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Buffalo Bills News - June 6, 2003

Marker Player Q&A: DT Justin Bannan [9:19 PM] reports: '"Defensive wise we did bring in some guys that can make a huge impact. Change? I don't think we're going to change too much. I think we have great players. I think it was evident toward the end of last season when we started playing a lot better. What we are really doing is just trying to build on what we have. I think you're going to see a very noticeable difference this next year on defense. We are going to have a really good defense."'

Marker A Closer Look at… Mark Campbell [9:17 PM] reports: 'What restaurant has the best wings in Buffalo in your opinion?

"Oh boy, I don't know. I have only been to the Anchor Bar."'

Marker NFL Europe Update: Race to World Bowl [4:50 PM] reports: After nine exciting and competitive weeks, the World Bowl race will go down to the wire as three teams scrap it out in Week 10 to determine who will meet the Frankfurt Galaxy in the NFL Europe League championship game in Glasgow on Saturday June 14.

Marker Wolves rookie Akeiff Staples invited to tryout with Buffalo Bills [3:56 PM]
Arena Football league reports: Mohegan Wolves FB/LB AKEIFF STAPLES won’t be traveling with the team to Rochester (NY) this Saturday. Instead, the 6-2, 245-pound rookie from Temple will be heading a little farther west to Buffalo to work out for the Buffalo Bills.

Marker Empire: Interview with Keith McKenzie [3:55 PM]
Empire Sports reports: McKenzie's ankle is well. Says he is AMAZED at how hard everyone ESPECIALLY the veterans are working in minicamp. You can't help but feel the excitement and anticipation.

Marker Fans Across American winner from Utah [12:11 PM] reports: start game day off the same every Sunday. I make a huge breakfast for my family. All the time wearing one of my eight --Bills hats. Then a half hour before kickoff my 6 year old son and I put on our jerseys. (He wears Moulds and I now wear Bledsoe.)

Marker Cota finds a home with Buffalo [11:01 AM]
Medford Mail Tribune reports: '"By joining them this early I’ll get to know their system," says Cota, a former Ashland High and University of Oregon standout. "I’m hoping that will give me an edge."'

Marker Most underrated? Depends on who you ask (and we did) [9:09 AM]
CBS reports: Wannstedt: Bills DT Pat Williams. "He's dominating. He's my vote because this guy plays like a perennial Pro Bowler. He's a big-time difference-maker."

Marker Comments from Head Coach Gregg Williams [5:50 AM] reports: "The big thing is, it is fun to see how much enthusiasm the team has to practice and to get better each and every day. This week we are getting into some more of the situational things that we want to do in our systems and even adding to the scheme part of things that we covered last week. The last week (next week) of the OTAs will be a tremendous amount of 'special' situations work: short yardage, goal line, two-minute, four-minute, all those type of things."

Marker Bills sign Cota to help at safety [5:47 AM]
D and C reports: 'Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray plans on experimenting with different combinations. Last season, the Bills received no interceptions from their safeties. For his career, Cota has 15, including a career-high five for Carolina in 1996.'

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June 5, 2003

Marker Bills Shout Song - Share Your Thoughts [11:56 PM] reports: The 2002 season was the 15th Anniversary of the Buffalo Bills playing the Shout song after every touchdown. What are your thoughts?

Marker Bills agree to terms with Chad Cota [2:10 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'An eight-year veteran, Cota spent the 2002 season with the Rams and appeared in 14 games.'

Marker Safety Chad Cota agrees to join Bills [2:09 PM]
AP reports: 'He becomes the 15th veteran newcomer to join the Bills this offseason, and ninth addition to a defense that finished 27th in points allowed, 29th in yards rushing per game, and 32nd in takeaways last year.'

Marker Chad Cota Bio/Stats [1:20 PM] reports: Signed by Rams 9/3/02 as unrestricted free agent…spent part of 2002 training camp with San Francisco 49ers. Saw action in 14 games, including one start vs. Oakland on 10/13…collected 15 tackles (5 solo) on the season, primarily playing on special teams.

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With Chad Cota [1:20 PM] reports: The Bills have agreed to terms on a contract with safety Chad Cota. An eight-year veteran, Cota spent the 2002 season with the Rams after playing three seasons for Indianapolis Colts (1999-2001), one season with New Orleans (1998), and three with Carolina (1995-97).

Marker Positives abound as Bills launch seat drive [9:38 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'One significant change for premium seat clients is the option to renew for either a three-year or five-year lease. In '98, only five-year commitments were accepted.'

Marker Bills start '04 sales drive far in advance [9:36 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We look at it as a 15-year lease," Bills President Tom Donahoe said. "Are there options within the 15 years? There are. But based on our team, based on our business (success) and based on Mr. Wilson's commitment to the area, right now it doesn't look like an option we'd explore."'

Marker Buffalo Hall gives Silver a reason to holler [9:35 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The others are: pro wrestler Dick "the Destroyer" Beyer, Basketball Hall of Famer Al Cervi, sportscaster Don Criqui, prep sports benefactor Dick Gallagher, Bennett High School three-sport standout Don Gilbert, Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek, former featherweight champion Tommy Paul, high school coach Art Serotte, Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas and NCAA gymnastics champion Lisa Zeis.'

Marker Bills sign veteran Cota as insurance at safety [9:31 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cota, an eight-year veteran, gives the Bills a little more insurance and competition on their depth chart, something team President and General Manager Tom Donahoe has been trying to create at virtually every position this offseason.'

Marker Bills Announce Renewal Program Underway [9:26 AM] reports: Bills President/General Manager Tom Donahoe said, "We are announcing today that we have started our renewal program for the 2004 season for all of our suites and club seat holders. We are excited about the opportunity to continue our valued relationships with the many companies and individuals that support our franchise."

Marker Wednesday Roundup: Lack of evidence leads to Smith's acquittal [9:18 AM]
ESPN reports: The Bills continued to add more to their rebuilt defense by reaching a one-year, $680,000 agreement with Rams strong safety Chad Cota, including a $25,000 signing bonus.

Cota, 31, is entering his ninth season and will be joining his fifth team. He's played with the Panthers, Saints, Colts and Rams. Cota becomes the 12th veteran addition to the Bills. Earlier, the Bills signed Izell Reese, a safety, to a four-year, $3.2 million contract.

Cota's contract will count only $475,000 against the Bills salary cap.

June 4, 2003

Marker Flashback: Bills 34, Dolphins 31 (OT) [5:25 PM] reports: This was the Bills first regular season appearance at Joe Robbie Stadium. Jim Kelly: "I don't know if this was my best game ever, but I'll tell you what, it's awfully sweet. I wouldn't trade this for anything. I prayed so much before that coin flip. I didn't want Marino to get the ball first."

Marker Tight End Campbell Ready to Contribute [4:28 PM] reports: '"I know Dave (Moore) has been around a long time," Campbell said. "A coach can take you so far but I think you really learn a lot from players that have played against opponents and know things that maybe a coach wouldn't know because they aren't on the field. I look forward to becoming a better player and learning from Dave."'

Marker Mike Doser: Wire: 'D will wreak havoc' [3:30 PM]
Shout! reports: Q: Coy, how much different is this defense compared to last year’s?
Coy Wire: Schematically, it’s a lot different. The philosophy that we have on defense has changed a little too. I think we’re combining Dick LeBeau and Jerry Gray’s schemes and philosophies and now we have this defense that, to me, is going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.

Marker Takeo Spikes Q&A From Mini-Camp [3:29 PM]
WNSA reports: Q: Can you see where Coach LeBeau has put his stamp on the defense this year?
Spikes: “Yes. He came in and brought the “fire zone” and everything. And that’s going to help us out. Like I said, with Gregg (Williams) and then with Coach LeBeau and Jerry (Gray), we have the best of both worlds. Right now, I think I’m more familiar with the fire zones because that’s what I’ve been running every since I came into the league. But it’s all about getting everyone on the same page, so when we get ready to go out and do our thing – then it’s on.”

Marker Former Bills' RB Thurman Thomas To Be Inducted Into The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame [1:29 PM] reports: Former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas has been selected for induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame for 2003. He will be inducted along with ten other members of the Class of 2003 at an awards dinner on Wednesday, October 29 at the HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo.

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Greg Carter [9:42 AM] reports: Only the second true punter ever drafted by the Bills and the first one to make the team, Greg Cater came to Buffalo after being selected in the tenth round of the 1980 draft out of the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga.

Marker Gift of Life Walk [9:02 AM] reports: Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 Check-in: 9:00 to 10:00 AM Walk Start: 10:00 AM Walk Distance: 5K (3.1 Miles) Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium (One Bills Drive off Abbott Road)

Marker Bills ease need for speed by signing Raiders' Jett [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm real excited to come out here and compete and try to make this team better," said Jett, who watched the Bills' minicamp practice. "We had a couple guys who had been around forever and a young guy coming in last year, so I kind of got lost in the shuffle."'

Marker Bills sign former Raider Jett [8:57 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'The arrival of Jerry Rice in 2001 and the emergence of third-year man Jerry Porter in 2002, combined with the fact that Jett does not play special teams, made him a non-entity during the Raiders AFC championship season.'

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