LB Johnson shows his stuff again [5:17 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It was less than two months ago that it looked like Ted Johnson was finished as a viable member of the Patriots. Now he could be one of the players instrumental in turning around the team's fortunes.'
Right time, place for Bledsoe [5:16 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'He's been good -- even great -- before. But never was he this good for this long. Why? "Because he's gotten off his (butt) and probably gotten himself in a little better shape," theorized Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated. "Guys like him. They don't think he's a chicken (expletive). I don't think there's a secret formula. He decided he's at a crossroads. He could either let it go down the dumper or make something of the situation."'
Arm injury has Otis Smith at 50-50 [5:15 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Otis Smith, who has handled that job for the Patriots for the last three years, continues to have problems with an arm injury, coach Bill Belichick said yesterday. Smith is listed as questionable on the injury report, meaning he has a 50 percent chance of playing Sunday in Buffalo. Belichick indicated Smith would have problems trying to play in his current condition.'
A Score To Settle [5:14 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"It's totally different," Moulds said. "He gives you the freedom to say what you feel, but when it's time for him to talk and call the play, it's totally quiet [in the huddle]. Back in the day, last year, everyone was arguing and fussing. Give me an opportunity to make a play for you, and it's fun."'
Price, Moulds best receiving combo in football [5:13 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The Patriots are going to have a hard time slowing down these two even if Smith plays, but it'll be no picnic if Antwan Harris, Ben Kelly or Terrell Buckley has to start in his place.'
Patriots better not forget about Henry [5:12 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I played against Travis in college and he was a good back in college and he's even better now," said defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who graduated from Georgia two years ago. "He adds another dimension to their offense, he's a quick slashing runner. They don't run him that much, but when he runs they're effective."'
Emotions will be key [5:11 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: '"For me, it's even more important to manage my emotions going into a game like this because I'm not a linebacker," Bledsoe said. "I don't get to run over people and take out my aggression that way. So I'll do everything I can, everything in my power, to be calm and cool and just have fun with it."'
Smith to play large role [5:10 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Although they have played better of late, Buffalo ranks in the lower half of the league in most defensive categories. Controlling the ball with the help of some effective work by Smith could help the Patriots keep the Bills' potent offense on the sideline.'
Revenge always sweet for QBs [5:09 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'There is not a more jacked-up, emotion-driven place to be this week.'
Bledsoe regains his air of excellence [5:08 AM]
Baltimore Sun reports: 'Not only has Bledsoe had a Most Valuable Player-type season on the field, but he also has become more of a vocal leader in the locker room.'
Bledsoe more than filling the bill [5:07 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'In Belichick's defense, there weren't a lot of teams interested in Bledsoe. Which tells you all you need to know about the incompetence that's running rampant in a lot of NFL front offices. The Cowboys preferred Quincy Carter to Bledsoe. The Bengals preferred Jon Kitna and Gus Frerotte. The Seahawks preferred Trent Dilfer.'
Feud heats AFC East [5:06 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Hey, at least we have some honest emotion here, not some phony, "Oh, everything's OK."'
Ex-Utes Coach Is Catching On to NFL Game [5:05 AM]
Salt Lake City Tribune reports: 'In 19 years of coaching University of Utah receivers, Fred Graves worked with some outstanding players and strong personalities: Kevin Dyson, Steve Smith, Bryan Rowley, Cliff Russell and others. None of them quite prepared him for Eric Moulds and Peerless Price.'
Former pro football player comes home with new heart and a miraculous story [5:04 AM]
AP reports: 'The 60-year-old former player for the NFL's Buffalo Bills received a transplant at New York Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 11, 2001, the day terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center.'
Reeling Patriots face Bledsoe, Bills [5:03 AM]
USA Today reports: '"It's like competing against your brother," Bledsoe says. "When you're playing against somebody that you've gone to war with, that you've battled with over the years, you're going to want to win. ... A lot of those guys are still my friends. If we lose the game, I'm going to hear about it all year. That's the big motivator."'
Bledsoe, fans know sports [5:02 AM]
Daily Illini reports: 'Bledsoe realized the situation and rolled with the punches. The fans did their part, too. When Bledsoe left, there wasn't a mass outcry of "don't let the door hit you on the way out." As much as they loved and admired Brady, they hated to see Bledsoe go.'
4:48 - The Moment The Bledsoe Era Ended [5:01 AM]
PatsFans.com reports: "The Bledsoe era ended suddenly that night in New England, and only time will tell if he'll join the list of Boston athletes who later came back to haunt their football team."
Bills aren't overlooking Brady's abilities [9:17 PM]
AP reports: '``He's still got MVP behind his name,'' Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said Thursday. ``And to me that says a lot.'''
Looking for some payback [2:27 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'But his production began to slip. Then so did his playing time. Pretty soon his mail was being forwarded to a new NFL address. And guess what? Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his game, beat his old team and lived happily ever after. For at least one season anyway. The Drew Bledsoe Story, 2002? Maybe. But also the Antowain Smith Saga, 2001.'
Bledsoe on their minds [2:26 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘I really believe, and this is my own personal opinion, that a lot of people were waiting for a bargain sale maybe later on, all the way up to training camp,'' Bills coach Gregg Williams said. ‘‘We had a contingency plan that we were not going to let things die, and I think Tom Donahoe (Buffalo's president and general manager) did a great job of (sticking with it)."'
Not just another game for Bledsoe [1:54 PM]
ESPN reports: '"I think the biggest thing he's going to have to contend with is his emotions," said Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "Just keeping them in check."'
Bledsoe paying Bills [1:53 PM]
Lowell Sun reports: 'Yes, Bledsoe had to go. Whether he had to go to the Bills, an AFC East rival that the Patriots must face twice a year, is another matter entirely. But at the time of the trade, Belichick was a genius, and it was assumed that he believed Bledsoe washed-up and easy to defend.'
Patriots meet their old quarterback [1:51 PM]
AP reports: 'Consider this the opposite of the theory about teams with winning streaks. A team that isn't bad enough to lose five straight won't. PATRIOTS, 27-26.
Overlooked Bills defense worthy of concern [1:49 PM]
Patriots.com reports: '“They're a little unique,” Belichick said of Buffalo's makeshift 46 defense reminiscent of Buddy Ryan's old Chicago Bears scheme. “They kind of use two systems in one and they complement each other well. Up front they play an over defense with all three defensive linemen on the tight end side of the formation, plus a linebacker outside of the tight end on the line of scrimmage."'
Bills vs. Patriots Game Officially Sold Out [1:32 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills-Patriots game this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium is sold out and will be televised locally. Including this Sunday’s contest with New England, all five home games so far in 2002 have been soldout in time to meet the blackout deadline.
Moorman Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month [10:06 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Bills punter Brian Moorman has been selected as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October.
Future is now for Bills [9:46 AM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: '“Playing against the Bills teams over the years, I knew coming in here this team was close,” Bledsoe said. “There were just a few pieces (needed) here or there. . . . There was some talent here, and I also came in with the confidence we could turn it around very quickly.”'
Master craftsmen [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The biggest thing that he does with his defenses is he changes up week to week," Bledsoe said. "One week you see one thing, the next week you see something totally different. And he'll do two completely different things against the same team in the same year. So one game he'll approach it one way and the other game he'll approach it another way."'
Bledsoe vs. Mr. Bill [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'How Drew Bledsoe fared against defenses (or teams) coached by Bill Belichick...'.
Brady's blues have familiar refrain [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If there's one thing Bledsoe understands after a decade in the NFL, it's how quickly fortunes turn in this game.'
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