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Buffalo Bills News - September 10, 2001

Marker 'New Bills' fall in half-hearted season opener [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'After seven months of buildup, the Gregg Williams regime got under way Sunday - with disappointing results.'

Marker Saints take Bills to finishing school [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Whenever they get first-and-goal on the 1-yard line, they had better score a touchdown. And whenever their quarterback throws three interceptions, they are virtually assured of losing. Those were the realities played out in the Bills' 24-6 season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.'

Marker Henry gives backfield an attitude [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Henry ran for 58 yards on 22 carries in the Bills' 24-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints, but his performance was better than the numbers might indicate.'

Marker Ricky takes charge in second half [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I really didn't run it in the first half," said the 5-foot-10, 240-pound Williams. "They came out in the Bears' defense and we practiced all week for it, but I don't think we really thought they were going to play it. We came out in the second half and gave them some different looks and we did a good job."'

Marker Film will only confirm Johnson came unreeled [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He did not get knocked out of the game. That's a positive. But the new offense was a huge disappointment. It's supposed to put pressure on defenses by giving the QB multiple options, but that didn't stop the Saints from taking Moulds out of the game.'

Marker Surprise party by Bills' defense lasts only 30 minutes [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Circumstance says it's too early to draw any firm conclusions on the Buffalo defense Gregg Williams and coordinator Jerry Gray have tinkered with without cease. Are the Bills as good as they looked in the first half? They played the final three quarters minus standout linebacker Sam Cowart. Might they thrive without him if his Achilles injury is serious?'

Marker Arians does the job in debut [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm happy with my start," Arians said. "Obviously, it would be a lot sweeter if it had come in a victory. But I just went out there, tried to relax and hit the ball cleanly."'

Marker Monday billboard [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Big Picture: This was the one the Bills needed to have, and now they're in danger of getting the Gregg Williams era off to a slow start. Next up are the Miami Dolphins and then the Indianapolis Colts, both on the road, and early indications are both will again contend for the AFC East crown. There's a very real possibility that Buffalo will be 0-3 heading into its next home game Sept. 30 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.'

Marker Saints awaken, overpower Bills [8:03 AM]
New orleans Times Picayune reports: 'The secondary's cause was aided by a relentless pass rush. The pregame focus targeted the Saints' matchups against the inexperienced right side of the Bills line. But it was right end Joe Johnson who had made the biggest impact, wearing out left tackle John Fina for three sacks and eight tackles.'

Marker Brooks stays calm until offense finds game [8:02 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: '"This was Saints' weather," winked Johnson, who spent most of Sunday either putting the hug on quarterback Rob Johnson or creating havoc in the trenches. "As the second half wore on, they were pretty much gassed out. Let's give some credit to that Thibodaux humidity."'

Marker Knight's three INTs fuel New Orleans' fire [8:01 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: '"(Rob Johnson) is a pocket passer," Johnson said. "That's what he is. You hate to play against the Donovan McNabbs and Jeff Garcias of the world, guys who can move around. So, any time you can play against a pocket passer, you got to take advantage of it."'

Marker Buffalo provides sack lunch [8:00 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: '"The thing about the first half was that we didn't score many points," Johnson said. "We only scored six points, and we were dominating them. If we could have scored some touchdowns in the first half, it would have been a lot better. "We hit a couple of 30-yard passes but we just didn't get in the flow offensively. We didn't have a good idea of what they were doing defensively."'

Marker Lewis' debut less than glowing [7:59 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'Sunday's sellout crowd of 71,447 (2,520 no-shows) is not unusual for this football-crazed community. The Bills sold approximately 37,500 season tickets, meaning the walk-up crowd approached 35,000. By comparison, the Saints sold approximately 43,500 season tickets, and more than 15,000 tickets remain for their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.'

Marker Nice guy takes the blame for having a tough day [7:30 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'In his 19th regular-season start for the Bills - for whom he is now 8-11 in three seasons-plus - Johnson had those three interceptions, was sacked five times and gained an unremarkable 160 yards through the air on 16-of-27 passing. Most importantly, his offense generated two field goals in the first half, produced no points in the second and inspired throaty boos from the sweltering crowd of 71,447 (so many of whom remain staunch Flutie fans) throughout.'

Marker New Orleans 24, Buffalo 6 [7:03 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: '"You're going to lose when you play only one half," Williams said. "Now we've got to put two together."'

Marker Bills can look West to see how it's done [6:51 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Banned from Buffalo in the offseason, Doug Flutie shined in his debut for the San Diego Chargers, orchestrating a 30-3 triumph over the Washington Redskins. Hours earlier and more than 3,000 miles away, Bills fans discovered that Flutie is gone but the problem still wears a Buffalo uniform. No. 11, to be exact.'

Marker Bills fans still want Flutie [6:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'What is it? The Rob Johnson era? The Gregg Williams era? Nahhh! Neither possibility has much fan appeal, judging from the Bills' first kick at the 21st century can, a 24-6 loss yesterday to the New Orleans Saints.'

Marker Bills' Johnson picked apart by Saints [6:45 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'But if Johnson and the new Bills regime feel one flick of the TV clicker will remove them from under the shadow of Flutie and Chargers general manager John Butler, who bolted the Bills to run the San Diego franchise this past off-season, they are fooling themselves -- especially with off-par performances like the one they turned in against the Saints.'

Marker Christie bitter over Bills booting [6:44 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Christie, who has told friends that his career with the Buffalo Bills is over, is outraged that neither Williams, the team's first-year coach, nor general manager Tom Donahoe, bothered to contact him on Saturday to inform the Bills' career leading scorer that he had been placed on the reserved injured list. Instead the gloomy news was delivered over the phone by special teams coach Danny Smith.'

Marker Buffalo breaks pivot-al promise as Johnson folds [6:43 AM]
National Post reports: '"I don't think this has anything to do with youth, it's just overall execution," said Buffalo head coach Gregg Williams, himself a new addition this year. "That's an easy way out and I'll never take the easy way out in those kind of things."'

Marker Saints overcome embarrassments to run past Buffalo in 2nd half [6:13 AM]
Baton Rouge Advocate reports: 'To Saints center Jerry Fontenot, it -- the timeout, not the 46-yard touchdown pass from Brooks to wide receiver Albert Connell -- was the turning point of the game.'

Marker Saints defense comes up big [6:12 AM]
Baton Rouge Advocate reports: '"We talk about that all the time," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "If you make them kick field goals in this league, you've got the upper hand. Going in at halftime it was 6-0, but it could have been 14-0."'

Marker Saints notebook [6:11 AM]
Baton Rouge Advocate reports: 'Saints defensive tackle Norman Hand, a 330-pounder, clobbered 221-pound running back Travis Henry for a 3-yard loss on first-and-goal at the Saints 1 in the second quarter. On the ferocious hit, Hand knocked Henry onto the back of tackle John Fina -- forcing Fina to leave the game momentarily.'

Marker Bills stacked up [6:09 AM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: 'It was one half of embarrassment followed by one half of excellence.'

Marker Hot camp paid off [6:09 AM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: 'The temperature at kickoff was 87 degrees at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "Everybody complains about the heat in Thibodaux," Saints center Jerry Fontenot said. "I'm included because I don't like the heat. But I'll tell you what, we were ready for the heat today. While it still felt pretty warm out there today, we're so used to practicing in it and pushing through it. I think it really affected them in the second half."'

Marker Brooks settles down for Saints [6:07 AM]
Mobile Register reports: '"We need to play two complete halves of football," said the Bills' new coach, Gregg Williams. "We can't have 17 unanswered points and we need to manage turnovers better. We need a total team effort."'

Marker Saints use double-teams to break the Bills' Moulds [6:07 AM]
Mobile Register reports: '"Our defense played well," Moulds said. "They kept us in situations where we had chances to make plays and put the Saints away. By no means did the Saints come out and do what they wanted to do. Offensively, we just didn't make plays when they were there."'

Marker Shaky start for Johnson [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Flutie-Johnson debate is alive and well.'

Marker Bills' big-time start goes to waste in loss [5:47 AM]
D and C reports: '"We couldn't do it. I think that would have given our offense a boost right after the half if we had stopped them from scoring points. But we didn't, and it ballooned on us after that."'

Marker Johnson's gut check needs guts [5:46 AM]
D and C reports: 'While he was taken down five times, that wasn't really the problem, execution was. When the Saints took away wide receivers Moulds and Peerless Price with double teams, that left the middle of the field open for Riemersma. Johnson saw it, but failed to connect.'

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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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