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Buffalo Bills News - September 21, 2000

Marker Flat Bills tap Linton for kick vs. Colts [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: 'Saying he's looking for a "spark" for his anemic running game, Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips yesterday named Jonathan Linton as his starting running back for the Indianapolis Colts game Oct. 1. Headed to the bench is Antowain Smith, whose career has been in freefall since topping 1,000 yards two seasons ago.'

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September 20, 2000

Marker Bills Moore out 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain [8:53 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills rookie linebacker Corey Moore will miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, coach Wade Phillips said on Wednesday.'

Marker Linton to replace Smith as Bills shuffle starting running backs [8:51 PM]
AP reports: 'Linton, who has not carried the ball yet this year has been limited to special teams play while recovering from a rib injury, will take over for Antowain Smith following the bye week when the Bills host AFC East Division rival Indianapolis on Oct. 1. "We wanted to give Jonathan the opportunity," coach Wade Phillips said Wednesday. "We're fortunate to have a number of quality backs that can help us win games and this is Jonathan's chance to show what he can do as the starter."'

September 19, 2000

Marker Smith's time has ended as feature back [2:51 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'While the Bills rushed for only 80 yards in New York, significantly they averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Even more prophetically, it appears there's been a switch at feature back. Against the Jets, Antowain Smith had only five carries for 13 yards, none in the final 28 minutes of the game. His place was taken by Shawn Bryson, last year's third-round draft choice, who had 12 carries for 40 yards and lost a 21-yard run on a procedure penalty that had nothing to do with the gain. Through three games, Smith has a microscopic 72 yards on 34 carries and you get the idea the coaching staff is growing weary of making excuses for him.'

Marker Bills Riemersma may miss 4-to-5 weeks with knee injury [1:53 PM]
AP reports: 'Tight end Jay Riemersma, one of Buffalo's most consistent clutch receivers, is expected to miss 4-to-5 weeks recovering from a damaged left knee ligament, his agent Jack Wirth said. "If there's no complications, it's probably going to take 4-to-5 weeks," Wirth told The Associated Press on Monday evening after Riemersma underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging exam earlier in the day. The good news, Wirth said, is that it appears surgery will not be required to repair the medial collateral ligament, and that Riemersma can begin rehabbing immediately. However, Wirth added, "You never know how these things go."'

Marker The last word [10:14 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I think we made mistakes in just about every area you can make mistakes in," [Special Teams Coach Ronnie] Jones said. "(The players) have got to do a better job, I've got to do a better job and we've got to get it done in a hurry."'

Marker Collins to replace ailing Riemersma [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Collins will replace tight end Jay Riemersma, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday in the Bills' 27-14 loss to the New York Jets. The Bills won't know how severe Riemersma's injury is until they get the results of a magnetic resonance imaging exam, which could happen today. However, it is believed he will miss 4-6 weeks.'

Marker Smith's days as go-to back should be over [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With a bye week available to get him ready for Indianapolis, the guess here is that it is Bryson's time, that "running back by committee" may be over.'

Marker Cap woes decimated special teams [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Despite their obvious struggles, the Buffalo Bills will continue to use young, inexperienced players on special teams. Coach Wade Phillips said he has no choice. "They have to play," he said. "I think a lot of them are going to be good, so we've just got to keep going with them."'

Marker Johnson loses a favorite target to injury [6:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'Tight end Jay Riemersma, one of the team's few reliable offensive threats, suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that will sideline him at least four weeks, general manager John Butler said.'

Marker Maybe Bruce DeHaven wasn't the problem after all [6:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'I don't know how Polian could have prevented the special teams breakdown that cost the Bills last season's playoff game against Tennessee. I believe Phillips is doing a decent job (23-13 regular-season record) and I would describe Butler more as a life jacket than an anchor. The Bills had the NFL's second-best record in the 1990s and Polian left after the 1992 season, which means most of the current Bills came aboard under Butler's watch.'

September 18, 2000

Marker Game Recap [10:37 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Did the Bills play the New York Jets on Sept. 17, or did they just play themselves in some intra-squad scrimmage? Apparently, it was an intra-squad scrimmage because most of the Bills said they beat themselves after the 27-14 loss in Giants Stadium to fall 2-1 on the year.'

Marker Bills/Jets Quotebook [10:36 PM]
Shout! reports: Straight from the coaches and players...

Marker Game Day Photos [10:35 PM]
TBD reports: Photos from the Bills/Jets game.

Marker Bills have bye week to digest ugly loss to Jets [9:04 PM]
AP reports: '"We made mistakes, certainly," Phillips said. "We felt like we could've won the game. Certainly, we could have if we don't make the big mistakes that we made. ... You can't do those things and win. But those things are correctible, easily correctible in my opinion."'

Marker Unbeaten Jets jump past Bills 27-14 [3:50 PM]
USA Today reports: 'For the first time since 1966, when a fellow named Namath was their quarterback, the New York Jets find themselves 3-0. :That's a long time to not be 3-0," Jets cornerback Marcus Coleman said with a grin Sunday shortly after his team dumped the previously unbeaten Buffalo Bills 27-14, a win in which Coleman was an unlikely hero. "But I'll tell you what. We're not going to stop at 3-0. We're going to keep this thing going."'

Marker Blundering Bills bobble one away [1:38 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Come November, this is one of those games the Buffalo Bills will look back on with regret. The scoreboard at Giants Stadium on Sunday afternoon read: Jets 27, Bills 14. But Buffalo quarterback Rob Johnson didn't see it as a New York victory. "We feel we gave the game away," he said. "We didn't lose it."'

Marker This win special for Jets, Coleman [1:37 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Jones, the Bills first-year special teams coach emphasized he's not one to make excuses. But he did have some explanations why his unit gave up a 97-yard kickoff return to Kevin Williams. "It's really a trickle down effect with special teams when you lose someone off the starting units," Jones said. "For instance, we lost Sam Rogers, so Corey Moore becomes a starter. Then he gets hurt. Now, you've got guys shuffling around playing different positions that they haven't taken reps at. "Because you're very limited on your numbers going into a game, so you're coaching guys on the run," he continued. "(On the touchdown return) it was a breakdown of one player that didn't read the return right. It's a return we worked on all week, there was nothing tricky about it. "Everyone came down and worked to the right, one guy worked to the left, there was a crease there, then a missed tackle or two and it's off to the races,” Jones added.'

Marker No blaming DeHaven for this Bills loss [1:34 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'When the Buffalo Bills' special teams unraveled in last season's playoff game, low-lighted by the 'Music City Miracle' kickoff return that turned victory into defeat, there had to be a scapegoat. Sure enough, shortly afterward, DeHaven became the ex-Bills special teams coach. And when his replacement, Ronnie Jones, was hired, head coach Wade Phillips made it clear that he would be 'more involved' in that aspect of the game. Thank goodness. Imagine how badly the Bills would have lost on Sunday afternoon had he not had a hand in the not-so-special teams.'

Marker You have to hand it to the Jets [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Maybe it shouldn't have been, but it was an easy victory for the New York Jets over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. That's because the Bills made it easy. "We shot ourselves in the foot too many times," Bills safety Keion Carpenter said.'

Marker Bills self-destruct in loss to Jets [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As the Bills players looked around the locker room afterward, they were forced to admit one thing: We have found the enemy, and the enemy is us.'

Marker Special teams coach on hot seat [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Nobody has to tell Ronnie Jones what's coming this week. He knows. The Buffalo Bills' rookie special teams coach expects to be the target of criticism from the media and fans after his unit contributed greatly to the team's 27-14 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. However, Jones claims he won't see or hear any of it. "No offense, but I don't read newspapers, which is probably a good thing this week," he said outside the Bills' locker room. "I don't listen to talk shows. I'm not a total idiot, so I know when we didn't do well." Saying the Bills didn't do well on special teams is putting it mildly. The kickoff coverage, ranked 29th in the NFL before Sunday, has been lousy since the preseason and it does not appear to be improving.'

Marker Bills special teams are far less than ordinary [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Before the Bills went to training camp, coach Wade Phillips said he intended "to become involved in the special teams." Wade wouldn't want to have his fingerprints discovered on this game.'

Marker Injuries make a bad day worse [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A bad day for the Buffalo Bills was made even worse as tight end Jay Riemersma and linebackers Corey Moore and John Holecek left Giants Stadium with potentially serious injuries.'

Marker Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Big Picture: The Bills are out of first place in the AFC East, out of the undefeated ranks and, for 13 days, out of chances to redeem themselves for a shoddy performance in the Jersey Meadowlands.'

Marker Coleman's leaping TD catch sparks 3-0 Jets [9:07 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'It was as if the Jets' determined grab for their first 3-0 start in 34 years took on human form. There was cornerback Marcus Coleman, streaking out of the slot on the last play of the first half and out-leaping five Buffalo Bills defensive players to pull down Vinny Testaverde's 45-yard heave. It was a Keyshawn Johnson-type catch made by a fifth-year cornerback who now counts as many touchdown catches this season as the team's former receiving star. Though the Jets would get two John Hall field goals in the second half, it was Coleman's game-turning touchdown that lifted the Jets to their feel-good, 27-14 victory yesterday.'

Marker A return Williams will never forget [9:06 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'Last year, Kevin Williams was lying in a hospital bed. He wasn't wondering if he was going to play football again. He was worried that he was going to die.'

Marker Smoke and mirrors, but still unbeaten [9:05 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'The last time the Jets were 3-0, Star Trek was a hot new show on television and William Shatner was a slim young star with a full head of hair.'

Marker 'Disastrous' Bills fail their road test [7:22 AM]
D and C reports: '"Well, obviously it was a disastrous game for us," coach Wade Phillips understated. "I don't think I've been in a game where we've made quite that many mistakes." Good thing, because Phillips' insides would be devoured by ulcers.'

Marker Bills defense gives up another improbable play [7:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'Despite having seven men in the secondary, including three surrounding Coleman in the end zone, the Bills somehow allowed Coleman to catch the ball which provided the Jets a 21-14 lead at the intermission.'

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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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