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Buffalo Bills News - December 5, 2002

Marker Belichick trusts his players [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Williams was happy with the way defensive end Kendrick Office and cornerback Jason Bostic played against the Dolphins and said both would be used in similar fashion Sunday against New England.'

Marker Bills bracing for schemes of Belichick [5:25 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Because of their poor record head-to-head versus conference opponents (3-6) the Bills are not in good standing for a wild-card playoff spot, which means their best shot at the post-season is by winning the division title.'

Marker In throes once again [5:24 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'This is no time to downplay the Bledsoe-Brady matchup - more than ever, the hype is truly warranted.'

Marker Jones getting closer [5:23 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Middle linebacker Tedy Bruschi is listed as doubtful on the injury report. Bruschi does have strong recuperative powers, though he may not have enough time to return from a sprained right knee suffered in the first quarter of the Lions game on Thanksgiving. Drew Bledsoe said of Bruschi, ''From a personal standpoint, I feel bad for Tedy, but professionally, I'd be real happy to see him in street clothes.'''

Marker A chance for redemption [5:22 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Bledsoe still has a score to settle against his former coach and point to prove to his critics in New England. The Pats' 38-7 drubbing of Bledsoe and the Bills Nov. 3 only reinforced the notion that Belichick has Bledsoe's number. And Tom Brady's huge statistical performance that day only piled more evidence on the still-simmering Bledsoe-Brady debate.'

Marker Brady's a real Weis guy [5:21 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'As for Brady, he's still the same guy who started last season as Bledsoe's backup. In between all the so-called jet-setting and celebrity parties, we still hear stories that remind everyone what a good guy he is. Only now, the legend just keeps growing.'

Marker Turf war shifts to new stadium [5:20 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Bledsoe doesn't expect the Patriots to use as much one-on-one coverage as the Dolphins did. ``I just don't think they will take that chance very often,'' he said.'

Marker Players look to 12th man for help [5:19 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Since the season-opening win over Pittsburgh, Gillette Stadium has had disappointingly few moments of noise and bedlam. Part of the problem has been some poor performances at home (where the Pats are 3-2), part of it has to do with the distant location of many seats and part of it has to do with the coziness of the indoor club areas.'

Marker For Patriots, it's all in the plan [5:18 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"I don't want to give away our game-plan, but we have something unique for them," promised linebacker Roman Phifer. "We try to keep it mixed up, try to keep the guys off balance and show them a different look."'

Marker Johnson the man in the middle [5:17 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'With middle linebacker Tedy Bruschi listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the explosive Bills, Johnson will be featured prominently in the middle of the Patriots defense. He'll be there to squish the run, as he's always done. And he'll be there in pass coverage, a supposed weak spot in his game that he's been actively debunking with his play in recent weeks. He'll be there on blitzes, as he was during the first Bills game when he helped set the tone with a key 14-yard sack of Drew Bledsoe in the first quarter. He'll be there. Even though three months ago, it was easy to wonder if he'd even be around.'

Marker Guest quarters fit the Bill for Bledsoe's homecoming [5:16 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"Really early (in the planning stages) Robert Kraft asked me if we should do something indoors or outdoors," Bledsoe recalled. "I told him I thought it was an advantage in the northern climate to play outdoors, especially with Miami and (Indianapolis) in the division since they play in a warm climate or indoors."'

Marker Old House, New Homes [5:15 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"I'm fully a Buffalo Bill now," Bledsoe said. "I'm proud of being part of that [2001 Patriots Super Bowl] team. But I feel at home here. This is where I belong."'

Marker Bledsoe set for return to Foxboro [5:14 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Now, New England (7-5) and Buffalo (6-6) both desperately need a victory to stay hot on the playoff trail. The Bills, who are 3-6 in conference play, probably need it even more than the Patriots.'

Marker Bills' Centers merits attention [5:13 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'The Bills never seem to have much trouble matching up Centers against a linebacker because teams are so concerned with wide receivers Peerless Price and Eric Moulds. "You can't double everyone," New England coach Bill Belichick said.'

Marker The pressure’s on in December [5:12 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe and the Bills represent phase one of the Patriots’ four-step march to the playoffs. This is the first game of a favorable stretch for the Patriots in which three of their final four games are at home. It will also be Bledsoe’s first game at brand-new Gillette Stadium, but considering the important of this game in the standings, his homecoming shouldn’t feature as much fanfare. The real story behind this game is that it could help decide who comes out on top in one of the closest AFC East races ever.'

Marker Much more than Bledsoe Bowl II [5:11 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Of course, neither side is naive enough to believe that the fans in Foxboro -- some still loyal to the former Patriots’ quarterback -- won’t come up with some catchy phrases to scribble on their signs or blurt out something clever to say during the game.'

Marker You can't go home, but visits can be memorable [5:10 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'Williams, the massive lineman from the university and state of Texas who'd never before played in the snow, became an honorary Western New Yorker that day. On Sunday he witnessed and experienced the prideful bond the region's weather forges among its residents. On Monday he went out and bought a four-wheel drive vehicle and a snowmobile.'

Marker Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 12/04/2002 [5:09 AM] reports: 'Q: What kind of runner is Travis Henry? How would you characterize him? BB: I think Travis Henry has a lot of strengths as a runner. He's got real good balance, he's got good power, and he's got good speed. He likes to bounce the ball out and cut it back a lot. He doesn't always hit into the hole, not that he won't hit into the hole because he does, but he's also a threat to take the ball outside and send it back to the weak side of the formation, or the weak side of the way the play is designed to go. He's a guy that can really hit you on all fronts. He's been nothing but impressive. I talked about him before the first game about how impressed I was with his running skills, his ability to break tackles, make yards after the first hit, and outrun people as well as be strong and run over them. I think he's got a real good set of skills there to run the ball, and he's also catching the ball coming out of the back field, and of course turning into a good runner in those spots too. He makes some big plays for them consistently. He's had a real productive year.'

Marker Bills Head Coach Gregg Williams Conf. Call 12.4.02 [5:08 AM] reports: 'Q: In scouting the Patriots, in a lot of games this year, Antowain Smith has not been a big factor, yet every time he plays you guys, he's a major factor. How do you approach that? GW: Obviously, he's a focal point and, as we want to be able to establish each week, that you have to make sure you're able to play the running game strong and he's done a very good job in improving himself in the pass game and they're doing a good job of utilizing him and we need to make sure we take the necessary steps to make sure that we can minimize the gains when he's in the ballgame.'

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December 4, 2002

Marker Chargers sign Price [9:04 PM]
AP reports: 'Price's first five seasons in Buffalo were under general manager John Butler, who became the Chargers GM in January 2001. Butler has signed several ex-Bills the last two seasons, including defensive end Marcellus Wiley and quarterback Doug Flutie, the backup to Drew Brees.'

Marker Linebacker's role expands with Bruschi injury [9:03 PM]
AP reports: '''On a personal level, I feel bad for'' Bruschi, said Drew Bledsoe, anticipating his first game in Foxboro since his offseason trade. ''But on a professional level, I'd be really happy to see him standing over there in street clothes because he is very tough to play against.'''

Marker More than 'Bledsoe Bowl II' on line for Bills [9:01 PM]
AP reports: '''We can't worry about winning one for The Gipper,'' guard Ruben Brown said Wednesday. ''We've got to win one for the Bills.'''

Marker Bills sign DT Seals to practice squad [9:00 PM]
AP reports: 'To make room for Seals, the Bills released receiver Rodney Wright from their practice squad.'

Marker Ask Eric Moulds A Question [6:10 PM] reports: With his 5th 100-yard game of the season (21st of his career), the former 1st Round Draft pick by the Bills also went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season to give him his third career 1,000-yard campaign. In addition, he extended his franchise-record streak of games with a catch to 77 games. Now is your chance to ask the two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver a question!

Marker Bills Add One To Practice Squad [5:25 PM] reports: Orchard Park, NY - The Bills today announced that the team has added defensive tackle Richard Seals to it practice squad. Seals (6-3, 305) was drafted by the New York Jets in the seventh round of the 2000 Draft out of Utah. After being released by the Jets at the end of the preseason he then spent part of the 2000 season on Jacksonville’s practice squad. To make room for Seals...

Marker Bledsoe's return is a big game [4:44 PM] reports: 'So while Belichick will obviously be preparing for Bledsoe as a key Bills weapon, that is not the story of the game. Patriots and Bills matchups are always exciting affairs, and with both teams still clinging to playoff hopes the real story will unfold between the first and last whistle. Bledsoe Bowl II talk makes for enjoyable fodder, but a competitive matchup is even better.'

Marker Office wrist nicked, but he should play [4:02 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Left end Kendrick Office is questionable for the Patriots game with a sprained wrist. He's the only Bill on the injury list. The unfortunate part is that Office was just getting comfortable, having battled a number of injuries since early training camp.'

Marker Law, Belichick tough opponents to beat [4:00 PM]
Shout! reports: '"There's no question when you put something new in, you have to make sure the players A) have to be able to adjust to it, and B) that they're physically capable of being able to do what you want them to do. A lot of times you get into practice and find it's going to be either harder than you thought or easier than you thought. You listen to the players' feedback."'

Marker Phillips shows how D can be learned [3:59 PM]
Shout! reports: 'On the other hand, Williams seems to be prepared to ride his 46 mutant all the way to the unemployment line.'

Marker Where Are They Now: Mark Brammer [2:25 PM] reports: The Bills went 11-5 during Brammer’s first season and won their division for the first time since 1966. It was also the first time in six years that they were in the playoffs. Some of Buffalo’s fans were ‘Talkin’ Proud’ and supporting the team Sunday afternoons at Rich Stadium and early Monday mornings at the airport.

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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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