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Buffalo Bills News - October 30, 2001

Marker Colts' Rhodes ready to run [7:14 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The Edgerrin James Watch began in earnest on Monday as the Indianapolis Colts returned to work after a three-day weekend. Will he or won't he? Will the NFL's two-time rushing champion be available for Sunday afternoon's game against AFC East rival Buffalo or will a sprained left knee force him to miss his first game as a pro?'

Marker Tagliabue, Jim Kelly, Jim McMahon Are Eligible for Hall of Fame [5:29 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Also eligible is Bills owner Ralph Wilson and former linebacker Darryl Talley.'

Marker Johnson displays his grit, talent [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'The hope here is that Bills fans -- and that includes all you card-carrying members of the Doug Flutie cult -- finally started to give Rob Johnson his due.'

Marker Time change [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'The NFL approved the Buffalo Bills' request to change the time for Sunday's home game against Indianapolis to 1 p.m.'

Marker Flutie-Johnson grudge match a draw [5:27 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Johnson would hate this comparison, but the laid-back 28-year-old actually played like Flutie, 39, albeit without the magic. When plays fell apart, Johnson took off running for first-down yardage. Where have you seen that before? He led his team to two impressive length-of-the-field drives in the final five minutes of the game. Sound familiar?'

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October 29, 2001

Marker All right, I've slept on it [9:57 PM]
TBD reports: 'Johnson twice was hit in ways that would have knocked a lesser quarterback out of the game. He hopped on one leg to the locker room, got taped up and shot up, and ten minutes later ran back onto the field. Shades of Kelly and his broken collarbone in the Pittsburgh playoff game. He got hit well out of bounds, slammed his head on the turf, and got up wondering what day it was. Yet he finished the TD drive and led the final drive.'

Marker Johnson gains respect in Bills loss [7:56 PM]
AP reports: 'Rarely does a loss provide a rallying point. But it's enough for a rebuilding Bills team (1-5) that's trying to find its identity after getting off to its worst start in 15 years.'

NOTE: The NFL approved the Bills' request to change the time for this Sunday's home game against Indianapolis to 1 p.m. It was originally scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

Marker Mike Riley post-game quotes [5:25 PM] reports: "We got after him early, but he didn't let that ruin his day. He came out and played tough and made a lot of good throws. Because of him and the receivers they've got, it came down to a shootout. After they got back in it, it was hard for both sides I think."

Marker Marcellus Wiley post-game quotes [5:24 PM] reports: "We're happy with our situation and I hope they are. His (Johnson's) last two weeks have been impressive. He started slow. He's a great talent. He's an unreal talent. All he needed was experience and a little bitterness to get out of his life. Right now he can't be bitter at anything."

Marker Quite a weekend that falls just short [5:23 PM] reports: Johnson had better statistics than Flutie, but threw the interception that could have ended Buffalo's afternoon and seemingly would deflate the Bills. However, Johnson's resolve and play showed why the Bills wanted to make him the starter, and he came back to throw a 61-yard strike to Peerless Price to bring Buffalo right back in it.

Marker NFL switches Bills-Colts game to 1 p.m. start [4:04 PM]
AP reports: 'The game was originally set for 4:15 p.m. The Bills believe the earlier time is better suited for their out-of-town fans to travel to the game.'

Marker Tagliabue, Kelly among nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame [4:01 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Kelly, fellow quarterbacks Bernie Kosar and Jim McMahon, tight end Keith Jackson, offensive linemen Ray Donaldson and Guy McIntyre, defensive linemen Ray Childress and Sean Jones, linebackers Darryl Talley and Clay Matthews and kicker Nick Lowery are former players eligible for the first time.'

Marker Kickoff times changed for three NFL games [3:05 PM] reports: The kickoff times for three November NFL games have been changed, the league announced. The changes are to accommodate CBS and FOX broadcast patterns.

11/04 Cleveland at Chicago 4:15 -> 1:00 CBS
11/04 Indianapolis at Buffalo 1:00 -> 4:15 CBS
11/18 Chicago at Tampa Bay 4:15 -> 1:00 FOX

Marker Bills' Johnson could be Texans' QB in 2002 [2:06 PM]
The Sporting News reports: Take Pompei's comments for what they are worth.....Of course, Jake Plummer, Drew Bledsoe, Akili Smith or Charlie Batch also could be starting for the Texans next season. Johnson, if exposed by the Bills, would be enticing because Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer had success with him as coordinator in Jacksonville and always has held him in high regard...

Marker Flutie shows knack for last minute win [2:01 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"As tough as it is to lose a ballgame like this at the end," Williams said, "I thought our guys grew up today. But we're still our own worst opponent."'

Marker It's a Bills deja vu all over again as victory slips away [1:45 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Johnson had to work for every point and almost every yard the Bills got. With Buffalo's running game stuck in neutral and its offensive line alternately missing blocks and getting caught holding, he had to overcome obstacles emanating from both huddles. Flutie got a huge break late in the third quarter, when he was ruled down at the 1-yard line on Bryce Fisher's sack, which clearly put both his knees and the ball in the end zone. Referee Tony Corrente's mysterious decision (how does one possess "forward progress" when tackled while going backward?) kept the Chargers up by three and prevented a huge momentum shift.'

Marker Johnson gets respect [1:43 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"I thought Rob played better than Flutie today," he maintained, adding, "besides the last play that Doug made." Of course, to Flutie fans, that's like saying the Titanic had a marvelous voyage...except for the iceberg.'

Marker San Diego beats Bills 27-24 [10:25 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: At worst, Rob Johnson battled Doug Flutie to a draw in Sunday's quarterback derby at Qualcomm Stadium. Unfortunately for Johnson and the rest of the Buffalo Bills, most of the rest of the key plays in San Diego's 27-24 win were made by men wearing Chargers uniforms. "This is right up there with the Tennessee game -- it hurts that much," Johnson said. "This game was huge for us. We were playing a lot of our old teammates, with Mr. Butler there and his scouting department -- it's Bills West."

Marker Former Bills QB saves Chargers in fourth-quarter [10:24 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Bills owner Ralph Wilson: If this really was his Super Bowl, at least he's used to losing them.'

Marker Conway the man, at least this week [10:22 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Sunday was Conway's to carry the load. In every department, it was a splendid day for the USC graduate. His team won, while Buffalo's Rob Johnson ---- his quarterback for two years with the Trojans ---- had a remarkable individual performance in defeat. "Rob's a friend of mine," Conway said. "He did a great job. I'm happy for him."'

Marker Chargers' Wiley feeling like prom king [10:21 AM]
North County Times reports: '"But it was just special to see those guys. To see your friends, your homeboys ---- people you used to be with for four years now, and then you get a chance to go against them. It was really great."'

Marker Bills' Johnson gives gutsy effort, but it's not enough [10:20 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Whatever perceptions lingered about Johnson ---- a laid-back Southern California boy ---- as too soft and injury-prone for the NFL should have been left on the Qualcomm Stadium turf Sunday, right next to the quarterback's sweat and blood.'

Marker QBs make both teams look good [10:13 AM]
North County Times reports: 'While Buffalo and the Chargers played a corker of a football game here Sunday, nothing was decided between the two quarterbacks. If anything, it reinforced the decisions that each club made prior to the season. Buffalo was correct in keeping Rob Johnson. The Chargers are ecstatic that Doug Flutie is running the show here.'

Marker Seau won't shuffle off against Buffalo [10:12 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Seau was on his game, collecting seven tackles, a sack and a pass defensed. He did much of it limping around like a guy with a rock in his shoe.'

Marker Flutie finds a way to beat Bills [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Shaking off a foot injury and the effects of some vicious tackles, Johnson led Buffalo from a 10-point deficit to a 24-20 lead with 1:30 to play. Poor special teams play, a foolish penalty, Flutie and a blocked field goal ruined his big day.'

Marker Bills' pain is super-sized [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It turns out Ralph Wilson called it last spring. Sunday's Buffalo Bills-San Diego Chargers game WAS like a Super Bowl. In fact, it was better than most Super Bowls. And it ended just like a Super Bowl for the Bills: It was a heartbreaker.'

Marker Special teams beat again [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'First, it was Home Run Throwback. Now this. Oh, those Buffalo Bills' special teams.'

Marker Johnson's valiant effort was not in vain [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's very disheartening," Johnson said. "Our guys battled. It seems ever since I've been here, the Bills really battle. Everyone fights. Nobody gives up. We didn't start off too well, but then we stepped it up. We pretty much dominated the rest of the game and unfortunately we didn't win. "If we play that way every game, you have to think we'll win a lot of games," he said. "And I think we will. We're coming together as a team."'

Marker Wilson, Butler take same side of this story [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ralph Wilson and John Butler may not have much to say to each other, but they agreed on one thing Sunday - Sunday's contest between the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers was one for the ages.'

Marker Monday Billboard [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Player of the Game: Rob Johnson and Flutie. After all the buildup, it's only fitting that the two bitter rivals share it.'

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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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