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Buffalo Bills News - December 15, 2002

Marker Butler fights cancer with humor, guts [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: '“I just don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again,” said the man who was one of the primary architects of Buffalo’s Super Bowl run of the early 1990s. “We had a special group of guys. They were resilient, and we were able to keep them together for a long time. The way the game has changed with free agency and the salary cap, I just can’t see that happening again where you are able to retain a corps of players that defy the odds and go to four straight Super Bowls.”'

Marker Bills fans are realistic about chances [5:21 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Yeah, the Buffalo Bills are still alive in the AFC playoff race ... and David Letterman might take over for Dan Rather on the CBS Nightly News.'

Marker Expect Chargers to run ... a bunch [5:20 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'He ranks third in the league in rushing with 1,375 yards. And considering the Bills have the 31st-ranked run defence -- which the Dolphins exploited to the tune of 228 Williams yards two weeks ago -- it's not hard to guess the Chargers' game plan.'

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December 14, 2002

Marker Crucial misses haunt kickers forever [7:24 PM]
New York Times reports: 'As the ball sailed through the air, some players on both sidelines held hands, and when it went right, the Bills were stunned, not only because the game was lost, but also because Norwood had connected on several last-minute, game-winning kicks in previous years. They weren't simply hoping Norwood would connect, they fully expected him to.'

Marker Chargers await chilly reception in Buffalo [7:05 PM]
AP reports: '''I used to laugh at articles in the paper when they used to say the opponents are going to be at a disadvantage,'' Wiley said. ''I was like, 'Man, I play with the Bills and I'm not used to the cold.' They're going to be just as cold as we are. I don't care who they are or how many years they played there.'''

Marker Good? No, fabulous [7:04 PM]
Jaguars.com reports: Tom Donahoe knows about salary cap problems. He knows about seasons sacrificed to the concept of salary cap repair, and about weathering the storm of criticism that accompanies self-imposed losing, and about somehow remaining firm and committed and hopeful of what a couple seasons of sacrifice will mean to the long-term health of the franchise.

Marker Punter Brian Moorman Q&A [1:09 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: When did you start wearing earplugs and why? - Dan (Dudley, MA) "I learned it from Jeff Feagles my first season, preseason, with the Seahawks. He's been doing it for years and he got me into it. I started doing it religiously over in Europe when I was over there (for the NFL Europe season) because they have very loud stadiums with all the noisemakers they use. I just feel like it helps me concentrate - block out the background noise - and let me focus on what my job is."

Marker Bills Named Football's "Fan Friendliest Team" [12:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based Sports Fans of America Association, Inc. has awarded its 2002 NFL Sports Fan’s Quality Award to the Buffalo Bills as the league’s “Fan Friendliest” team.

Marker Another Schott [10:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Marty Schottenheimer doesn't get back often, but he always thought fondly of Western New York. He enjoyed some of his best days playing football as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in the 1960s.'

Marker Fans tuning in the Bills on radio may hear precious Miller time [10:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Friends say he remains undecided. Bills officials have heard these rumblings before and won't give them much credence until they hear it from Van the Man himself.'

Marker Awards presentation on tap Monday [9:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quarterback Drew Bledsoe was elected Bills Man of the Year, fullback Larry Centers earned Unsung Hero, receiver Josh Reed was named Rookie of the Year, and the trio of Mike Hollis, Brian Moorman and Sammy Morris will be honored as Special Teams Players of the Year.'

Marker Bledsoe, Bills are bummed over 6-7 [9:58 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"It's been a great transition coming in here," he said. "The perception of Buffalo from the outside world is not real strong. You think it's just a bunch of snow and nasty weather. But it's really been great. This area is a very family-oriented place. People are friendly; they kind of leave you alone. It's almost like playing in a college town. It's not crowded. They support the team. The whole thing has been a good move for us all around."'

Marker Butler back in Buffalo first time since ouster [9:57 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"So many times Buffalo is maligned because of the weather and things, but I always say the people there are special. Those fans are great. They were football-wild fans - and still are."'

Marker Gilbride looks to settle a score [9:56 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Gilbride would love planting an uppercut on the Chargers. He doesn't like to expand on it, but it's obvious he's still bitter about being dismissed in 1998 by then-general manager Bobby Beathard after 22 games.'

Marker Donahoe supports overtime changes [5:34 AM]
D and C reports: '“It just doesn’t seem right that a coin flip should determine the outcome of the game. Guys are fighting, playing hard and if a team returns a kickoff, the other team should at least get the opportunity to match it. Once they have that opportunity and lose, I don’t have a problem with it being sudden death. You can’t play forever. But it seems to me that would be a more fair system.”'

Marker The Butler Did It [5:33 AM]
ChargersUpdate.com reports: '"As much as I love those players and the people in that organization, I'm a Charger now, and we're coming there to try and play the Bills well and hopefully get a win."

December 13, 2002

Marker Week 15: Bills vs. Chargers Preview San Diego Chargers [11:15 PM]
BillsDaily reports: The Bills playoff hopes were dashed last week in New England, they now have to rely on pride the rest of the way. It starts with a chance to put a crimp into the playoff hopes of former GM John Butler when the San Diego Chargers come to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.

Marker Mike Doser: Simplicity is the key [11:12 PM]
Shout! reports: Nate Clements felt the Bills played the best this year when the players were reacting on instinct, rather than adhering to the stringent functions of a system.

Marker AFC Games Bring True Meaning This Time of Year [11:03 PM]
Washington Post reports: San Diego (+3) at Buffalo: Peerless Price needs a new agent. Why aren't we seeing him on a billion holiday ads? Hi, I'm Peerless Price and you can find me at . . . whatever. The big-ticket stereo store. AOL. The auto agency. The Chia Pet boutique. Somewhere selling Something. Pick: Chargers. May require registration

Marker If the season ended today [10:59 PM]
ESPN reports: Bills: Up With basically no tiebreakers, things didn't look very good for the Bills even before Sunday. Well, after Sunday they look even worse. At 6-7, the Bills now trail eight teams (they're behind the Ravens based on conference record) in the wild-card race. That's just way too many teams to pass.

Marker Odds and ends [10:59 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Two from CBS Sportsline:

The Texans love what they've been getting from linebacker Jay Foreman, who was traded by Buffalo before the season. Foreman has done well against the run and the pass playing inside in the Texans' 3-4 scheme. The Bills might have made a mistake when they decided to trade him and go with Eddie Robinson outside. Foreman clearly has outplayed the veteran.

Look for the Falcons to make a strong push to sign Buffalo receiver Peerless Price after the season. Price, who will become an unrestricted free agent, will be one of the hottest properties on the open market. Washington will also be in the mix, and the Bills want him back. The Falcons will have the cap room to pay him and the idea of playing with Michael Vick will help in the recognition game. Price's ability to run all the routes separates him from the rest of the receivers who will be in the market.

Marker 2002 Running Back Comparison: Henry vs. Tomlinson [3:14 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Tomlinson Notes: Broke the Chargers single-season rushing record last Sunday against Oakland… had 220 yards on Dec. 1 vs. Denver… On Sept. 29 vs. New England he ran for 217 yards… is the NFL's second-leading rusher with 1,375 yards.

Marker Keys to the game [11:31 AM]
Chargers.com reports: 'The Chargers’ offense is averaging 137.3 yards per game on the ground. The Bills’ defense is giving up 138.7 rushing yards per game. So the key for the Chargers’ offense on Sunday is being able to run the ball, right? Wrong.'

Marker Bills - Chargers Series History [10:17 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills and Chargers have met a total of 31 times stretching back to their days as AFL rivals. San Diego holds an 18-8-2 regular season lead and won the last meeting - a 27-24 win at San Diego last year.

Marker Latest Buffalo Bills Wallpaper [10:16 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Download the latest editions for your computer's screen. - Two versions added.

Marker Butler didn't shuffle off from Buffalo quietly [10:01 AM]
North County Times reports: '"Case in point right now is Jay Riemersma. He's a solid tight end, but he gets Tony Gonzalaz money. Next year, his cap hit is $4.5 million. There was no reason to give both Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson $25 million contracts when they were already under contract."'

Marker Butler pushes forward as Chargers chase playoffs [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'His treatments don't allow him to get out on the road to scout college talent, something he loves to do. But he still spends hours looking at film and discussing personnel. He also travels to every road game on the team's charter plane.'

Marker Moorman is the fans' choice, so far [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Moorman leads all AFC punters in online voting by the fans. He is second in the AFC and third in the NFL with a 43.3-yard average on 50 punts. His 35-yard net is fifth in the conference.'

Marker Record run is no fun for Bills [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'Back in 1984, the first of Buffalo’s back-to-back 2-14 teams surrendered an ungodly 454 points. That embarrassing figure seemed safe for generations to come, but in yielding 365 points in 13 games -- second-most in the NFL behind woebegone Cincinnati -- this year’s Bills are on pace to surpass the 1984 team’s incompetence.'

Marker Shopping at sacks [5:16 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Wiley won't use the injuries as an excuse, saying that if your cleats touch the grass, you gotta blast. But there's no question it has been a tough year for him.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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