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Buffalo Bills News - December 6, 2002

Marker Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 12/06/2002 [8:30 PM] reports: 'Q: What do you think Buffalo did well in the first game that they might want to go back to and do this game? BB: Well, let's just say what they think they did well. They said that they thought they moved the ball well, they just didn't score in the red zone. They said that they thought that they played pretty good defense, they made good on the screen passes. So there are two things right there that I'm sure they feel like they were close on a couple of kickoff returns. Those are some things right there that they said that they thought went pretty well, I guess a couple of things that didn't go well, they overrode them. Move the ball into the redzone, then you are not effective on offense.'

Marker Bledsoe in big game on and off field [8:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I know that I still have a lot of fans out there and a lot of people appreciate what I did while I was there so it will probably be a mixed reaction (during the game). There will probably be some people that cheer for me. (But) during the course of the game I would expect the New England fans to do what they did the whole time I was there... which was to support their team.”'

Marker Under Phillips, Falcons defense is for real [7:44 PM]
ESPN reports: In his first year with Atlanta, former Bills HC & DC Wade Phillips has the Falcons ranked in the league's top 10 in several defensive categories: Sacks (2nd), Interceptions (4th), Giveaway/Takeaway (6th), Forced fumbles (T8th)

Marker 2002 WNY H.S. Football All-Academic Team [3:28 PM] reports: For the 16th consecutive year the top high school football student-athletes in Western New York are being honored by the Buffalo Bills for their participation on the football field and in the classroom. All of the 41 scholar-athletes are seniors who played varsity football and have maintained an academic average of a 90 or above in their studies. The 2002 "All Academic Team" is co-sponsored by the WNY High School Sports newspaper.

Marker Bills To Honor Three H.S. Football Teams Plus "Coach Of The Year" Prior To Dec. 15 Game [3:28 PM] reports: The Bills will honor three high school football championship teams from the region during pregame ceremonies prior to the Bills-San Diego Chargers game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, December 15. This is the eighth straight year that the Bills have honored the Harvard Cup championship team and any teams from the region that play in the NY State Championship games played in Syracuse.

Marker Bills To Honor 11 WNY H.S. "Coach of the Week" Winners & Present the "Coach of th [3:27 PM] reports: ORCHARD PARK - The Buffalo Bills will honor the top 11 high school football coaches in Western New York on Sunday, December 15 when the coveted "Coach of the Year" award is presented during ceremonies at the Bills-San Diego game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Marker Patriots to work magic? [1:18 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'The Pats were so dominant in the first meeting - a 38-7 victory in Orchard Park, N.Y., in November - that they are faced with an interesting quandary. Do they stick with what worked so well back then? Or do they try something new, figuring that the Bills won't get fooled twice by the same game plan? Or maybe the Bills will be expecting them to change, so the Pats could really trick them and do just what they did the last time.'

Marker Hayes still trying to catch on with Patriots [1:17 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Hayes' struggles this season have been well documented. Signed away from Carolina in the offseason, he was supposed to use his 6-foot-4 frame to provide Brady with a big target. Instead, he couldn't dislodge David Patten from the starting lineup and couldn't prevent rookie Deion Branch from assuming the No. 3 position.'

Marker Bledsoe gets to see yard he helped build [10:32 AM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: '“We were a hot topic early and then we went on a little three-game slide that put us behind the eight ball,” Bledsoe said. “The bottom line is, we’ve just got to play better. Even in this last game (38-21 over Miami), we were fortunate to come away with a win. We still made too many mistakes, and made the kind of mistakes that will really hurt us against a team like the Patriots.”'

Marker Wind can play tricks at Gillette Stadium [9:12 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'In old Foxboro Stadium, the wind ran up or down the field most of the time. It was either in a player's face or at his back. "In this (Gillette) stadium, it looks like as the wind increases it has a little bit of a swirling effect," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "It runs part of the way down the field at the open end, at the lighthouse end, but then it seems to quarter more toward from the home bench to the visiting bench.'

Marker Brown is the man for Pats [9:11 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Seattle ranks dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game and rushing yards per attempt, but Buffalo is not too much better than the Seahawks in either category. The Bills rank 31st overall in rushing yards per game and but 27th in yards per attempt. They cannot be feeling all that confident after Miami's Ricky Williams ran for 228 yards last Sunday in Buffalo. The Dolphins lost 38-21 despite the fact that Williams had touchdown runs of 45 and 55 yards.'

Marker With Winfield back, Pats can't cut corners [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Having Antoine out there gives you a lot of flexibility," said Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. "He can play inside or outside. He is excellent in pass coverage and run support. Anytime you have a guy who can play more than one position in this league it's a big plus for a defensive coordinator."'

Marker The stiff-arm makes NFL comeback [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's a real dangerous move to have in your repertoire because when you have a tackler coming onto you the only way you can avoid him getting to your body is by using that," said Bills free safety Pierson Prioleau. "Otherwise he's going to be able to get into your body."'

Marker Price making quite a case for Pro Bowl [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Price is seventh in the AFC in receptions (72), fifth in yards (1,020) and second in receiving touchdowns (nine). His average of 14.2 yards per catch is second only to teammate Eric Moulds' 14.3 among the top 10 receivers in the conference.'

Marker No fondness for forgettable Foxboro [5:42 AM]
D and C reports: 'In 1998 the Bills lost to Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots 25-21 in what will undoubtedly live as one of the most bitter and bizarre defeats in team history.'

Marker Pleasant a Patriots presence [5:41 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Pleasant is an appropriate last name for the Patriots' 6-foot-5-inch, 280-pound defensive end. But when describing him, other words come to mind, including respect, passion, conviction, and wisdom.'

Marker Pioli's latest move pleases Epstein [5:40 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Tedy Bruschi, listed as doubtful on the injury report, didn't practice.'

Marker Faulk has Midas touch [5:39 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Running back Kevin Faulk made the Pats' first big play of the game (a 19-yard reception on third-and-10) and another one that put it out of reach in the third quarter (a 45-yard swing pass for a touchdown that was ultimately ruled a run). In all, he was a key part of the Pats' short passing attack that completely befuddled the Bills.'

Marker Brady plays under gun [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'In 2001, the Pats were 5-2 when Brady passed for less than 200 yards, again including the Super Bowl. In 2002, they're 0-3.'

Marker Face it, Jones may be right man for job [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Many of the Pats know that the key to stopping Drew Bledsoe on Sunday will be getting to running back Travis Henry first.'

Marker Voices for the ages [5:37 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'This is Miller's 36th season calling Bills' fortunes, Santos' 26th with the Pats...'.

Marker Smith knows going 'home' is not easy [5:36 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Besides, Smith knows if he is running the ball well, it means the offensive line is controlling the line of scimmage, which means the Patriots offense will be able to keep the ball out of the hands of Bledsoe and the Bills' explosive offense. Getting the ball to Smith is likely to be a big part of New England's game plan, as it was in Buffalo, when he carried a season-high 29 times.'

Marker Izzo proving he's a special player [5:35 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Patriots had huge success with screen passes against the Bills in the first meeting. But Antowain Smith expects Buffalo to make adjustments. "They know what plays we ran hurt them," said Smith. "We'll just have to study them and see what things might work well against them this week."'

Marker Bledsoe Won't Miss Bruschi [5:34 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Unless the Patriots choose to deploy six or seven defensive backs, a risky strategy that could leave them more vulnerable to the runs of Travis Henry (4.7 yards a carry), a linebacker will have to shadow Centers. And with his teammates facing the pressing problem of keeping Moulds and Price in check, that linebacker won't be getting much help.'

Marker Welcome back Bledsoe [5:33 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'What Belichick did wasn’t ground-breaking. He didn’t exactly invent a defense. In fact, the scheme was similar to what his current defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel used when the two were in Cleveland in the mid-90s. It just caught Bledsoe off guard.'

Marker Last year is over [5:32 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe is one of only two players along with Lawyer Milloy to sign the final steel beam put in place during the construction for Gillette Stadium last year, but Sunday will be his first appearance in the new venue.'

Marker Smith still puts bullseye on Buffalo [5:31 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: '“There is such a thing as getting a little bit too hyped. You don’t want to go out there and try and do too much. You want to play within yourself,” Smith said. “(Drew’s) going to be on an emotional high. He’s going to be geared up to come in here and do what he can to put his team in a position to win.”'

Marker Slain ex-football player involved in shooting in '01 [5:29 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'According to The Buffalo News, Covington survived a drive-by shooting last year in Buffalo, N.Y.'

Marker Police look at whether drugs had played role [5:28 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Authorities say they are investigating whether drugs played a role in the Friday night shooting death of Damien Covington, a star football player at Overbrook High School in Pine Hill whose professional football career was cut short by a knee injury.'

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December 5, 2002

Marker Brady, Bledsoe enjoy importance of game [10:01 PM] reports: '"It's a homecoming and I get to come back and play against my old team, and play in front of my old fans, and it'll be an interesting game," Bledsoe said. "The big deal for us is that we've got to play a lot better than we did last time, that was really a disappointment to us, and a big setback for us to come out and play as poorly as we did in that 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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