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Buffalo Bills News - September 1, 2002

Marker Bills won't be this year's Patriots [6:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'There is no mistaking the Bills will be better. How could they not be after 3-13? A climb to .500 would be a substantial step, and given the talent upgrades throughout the roster, it is imminently possible.'

Marker History shows Bills can climb worst to first [6:34 AM]
D and C reports: '"I think anything's possible," says Bledsoe, who looks like a man bent on proving that he still has plenty of good football left in his 30-year-old body. "Teams flip-flop in the standings in a hurry. It seems like every year, somebody new is winning division titles. So why not us this year?"'

Marker Bills' wide receivers go deep [6:33 AM]
D and C reports: '"Some weeks, some people won't be as involved, but for the most part, we expect to be (a productive offensive team)," Price said. "We have a lot of weapons, good tight ends, Larry Centers, Travis Henry, Eric Moulds. This list can go on and on. We have a lot of playmakers so hopefully we can spread the ball around."'

Marker Too good to be Drew [6:31 AM]
D and C reports: 'While Bledsoe's departure may have divided some Patriots loyalists, it clearly has united the citizens of Bills Nation. The dawn of the Drew Era in western New York has fans stoked as they prep for next Sunday's National Football League opener against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The dress rehearsals indicate that Buffalo may have the last laugh; that this won't be another tragic comedy, a la Rob Johnson.'

Marker AFC preview [5:40 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The Bills will be one of the league's most improved teams. But let's not give them too much credit. How about 8-8?'

Marker Buffalo Bills [5:39 AM]
ESPN The Magazine reports: 'No matter how bad the Bills D turns out be -- and it could really be bad -- Bledsoe will keep most games close.'

Marker Who's the NFL's next rags-to-riches team? [5:39 AM]
ESPN reports: 'For starters, they got a future Hall of Famer in Bledsoe for next to nothing and they've surrounded him with soft hands. Wide receivers Eric Moulds and Peerless Price, fullback Larry Centers and tight end Jay Riemersma were already onboard and then the Bills added second-round draft choice Josh Reed, a nifty wideout. The first-round pick was offensive tackle Mike Williams, who will protect Bledsoe's back.'

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August 31, 2002

Marker Watson becomes a big hit [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Watson fits the mold the Bills desire in their cornerbacks. He has good size - 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds - so he can defend tall receivers. And he's comfortable playing man-to-man coverage, which the Bills emphasize.'

Marker Few seats left for opener [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Only about 400 scattered seats are left for the Sept. 8 game in Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills also have three other games that are close to being sold out. A little less than 1,000 seats remain for the games against Chicago on Sept. 29, Oakland on Oct. 6 and New England on Nov. 3.'

Marker Bills' offensive line off to slow start [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'For the half, Buffalo's first unit rushed 10 times for 15 yards.'

Marker Big plays happen both ways on special teams units [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'Like the offense and defense, the Buffalo Bills special teams units rode a roller coaster in Thursday's 20-13 loss to the Detroit Lions in the final game of the preseason.'

Marker War Room Questions [12:17 AM]
The Sporting News reports: Q: Will the Bills go to the 4-6 defense this year? I thought they were going to run it last year.
A: The Bills wanted to switch to the 4-6 defense but they simply did not have the personnel to do it last year. That, however, changed CB Nate Clements entered the starting lineup. With Clements and Winfield, the Bills have two CBs capable of playing on an island, which is exactly what the aggressive 4-6 defense needs to be effective. How important is it? Two of the biggest reasons the Titans had such a down year in 2001 were injuries in the secondary and the inability of their corners to play on an island.

August 30, 2002

Marker Bills' running attack stuck in neutral [8:10 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills' leading rusher this preseason is returning starter Travis Henry, who's racked up 80 yards on 27 carries, and accounted for the longest run from scrimmage -- a mere 20 yards. The backups have fared even worse.'

Marker Aug 30 Kelly Krunch Winner [5:42 PM] reports: While the Bills were a great team and were playing at home, the cynic in me would not allow me to believe that the Bills would actually go to the Super Bowl.

Marker Preseason Length Just Right [5:16 PM] reports: Preseason football wouldn't be complete without the annual debate over whether there is too much preseason football. You hear the discussions over the copy machine and the talk-show airwaves.

Marker Bills Fall In Preseason Finale [5:15 PM] reports: For the first time since the 1990 season the Bills finished the preseason 0-4. Could that be a good sign?

Marker Bills-Lions Post-Game Quotebook [5:13 PM] reports: "Too many negative plays - with the penalties and stuff. We need to get that straightened out. We get to go play for real now and I'm fired up about that. We have a very short time to get things straightened out. I have the confidence that we'll get it done."

Marker The Bills are nowhere near being ready [1:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'And suddenly it's hard not to wonder whether Williams, who got the job because of his impressive interview with president/general manager Tom Donahoe, is the coach to lead this team back to the playoffs.'

Marker Positive finish [11:14 AM]
Windsor Star reports: 'Buffalo managed just 52 yards rushing in the game and 262 yards overall.'

Marker Bills offense flounders again in defeat [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills now have 10 days in which to prepare for their season opener against the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium. It looks like they need it.'

Marker Ford Field costly, but a better deal for Lions [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It has a capacity of 64,355, about 16,000 fewer seats than the Silverdome. But Ford Field has 8,641 club seats and 132 luxury suites.'

Marker Bills fizzle, have much to do [5:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Eight more penalties, no running game, turnovers, big plays against the defense and inconsistent special teams marred Buffalo's final tuneup game before the regular season opens a week from Sunday against the New York Jets at home.'

Marker McMahon's exhibition slate ends on right note [5:31 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'A pair of fourth-quarter stands by the defense, and a victory for the Lions, 20-13, against the winless Buffalo Bills before an announced crowd of 56,969 at Ford Field.'

Marker A rare victory doesn't change destiny for a talent-thin team [5:30 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'Ignore the scoreboard (a rare victory) and the stats sheet (a ridiculous 12 penalties for 111 yards). A successful final exhibition game is one in which the projected key contributors survive with nothing more troublesome than the customary aches. The worst sight imaginable a week before the start of the season is that of a starter getting carted off the field.'

Marker Field starts to work out bugs [5:29 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'Jeff Allison of Chesterfield Township wasn't pleased with the parking. He found a spot across I-94 near Wayne State and walked. "I'm not paying $30 to park for a football game," he said.'

Marker Lions await meaningful season [5:28 AM]
Detroit News reports: '"It doesn't count, it really doesn't. It's practice against another team. That's what it really is. I'll take that every time, if we can get out of this game with everybody healthy, no more injuries, I'll take that 10 out of 10 times."'

Marker Quarterbacks carry Lions [5:27 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'Each team played as though it couldn't wait for the season to start. The game was ragged from the beginning, with penalties and misplays.'

Marker Special teams recover [5:26 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'The Bills took the first punt Thursday and turned it into a touchdown. "It was a horrible, horrible way to start," Lions Coach Marty Mornhinweg said.'

Marker Lions secure offensive line [5:25 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'With one modification, the starting five for the regular season will be the same unit that opened Thursday night's final exhibition game against Buffalo at Ford Field.'

Marker McMahon deserves to start, but Harrington clearly is future [5:24 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'The sad reality is, many are waiting for McMahon to stumble.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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