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Buffalo Bills News - September 8, 2001

Marker Johnson looks to keep head [3:25 PM]
Mobile Register reports: '"We might go through some growing pains, but [our offensive linemen] are battlers," said Johnson. "They will fight you to the last play. They are young, but they have a lot of talent.'

Marker Haslett does about face with Saints [3:18 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"Tom [Donahoe] and I have a good relationship ... we talk a lot of football and a lot about personnel. I have nothing but respect for him. You're not going to get a better man. I know he's going to do a great job up there and I know he's going to turn that thing around and get it the way it's supposed to be."'

Marker Former Bills WR Andre Reed announces retirement [3:10 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Reed established himself as one of the NFL's dominant receivers with the Bills, setting four franchise records including most receiving touchdowns (86) and most receptions in a game -- 15 against Green Bay in 1994. He finished with 13,095 receiving yards with Buffalo.'

Marker Fiery Haslett gives Saints new attitude [10:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I always knew Jim was cut out to be a coach," said Fred Smerlas, Haslett's former running mate with the Bills. "Jim has one of the big intangibles you need to be a great head coach: He's not afraid to cut anyone's throat and leave 'em for dead."'

Marker Call on Christie to go down to wire [10:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Here's a theoretical Plan C the Bills could face. If Christie can't kick this week and the Bills don't want to cut a positional player they could decide to cut Christie and agree to re-sign him next week after the Saints game. Any other team could claim Christie if he got cut. However, being a vested veteran, Christie does not have to go to a team that claims him. He would have his choice to sign anywhere.'

Marker Bills' defense poses stiff test for Brooks, Saints [7:06 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'In order to prepare for the Bills, McCarthy had his offense watch 10 Tennessee game tapes from last season. The Bills apparently showed little of their "46" defense during the preseason, forcing the Saints, in McCarthy's words, "to chase a bunch of ghosts" while preparing a game plan.'

Marker Howard to test Buffalo rookie [7:04 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'Buffalo coach Gregg Williams says Jennings will hold his own. Williams compares him to defensive end Jevon Kearse, whom Williams coached as defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. "He does some things down the field, some second-effort things that are like Jevon," Williams said of Jennings. "He has a lot of ability, and he has been grasping things quickly and playing at a high level. I really think he'll be a rising star in this league."'

Marker New-look Bills short on experience [6:32 AM]
Toronto Star reports: '"You guys can use whatever expression you want to use. All we know is that we want to win football games and I'm pretty damn sure the coaches are planning to win football games," Fina spat. "They don't give a s--- if you say rebuilding or not, we're going out there to win a f------ game and that's all there is to it."'

Marker Johnson aims to win over Flutie faithful [6:31 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Johnson is fully aware of the "fragile" tag he's been labeled with and the legion of Flutie fans who were upset when the new Bills management opted for the former USC star over the ex-CFL great, but said he's confident he can prove his detractors wrong.'

Marker Reed will retire with the Bills [5:39 AM]
D and C reports: 'The frown Andre Reed left Buffalo with 19 months ago very likely will be replaced with a smile today when the former Bills great announces his retirement from the NFL as a member of the Bills.'

Marker It looks like we're in for a loooong season [5:38 AM]
D and C reports: 'That a whopping 11 of 12 draft picks this year made the roster, not because they are all good players, but because they earn the least money.'

Marker Haslett grows as Saints coach [5:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'Donahoe and Haslett talk several times a week. But they haven't conversed this week. "This week," Donahoe joked, "I hate him."'

Marker Faithful long for QB's magic [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'DiMaria said fans who signed up for the trip have expressed as much dislike for Johnson as love for their man Flutie. "One little old lady came in here and said, 'Rob Johnson is a China doll! He's a China doll!' " said DiMaria, who will escort the group along with her brother, R.J.'

Marker Saints salivating for shot at Buffalo steak [5:34 AM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: 'Bills fans and media are talking about the over/under on how many weeks/quarters/minutes it will take for oft-injured quarterback Rob Johnson to limp out of a game.'

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September 7, 2001

Marker Reed expected to retire with Bills [7:08 PM]
AP reports: 'Andre Reed, Buffalo's leading career receiver and a key member of the four Bills teams that went to four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s, has called a news conference for Saturday where he is expected to announce his retirement. The news conference is scheduled for noon at the Bills' headquarters in Orchard Park.'

Marker Bills Christie still questionable for season opener [6:16 PM]
AP reports: 'The team must decide by 4 p.m. whether to activate newly acquired kicker Jake Arians from the practice squad to replace Christie.'

Marker Shouldering the load [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'How good is Sam Cowart? Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams thinks the Pro Bowl linebacker is so good he could line up just about anywhere on the field and still be a star. "A football player is a football player. Make no mistake about that," Williams said. "And guys with his ability, we can put his hand down as a rush nickel end and he'll do well there. You can play him at strong safety. Unless you have somebody with blazing speed, he'd line up and do that. That's the measure of what a really, really good player's about."'

Marker Groin injury makes Christie 'questionable' [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Gregg Williams Show, presented by Galyans, will premiere at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Ch. 29. The 30-minute show is hosted by long-time Bills long-snapper Adam Lingner. Traci Buch, of WOKR, will host a player segment and Larry Centers will give a view from the backfield each week.'

Marker Bills, Sheriff's Dept. map alternate routes to game [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'To avoid congestion, drivers can stay on the Thruway, pass the Lackawanna toll barrier and take the Milestrip Road exit and approach via McKinley Parkway and Big Tree Road (Route 20A). Or they can continue south on Route 219 to the Big Tree Road (Route 20A) exit, turn right on California Road and left on Route 20 to reach the Drive 5 parking lot. Further south on Route 219, the exit at Armor-Duells Road will provide drivers with an approach to the stadium from the south, which is usually a quick way in.'

Marker Buffalo bonds [8:55 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: '"I'm always going to be a Buffalo fan, except for when we play them," said Haslett, who played for the Bills from 1979 to 1985. "I lived up there for a long time. I've got a lot of fans and friends up there, a lot of players that I played with still living up there."'

Marker AFC East preview [8:54 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'Now it's Johnson's team, and he'll have to remain healthy for the Bills to be solid.'

Marker Chargers DE Wiley has stress fracture [8:30 AM]
San Diego Union-Tribune reports: Marcellus was hurt in practice Wednesday and the stress fracture was diagnosed during tests Thursday. Wiley was scheduled for surgery for Thursday afternoon to have a screw inserted in his foot. He will be out 3-to-4 weeks.

Marker Christie hurting, backup signed [5:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'Arians, 24, was with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted rookie free agent in their 2000 training camp and spent all of last season on their practice squad.'

Marker Hansen leads Bills' defense [5:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'Actually he's bordering on ancient by Buffalo Bills terms. Hansen is the only holdover from the Bills four Super Bowl teams of the early 1990s and no one on the roster has been with the club longer.'

Marker Bills get an extra day to avoid the blackout [5:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'As of last night, the Buffalo Bills were approximately 500 tickets short of a sellout for Sunday's season-opener against the New Orleans Saints at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Bills open season against Saints [12:07 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills officially kick off their 42nd season of professional football in Western New York by hosting last year's NFC West Champions, the New Orleans Saints. Last year, former Bills linebacker Jim Haslett assumed the head coaching position for the Saints, and guided his squad to a 10-6 mark and their first playoff victory in franchise history.'

Marker Christie listed as questionable for Sunday [12:05 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Bills kicker Steve Christie strained a groin muscle during warm-ups on Wednesday, so the Bills list him as questionable for Sunday's game against New Orleans. As a precaution, the Bills signed kicker Jake Arians, who was previously with the Falcons, to the practice squad.'

September 6, 2001

Marker A gameplan months in the making [11:44 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Williams always has been a stickler for details, and with his NFL regular-season head coaching debut coming Sunday, he has worked on preparation, looks and schemes for the season opener since the team's May passing camp.'

Marker LIFE OF A NFL QUARTERBACK [11:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'This week's 5th Down takes a look at how one player made a quick
transition to life in Buffalo, and the ups-and-downs of professional
sports.'

Marker Desktop Wallpaper [11:42 PM]
TBD reports: Our longtime artist, Gina Mustico, has moved on up to producing designs for buffalobills.com! While we are sad that her designs are no longer TBD specific, we are proud as can be that her artwork is posted at the official site. With better photos and logos to work with, Gina's designs this month are better than ever. So, download your September desktop wallpaper today!

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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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