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Buffalo Bills News - November 30, 2001

Marker Bills will find 49ers balance overwhelming [1:21 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Even when the San Francisco 49ers were struggling to escape the salary-cap jail in which the Buffalo Bills landed last spring, their offense could cause problems for anybody. But San Francisco is 8-2 and on top of the NFC West two years after crashing to 4-12 in 1999 because the 49ers defense is finally catching up. That can only be bad news for the hapless Buffalo Bills, who head into Sunday night's nationally televised game still reeling from their collapse last week against Miami. None of San Francisco's first seven wins were by more than a 10-point margin, with five coming by six or less -- three in overtime. But last week, playing on the road, the 49ers harassed Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning into throwing four interceptions. San Francisco's 40-21 win sent Colts coach Jim Mora into one of his post-game tirades and likely ended Indy's realistic playoff hopes. Buffalo, of course, said goodbye to such hopes well before Halloween. While plenty of numbers hint at reasons for the Bills' 1-9 record, the most significant is minus-12. That's Buffalo's giveaway/takeaway ratio, and it ties the Bills with Indy, Miami and Minnesota at the bottom of the National Football League.'

Marker Donahoe upbeat as Bills struggle [1:16 PM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: '"This is a very good situation and will be a great one when we get the team going," Donahoe said. "We have a tremendous owner who's willing to go out and pay for players. We have a great situation with our stadium and facilities. Now, all we have to do is start winning. And we will."'

Marker 49ers have a long-running memory of former coach [10:39 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'The presence of longtime offensive line coach Bobb McKittrick is felt around the 49ers' practice facility every day. He coached in San Francisco for 21 years before he died in spring 2000 of bile duct cancer. The team kept his locker intact under a glass encasing inside the coaches' locker room. Every year, the top offensive lineman earns an award named in his honor. The 49ers even have two running plays named after him.'

Marker Garcia named NFC's Player of the Month [10:38 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Garcia threw for 12 touchdowns in November and led the 49ers to a 4-0 record, including two fourth-quarter comebacks. He did it all while wearing a brace on his left knee following a knee sprain in Chicago on Oct. 28.'

Marker 49ers' DeHaven not bitter in facing his former team [9:49 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: '"There are some people in the organization I'm looking forward to seeing," said DeHaven, a Livermore resident. "I can honestly say there's not one person in that entire organization I hold any ill will to at all."'

Marker Garcia collects award despite playing in pain [9:48 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Garcia completed 95 of 145 passes -- a 65.5 percentage -- for 1,032 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions this month while leading the 49ers to a 4-0 record, including two fourth-quarter comeback wins. Not bad for a guy who's been battling elbow pain all season and wrenched his knee Oct. 28 in Chicago.'

Marker Johnson in limbo [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Yeah, if they want me here, I want to be here. If they don't, I don't want to be here. I want to be where I'm wanted.'

Marker Offensive line finally gets it together [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills would have John Fina at left tackle, Ruben Brown at left guard, Bill Conaty at center and Jerry Ostroski at right guard. They played three plays together in the preseason before Ostroski broke his leg.'

Marker Jay Mohr on Bills at 49ers [8:42 AM]
Fox Sports reports: So what if Jeff Garcia takes his dog to a spa. This guy is an absolute killer. Rookie running back Kevan Barlow is listed as questionable. The best case would be to list him as OUT and do as the Skins. Simplify. Center the offense around Garrison Hearst. Terrell Owens will always be open. 49ERS

Marker After a wait, Graham gets his shot [8:04 AM] reports: Graham came close to grabbing the Seahawks kicking job this past summer, but Lindell's incumbency was more attractive for Seattle than taking the chance on an unproven quantity.
Despite playing in his first NFL game Sunday, he knows this will be an opportunity for him to build a career and get a chance at something he's worked for for two years.

Marker Meet Gregg Williams at Galyan's [8:01 AM]
TBD reports: Bills head coach Gregg Williams will be at the Galyan's Sport and Outdoor Adventure store at Walden Galleria Mall this Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. Be sure to stop by the store's mall entrance to see the coach!

Marker Bills look for win in SF [7:59 AM] reports: The Buffalo Bills head to a prime time showdown on the West Coast for a Sunday night game with the San Francisco 49ers at 3Com Park, with the Bills having a good experience the last time they were featured on ESPN.

Buffalo's passing attack has been performing well in two games since Rob Johnson left the Nov. 11th game against New England with a broken collarbone, as Van Pelt has thrown for 625 yards and 5 touchdowns, and also sports a 106.5 rating as the team's starter.

Marker Buffalo Bills and Waters of New York Donate Van for Red Cross [7:55 AM] reports: Despite the downpour of rain Mother Nature had in store for Western New York, the celebration continued as the Buffalo Bills and Waters of New York announced their contribution to the American Red Cross. A new, 15-passenger van to be used for a recently developed program called the LIFE project was unveiled Tuesday afternoon during a press-conference at the Concerned Ecumenical Ministry on Lafayette Avenue in Buffalo.

Marker Former Bills coach Ronnie Jones finds work as HC of Buffaloes [7:33 AM]
Fox Sports reports: Former Buffalo Bills special teams coach Ronnie Jones has been hired as head coach at West Texas A&M University. Jones replaces Stan McGarvey at the Division II school. The Buffaloes went 2-9 this year, and McGarvey was reassigned.

Marker Broken collarbone likely ends Johnson's season [7:30 AM]
ESPN reports: Despite his Thursday assessment on a local radio station that his season is over, Buffalo Bills physicians still want to re-examine the fractured collarbone of Johnson, and then will make a determination on his availability for the balance of this year.

GM Donahoe acknowledged it is possible Johnson will not play again in 2001, but told on Thursday night that such a determination is premature. He suggested that Johnson, who said the injury is healing slowly, might have spoken in part out of frustration.

Marker Rookie Sutherland making an impact [7:18 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Sutherland's gaffe, taking a couple of steps after hesitatingly calling for a fair catch, cost the 49ers a penalty. He more than made up for that last Sunday in Indianapolis, when his 134 yards on four kickoff returns (plus 14 more on a punt return) gave the team advantageous field position in its 40-21 victory over the Colts.'

Marker Garcia named player of month [7:18 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'A metal plate above the locker of each 49er mentions the NFL honors they have garnered. Jeff Garcia's has inscriptions for his Pro Bowl selection and for being named the league's Most Improved Player last year.'

Marker 'Miracle' man faces Bills for 1st time [7:17 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: '"The most wonderful years of my life were in Buffalo," he [Bruce DeHaven] said. "I had two of the greatest special-teams players in the history if the league in Steve Tasker and Mark Pike. We went to four Super Bowls and won 100 games in the '90s. . . . I have no complaints at all."'

Marker Losing starting job eats at Flowers [5:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'Flowers claims he is too light to effectively play defensive end in the NFL, and until he can gain weight and keep it on, his struggles figure to continue.'

Marker Rob probably done for season [5:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'Johnson played eight games, completing 62 percent of his throws. He said he'd like to return to the Bills next year but nothing has been determined. His cap number for 2002 is $11.25 million.'

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November 29, 2001

Marker Johnson: Future with Bills in question [10:04 PM]
AP reports: '"If the Bills want me back, I'd love to be here, but who knows what they'll want?" Johnson said. "I have a lot of free time, and I think about it all the time. And you never know what's going to happen."'

Marker Anticipated Coaching Changes [8:19 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Mike Shepherd is probably going to be replaced as Buffalo's OC after this year. It will be interesting to see if GM Tom Donahoe, who in the past has been a Kevin Gilbride fan, brings Gilbride in as the OC there.

Marker Bills usually ready for prime time [3:42 PM] reports: 'Lately, the Bills have done very well on Sunday nights, going 10-4 on the late Sunday games since the series started in 1990 on TNT, and winning their last four, with their last loss coming five years ago. Buffalo has also managed that solid record despite the fact that only five of those games were played in Orchard Park, with the Bills holding a respectable 5-4 mark on Sunday night road games.'

Marker Highlights of this week's game notes [3:42 PM] reports: WR Eric Moulds is coming off his best game of the season and one of his finest as a pro. Against Miami's third-ranked pass defense, Moulds caught six passes for a career-high tying 196 yards and two TDs. The scores came on an 80-yard catch and run in the first quarter and a one-handed grab for a 54-yard TD in the third. The 196 receiving yards represent the NFL's highest single-game total (regulation) this season and tie for fifth most in team history. The last Bill with more was James Lofton's 220 on 10/21/91 vs. Cincy. The two TDs moved him into sole possession of fifth place on the team's receiving TD list with 27 (Pete Metzelaars, 25).

Marker Buy Your Buffalo Jills Swimsuit Calendar! [3:37 PM]
TBD reports: Support the the First Ladies of Buffalo and your favorite website this holiday season and order a Buffalo Jills Swimsuit calendar for yourself and everyone on your shopping list! Free shipping!

Marker Problem not only Lack of Flowers power [3:31 PM]
WGR reports: Flowers just doesn’t seem to possess the drive that an Aaron Schobel or a Bryce Fisher has. When asked about Flowers lack of attitude Williams tried to defend his player, “You can be one way off the field and be one way on the field. Being physical, that’s part of being a great defensive lineman and a great, dominant defensive line in general as a whole. He’s played physical.”

Marker No 49ers wins are taken for granted [1:34 PM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Sunday night, the 49ers will host a Buffalo Bills team (1-9) that has struggled after unloading a wealth of veteran defensive talent. Sound familiar, San Francisco fans?'

Marker Hearst is Player of the Week [1:33 PM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Hearst's comeback is remarkable. Since spending two years rehabilitating from four ankle surgeries, he has not just returned to the NFL but to elite status.'

Marker Mort Chat [11:49 AM]
ESPN reports: Jeb (Tallahassee): Mort, pleased to meet you. What do you think of Alex Van Pelt? Chris Mortensen: (9:16 PM ET ) I think if Alex Van Pelt decided to get real serious about his conditioning and being a starter in the NFL, he would have a chance. The opportunity obviously is right there in Buffalo. He's got a little Jim Kelly in him, froma leadership standpoint. He's extremely popular in the locker room.'

Marker Christie can't kick about our weather [10:12 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"It's great to have him," defensive end Marcellus Wiley said. "That's 'Clutch' Christie."'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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