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Buffalo Bills News - September 25, 2004

Marker Thomas speaks his heart [5:20 AM]
Garden City Telegram reports: '"When you think of a professional athlete, any pro athlete, you think of the good life; millions of dollars, fancy cars, big houses, beautiful women. You think everything is fine. He's living the good life," Thomas said. "I've had problems ever since I retired from football. It's hard for me to talk about it, but the one thing I could not conquer was ... I'm a recovering alcoholic. That is the hardest challenge I have right now. I have control now in that I know when to stop. I can take one drink but if I take two drinks, I'll be back to where I was two years ago."'

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September 24, 2004

Marker NFL Says No Apologies Have Been Sent To Bills [5:20 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Aiello says coaches send in plays every week. The league goes over them and gets back in contact with teams either through phone or fax. Teams are then told what is legal and what is not on a specific play so coaches can coach their players correctly. Aiello said the NFL does not send out letters of apology to teams for blown calls.'

Marker Offense Main Focus During Bye Week [11:14 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Every player on the offense needs to pick up his game," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "We're just making mistakes that we shouldn't be making right now. We get things done in practice but it doesn't mean anything if we can't bring that to the field. We just need to focus on our own jobs and that will make us more efficient."'

Marker Work on special teams could show good returns for Bills [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Obviously, we have to eliminate having things called back on us," said special teams coach Bobby April. "But I think the prospects look really good."'

Marker Bills still search for a rushing rhythm [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In establishing the ball-control identity coach Mike Mularkey and offensive coordinator Tom Clements feel is best for their team, the Bills have called 60 run plays vs. 51 pass plays. But while that commitment to the run bodes well, the production has been less than scintillating, raising questions about why Mularkey and Clements have been unwilling, or unable, to capitalize on McGahee's talents.'

Marker NFL: 3 Calls Go Against Bills [5:04 AM]
RNews.com reports: 'While acknowledging mistakes by its officials, there is no recourse. The Bills still lose.'

September 23, 2004

Marker Spikes Watches As The Bills Continue To Work [9:55 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Thursday the team practiced with much of it designed to work on the things that keep plaguing them in games. I'm sure there are parts of practice to work on New England, but the players won't get the actual game plan until after Friday's done.'

Marker Bledsoe Says He Knows His Role [9:54 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Henry also believes in Bledsoe. "Everybody is on the same page. We gotta finish drives. Number 11, he's going to take us where we need to be. We just gotta follow behind him, protect him and get this thing moving." Henry said. We expect big things out of myself, Moulds and Drew. We gotta make it happen. We gotta be the spark for our offense."'

Marker Anchorage Backers Get Up For Every Game [5:51 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"There were only three of us in the beginning," McComb said. "We had a television and a speaker box on a table … but from word of mouth it's gotten quite big."'

Marker Flashback: Jerry Butler has Record Day [3:46 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Sept. 23, 1979: In his first three games, Bills rookie receiver Jerry Butler, hampered by a shoulder separation, had 11 catches for 162 yards and no touchdowns. However, during the fourth game of the year, at home against the division rival Jets, he nearly doubled his season total of receptions. And only two weeks after halfback Roland Hooks had found the endzone four times against Cincinnati, Butler did the same against New York, as Buffalo beat the Jets, 46-31.'

Marker “New Attitude” Bills Risky! [12:55 PM]
PatriotsInsider.com reports: 'Can this team led by incompetent GM Donahoe, rookie head coach Mike Mularkey, and now “Iron Legs” Bledsoe possibly be digging themselves a deeper hole? I ask the question in all sincerity. Is it possible? I am not sure that it is.'

Marker Fired-up Drew draws the line [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The question is: Can Bledsoe and his teammates do the right things on the field and channel their conviction into a victory?'

Marker Bledsoe refuses to buckle to critics [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I haven't even thought about that route yet," Mularkey said of using Matthews. "I think our best chance to win right now is Drew Bledsoe. He has to be surrounded by a bunch of guys who are playing at a high level, too, to help him out. It's not him alone. That would be the easy way out, to make (a switch), but that's not the way we would go."'

Marker Patriots could feast on Bills [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Optimistic note for Bills fans: Buffalo is 10-5 coming off bye weeks. Pessimistic note: New England's Bill Belichick and his brilliant staff also will have an extra week to prepare.'

Marker Inside slant [5:00 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"Our guys know that, players on the team know that, the coaches know that and that's just simply the way it is. If there was a situation where Mike (Mularkey) felt we'd be (more) effective with somebody else, he would make that change, but that's not the case."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:59 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Everybody heals differently and the Bills are putting no timetable on Milloy. But the St. Louis Rams said CB Travis Fisher, who has the same injury, would miss 10-12 weeks. If that proves to be the case with Milloy, he won't return until after Halloween, or about seven games total.'

Marker Notes, quotes [4:58 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Two costly holding penalties that wiped out big returns in the kicking game won't turn Buffalo's coverage men gun shy, linebacker Mario Haggan said. Haggan was whistled for holding in the Raiders game to wipe out a 63-yard punt return by Nate Clements. Earlier, Angelo Crowell was flagged for holding to nullify an 88-yard kickoff return by Terrence McGee. "Personally, I think it was a bad call but I'm not going to blame the referees," Haggan said. "I've got to live with it and keep playing hard. They will not take away the integrity and the toughness we have on special teams. If we're going to be physical and beat teams up on special teams, we're just going to have to play through those types of calls."

September 22, 2004

Marker No Down Time [8:48 PM]
RNews.com reports: '“Any time you start 0-2 or 0-3 or whatever you start, I think you have to come out and work a little bit harder to see where you got to do to get better,” wide receiver Eric Moulds explained. “We haven't scored many points the first couple of games and work is what we need and so that's what we got to do.”'

Marker Defiant Bledsoe answers his critics [5:23 PM]
AP reports: '''I'm the quarterback here. And I'm going to be the quarterback here,'' Bledsoe said after practice Wednesday. ''The players on the team know that. The coaches know that. And that's just simply the way it is.'''

Marker Turnover math adds up to wins and losses in NFL [1:17 PM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Levy used to post plus-minus trends on the locker room walls in Buffalo. One of his favorites was when teams had a plus-two edge in turnovers in a game, they won about 90 percent of the time. This season, teams with a plus-2 edge in games are 15-2, or 88.2 percent. "If you play well, you win the turnover battle," Levy said. "We'd stress that. But we didn't want to get them too uptight about it, either. You don't want them to be too careful or conservative. They have to be able to execute. So you don't talk too much about them, either."'

Marker Mularkey spots a silver lining [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We've definitely squandered some opportunities," Mularkey said. "I explained to them that, offensively, it's the inconsistency. We have moved the ball. We do have good drives and then all of a sudden we get down to the red zone. . . . Do we need to score more points? No question about it. But at least we're getting down in the area to put ourselves in that position."'

Marker Drew may need to step aside [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bledsoe is the kind of player that even sportswriters root for, and, believe me, that's saying a lot given the depth of cynicism in my profession. Sadly, being a good guy doesn't put any points on the scoreboard.'

Marker Old teammate is a backer [5:05 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Johnson doesn't buy into the thinking that this might be Bledsoe's last hurrah. "No way," Johnson said. "Drew has a lot of pride. He's an amazing competitor, a great leader, a prideful person, and his legacy means a lot to him. He wants to be remembered as a premier quarterback in this league. None of us, especially Drew, wants to leave on a down note. If his body lets him play, there's no doubt he has a lot left."'

Marker Wacky return: Furman vs. Pitt [5:04 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Sam "Wicky Wacky" Wyche is comin' to tahn.'

Marker Mularkey Now Realizes Henry Did Score In Oakland [5:03 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The first order of business should be to fire who ever is in the booth in charge of telling Mularkey when to challenge a call. Mularkey said his coaches told him they didn't get a good enough view if Travis Henry got in on fourth and goal. I have a VCR in my house. This team has a lot of money. Why can't they invest in one.'

Marker Hey, J.P., how's the leg? [5:02 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'As I see it, you can sure put a lot of the blame for the Bills putrid offensive start on #11, but not all of it. Not by a longshot.'

September 21, 2004

Marker Some Bills fans starting to worry, want answers [9:29 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Over the last 16 games, the Bills have one of the worst records in football. Their offense is more lackluster than it was in the dark days of the mid-1980s.'

Marker Painful to Watch [9:28 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'The good news is that they have two weeks to try to figure out what is going wrong. The bad news is the Patriots have two weeks to come up with a defensive game plan. Will it really take that long?'

Marker Another Agonizing Loss For The Bills [1:24 PM]
Erie Times News reports: 'Well, I’m a sucker for punishment, so let’s go through another epic masterpiece from those football artists known as the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Game Notes: Bills vs. Raiders [12:53 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Bills Defense: Currently ranked 6th in the NFL (5th rush, 7th pass), 4th in the AFC (1st rush, 4th pass)…has allowed only 156 yards rushing in the first two games combined and has not allowed more than 200 yards net passing in either game.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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