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Buffalo Bills News - November 17, 2001

Marker Even weather works against Buffalo as preparations for 2002 begin [5:35 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Technically, Sunday's game between Seattle and Buffalo is the Bills ninth regular season contest of 2001. In reality, it marks the start of the 2002 preseason. Playoff hopes disappeared for all but the most optimistic in late September. The primary goal for the rest of the season -- building a functional offense around Rob Johnson, making a decision possible on whether the quarterback is worthy of the contract restructuring and extension that salary capenomics mandate -- crashed to the turf at Foxboro Stadium last Sunday afternoon.'

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November 16, 2001

Marker Bills sign Unutoa, release Early [1:41 PM] reports: The Bills today announced that the team has signed veteran center/long snapper Mo Unutoa (pronounced oo-nuh-TOE-uh) to the 53-man roster. To make room on the roster, the Bills released center Michael Early. Unutoa will wear jersey #68 with the Bills.

Marker Bills' Gray rejects Cal [1:35 PM]
Alameda Times Star reports: '"I want to make sure that the Bills get back to (their) standard of football before (I think) about going anywhere else."'

Marker 'The Pill' is still a popular Bill [1:16 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Few players in team history have been as universally liked as Van Pelt.'

Marker Jim Kelly Tribute Wallpaper by 'Moose' [11:44 AM] reports: A new Jim Kelly Wallpaper is on the Bills website in honor of Jim Kelly Day. The artist, Gina Mustico, is a poster on the Stdium Wall who first started creating wallpaper for TwoBillsDrive.

Marker 'Forgettable Foursome' hopes to gain identity [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quick, who's wearing 92, 94, 77 and 95 for the Bills this season?'

Marker Gray drops interest in Berkeley job [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gray had a telephone conversation Monday with Cal officials about the upcoming opening, but he said Thursday he no longer wants to be considered for the position.'

Marker Jonas Jennings 'Rushers for Reading' [8:01 AM] reports: Offensive lineman Jonas Jennings helped local students 'Rush for Reading,' and you can see what Jennings had to say to some provocative questions from the students!

Marker Win a autographed Kelly bobble head [7:56 AM] reports: BEGINNING FRIDAY AT NOON, VOTE AND WIN!
Even if you can't make it to the stadium, you can still get your hands on an autographed Kelly bobble head! Just check out the Top 10 Jim Kelly moments, and be sure to vote starting at noon Friday for your favorite, and also enter to win this one-of-a-kind collectible!

Marker A wideout surprise [5:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'His name is Reggie Germany, and because of his hard work and hustle in practice -- plus an injury that has sidelined McDaniel for more than a month -- Germany has given himself a chance to become an important cog in the Buffalo offense.'

Marker Familiar foes [5:32 AM]
Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: 'For the past three seasons, these two had memorable tussles twice a year while Eaton was playing for the New England Patriots and Brown for the AFC East-rival Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Kinder, gentler Holmgren not just an illusion [5:31 AM]
Seattle Times reports: '"I like to think that as you mature, you get better," he said. "I've got to believe that."'

Marker Back home in Alabama, Alexander's army of fans boasts, 'I told you so!' [5:30 AM]
Seattle Times reports: '"Shaun was a great kid," says Jeremy Jeffcoat, an Alabama fan who lives in Columbus, Ga. "There was never a hint of scandal or a hint of an attitude problem when he was down here. When he was down here he just acted with so much class."'

Marker Desperate Bills look similar to last team that beat Hawks [5:29 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'Their opponent desperately needs a victory. The opposing coach is new, but he's already feeling the heat and the backup quarterback will play against the Seahawks. Sound familiar? Maybe like the Washington Redskins, who pounded Seattle 27-14 two weeks ago?'

Marker First look at Seahawks' next opponent: Buffalo Bills [5:28 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'Guard Ruben Brown on the Bills' woes: "It's definitely been a tough road here, but you play the games and hope things get better."'

Marker Hawks like Ground Mike [5:27 AM]
Everett Herald reports: 'A Holmgren team running the football? That's like Tom Osborne installing the run-and-shoot at Nebraska. Or Don Coryell turning to the wishbone.'

Marker Golden touch eludes Sheppard [5:26 AM]
Everett Herald reports: '"I wouldn't be truthful if I said the losses didn't hurt," Sheppard said. "You question yourself all the time, wonder what you could have done differently. But I've always been one of those people who see the glass as half full. You've just got to realize that sometimes it takes a little longer."'

November 15, 2001

Marker Concerns rise with every Bills loss [9:07 PM]
AP reports: '"There always have to be concerns about the long-term prognosis of the Bills being here," Erie County Executive Joel Giambra said. "(Bills owner) Ralph Wilson has said many, many times that his biggest concern here is the economy. And obviously the economy is not doing very well. So obviously, I'm sure he's concerned. And I think that means that we all should be concerned about the future of the franchise."'

Marker Dr. Z: The award for best performance at midseason goes to ... [1:13 PM]
CNN/Sports Illustrated reports: RUNNING BACKS: "Here's a surprise. Buffalo's Travis Henry in the Thursday night upset over Jacksonville. His numbers were minimal (27 for 63), but he struggled for a lot of first downs and kept many drives alive through sheer effort."
GUARDS: "Buffalo's Ruben Brown against the Jets in October."
CENTERS: "Three performances jump out at me: Buffalo's Billy Conaty and San Francisco's Jeremy Newberry, both against the Jets, and Oakland's Adam Treu in Philly."

Marker Oakland signs OT Jerry Crafts [10:11 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: Oakland signed offensive tackle Jerry Crafts, 33, to its 53-man roster. He spent time with the Raiders in training camp this year before getting released. He played for Buffalo from 1992-94 and Philadelphia in 1997 and '98. He also played in CFL and Arena league Buffalo Destroyers. He started 13 of the 39 games in which he played. Raiders only have left guard and right tackle standing and healthy enough, among the five opening-game starters on the offensive line.

Marker Sunday was perfect for offensive lineman Jones [10:02 AM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'Lovat, now in his third season as the Seattle Seahawks' line coach, had never witnessed a perfect single-game performance by a lineman before combing through videotape of Walter Jones' effort Sunday night. Jones was more than merely effective during the Seahawks' 319-yard rushing performance against Oakland. He was technically sound as well - not just on the whole, but on each of the Seahawks' 66 offensive plays. "He was flawless," Lovat conceded Wednesday.'

Marker Harmon Prediction: Seattle 14, Buffalo 13 [9:02 AM]
reports: The Seahawks run well and defend well against the run, but they're so inconsistent that anything could happen in wintry Buffalo. Last year the Bills notched their biggest win in Seattle, 42-23.

Marker Van Pelt collects votes of confidence [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You get the feeling he's in control when he's in there," receiver Peerless Price said. "He knows the offense. He knows the timing everybody has."'

Marker Starting on Kelly's day special to Van Pelt [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Van Pelt said the thing he remembers most about playing with Kelly in 1995 and '96 was Kelly's leadership. "The biggest thing is how he handled the team," Van Pelt said. "I remember sitting in meetings when he was running the K-gun no-huddle. . . . Most of the time (on other teams) we'd sit down and the coach would grab the clicker and you'd watch film as the coach talks about plays. But Jim would come in, flip the film in, grab the clicker and start running the meeting himself. He told everybody what to do, what he wanted on these routes, and the coaches would sit back and cross their arms and listen. That was a shock for me, never coming from that type of influence of a quarterback having on the offense."'

Marker Bills lean on veterans like Moulds [8:38 AM] reports: 'With injury striking the quarterback position and the league's youngest roster continuing to adjust and search for confidence, the team will lean on the veterans left over from the playoff runs of the 1990s more than ever. On offense, no veteran will have more asked of him than wide receiver Eric Moulds, a signature player for the franchise ever since he stepped into the starting lineup on a full-time basis during the 1998 season.'

Marker Gregg Williams press conference [8:37 AM] reports: "That decision is a future decision, and the future is this week. We have to do what we need to do the next 8+ weeks. We have to make sure we move on each week and are able to win ballgames. Getting Alex ready to go, we have to get a few cramming things with him with some extra time. The team has a little pep in their step about that, and know that Alex will play the best that he can play. He'll do some good things, he did some good things in the Jets game, and we're excited about it."

Marker Mideason grade - D-minus [8:37 AM]
ESPN reports: Larry Centers was only player Clayton's All-AFC team
Bills: As many as 5 rookies are being played on defense. The run defense is porous. QB Johnson finally couldn't avoid the sack that fractured his clavicle and sidelined him until December. Still, Williams is getting good effort out of the players. They are playing hard, particularly on defense. Maybe having Alex Van Pelt at QB will manage a more steady passing game. Rookie CB Nate Clements has all the looks of being a star. Still, the coaching turnover and the salary cap has caused a three-game drop to 1-7.

Marker Van Pelt fits West Coast offense [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'They don't need a quarterback with a perfect body and a cannon for an arm. They already have one of those in Rob Johnson, and all they have to show for Johnson's much-ballyhooed physical gifts is a 1-7 record.'

Marker Bills will simplify offense to cut down on mistakes [5:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'Against New England last week, the team burned three timeouts because players misunderstood signal calls and lined up wrong. Sunday against Seattle, the Bills plan to use less motion and shifting because it means using fewer words to communicate. "You can fool your opponent as much as you want but sometimes you do it so much, you fool yourself," said wide receiver Eric Moulds, who complained after the Patriots game about burdensome terminology to get a play off. "I think that's what we've done a couple times."'

Marker Jones blocks out perfect grade [5:34 AM]
Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: '"I know that all the players have a lot of confidence in Alex," Bills guard Ruben Brown said in a telephone interview. "They all are very excited when Alex steps into the lineup. We know that he can win games for us."'

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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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