Pillar of Bolts secondary, Harrison ceding stats [9:18 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Strong safety Rodney Harrison did it all for the Chargers last season. He led the team in tackles (127), interceptions (six) and passes defensed (17), and outpaced every NFL defensive back with six sacks. The scary part? He's playing better this year.'
Buffalo's QB isn't coy: 'Flutie not nice person' [9:17 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"I'm not even going to respond," he said. "I'm glad I'm here. I think there are a lot of people here, too, that are glad I'm here. I've got a lot of friends on that team and had a great experience in Buffalo. I enjoyed my three years in Buffalo and now I'm in a great situation here and looking to take a run at the playoffs."'
Flutie takes another shot [5:19 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'As of late yesterday, 5,000 tickets remained for Sunday's game...'.
Doug's a big fan of Canadian ball [5:17 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Chargers GM John Butler refused to be interviewed by Buffalo radio or TV stations this week. He did agree to talk to San Diego outlets, but only on the condition they didn't share the tape with affiliates in Western New York.'
Johnson: I'm not facing Doug Flutie [5:11 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't really care about them," Johnson said of Flutie Nation. "Fans are going to support who they want to and I don't think it's really going to change anything."'
Johnson almost reunited with Chargers coach Riley [5:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'The two very likely would have been reunited last off-season had the Bills decided to release Johnson and keep Doug Flutie as their quarterback. Instead, Flutie was let go, he signed with the Chargers, and now Johnson's arch enemy is playing for his buddy. A strange twist indeed.'
Chargers, Bills not hiding dislike for each other [5:08 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: '"It's one thing to see football -- that's a drama in itself," Wiley said. "But this one's expected to be a notch above that. It starts up top, all the way down to the field. It's just relationships. It's almost a chance for the little brother to beat up his big sister if he can, and mama don't get mad."'
Containing Flutie key for Bills defense [7:54 PM]
AP reports: 'The only one not expressing concern is nosetackle Pat Williams. "There ain't no magic," Williams said of Flutie and the Chargers. "They lost against the Patriots, the Browns. They've been playing average. They ain't showed me nothing."'
Johnson-Flutie rivalry once again takes center stage Sunday [4:12 PM]
AP reports: '"I think he's starting to get a good feel for it," general manager Tom Donahoe said of Johnson. "He played with a lot of courage and a lot of effort. He has all the tools. ... He's definitely a quarterback that can win a lot of games for us." Whether he ever wins more than Flutie, however, remains to be seen.'
Football fire still burning [2:23 PM]
Myrtle Beach Sun News reports: 'NFL Films is doing a "Where are they now?" on Saban on the sidelines at Chowan and ESPN also is doing a feature on Saban's nomadic career.'
Fascination with Flutie continues [2:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'As of today, Flutie is 34-16 as a starter ... making it all the more curious that he's with his fourth NFL team in eight seasons.'
Bills new and old go head to head [2:19 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Rob Johnson knows fans on both sides of the Great Quarterback Controversy have been pointing to Sunday since the National Football League released its 2001 schedule last spring. He also knows that the debate over the relative worth of he and Doug Flutie won't end after the Buffalo Bills visit the San Diego Chargers won't end there, whatever the outcome. "Fans are going to support who they want to support," Johnson said, referring to the Flutiephiles who won't, or can't, move on. "I don't think this will change anything."
Wilson had a point about Wade’s pact [11:47 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Wilson's position is that the firing was justified by Phillips' failure to carry out a required task. And that's hard to argue. While Phillips gets high marks for allegiance to a staffer, he still, according to Wilson, disobeyed the man paying his salary.'
Now Flutie, Johnson battle from opposite sidelines [11:36 AM]
North County Times reports: '"(Bills owner) Mr. Ralph C. Wilson didn't like Doug Flutie. Period," said Chargers assistant general manager A.J. Smith, who spent the past 14 years in Buffalo. "He didn't like Doug at all. Ralph Wilson thinks he is a personnel guy, and he really doesn't have a clue. He wanted Doug Flutie cut and gone his first camp."'
Chargers contingent of ex-Bills plays down game . . . Yeah, right [9:12 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Asked the difference between Rob Johnson, the quarterback Buffalo kept in the offseason, and Doug Flutie, the quarterback Buffalo released, Chargers wideout Tim Dwight said: "Doug's good; Rob (stinks)."'
Flutie's fans keep flame, airwaves burning in western New York state [9:11 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Flutie continues to be beloved here in far greater degree than the Bills could have anticipated when they made the decision after last season that freed the quarterback to be acquired by the Chargers. Flutie is "the Magic Man." He is the quarterback considered, literally, to have saved the Buffalo franchise. And the "Flutie Fanatics," who are legion, won't let anyone forget it.'
Teams love Johnson for potential [9:09 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'At 28, Johnson is in his seventh NFL season. If he is going to establish himself, he must do it soon. His failure would represent a major setback to the Bills' rebuilding program. Should the team sever him, he would count $11.7 million next season against the team's salary cap. In the event he is retained -- by far the more likely circumstance -- he still counts $5 million.'
Rogers dislocates thumb; Seau still day-to-day [9:08 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'The Chargers' linebacker corps took another hit yesterday when backup Sam Rogers was forced from practice with an injured right hand. "Sam had a dislocated top joint in his thumb," coach Mike Riley said. "James (Collins, the team's trainer) wanted a doctor to look at it. The first indication was that it won't slow him down being ready for the ballgame (Sunday vs. the Bills)."'
Bottling up Tomlinson is tall task for defense [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'San Diego's No. 21 ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing with 544 yards in six games. And he's the foundation of the ball-control attack Chargers offensive coordinator Norv Turner loves. The Chargers lead the NFL in time of possession, controlling the ball an average of 32 minutes, 34 seconds.'
The Flutie factor [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"When I think of a 40-year-old man, I think of a guy who has put this part of his life behind him," he said. "But I don't picture myself in that light. You're as young as you feel, and right now I feel great."'
It's time for the truth about Flutie [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Doug Flutie was always about one thing. Doug Flutie.'
Offensive line won't be at full strength vs. Chargers [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Reserve Jon Carman will be forced to start at right tackle because rookie starter Jonas Jennings is listed as doubtful with a sprained arch. Carman has the unenviable task of blocking ex-Bill Marcellus Wiley, the Chargers' left defensive end. Carman was cut at the end of preseason, then signed to the Bills' practice squad. He was added to the active roster just before the Pittsburgh game.'
Tasker's former teammates mail it in [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Steve Tasker received some long-distance words of appreciation at the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wednesday in HSBC Arena. The former Buffalo Bills' special teams standout was one of 11 inducted into the hall. Former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly introduced Tasker. Ex-teammates unable to make the festivities, including punter John Kidd and quarterback Frank Reich, sent their regards through the mail. Kidd didn't get points for brevity, sending Tasker a four-page letter.'
Stratton's hit lives on in Bills' lore [8:52 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "You could just see the emotions and the credibility of the Buffalo Bills come together at that point," says Jack Kemp, who quarterbacked the Bills to back-to-back AFL titles in 1964 and 1965 over the talented Chargers of coach Sid Gillman. "That hit and that win put Buffalo on the major league sports map."
Gregg Williams press conference [8:52 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "Rob did a great job of protecting himself. He did a phenomenal job of buying time with his feet, and that's one of the positives in that ballgame, he has been buying himself time. Times when the protection has broken down, he's found a way to still make a play. That's good for our offense, and we need to continue doing that. Those are the most difficult quarterbacks to manage in a ballgame, the ones who can buy themselves time and turn a bad play into a good play, and he's done that several times. Last week, he did it a lot."
Rob Johnson press conference [8:51 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "I don't see most other quarterbacks in the league. I saw Mark [Brunell] last week because we're pretty good friends, but that's the only quarterback in five games that I've gone out and talked to."
Great days in San Diego [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: '"I'm off to a new beginning here in San Diego and it's been a great situation here." It was uncertain what Flutie meant by "great." Great in that the Chargers are off to a 4-2 start and are in second place in the AFC West. Great in that he is the undisputed No. 1 quarterback of a NFL team for the first time in his career. Or great in that he no longer has to spar with his favorite foil, Rob Johnson.
In order, the answers are probably yes, yes and yes.'
Ostroski close to return with fractured leg healed [5:47 AM]
D and C reports: 'Ostroski said yesterday X-rays of his leg show the fracture has healed, so he has begun conditioning and thinks he can return within 2-3 weeks. There is an outside chance he could play Nov. 4 against Indianapolis.'
Chargers, Bills no normal game [5:47 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The former Argo talks respectfully of his former teammates and fans in Buffalo. But when the subject of Bills owner Ralph Wilson comes up, it's harder to hold his tongue. "Why he doesn't believe in my abilities, I don't know," said Flutie, who was the odd man out when new Bills management had to decide between him and Johnson last winter. "All we ever did was win games and put people in the seats for him. But whatever."'
Game against Bills not personal for Flutie [5:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Stories of an athlete taking "revenge" against a team that dumped him occupy the top two shelves in any decent sports library, but Flutie wishes to add nothing to the literature. "That's history," he said of his conflicts, real and imagined, with Johnson and with Bills management that ultimately decided on the younger and, especially, taller, man. "That was last year. This is all a new beginning for me."'
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