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Buffalo Bills News - September 6, 2001

Marker Bills Christie questionable with groin injury [4:36 PM]
AP reports: 'Christie did not practice on Thursday after hurting his groin a day earlier. The Bills signed kicker Jake Arians to the practice squad as a precautionary move.'

Marker AFC East preview [1:29 PM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'How it ends: 8-8 ... but changes were good ones.'

Marker AFC East Preview [1:27 PM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Outlook: Middle of the pack.'

Marker AFC East Capsules [1:24 PM]
Los Angeles Times reports: 'New head coach Gregg Williams brings in 12 assistants and a bevy of players to Buffalo this season. Despite talent on both sides of the ball, there is simply too much youth and not enough depth. A 7-9 record would be quite an achievement.'

Marker Bills count on ground game to neutralize Saints' rush [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"So we have a plan now," Fina said. "So whether it's Travis Henry or Shawn Bryson or Sammy Morris, all three of them are capable and all three of them run extremely hard. As long as we block well we'll have a chance."'

Marker It's time for Rob to stand on his own two feet [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Johnson doesn't inspire loathing, as Doug Flutie could on his worst days. What he inspires is sympathy. Buffalo fans desperately want him to succeed. They want to believe in him. But they, too, can't help being fearful.'

Marker Sure-handed Price delighted to get opportunity to return punts [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Peerless Price is scheduled to get first crack at punt returns for the Buffalo Bills, and the third-year wide receiver couldn't be happier about it. "I just want opportunities," Price said after Wednesday's practice. "Last year I felt like I didn't get enough on offense. This year if that's going to be the case or not I want to be back there on punt returns. I want chances."'

Marker Wait 'til next year? [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If the Bills could be 4-4 at midseason they would have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Don't count on it. Look for a hideous start, a decent finish and a 7-9 record.'

Marker Realignment puts defense on the offensive [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Defensive linemen all like it," defensive line coach John Levra said. "I've coached this style of defense before. All the players like it because they have a better chance of getting sacks. I think it's going to work fine."'

Marker New scheme should make Centers quite a catch [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'That he has missed only two games during the last nine seasons underscores his resiliency. That he has caught passes in 120 consecutive regular-season games speaks to his reliability.'

Marker Catching on [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Every time people start ranking the best, what I always want to ask them is "What is your criteria?' " said Merril Hoge, a former NFL player and current ESPN studio analyst. "If I were to say who is the best wide receiver, I would say Eric Moulds based on the criteria that you've got to be the complete wide receiver. You have to be able to run over the middle. You have to beat people deep. You have to run disciplined routes. You have to block down field. You have to be physical. You have to be strong. You have to be explosive. "Every one of those categories, Moulds falls under. When you look at him, there is not a weakness. He's got great feet, he does a great job getting separation, he's smart and he's nifty in how he manipulates zone coverages. People talk about Randy Moss, Keyshawn Johnson and Marvin Harrison as being the best receivers. But if I had to choose one guy, it would be Eric Moulds. He's the complete package."'

Marker Bills' Johnson counts on young offensive line [7:49 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'Buffalo is starting over on the offensive line, with five of its seven linemen new. Center Bill Conaty, right guard Corey Hulsey, an undrafted free agent, and right tackle Jonas Jennings, a rookie third-round pick and former Georgia standout, haven't started an NFL game. Their first will come Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, who led the NFL in sacks last year with 66. "Sometimes change is good," said Johnson. "We might go through some growing pains, but they are battlers. They fight you to the last play. They are young, but they have a lot of talent."'

Marker This is better than Dallas's Who Shot J.R.? [6:54 AM]
National Post reports: 'Not even the local hockey fans starving for a first Stanley Cup in 35 years can come close to replicating Western New York's rabid mix of paranoia, inferiority, pride and passion. Bills football is all they have in Buffalo, excepting the Krispy Kreme franchise that opened last year with great fanfare. Of the past 24 home games, 21 have sold out. They're afraid not to show up, in case the team vacates town before the next game.'

Marker Bills rebuilding from ground up [5:32 AM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: 'Buffalo Bills' game tapes from the 2000 season aren't doing opposing coaches any good. The Bills cleaned house this offseason, hiring Tom Donahoe as president/general manager. Donahoe brought in Gregg Williams from Tennessee as his head coach. Throw in two new coordinators and a slew of new players and you can chunk those video tapes.'

Marker Christie still on shaky footing [5:27 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"Obviously we've been struggling a bit there, so they brought a couple of guys in," Christie, 33, said. "If they deserved the job and they were better than me, they'd be here. Well, they're not."'

Marker Bills hoping they can cash in on change [5:26 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"They'll go through growing pains," Haslett, the former Bills linebacker, said yesterday. "We struggled ourselves through pre-season last year and the first couple of games, and then it all came together. "Once they get it together, they have the makings of a heckuva offence."'

Marker Time is now for Johnson [5:25 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"Those are things that people are going to remember if he keeps getting sacked. People are going to continue to harp on it and it's going to wear and tear at him. He knows what he has to do. He has to go out and do it."'

Marker Johnson says don't bury Bills yet [5:14 AM]
D and C reports: '"I know this town's been snakebitten in the past, but they should give us a chance. Wait to see us play on the field."'

Marker Brooks rising to stardom [5:14 AM]
D and C reports: 'A never-used third-stringer with the Green Bay Packers in 1999 and the clipboard holder with the Saints for the first three months last year, Brooks played with poise and confidence when he inherited the starting job. He guided New Orleans to victories in three of the final five regular-season games before beating defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis on Wild Card weekend.'

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September 5, 2001

Marker Join the GoBills! Office Pool [10:31 PM]
TBD reports: For the 3rd year in row, TBD will bring fans together for the annual pick 'em contest. This season we will host the contest on CBS Sportsline. Just sign-up at the link above. The group password is "gobills". Come join us!

Marker Sack-happy Saints present Johnson with big test [8:29 PM]
AP reports: 'Sixty-six are how many sacks the Saints recorded to lead the NFL last season. Forty-eight -- or once for every seven times he dropped back to pass -- are how many times Johnson was sacked last year. And two are the total combined NFL starts three of the Bills' five offensive linemen have between them. Added up, it equals trouble.'

Marker Out with the old Bills, in with the new [4:51 PM]
AP reports: '"I have to look and do what we feel is best for the football team," Donahoe said. "How the fans react to it, they're going to react to it. Hopefully, the new product that we can put on the field is one that the fans will like and find new identifications with."'

Marker Bills add Carter to practice squad [4:50 PM]
AP reports: 'Carter, an undrafted free agent rookie, had eight tackles in three preseason games with New Orleans before he was released on Aug. 28. His addition brings the Bills practice squad up to the NFL maximum five players.'

Marker NFL Increases Offer to Officials [3:12 PM]
AP reports: The new offer includes a 60 percent increase in salaries this year. The NFL with two plans, one of which must be implemented by Thursday. One has a slate of regular officials scheduled for the 15 games on opening week; the other has crews of replacements, augmented by NFL supervisors, ready to get to the games. I like the idea that someone had that the league should hire full time officials and have them work NFL Europe during th "off season" ...

Marker Bills add Carter to Practice Squad [3:02 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: CB Carter (6-0, 183) played at Tulane and had signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted rookie free agent.....

Marker Hulsey's long wait comes to an end Sunday [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gone from Hulsey's mind will be his many travails: the heartache of coming out of college a year early only to go undrafted; getting cut by the Bills in 1999 after just one preseason game; laboring on the practice squad last year; being allocated to NFL Europe for the spring. Hulsey not only made the Bills' roster this year, he will be the starting right guard against the New Orleans Saints.'

Marker Bills need new leaders in clubhouse [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Holding the players together, especially through the tough times, has to come from within. By saying goodbye to most of the older stars, the Bills have passed the baton to the next generation. If they lead like their predecessors did, the rest of the team will follow.'

Marker Four dropped players put on practice squad [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As of Tuesday afternoon, just over 1,000 tickets remained for Sunday's regular-season opener against the New Orleans Saints at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker ESPN Initial Power Ranking - #23 [7:35 AM]
ESPN reports: 23. Bills (8-8) (last year 17)
Seems like half of the organization moved to San Diego.

Marker Jennings says, "Letís Crank it Up!" [7:08 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "It is the home opener and you donít know what to expect," Jennings said. "I have played before large crowds (90,000+ at Georgia) before but this is another level. I heard about the Buffalo fans and I appreciate them. I met a lot of them. I just want to go out there and try not to let them down."

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
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09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
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10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
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