Some MUST-READ Bills notes

Here are some interesting notes from a Bills source. Running back Travis Henry missed the team flight to Miami Saturday, Jan. 5, which angered coach Gregg Williams. Williams said he would not tolerate that behavior from Henry next season.


That proclamation seemed to be an acknowledgment that the Bills had coddled the rookie running back in his first year. That doesn't seem likely to happen again. In fact, Henry will probably compete with Shawn Bryson for the starting job in 2002 …

Inside One Bills Drive, there apparently was grumbling that the University of Tennessee did not fully disclose that Henry had a learning disability. Now learning disabilities aren't all that uncommon among people – and they don't mean an athlete has no hope of succeeding (retired defensive lineman Neil Smith has dyslexia) – but the Bills administration apparently feels the Volunteers were less than forthright with them. Here's an interesting link about the Tennessee Volunteers and their football program, which tends to lend credence to the claim ...

One of the reasons Phil Hansen retired may have been because the Bills told him they were going to expose him to the Houston Texans expansion draft, forcing Hansen's hand because he wanted to end his career on his own terms …

Rob Johnson was saying his permanent goodbyes to his teammates after the Bills' 34-7 loss to Miami Jan. 6 …

Chalk Peerless Price up as another receiver dismayed about the Bills' offense. When he was asked whether he liked Mike Sheppard's offense he said, "Like it? … That's a double-edged sword. Sometimes I like it – when I'm involved I like any offense. Sometimes it takes them too long to get me involved. That's how I feel. That's coming straight from the heart. Some weeks, it felt like (Sheppard) wanted me in the offense, some weeks he didn't. It depended on which week it was.

"(Eric and I) look at Jerry Rice and Tim Brown – they're in the same offense. Look at Terrell Owens. His numbers are probably better than me and Eric's combined. Not to take anything away from those guys, they're all great, but we feel like we got a nice tandem here too. We just weren't given as many opportunities."

It looks like Price and Moulds will have to contend with Sheppard again because the Bills probably won't make any coaching staff changes this season …

Ken Irvin never criticized the Bills' coaches for benching him in favor of rookie Nate Clements after four games this season. He even acknowledged that Clements was going to be a "great corner."

Still, the 29-year-old cornerback thinks the team missed out on utilizing some of his assets. As the season progressed, Chris Watson and Lance Brown played more in the team's nickel and dime packages, leaving Irvin with little to do other than watch from the sideline.

"I think I could have been used more with the sort of things I bring to the team – maturity, experience," Irvin said. "But it wasn't a decision up to me. It was the organization's decision. I'm a team player. If the team and the organization together come to the conclusion to make certain changes, then I'm going to stick with them."

Was it an oversight by the Bills?

"Well … I don't doubt my abilities. I know that I can play and I think there were some things I could do for the team. I am certainly deserving to be in that situation (to help out). I played for seven years, was a starter for three, four seasons and I know that I could get it done."

With Irvin's salary cap figure for next season approximately $950,000, the Bills might release him. Irvin, a fourth-round pick of the Bills in the 1995 draft, would finish his seven-year career with seven interceptions. However, he doesn't plan on retiring if he is cut.

"I will be playing somewhere (next season)," he said. "No doubt in my mind about that. Right now it's with the Buffalo Bills. Until things change, whoever I'm with is going to get a great football player and someone that's going to finish the course and be prepared for a great season."

Irvin may be exposed to the Houston Texans expansion draft.

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