Bills so tight-lipped, their lips are BLUE!

Before you go assessing who will be starting for Buffalo this year, general manager Tom Donahoe has a message for you: "When you're 3-13, I don't think you have a starting ‘anything.'"


Now you get the idea at the kind of information that was flowing from the Bills' annual draft luncheon. Nothing has been decided – publicly, at least.

Donahoe, Tom Modrak and Gregg Williams and the Bills' scouts fielded questions for about 42 minutes and said a lot of words, but ended up saying very little.

Consequently, if you were hoping to narrow down what Buffalo might do on April 20 when the NFL Draft occurs, you'll get a lot more out of the draft speculation on various web sites than from the Bills' administrators.

They are totally coy.

On Bledsoe and the possibility of making a trade for him, Donahoe said, "We are doing what we can to improve our roster," adding later, "This is not a quarterback press conference, we want to talk about the draft."

Well, of course, the Bledsoe thing has a lot to do with the Bills' draft. Donahoe said they will continue conversing with the Patriots regarding the quarterback, and things are "ongoing." …

I am a firm believer that the Bills will be going defensive tackle at some point in the first round – trade down or not. So here's what Modrak said about the top defensive tackles:

On Ryan Sims, North Carolina – "Strong, tough two-gapper."

John Henderson, Tennessee – "Had a high ankle sprain when we scouted him, but we are not concerned … He's strong, a massive guy, a little bit in the Marcus Stroud category."

Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee – "A little more movement than Henderson, has quickness and speed, has to get a little bit stronger."

Wendell Bryant, Wisconsin – "A talented athlete, good man who can run."

On all four players – "All four of them have qualities that are going to be good." …

One player Buffalo won't be taking is defensive back Miami's Ed Reed, who projects as a free safety, who Dave Smith scouted: "He didn't show a lot of physical talent, but he has good ball skills." Conclusion: If he's not physical, he's not going to be in Buffalo next season. But Reed is still in Buffalo today to visit with the team; Smith just doesn't seem to like him very much …

Donahoe and Williams talked at length about the prospective player interview process. They said for the most part, the players are more relaxed when they visit the Buffalo's headquarters, rather than when they interview them at the NFL Draft Combine.

When the Bills bring a college player in, they show him around and put him in the meeting rooms to meet with coaches and break down plays and schemes.

In the interview itself, Donahoe wants to judge overall attitude.

"If the player comes across as, ‘How many more questions am I going to have to answer,' or, "I don't want to get into that,' … This is a job interview," Donahoe said. "These players are only going to be drafted once. I want to know their attitude. What's their attitude to answering the same stupid question, ‘How's money going to affect you.' We can't come up with a question that someone hasn't heard before. But I want to see how they're reacting to these things, this is what I'm looking for." …

Overall, the good thing is that Donahoe assured that Buffalo would be drafting – no joke – "football players."

John Butler used to say the same thing.

My gosh, the new administration, just in its second year, is already in full-fledged cliche-mode.

Well, that didn't take too long.

Talk with Shout!'s Lary Bump and Mike Doser in the Shout! chat room during NFL Draft 2002, April 20-21. They'll be at Bills headquarters covering the activity.

Buffalo Football Report Top Stories