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Buffalo Bills News - March 24, 2002

Marker Few clues available about Bills' fate during 2002 season [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Can anyone accurately predict who will be the starting quarterback for Buffalo?'

Marker Van Pelt hands off his Oscar choices [5:49 AM]
D and C reports: '"Other than one Japanese Film study class at the University of Pittsburgh, though, I really have no formal training in this area," Van Pelt adds, "But I feel I'm up to the challenge."'

Marker Are Wilson, Boeheim riding on easy street? [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'If Wilson is down on less than perfect weather, I wonder why he didn't insist that there is no place like dome and ask Erie County and New York state to build him a covered stadium. And I'm sure Wilson didn't mind the weather when his Bills were beating the San Diego Chargers 20-7 in the AFL Championship Game at War Memorial Stadium the day after Christmas 1964.'

Marker Drew to Bills? Don't bet against it [5:46 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'If the Bills make him the best offer, and he decides that keeping Bledsoe isn't an option, The Franchise better be prepared to pack his long johns for the long western New York winters. Not to mention some frustrating Sunday afternoons against Belichick's defenses. One of the reasons the Pats wouldn't hesitate to send Bledsoe to Buffalo is the success Belichick has had in defending Bledsoe in the past.'

Marker Kelly still puts up big numbers [5:44 AM]
Knight Ridder reports: 'A player can be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame only once. Area hotel and restaurant owners probably wish the Canton shrine would make an exception for Jim Kelly.'

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March 23, 2002

Marker Levy to be inducted iinto second Hall of Fame on Sunday [3:48 PM] reports: @ Levy will be among eight individuals with NFL ties to be honored by Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Commack, N.Y.

Marker Bullish about fans [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Well, we signed a 15-year lease. I have no intentions of moving the team - as long as circumstances permit me to stay. That says it, doesn't it? That's about the best I can say."'

Marker No. 11 at East Brady joins Kelly in Canton [5:35 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Quarterback Jim Kelly, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Aug. 3, has donated the Bulldogs' No. 11 jersey he wore while playing at East Brady. It is one of 17 items Kelly donated to the Hall of Fame this week, including mementos from his playing days with the USFL Houston Gamblers and the NFL Buffalo Bills.'

March 22, 2002

Marker Bills serious about Robinson due to visit in April [8:53 PM]
Shout! reports: @ The Bills are serious about signing veteran Tennessee Titans weakside LB Eddie Robinson. Buffalo has been interested in Robinson since the free agency period began, but this would be his first visit to Buffalo.

Marker Bucs against changing tuck rule for good reasons [8:50 PM]
Shout! reports: Of course McKay has Rob Johnson and is probably in favor of any rule that would help protect his new QB from fumbling during the 57 times he's scheduled to get sacked next season - that is if Johnson starts.

Marker Bills sign free agent linebacker Muadianvita Kazadi [8:07 PM]
WGR reports: His agent, Bob Lattinville, who also represents Jerry Ostroski confirmed it is for the league minimum. Even though Kazadi is a vested player in the league, he comes in at the second year salary level so he will make $300,000 this season and $375,000 next season.

Marker Bills looking to tackle draft [7:52 PM]
Len Pasquarelli, reports: Bills looking to tackle draft: While the Bills retain moderate interest in Riley and Denver unrestricted free agent tackle Trey Teague, look for Buffalo to use its first-round pick in next month's draft on either Mike Williams of Texas of Miami's Bryant McKinnie, the two highly-regarded tackle prospects in this year's lottery. GM Tom Donahoe personally scouted the campus workouts of both players and, on Wednesday, he and coach Gregg Williams spent extra time with Williams. A right tackle for the Longhorns, there is some question as to whether Williams can switch to the left side in the NFL, and the Bills made him do several drills with a left-handed stance. Buffalo would prefer to rid itself of 10-year veteran LT John Fina after June 1, when the impact of releasing him would be somewhat ameliorated on their salary cap. They could move second-year right tackle Jonas Jennings to the left side or draft one of this year's two top prospects. What they almost certainly will not do, despite rumors to the contrary, is use the fourth overall choice in the draft on Oregon QB Joey Harrington.

Marker Inside Slant - Buffalo Bills [7:52 PM]
USA TODAY reports: There is much speculation that Donahoe wants to trade down in the first round and acquire more picks, which he did last year. But his reputation as someone who always trades is unwarranted, Donahoe said.
"If it makes sense to sit there and take the pick, that's what we'll do," he said, adding that his philosophy is to be open-minded and ready to audible if a wise trade offer surfaces.

Marker Buffalo Bills Team Report [7:52 PM]
USA Today reports: As draft day nears, Buffalo continues to explore ways to upgrade its line through free agency, a tact that could change its draft-day game plan.

"Denver's still in the mix but right now, I'm just trying to see what's out there, maybe something that could be a good opportunity," Teague said. "I have a good feeling (about the Bills)."

Marker Chat wrap: Chris Mortensen [7:50 PM]
ESPN reports: Chris Mortensen: I bet Davis would love to get a shot at his Miami OT McKinnie but I'm not sure he would want to pay the price. I'm not ruling it out because I think the Bills (picking 4th) would be receptive to deal with the Browns (16th).

Marker Relatively Meaningless: Alex Van Pelt's Oscar picks [5:21 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Van Pelt's pick: Russell Crowe.'

Marker Redskins, Semple to Meet [5:20 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'The Redskins continued to wait yesterday for a resolution to their negotiations with free agent quarterback Jeff Blake. The Redskins seemed resigned to losing Blake when they were unable to complete a deal with him on Wednesday, but their hopes were boosted a bit when he did not immediately sign with the Buffalo Bills yesterday.'

March 21, 2002

Marker Tinker for tinkering's sake but NO change of rule [12:31 PM]
WNSA FM reports: @ One more item they looked into and didn't act on. Of course, it came a result of a play involving Buffalo. Remember when David Patten fumbled after making a catch - the ball is in-bounds while his head was out of bounds but the leg was touching the ball. New England retained possession. Is it to tough to say, "If a ball is loose in bounds - it's a free ball."

Marker Bills may stick with Van Pelt [11:03 AM]
Fox Sports reports: @ If the Buffalo Bills don't sign free-agent Jeff Blake and don't draft Joey Harrington, they think they can win with Alex Van Pelt. Honest. If the team doesn't sign a QG, look for it to draft one next month. That doesn't mean it'll be one who's going to play; Williams and GM Tom Donahoe like what they have in third-stringer Travis Brown.

Marker Where have all the quarterbacks gone? [7:34 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ Wasn't it just a decade ago that we were treated to the wonderful passing wizardry of John Elway, Steve Young and Jim Kelly?

Now we have players like Jay Fiedler and Jim Miller getting lucrative multiyear contracts. Those are two players who spent time in the last five years knocking on doors just to have a job.

The major problem is a lack of aggression on the offensive side of the ball. "I think a lot of us are defensive-minded coaches, which is why maybe there isn't as much aggression," Bills coach Gregg Williams said.

Marker Kelly battles son's disease on all fronts [5:20 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Kelly, a native of East Brady, came to town with his wife, Jill, yesterday to speak at the Engineering Tissue Growth International Conference and Exposition at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. He explained what they go through with their son and the goals of their foundation, Hunter's Hope.'

Marker Relatively Meaningless: Alex Van Pelt's Oscar Picks [5:19 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Van Pelt's pick: Halle Berry.'

Marker Field of tissue engineering holds promise [5:18 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Yesterday, conference organizers used the event to put the spotlight on Krabbe disease, a rare, degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous system. There is no cure for the disease and research at the University of Pittsburgh caught the attention of East Brady native and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, whose 5-year-old son, Hunter, has the disease.'

Marker As Blake Fades, Matthews May Be in Picture [5:17 AM]
Washington Post reports: The Washington Redskins were growing increasingly pessimistic yesterday about their chances of signing free agent quarterback Jeff Blake.

March 20, 2002

Marker Thoughts on Sabres, Bills and the NIT [1:08 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Keion Carpenter, who started 10 games at the free spot, and Raion Hill, a 13-game starter at strong safety, have both been waived, with Atlanta signing the former. That says all you need to know.'

Marker New salary cap pool to insure working players get paid bonuses [11:19 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ Alex Van Pelt didn't get most of the pay, but got most of the playing time in Buffalo last season. The league announced it will reward players for playing-time incentives. For the first time, minimum-salaried players will have the chance to take the biggest chunk of the money.

The idea is that if a player participates in the majority of his team's plays, yet makes a minimum or low salary, he should be entitled to more compensation. Say a minimum-salary player beats out a high-priced veteran, then that player would be paid a certain amount of incentive money from a money pool for each team.

Marker New York City unlikely as 2007 Superbowl site [10:13 AM]
ESPN reports: @ "I'm as much in favor of helping those two cities [New York City and Washington] as anyone here," said Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson. "But if you're going to New York, then I can make a case for Buffalo, too. Someone is going to have to be pretty persuasive to get me to commit to this."

Marker Pierson Prioleau [9:56 AM] reports: How have you been spending your time this off-season? I've been relaxing, spending time with my family, working out and we just closed on a new house as well. I'm getting mind to rest while I'm away.

Marker Bledsoe may be offf the market due to lack of interest [9:19 AM]
ESPN reports: @ Tom Donahoe, the Buffalo general manager, reiterated Tuesday the Bills are intrigued by Bledsoe, and said there have been discussions with New England officials. But he emphasized that the Patriots did not set a price on what it would take to get Bledsoe, said he did not know if New England would deal him within the division, and noted that he will not overpay to land the veteran QB. Donahoe hinted the Bills might be willing to part with a third-round draft choice for Bledsoe, but not much more than that.

Marker Williams takes long view toward filling in lineup gaps [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The uncertain starting positions are: quarterback, left tackle, one of the two defensive tackles, one of the two defensive ends, weak-side linebacker, free safety and strong safety.'

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