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Buffalo Bills News - September 19, 2002

Marker Winona's got trial date in the bag [2:13 PM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Charles Schumer has thrown down the chicken wing in defense of Buffalo. Our senior senator took umbrage Monday when he heard Jay Leno joke that the best way to punish the five men arrested last week on terrorism charges is to let them die of boredom there. Jumping to the snowy city's defense, Schumer has invited the Boston chin to the Nov. 3 Bills-Patriots game. The challenge: If the Bills win, Leno tapes a show in Buffalo. If they lose, he and his band get a bucket of Buffalo's fabled chicken wings. Alas, the comic is scheduled to perform in Minneapolis that day. But Leno assures us, "I've been to Buffalo many times and I actually like it, especially during the two summer days when it is actually warm."'

Marker Buffalo Bills name Olean’s Kane ‘Coach of the Week’ [1:23 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The OHS football prgram will receive a check for $1,000 from NFL Charities and the Bills’ Youth Foundation. Coach Kane will receive a certificate signed by President/GM Tom Donahoe and head coach Gregg Williams and he will be a guest of the Bills on Sunday, Dec. 15 for the game against San Diego, where he will participate in pre-game ceremonies on he field with all 11 weekly winners. A “Coach of the Year” will be announced on that date as well.'

Marker Jim Kelly brings Hope campaign to Bartlett Country Club [1:22 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“Every penny counts,” Kelly said. “I don’t care what it is. It’s good that people are here are willing to lend a hand and support us.” It’s all part of Kelly’s crusade. All in the name of Hunter.'

Marker Josh Reed Selected As Pepsi NFL Rookie of Week [10:09 AM] reports: Reed finished with 41.4% of the 32,847 total votes and received more than twice as many votes as the nearest competitor. The other four finalists and their final vote percentages were Carolina DE Julius Peppers (18.2%), San Diego LB Ben Leber (also 18.2%), New Orleans WR Donte Stallworth (13.0%) and NY Giants TE Jeremy Shockey (8.7%).

Marker Bills' defense prepares to hold its ground [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Broncos rushed for 201 yards against a good San Francisco defense in a 24-14 road win last Sunday. The Bills allowed 213 rushing yards in their overtime win at Minnesota.'

Marker Hollis could get a kick out of Invesco Field [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Hollis already has kicked three field goals from beyond 50 yards in the first two weeks, tying the team record for most 50-yard-plus kicks in a season. Steve Christie booted three in 1992 and '99.'

Marker Throwing merely a passing fancy [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: '"If you look historically at the teams that have won championships, they've had a good degree of balance," Bledsoe said on Wedne-sday. "Even the Rams with all their success, you look at what they're actually doing and a lot of it is predicated on the fact that they've got a great threat at running back in Marshall Faulk."'

Marker Bills' game in Denver is special for Teague [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Teague was drafted by the Broncos, played his first four NFL seasons there, started 20 games and learned a ton. He doesn't harbor ill will that Denver coach Mike Shanahan let him sign with the Bills as a free agent. Teague said it was difficult leaving. "Sure it was," he said. "I have friends there, I was comfortable, had a great coaching staff. Everything was difficult about it, but I just felt like my best decision was to come here."'

Marker Bledsoe is well received [5:24 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"If there's a game where we playing against an offence that's putting up some points," Bledsoe said, "then we have to put the pedal to the metal and go get it."'

Marker Bills are well-armed but also vulnerable [5:23 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'So it has gone for the madcap Bills. A coach's nightmare, a spectator's delight. Until Bledsoe's arm falls off, that is.'

Marker Broncos' run stuffers No. 1 [5:22 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'San Francisco and St. Louis have combined for 103 ground yards against Denver. Take away one 31-yard carry by the 49ers' Reggie Barlow and a 15-yard tote by the Rams' Marshall Faulk, and Denver has yielded only 57 yards on 31 carries - a 1.8 average.'

Marker Bledsoe feels loved [5:22 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: '"This offense has a little bit more flexibility than what I've been in the past three, four years," Bledsoe said. "I have more flexibility to change things at the line of scrimmage, more flexibility in the routes and how I'm going to read things. It's a good offense for me because it's challenging . . . I'm having a lot of fun."'

Marker Bledsoe vs. the Broncos [5:21 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Drew Bledsoe endured some tough times against the Broncos when he played for New England.'

Marker Walker, once Gray's baby, to take his Bills to task [5:20 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'For a short time after Denard Walker's arrival in Denver before the 2001 season, the Broncos cornerback went through separation anxiety from his defensive backs coach with Tennessee, Jerry Gray. "Getting away from him was like a baby getting away from his mama," Walker said Wednesday. "It was a tough adjustment."'

Marker Bills a passing fancy; expect to be bored [5:19 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'The gaudiest statistic of the young NFL season, not counting Terrell Owens' false starts, is this: The Broncos' defense ranks first in the league against the run. If this doesn't tell you what's coming, you haven't been paying attention. Or, possibly, you sit in the club section and haven't left the bar in a while. The last time the Buffalo Bills played a team that could stop the run - Minnesota, for example, which ranks first in the NFC for some reason - Drew Bledsoe threw the ball 49 times.'

Marker Pass-happy offense Gilbride's brainchild [5:16 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'The Broncos' defensive brain trust might not mind facing Gilbride's wide-open aerial circus - as long as they sack Bledsoe four or five times, intercept two or three of his passes and don't allow any of his throws to result in Bills touchdowns.'

Marker Procedure opens door for Davis [5:15 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'Davis is scheduled to undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee today at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail. He will be unable to walk for two months and will need six months of rehabilitation.'

Marker Bledsoe renews career in Buffalo [5:14 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"The reception I've received has been outstanding," he said. "It was almost comical how crazy these people went when we came in here. They had a pep rally. The hardest part about that was having all the excitement and all the things that go with that, then not being able to go out and play for a few months. Now that we're going, I'm really enjoying myself."'

Marker Intricate plans have players hitting books [5:14 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"In years past, basically Ed (McCaffrey) was the only guy going in motion," Sharpe said. "Now we have Ed going in motion, myself going in motion, Rod (Smith) going in motion, we have backs out of the backfield. We try to keep it complex, because we never want the defense to know what's coming next. We've done a great job of that the first two games of the season. Hopefully we can keep it going."'

Marker Bledsoe's rough, tumble ways earn Bills' respect [5:13 AM]
USA Today reports: '''Drew has so much presence in the huddle,'' said Centers, in his 13th NFL season. ''In every game, there's a lull in your mentality, a time when you're doing your job, but you're just chugging along. That's when the quarterback steps in and makes sure that everybody's light is turned on. That's what they mean by 'field general.' Drew's got all that and then some."'

Marker Drew Bledsoe, Kerry Collins, Brian Urlacher Win NFL Awards [5:09 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Mike Hollis won the award for special teams and Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter was honored for defense.'

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September 18, 2002

Marker Special teams aren't so special anymore [8:58 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Once, rosters were so fixed that DeHaven estimated half of his coverage units on Buffalo’s Super Bowl clubs had at least five years of experience. In fact, there was so little mystery to DeHaven’s units that special-teams coach Mike Westhoff -- once with Miami, now with the Jets -- told DeHaven he didn’t bother previewing videotapes of the Bills. He knew the players, and he knew what they’d do.'

Marker Bills can't rely on Bledsoe to do it all [8:31 PM]
AP reports: '"It's exciting, (the offense) scoring 35-40 points a game, making it easy for us," Winfield said. "Giving up 30-some points a game, you're not going to win many games on the field like that."'

Marker Buffalo Bills/Denver Broncos Injury Report [4:59 PM] reports: Bills have no injuries to report. Broncos have five players listed as probable.

Marker Alumni Update: Shane Nelson [4:09 PM] reports: Nelson not only beat the odds and made the Bills, but he started every game, totaled 168 tackles and was named to the All-Rookie team. Two seasons later with Buffalo using a 3-4 defensive alignment, he racked up an incredible 192 tackles and anchored the middle next to Jim Haslett, who was in his first year. Add another rookie, nose tackle Fred Smerlas, and Western New York became home to its own ‘Bermuda Triangle.’

Marker Uni Watch - Another Review [1:45 PM]
The Village Voice reports: By now you've seen the league's new uniforms, which range from the good (the Texans and the Redskins' 70th-anniversary throwback home unis) to the very bad (the Seahawks) to the mixed bag (the Bills, whose unsightly new home duds are offset by their sharp new road outfits).

Marker Chris Mortensen answered one of TSW's posters questions [1:25 PM]
ESPN reports: Question from chat with Mark (UB2SF)
Mark (SF): How do you like Buffalo's chances against Denver this weekend? I think it will be another physical, heartstopping shootout for the Bills, with a decent chance of a "W". Keep up the great work, Mort!
Mortensen: The Bills have been lighting it up, but it's tough to win in Denver. I think it probably depends on how intense the Broncos come out after two very good, tough games against the Rams and 49ers. The Bills will make everybody they play pretty uncomfortable.

Marker Bills WR Josh Reed A Candidate For Pepsi NFL Rookie Of Week Honors [9:50 AM] reports: The winner is determined entirely by fan voting on which ends later today. As of this morning, Josh was the leading candidate with 38.6% of the vote and was ahead of Chargers LB Ben Leber (20.4%), Panthers DE Julius Peppers (19.6%), Saints WR Donte Stallworth (12.2%) and Giants TE Jeremy Shockey (9.2%).

Marker Two Bills Selected For Player Of The Week Honors [9:09 AM] reports: Two Bills players have earned AFC Player of the Week honors for their performances in last Sunday’s 45-39 overtime victory at Minnesota. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week while kicker Mike Hollis earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Marker Special teams coach learns to fasten seat belt [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's the nature of the beast," Smith said. "I'm directly responsible. You're eligible every single play to make something happen on special teams. It can go for you or against you. I tell the players, "You have to do it now. You have one play. You have to be on top of your game.'"'

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