Rutledge hoping his new role catches on [5:37 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'With Eric Bjornson used more as a wide receiver, Rod Rutledge will get his big opportunity to be the team's primary tight end for the first time since Ben Coates was sent packing after last season.'
Patriots look to Rutledge [5:36 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Where is the Patriots tight end of the future? Apparently, he's not on the current roster.'
Center sizes up his competition [5:35 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It's not often that 320-pound Patriots center Damien Woody lines up opposite a player larger than himself, but it will happen Sunday. Woody will stare across the line at vaunted Buffalo Bills nose tackle Ted Washington, who is generously listed at 6-foot-5, 330 pounds.'
Time to reload or unload [5:34 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'On Sunday, Bledsoe and the Patriots begin the second half of their work year, meeting the Buffalo Bills at Foxboro Stadium and, in many ways, it may be the most significant time in Bledsoe's eight-year career.'
Belichick downplays Katzenmoyer injury [5:33 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Spires said Flutie's lack of size (the Bills list the quarterback at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds) can often work to his advantage. "He's a tough guy to locate behind all the big people who surround him," said Spires. "There are times you can't find him until it's too late. Oh, yeah, there's another thing. He's got a sixth sense about when to duck to avoid blitzers and when to take off just before the pocket is going to collapse."'
Washington Isn't A Little Disruptive [5:31 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Of the 118 first downs the Bills have given up, only 26 have come via the run. A big reason is Washington.'
Morris emerging as Bills top rushing threat [8:57 PM]
AP reports: 'Sammy Morris is the first to admit this beats washing dishes at Sea World.'
Flutie will start against Patriots [8:56 PM]
AP reports: 'Doug Flutie will start his third straight game in place of Rob Johnson, who's injured right shoulder hasn't fully recovered, Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips said Thursday.'
Former mates will miss Rucci [1:23 PM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Rucci, who was drafted by the Patriots with the 51st overall pick in the 1993 draft with one of the choices acquired from Miami in exchange for Irving Fryar, signed a five-year, $10 million contract with a hefty signing bonus in February 1998. That contract, however, meant little if anything by the close of business Tuesday. The Patriots either had to release Rucci or add him to the roster this week.'
Katzenmoyer placed on injured reserve [1:21 PM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Andy Katzenmoyer's season ended yesterday when the New England Patriots placed the second-year linebacker on injured reserve.'
With QB controversy, Phillips doesn't fit the bill [1:20 PM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'But when it comes to adroitly tap-dancing through the minefield that is Rob Johnson vs. Doug Flutie (aka, Gidget vs. The Midget), Phillips is nimble as an aircraft carrier.'
Johnson getting closer, but Flutie to start [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Rob Johnson returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since separating his shoulder 2 1/2 weeks ago. While he could not have played a game on Wednesday, it appears he will be able to start - if asked - next week against the Chicago Bears.'
Phillips' dancing only amplifies QB controversy [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Media-generated? The controversy is media-driven only in the sense that we are obligated to chronicle everything Phillips says in public, no matter how convoluted or inane.'
Phillips sees running game evolving with new style [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You had to go away from the smashmouth to more the cutback, bounce-outside style runners. And the two young guys have done a good job with it. Not that the other guys can't or wouldn't . . . and those two guys have probably caught more passes this year already because our offense has changed."'
Ted Washington stands tall helping 5 children from Togo [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Gnohoue kids remain in awe of Washington, listed in the Bills media guide as 6 feet, 5 inches and 330 pounds. "Il est tres grand," Simon marveled. Yes, he is.'
Flutie to fans: It's only football [6:03 AM]
D and C reports: '"There's four hours a day of talk shows, people calling up to complain, who should start, who shouldn't start," Flutie said. "The second you lose a game they want to kill themselves. Or we win and they come to work on Monday and it makes their week. "It's my job. Football is important to me. It's my livelihood. But to the average fan, come on, try to enjoy the games for crying out loud. It's football. It's entertainment. It's fun. Be crazy on Sunday, but don't let it ruin your life.'
Johnson: Flutie should start [6:02 AM]
D and C reports: 'Rob Johnson, out two games with a separated right throwing shoulder, returned to practice yesterday in pads and threw the ball well, but said afterward it's not likely he'd be ready to start this Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.'
Bills no kings when it comes to playing on road [6:01 AM]
D and C reports: 'How can the Buffalo Bills be 2 1/2-point underdogs Sunday against the struggling New England Patriots? The fact that Buffalo and lowly Arizona and San Diego are the only teams without a road win this NFL season probably has something to do with it.'
Small town, big controversy [6:00 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Get a life, Western New York. Anytime soon would be nice. The quarterback battle between Flutie and Rob Johnson is the story here. It's bigger than the U.S. Presidential race. Bigger than the health-care question. If God himself returned on the morrow and great mountains fell into sea, if pestilence descended upon the world, Bob from East Amherst would still be on the line wondering if Flutie should get the start.'
Milloy ready to play catch-up with Flutie [5:58 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '"Like I said last year, and every time we play this guy, he's the guy who adds the extra element as far as being able to ad lib with his legs. With Flutie, the play is never over until the whistle blows. It's kind of like sandlot football out there."'
Katzenmoyer placed on IR [5:56 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Yes, the Patriots have some concern about Flutie's elusiveness, but don't think the Bills aren't worried about Bledsoe and his receivers. That's because Buffalo ranks 16th in the NFL in pass defense.'
Special effect [5:55 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'After a 1998 season in which he silenced many of his critics with gutsy play and a pair of comeback wins, Bledsoe came out flying in 1999. When the Pats hit their bye date after Week 8, Bledsoe had the stats (13 touchdowns, four interceptions) and the swagger of a Pro Bowl quarterback. Since then, he's won four games.'
Milloy cuts Flutie-mania down to size [5:54 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"He shouldn't be a crowd favorite at our stadium," said Milloy. "If I have a chance, I'm going to drag his ass into the ground."'
Flaky fans' devotion to Flutie really frosts Milloy [5:52 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"He shouldn't be a crowd favorite in our stadium," Milloy declared testily. "To me, I mean, if I have a chance I'm going to try and drag [him] to the ground . . ."'
Are Bills trying to buffalo Belichick on QB issue? [5:51 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'In a move that probably was designed to give Bill Belichick pause, Wade Phillips told reporters yesterday that he hadn't decided whether Doug Flutie or Rob Johnson would be starting at quarterback when the 4-4 Buffalo Bills face the 2-6 Pats Sunday at Foxboro Stadium.'
Not Business As Usual [5:50 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'As Belichick retools the Patriots, the middle of the offensive line - guards and centers - seems to have stabilized. Belichick cut 1999 fifth-round pick Ed Ellis at the start of training camp when it became obvious to him that Ellis had size but a lousy work ethic. After praising the talent of 6-6, 350-pound second-year pro Derrick Fletcher during training camp, Belichick started him in the opener and cut him two weeks later. He cut third-year backup center Jason Andersen two weeks ago.'
Johnson not ready; Flutie set to start against Patriots [8:34 PM]
AP reports: 'Barring miraculous improvement to Rob Johnson's injured shoulder, Doug Flutie will make his third straight start when Buffalo faces New England on Sunday.'
Wednesday's Bills Notes [3:14 PM]
Shout! reports: 'If Doug Flutie ends up being the Lou Gehrig of football, Rob Johnson may never play for the Buffalo Bills again. Johnson is questionable against the Patriots, but even if he were 1000 percent he most likely wouldn't start. Wade Phillips wouldn't say one way or the other.'
Buffalo Bills Desktop Wallpaper [3:13 PM]
TBD reports: Download great Buffalo Bills artwork to use as wallpaper for your PC. Includes a calendar! Free!
Charity cases [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Tuesdays are the traditional day off for NFL players during the season, but for many it's a busy time for those active in community projects. Defensive end Marcellus Wiley and Sammy Morris visited young patients at Roswell Park. Tight end Jay Riemersma was the guest speaker at an assembly at Clarence Central High School. Tight end Sheldon Jackson participated in an after-school arts program with students at the Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy. Cornerback Donovan Greer taped a public service announcement on the dangers of drinking and driving at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'
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