll have plenty of spare time while Rob Johnson steers the offense in practice. Pat Doug on the head! See if your kid is taller than he is! Try to win your second consecutive jump ball against an NFL player!' (Thanks to CW for submitting this link).

Marker Camp Buffalo comes east [1:34 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Russ Brandon is quick to note that his Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team in New York state. The New York Giants and Jets, their monikers aside, technically are residents of The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. But geographical quibbles aside, Brandon and the Bills hold no illusions about becoming the state's official football team. The fanatics behind the Giants and Jets have a firm grip on the turf of New York City and its environs. Beyond those boundaries, however, the Bills figure the rest of the state is up for grabs. And that fight to win the upstate fan's allegiance is why the Bills have moved into new summer digs a mere 75 minutes west of Syracuse.'

Marker Broncos shopping as training camp nears [1:27 PM]
Denver Post reports: Today, one day before the team is scheduled to report to training camp in Greeley, the Broncos will host visits with former Buffalo standout wide receiver Andre Reed and Arizona's free-agent defensive tackle Eric Swann....But the depth the Broncos really would like to add is at wide receiver and defensive tackle. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan already has spoken with the 36-year-old Reed about signing with Denver, where he likely would be the team's No. 3 wide receiver, a position the Broncos have tried unsuccessfully to fill for years.'

Marker Reed to sign with Broncos [12:00 PM]
The Sporting News reports: As soon as Broncos work Andre out and approve of his conditioning, he will sign.

Marker Bills especially mindful of special teams [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Want to know why special teams will be a high priority for the Buffalo Bills in training camp? They ranked 22nd in kickoff returns, 21st in kick coverage, 18th in punt coverage and 11th in punt returns. There was also a certain kickoff return by the Tennessee Titans that shall remain nameless.'

Marker O-line unsettled with coach away [7:19 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Wannstedt brought in former Buffalo assistant Tom Bresnahan to fill Boudreau's spot in the interim...Bresnahan last coached the Bills in 1997 and spent 16 years in the NFL. Bresnahan, 65, was given a crash course via telephone Monday and Tuesday by Boudreau, and he was scheduled to meet with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on Tuesday night. "I've been on the opposite side of the field from Chan, but I have a lot of admiration for what he does," Bresnahan said. "I don't know the intricacies, but I'm a pretty quick learner and I'm sure before long I'll be up to snuff."'

Marker Dolphins turn to Bresnahan for fill-in coach [7:16 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports: 'Bresnahan's name should be familiar to Dolphins fans from his nine-year coaching stint in Buffalo. Not only did the Bills field dominating offensive lines during that span, but Bresnahan also served as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo teams that reached Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.'

Marker Ex-Bills assistant to sub for Boudreau [7:13 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Tom Bresnahan, the former offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, will serve as offensive line coach while the Dolphins' Paul Boudreau undergoes surgery to remove what is believed to be a cancerous tumor from one of his kidneys. Bresnahan, 65, flew to South Florida on Tuesday from Phoenix, where he has lived since retiring from the Bills after the 1997 season. Bresnahan spent nine years with the Bills, helping them reach the Super Bowl four times during the 1990s.'

Marker Bills address, don't expect camp troubles [6:23 AM]
D&C reports: 'In recent years, the Bills have a good, but hardly spotless, record of player behavior. There have been several incidents of domestic violence. Last fall, lineman Marcus Spriggs and wide receiver Jeremy McDaniel were arrested for an incident involving an off-duty female Buffalo police officer in a bar. During training camp at Fredonia, there were several occasions when players put their fists through drywall, usually after learning they'd been cut. Lost room keys and stolen linens added to the final bill. When the team trained at Niagara University, free-agent running back Terry Morehead went berserk after getting cut in 1984, throwing a chair through a window. He was given a police escort all the way to the Buffalo airport.'

July 18, 2000

Marker You Make the Call! (#7) [11:01 PM]
TBD reports: 'It's playoff time in Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills are hosting the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game. Incredibly, after *two* overtime periods the two teams remain tied. Which of the following rules now applies...'

Marker Buffalo Bills Survivor: Round 13 is complete! [9:07 AM]
TBD reports: 'The 13th castaway has been voted off Buffalo Bills Island. This former OLB was best known for his bone breaking tackle in the AFL Championship Game in 1964. That tackle defined this player's career, but it wasn't enough to save him this round.'

Marker Raw notes: Free Safety Daryl Porter [9:06 AM]
Shout! reports: 'These are quotes from off-season conversations with free safety Daryl Porter. They don't include Mike Doser's questions, rather, it is just pure, uninterrupted comment from Porter about his off-season and preparing for his second year with the team.'

Marker Bills sign two more [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills made two signings official Monday, announcing contract agreements with third-round draft choice Corey Moore and seventh-round pick Drew Haddad.'

Marker New Bills camp lacks the charm of good old days [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The team transferred its operations to Fredonia State in 1981, but it wasn't until 1987 that the Bills created a personality for the training base. What did it was the coming of Marv Levy as head coach. There would be no more serious contact, much less scrimmaging. There would be an abundance of light sessions. Voices rarely were raised. Observers named the camp "Club Marv," a take-off on "Club Med," the famous string of resorts. Football watchers shook their heads in disapproval. What good could possibly come from such an easy training camp? Try eight winning seasons in the next 10 years, seven division champions and four Super Bowl teams. Rochester should be so kind.'

Marker Option package [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '...the Bills think they have a tight end who can do a good impersonation of a fullback in Sheldon Jackson. Jackson is no Gash as a blocker - who is? - but the Bills believe he's capable. And what they might lose in knock-your-heels-over-your-head blocks they might gain in the element of surprise.'

Marker Helmets, gum here; Bills next [6:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'All the activity was proof positive that this will be a different kind of training camp, a mix of marketing, merchandising and star-watching. "Years ago, you wouldn't see anything like this," Woody Ribbeck, the assistant equipment manager, said of the off-field activities at Fisher. "Everything has changed in football."'

July 17, 2000

Marker QB Battles in Training Camp [3:54 PM]
The Sporting News reports: The article outlines a few of the QB battles in training camps around the NFL. They apparently concur with most fans that the situation in Buffalo doesn't really count as a battle because it's "... Johnson's job to lose. Flutie was clearly not the same quarterback he was in 1998."

Marker Buffalo Bills Survivor: Round 12 is complete! [9:05 AM]
TBD reports: 'The 12th castaway has been voted off Buffalo Bills Island. This former WR was known as "Golden Wheels", due to his blazing speed. Although he retired 32 years ago, this player remains 4th on the Bills all-time receiving list.'

Marker Plugging holes is name of game for Bills' defense [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Nine of the 16 players who left due to free agency or the salary cap were on defense, including four starters. Gone are the team's all-time sacks leader (Bruce Smith), its best cornerback (Thomas Smith) and its defensive quarterback (free safety Kurt Schulz). The Bills have several veterans back, but most of the defensive depth will consist of players who have little or no NFL experience. Getting those newcomers ready for the season will be vital when the team opens training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford.'

July 16, 2000

Marker Camping out in style [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills have garnered 15 major corporate sponsors for training camp, putting them near the top of the league in the marketing and promotion of their summer site. They will train in the posh new facilities of St. John Fisher College, which are an upgrade over the accommodations they used at Fredonia State College the past 19 years. And they have assured themselves of reaching an audience that dwarfs anything they could get in Chautauqua County.'

Marker The watch is on: It's time for camp [8:25 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Here are 25 people to watch this season:...7. Wade Phillips: The Bills coach's decision to bench Doug Flutie before a playoff game, then losing to the Titans, and his subsequent decision to start Rob Johnson, will have its ramifications. Phillips is second-guessed more in the rest of the country than he is in Buffalo, and he must hope the Bills' performance this season validates his judgments.

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