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Buffalo Bills News - September 25, 2003

Marker Quarterback Drew Bledsoe Previews Philadelphia [1:27 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Joe Burns came in and played well for us last week when Travis (Henry) was out. Injuries are a part of this game. That's the way it is. If a guy goes down then the next guy has to step up and play for us. It's unfortunate that that's part of life and this game. If you're going to continue to win in this league you have to have guys step up when injuries happen. Every team that goes through a season is going to deal with some injuries. The teams that are able to deal with those missing players the best are the teams that ultimately win most consistently."'

Marker Whiting expected back next week [1:27 PM]
phillyBurbs.com reports: 'The other injured Eagles - cornerback Bobby Taylor, defensive end Jerome McDougle and safety Brian Dawkins - won't play Sunday. Taylor's out with a foot injury, McDougle with an ankle and Dawkins with a foot.'

Marker Turnaround must start with McNabb [1:26 PM]
phillyBurbs.com reports: 'From East Rutherford to Irving, Texas, from his first season as an NFL starting quarterback until now, this has been the mark of Donovan McNabb: It didn't bother him. Every time he had to, every time the Eagles needed him, he reaffirmed his resiliency. They need him now more than ever, one more time.'

Marker Eagles' big plays have been sparse so far [1:25 PM]
phillyBurbs.com reports: 'We'll start by defining big plays as turnovers, sacks, offensive plays or punt returns of 20 yards more or kick returns of 40 yards or more. Through two games, the Eagles have seven. Their opponents have 24. Which says it all.'

Marker 'Backs In Rush To Get Going [1:24 PM]
PhiladelphiaEagles.com reports: '"I'm licking my chops to go after any team, not just Buffalo," said Buckhalter, who has just one rushing attempt this season. "Whatever team I am facing up against every week, I am licking my chops to get the ball and run at them."'

Marker Everyone has an opinion on McNabb [1:02 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I play football because I love the game. I try to prepare to be the best at what I do. I never let anything put me off-course from what my goals are. I never let anybody tell me what I can’t do. Boos are just minor (distractions), it’s a motivation process that everyone goes through as an athlete and the way to overcome it is to go out and execute.”'

Marker If opportunity knocks, Burns plans to run with it [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I love running between the tackles," Burns said. "I love power football. That's what drives me. I love contact. I want to go and hit it in there and try to get what I can."'

Marker Bledsoe's promise will be tough to keep [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bledsoe will come back and play well again. But Sunday was sadly reminiscent of his second-half swoon of 2002.'

Marker Injuries to three starters dilute Eagles' defense [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Last year, the Eagles ranked fourth in the NFL in yards allowed and second in points allowed. They were ninth against the run and seventh against the pass. This year, the Eagles defense played pretty well in the 17-0 loss to Tampa Bay. It yielded 255 passing yards to Tom Brady in a 31-10 loss to New England in Week Two.'

Marker Set formula determines schedule [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So the Bills play the AFC South this year and again in 2006. They face the NFC East this year and again in 2007.'

Marker Bills' Henry says injury won't stop him [5:30 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It’s real important to me. We’re all in this together, and for us to be successful I need to be on the football field. And a lot of guys depend on me, so I’m doing everything I can to be out there.”'

Marker Clements takes his pick [5:29 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'With three interceptions in three games, Clements is tied for the NFL lead with seven other players heading into Sunday’s home game against the Philadelphia Eagles and struggling quarterback Donovan McNabb. Clements’ hot start makes chasing records one of the enjoyable byproducts of winning. The Bills are 2-1 but are regrouping after last Sunday’s 17-7 loss in Miami, a game in which Clements had two interceptions, one he returned 54 yards for a touchdown for Buffalo’s only points.'

Marker Bledsoe looks to regain form [5:28 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"A big part of our game on offence is the trust that (coaches) have in me to make the right decisions," Bledsoe said. "If somebody's not open, I have to get rid of the ball. "Last week, the red-zone interception was ... one that should have been thrown to the back of the end zone. "It was an extremely poor decision by me that I don't intend to repeat."'

Marker Wheel falls off Bills' bandwagon [5:27 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Tunnel vision and his reluctance to throw the ball out of bounds are two shortcomings that have plagued Bledsoe his entire career.'

Marker McNabb takes leave of the heat [5:26 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"I've watched all phases - the ups and the downs of the past couple of years," McNabb said. "You watch some of the ups, obviously to get some positive input, and you look at some of the downs and try to figure out how you were able to overcome the downs. If it was fundamentals, technique, whatever. You try to regain some positive output just by watching some things that happened great for you in the past couple of years."'

Marker Bills' Bledsoe knows from McNabb's woes [5:25 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"Every quarterback who's ever played in this league for more than a game or two has gone through some times where they've struggled," Bledsoe, whose 2-1 Buffalo Bills host the Eagles on Sunday, said yesterday. "The things that have to happen, that I'm sure will happen with Donovan, is that you have to bounce back, you have to look at what you've been doing and come out and play well. We're just hopeful he waits a week to do it."'

Marker The road has been kind to the Birds [5:24 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'The team's 18-6 road record over the previous three seasons is the best in the NFL, and they are 7-1 on the road following a loss since the 2000 season.'

Marker What the Bills Are Saying [5:23 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"If we run the ball effectively, we become very, very difficult to stop because that's when our play-action game gets going, and that's when we can put ourselves in second-down-and-medium-to-short situations and keep our whole package going." - quarterback Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker Bledsoe's bombs have led Buffalo's rebirth [5:22 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'When he takes those elegant, seven-step drops and has time to plant those leaden feet, however, the ugly duckling is transformed into a beautiful swan. The 6-5, 238-pound Bledsoe unfurls the long ball with as much arm strength and touch as anyone in the NFL, and his is a gift that is not often kept under wraps. West Coast offense? The Bills unapologetically run the Western New York offense, which features lots of downfield passes that once were referred to as bombs.'

Marker Iverson gives a high 5 to McNabb [5:21 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"It's tough living the life we live...People feel because we get paid a certain amount of money, we're not human anymore, [that] we don't have feelings, we're not human anymore. We are. We make mistakes like anybody else, [but] people watch every move we make. The guy had two bad football games. People who say they love him are booing him. I was just hurting for him."'

Marker Birds must win or face unwanted consequences [5:20 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'The losing has to stop now, as in immediately - and not just because of the fans. Because John Madden's famous line about winning being the best deodorant is never more true than when you have veteran players in your locker room who are worried about their contract status.'

Marker Eagles still have secondary concerns [5:19 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"They're going to put the ball in the air; we just have to be on the same page in the secondary,'' Hart said yesterday. "They have a great receiver in [Eric] Moulds. They like to go deep...It's going to give us DBs a lot of opportunities to make plays. It's up to us to prepare ourselves.'''

Marker Bye-bye playoffs? [5:18 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'What it means is that having a bye in the third week of the season doesn't mean much. Unless, of course, you're riddled with injuries and are coming off two pathetic performances. Then, it's probably a good thing. Bring on Buffalo.'

Marker Donovan's solution: I gotta be me [5:17 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"Too many people have got too much pressure on [McNabb] right now," Pinkston said. "He's not the only one that could be struggling...It's just that he's the quarterback, and it stands out a lot more."'

Marker Fraley wants Eagles to put running game on line vs. Bills [5:16 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Running backs Correll Buckhalter, Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook combined to rush for 19 yards on 10 carries against the Buccaneers and 46 yards on 11 carries against the Patriots, thereby continuing a trend that has seen the Eagles struggle when they don't let McNabb hand off.'

Marker Four Eagles expected to miss game vs. Bills [5:15 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'The Eagles have to find a way to put pressure on Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe. They have just two sacks on the season, tying them with Cincinnati for next-to-last in the league behind Arizona (one). "We need to get as many sacks as we can this week,'' Walker said. "Sometimes just getting pressure on a quarterback isn't enough.'''

Marker McNabb: Eagles can save season [5:14 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: '"Everybody has been down on us, but we haven't been down on ourselves. That's something that we've talked about - that we're the ones involved in this thing. We can change this."'

Marker Whatever the theory, the Eagles are still 0-2 [5:13 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: '''Those two games were abominations. There just wasn't much happening early. Once we get over that, you'll see a lot more emotion.'''

Marker After week off, Birds’ walking wounded still ache [5:12 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'During his first press conference in eight days, Reid confirmed yesterday there is a chance none of the three starters knocked out of action in the season opener -- Taylor, safety Brian Dawkins and defensive end Brandon Whiting -- will be returning in time to face the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Eagles’ true potential about to be revealed [5:11 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'There will either be a 1-2 football team recently off twin NFC final games, finally victorious, revived after having upset the Buffalo Bills, just a stride behind in its determined march to double-figure victories, back in contention in the NFC East. Or there will be an 0-3 team all but officially doomed to 2003 failure, an injury-stricken, demoralized slice of football yesteryear hopelessly trapped in a cyclone bearing down on NFL parity.'

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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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