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Buffalo Bills News - October 13, 2001

Marker Thursday's game figures to show how low Bills can go [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' game with Jacksonville on Thursday is likely to make some local history. There's a good chance the game, which will be televised by ESPN and also carried on the local PAX affiliate, Channel 51, WPXJ, will be the lowest-rated regular-season Bills game in decades.'

Marker Bills' sacks sad so far [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are 25th in the league this year with five sacks, which puts them on pace for a mere 20. That would be the third-lowest total in club history.'

Marker Boselli injury spoils reunion with Johnson [8:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'Rob Johnson's roommate at USC was Tony Boselli, who also happened to be the team's All-America offensive left tackle. That's probably the biggest reason Johnson didn't come out of college with the reputation as a sack waiting to happen.'

Marker Bills experiencing rare hard times [6:22 AM]
AP reports: 'For those thinking another magnificent turnaround might soon be in store, Levy cautioned it's too early to draw comparisons. In the middle of the 1986 season, when Levy took over a team that had lost 37 of its previous 43 games, he had the semblance of an emerging core that included Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith and Andre Reed. "The situations aren't truly parallel," said Levy, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past summer. "We were very down when I first arrived, but just on the brink of getting good. I don't know if the tools are there to turn it around as quickly as I was fortunate enough to be with those guys in place."'

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October 12, 2001

Marker Fine Isn't Appealing To Jets' Lewis [9:17 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'The Jets defended Lewis, insisting he's not a dirty player. LB James Darling said Lewis hit Johnson because the quarterback made an awkward slide, popping up on the artificial turf.'

Marker Lewis is socked with fine [9:16 AM]
Bergen Record reports: '"We're going to fight it," Edwards said Thursday of the $12,500 penalty levied by Gene Washington, the league's director of player operations, for "unnecessary roughness." "I don't think Mo did it on purpose at all. I know he didn't."'

Marker Mo Lewis is going to appeal fine for hitting Johnson [9:05 AM]
Newsday reports: 'After hitting a sliding Johnson with a forearm, LB Mo Lewis was slapped with a $12,500 fine by the NFL. While Lewis did not speak to reporters, Herman Edwards said the LB has decided to appeal the fine. "We're going to fight it and say what we feel and see what happens," Edwards said. "Mo was real good about it. He said, 'If they are going to fine me, give it to the firemen.' But we're going to fight it and see."'
NOTE: The NYC firemen is NOT one of ths NFL's charities so it unknown whether this is a bad joke by him or something which he finds funny like laughing after Johnson was hurt and being attended to on the field.

Marker Ralph Wilson answers e-mails [9:00 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Rob Johnson has been designated as our number one quarterback and, as long as he stays healthy and continues to improve, he will be the number one quarterback. If he, unfortunately, gets hurt, then Alex will start.

Marker Williams: Playoffs still a goal [8:25 AM]
NFL.com reports: Q: Are you still shooting for the playoffs or are you just going to be satisfied with developing new young players? What I'm asking is: What are the major goals left for the season?

A: I have been a part of a season before where we started 1-4 and then won 11 and finished the season 12-4 with the top seed in the playoffs. Each week we believe that we are working toward the playoffs and until we are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, that's our goal."

October 11, 2001

Marker Sunset for the West Coast Offense [10:02 PM]
Slate reports: The Bills, Lions, and Jets did not seem to know this evolution. Each installed a 1980s-vintage West Coast Offense™ that shows fixed, predictable formations and runs repetitive short slants and crosses on almost every play. Defenses have known how to stop this antique version of the West Coast Offense™ for years.

Marker Jets' Mo Lewis Fined $12,500 for Hit on Bills' Rob Johnson [7:37 PM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Johnson left New York's 42-36 win in the first quarter with a pinched nerve in his neck after Lewis delivered an elbow to his head. Lewis was diving over Johnson after the quarterback had been tackled on a run. He wasn't penalized on the play.'

Marker NFL fines Jets LB Lewis $12,500 for hit on Bills QB Johnson [3:19 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Lewis hit a sliding Johnson at the end of a short gain, causing the quarterback to suffer a pinched nerve in his neck.'

Marker Patience for some of the weaker teams [1:24 PM]
The Sporting News reports: This past weekend I asked Rob Johnson how his new offense was playing. After several minutes of listening to Johnson tell me about the history of the offense, I realized that Johnson still hadn't addressed my answer. He wasn't avoiding my question . . . just trying to figure out how to explain the current situation. The Bills performance on Sunday proved out what I detected.

Marker Bills return to action Thursday against Jags [1:16 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Since entering the NFL in 1995, the Jaguars have only lost 2 of 6 games following the bye, and like the Bills, Jacksonville will be looking to end a losing streak Thursday night. After starting out the season 2-0, the Jaguars have lost two in a row.'

Marker Youth for life [1:15 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Buffalo Bills, Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS) and the National Kidney Foundation of Western New York teamed up to promote the "Youth for Life- Remembering Walter Payton" program Tuesday when they visited Clarence High School in Amherst and the Harley School in Rochester.

Marker Kenyatta Wright spends Tuesday in the community [1:14 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Rush for Reading, in conjunction with the Buffalo Bills, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and just buffalo literacy center, runs throughout the month of October and is designed to encourage the development of reading and increase literacy of students grades 3 through 6.

Marker Mo Lewis fined only $12,500 for hit on Johnson [1:13 PM]
ESPN reports: New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis was fined $12,500 for hitting Buffalo QB Rob Johnson last Sunday as Johnson slid to the ground.

NFL spokesman Dan Masonson said Lewis hit Johnson in the head with his forearm after Johnson was down. The quarterback missed the rest of the game, a 42-36 Jets victory.

Marker New coaches winning is the exception not the rule [8:15 AM]
ESPN reports: Gregg Williams of Buffalo has been forced to constantly shuffle his defensive lineup and is dealing with 12 injuries.
A few of them -- Schottenheimer, Vermeil and Williams certainly -- were faced with immense salary cap problems. Buffalo, for instance, was left in such poor shape by former general manager John Butler that the Bills probably can't afford a major free agent acquisition until 2003.

Marker Henry Bullough among those honored by MSU [7:58 AM]
AP reports: Henry Bullough, former head coach of Buffalo Bills, whose earned the nickname 'Doctor of Defense' will be honored by MSU with a 'Distinguished Alumni Award' during 2001 'Spartan Pride Worldwide' Homecoming.

Marker WHAM says Bills sacked Flutie broadcasts [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'WHAM, however, has accused the Bills of essentially blocking a possible deal because Russ Brandon, the team's vice president of business development and marketing, refused a request from station manager Jeff Howlett to speak to the Chargers on his behalf.'

Marker Channel 8 answers call of Flutie fans [5:04 AM]
D and C reports: '[WROC-TV (Channel 8) sports director John] Kucko is now steadily deluged with correspondence from viewers demanding that his station carry the Chargers games over the national game assigned them by the network -- or that he even pre-empt the Bills game in favor of San Diego's. Kucko said the vast majority of the hundreds of fans who have contacted him are female.'

October 10, 2001

Marker Right now we need Alex in there [11:50 AM]
CNN/SI reports: The most surprising boost came from Alex Van Pelt in Buffalo. After Johnson got hurt, Van Pelt came in and threw three touchdown passes. Even though the Bills lost to the Jets, they managed to score 36 points, which was more than any winning team scored in any other game this week. One Bills player told me, "Right now, we just need Alex out there. It's nothing I can put my finger on but it's something."

Marker Power Ranking - 28 (was 27) [11:18 AM]
CNN/SI reports: This is the sadness part of the program. I don't want to give away the ending, but you will not find a victory from here on in (Cowboys, Washington and Detroit rated lower).

Marker Van Pelt wants no QB debate [11:11 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: After throwing for three touchdowns and 268 yards in a nice relief appearance for an injured Rob Johnson against the New York Jets, Alex Van Pelt is hoping he didn't unwittingly spark another QB controversy in western NY.

Johnson's expected to start, which Van Pelt is all in favor of having lived through the controversial Johnson vs. Flutie debate the past three seasons.

"I'm happy I was able to come off the bench and try to help, but that's my role," Van Pelt said. "I'm my mind, there's no debate because Rob's our No. 1 QB and we need him to be in that role.

Marker Power Ranking 30 (was 28) [11:00 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Buffalo Bills (28): This reclamation project is going to take a lot of time.

Marker Oh, those Buffalo Bills by Marv Levy [10:58 AM]
reports: The Buffalo Bills are a team that is afflicted with the "two I's:"
Inexperience and injuries. The Bills have a way to go because of the "two I's," and there's a third "I" in there -- ineffective. I'd like to see the Bills do better, I pull for them, but it doesn't look good. They have a bye, then they are on the road for three of their next four.

Marker Team rankings on offense and defense [10:55 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: These are league rankings with the toughest quarter of Bills schedule completed.
Offense: Total 15, Rush 9, Pass 16
Defense: Total 27, Rush 27, Pass 24

Marker QB evaluations often a case of mistaken identity [10:43 AM]
Sporting News reports: Physical aspects are overrated, and instinct is underrated. Instinct is the first requirement on Walsh's list when he evaluates a quarterback.

The Bills, Seahawks and Steelers, have not gotten what they expected out of the quarterback position.

Marker Power Ranking - 28 (was 29) [10:25 AM]
ESPN reports: 28. Bills (0-4) (was 29)
Good news: They scored 36. Bad news: Jets scored 42

Marker Wilson takes the long view on Bills' woes [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This is going to be a very difficult year," the 82-year-old owner said Tuesday from his home in Detroit. "But I'm optimistic about the future. We've got some good, young players that just need time to develop. If the fans stick with us, and I'm sure they will, they will be rewarded."'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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