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Buffalo Bills News - October 10, 2001

Marker An optimist digs deep for silver lining [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So enjoy the regular season. There are 12 games remaining. Yes, there's good news in that, too. There aren't 13.'

Marker Smith backs Flutie [7:06 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"From the fans' point of view, they just wanted the quarterback who could win games, but I know the majority of the team basically wanted Flutie in there. I know the offensive linemen were behind him because he could make something happen and didn't give up many sacks."'

Marker Bills get an unusual bye week this season [7:04 AM] reports: 'Historically, the Bills have had success after a bye week, as they are 9-3 following the break, losing just three times. However, they have lost their last two games following the week off, falling to the Giants in 1999 and Indianapolis after last week's bye came in Week 4.'

Marker Lou Saban back coaching [7:01 AM]
ESPN reports: Lou Saban, at 80 years of age, is back coaching in the college ranks.

Marker Dear Coach Williams... [7:01 AM]
TBD reports: 'Maybe I am being cynical about your diabolical plan to choose Johnson as a foil for your master plan. But, why else would you need a perfect cover like that as you completely dismantled a decent defensive unit, and installed a new offensive game plan on a team that was perhaps a good left tackle and a running back away from being competitive?'

Marker Jets notes [6:02 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: '"So now it's, 'What is Mo doing, hurting the quarterbacks?' Mo is not a dirty player. He's just hustling, running from one side of the field to the other. Mo is not a cheap-shot guy. He wouldn't intentionally go out to maim or hurt or anybody. I know that. The problem he's got is he's got two quarterbacks already. And they look at that. I just got sent a tape from the league on quarterback hits. They're trying to protect the quarterback and rightly so."'

Marker Winless Bills are sinking to new lows [5:42 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"We knew it would be a struggle," he said after the loss to New York, "but it's been a little more of a struggle than we anticipated. "But the worst thing we can do is panic." Yet if the Bills keep playing this way, that might be the next logical alternative.'

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October 9, 2001

Marker Christie Not Ready to Retire [7:31 PM]
AP reports: Kicker Steve Christie, released Wednesday by the Buffalo Bills after refusing an injury settlement, is not ready to retire from football.
The Bills (0-3) released Christie on Wednesday after a series of confusing moves Sept. 8, the eve of the regular season opener against New Orleans, placing the kicker on the reserve-injured list.

Marker Given time, Donahoe will restore Bills [4:00 PM]
The Sporting News reports: In Buffalo, these are not exactly the best of times for Tom Donahoe. The first-year Bills boss hardly is the most popular figure in town, seeing as how he is presiding over the ragged collapse of a proud franchise.

Marker NFL Trading deadline moved back to Oct 23 [1:32 PM]
ESPN reports: No major deals are expected. There have been no so-called "deadline deals" in four of the past six seasons, including last year.

Marker Johnson "the unluckiest guy in the world" [1:30 PM]
ESPN reports: Van Pelt called Johnson "the unluckiest guy in the world" for the number of times he's been hurt.
"I would have to agree with that," Johnson said, chuckling. "It'll turn around. I'm a pretty positive guy that way. I've had some rare and cheap hits. But when you run around like that and try to make plays like that, sometimes you're going to take some hits."

Marker ESPN's Outside the Lines Weekly: Total Control in the NFL [1:28 PM] reports: Discussion of whether coaches should be GMs as well. Tom Donahoe was one of the guests. October 7 episode.

Marker Bills take a needed football break [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Even if the break brings a return to health for several Bills, it won't change the fact that the team faces an uphill climb to respectability. "It's frustrating from top to bottom," Riemersma said. "We also realize that through this kind of adversity comes the true character of a football team. I think you're going to see some leadership by guys you may not have known before."'

Marker Run defense faced Fearsome Foursome [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ricky Williams, Edgerrin James, Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin. The Buffalo Bills have faced the NFL running back version of Murderers Row the last four game. As you might expect, the injury-riddled Bills defense has not been up to the challenge.'

Marker Where are they Now? Steve Tasker [8:56 AM] reports: "From the tiny town of Leoti, Kansas to the modestly sized city of Buffalo, New York, the 5'9" Steve Tasker has made a substantial name for himself. Conventional wisdom has it that the former Buffalo Bill, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and the only special teams player ever chosen as the Pro Bowl MVP, will eventually become the first true special teams player selected to the NFL Hall of Fame."

Marker Gregg Williams press conference (10/8) [8:42 AM] reports: "All the way down to the end, as they are finishing that drive, and doing the points they need to be successful on that last drive. They honestly believed that they were going to get the onside kick, and we've scored once on a Hail Mary this year, why not again?"

Marker Hansen is one of the most consistent linemen in the NFL [8:39 AM] reports: "My goal was to play as long as I could, at least 10 years," says Hansen, 33. "My goals have changed over the years. At first, it was to see if I could make the team. I didn't know anything about professional football; I didn't know how I would stack up. Now my goal is I want to win a Super Bowl."

Marker Johnson will be ready for Jaguars [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: '"I think I'll be all right," said Johnson, who was extremely sore yesterday but feeling much improved. "Nerves come back. I expect to take three or four days and be ready to practice. I don't foresee any long-term damage. He bent my neck pretty good. I didn't know it could bend that far. I think I'm lucky it was just a stinger."'

October 8, 2001

Marker Bills urge NFL to fine Lewis for hit on Johnson [10:07 PM]
AP reports: 'While still experiencing pain and stiffness a day later, Johnson was confident he wouldn't miss any playing time as the Bills enter their bye week. They are off until Oct. 18, when they play at Jacksonville.'

Marker A good news, bad news day for the Bills [2:34 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'First the good news. The Buffalo Bills scored 36 points on Sunday afternoon ... the most in a home game since 1998. Now the bad news. It wasn't enough.'

Marker Bills charge Lewis with late hit on Johnson [2:34 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"We were upset ... that was a cheap shot," said Bills rookie running back Travis Henry. "He was sliding and the guy still just hit him ... he got caught in an awkward situation and he got hit - that was wrong."'

Marker Henry was part of the script for the Bills [2:32 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Rookie running back Travis Henry didn't start the game, giving way to Sammy Morris. "We scripted the beginning of the game on Wednesday and wanted to open in the no-huddle," said coach Gregg Williams. "Sammy's in our no-huddle package, Travis isn't."'

Marker Jets force 5 turnovers, then hold on [2:29 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'The Jets won this game with their big-play start.'

Marker Lewis turned loose to shake up the defense [2:28 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: '"We wanted to put a little more heat on this week," Cottrell said after his happy homecoming to western New York, where he orchestrated Buffalo's defense the last three years. "I told Mo we were really going to call his number today. I wanted a good response and he gave it to us."'

Marker Jets notes [2:28 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: '10 -- Number of his 22 career starts that Bills quarterback Rob Johnson has not finished.'

Marker Don't be fooled by score; Bills stunk out The Ralph [2:27 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'If you just saw the score and didn't actually watch the New York Jets' 42-36 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, you'd probably figure it was a very competitive game. Maybe even an exciting shootout. Wrong and wrong.'

Marker Bills slow start could boost Sabres ticket sales [11:53 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Can there be a benefit to the Bills 0-3 start? Though no one involved would ever publicly admit it, there is a good chance the Sabres can gain some fans.'

Marker Bills Stumble to Defeat for the Ages [11:50 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Buffalo's season of football futility reached historic depths Sunday during the New York Jets' deceptively close 42-36 win over the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Jets tied the the 26-year-old record for points scored by a Buffalo opponent in a non-strike game played in Orchard Park. Mo Lewis' 15-yard fumble return, New York's second defensive touchdown, with 1:46 left in the third quarter equalled a standard set by the Baltimore Colts during a 42-35 win in 1975. The Indianapolis version of the Colts, filled with picket-line crossers, ran up a 47-6 win during the 1987 player's strike.'

Marker 5th Down: Duty to perform [9:44 AM] reports: 'Bryce Fisher heard it first while driving to the stadium. When he arrived at the Buffalo Bills' training complex around 1:30 Sunday afternoon, he talked to a few other teammates who had heard the same thing on their radios: Two days shy of four weeks after the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings, the United States had fired back. Cruise missiles were soaring toward Afghanistan. An act of war had been reciprocated, with the promise of more to come.'

Marker Bills vs. Jets Photo Gallery [9:43 AM] reports: All photos by Dave Podwika.

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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