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Buffalo Bills News - November 7, 2002

Marker Alumni Update: Fred Smerlas [10:48 AM] reports: A two-time All-New England tackle at Boston College, Smerlas was disappointed to slip to the second round of the 1979 NFL draft. But after hearing from Bills coach Chuck Knox, he quickly became excited about heading to Buffalo irregardless of when he was selected.

Marker The returns are in: Rogers looking for more [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He ranks 23rd in the league in punt return average and 26th in kickoff return average.'

Marker Bills' Ahanotu sacks out on QEW [5:45 AM]
D and C reports: 'Ahanotu then stretches out on the homemade bed he constructed in the middle of the limo, and he sleeps just about the entire two-hour ride to the stadium, waking only to pass through customs.'

Marker Winfield to return next week, ready to tackle Holmes [5:44 AM]
D and C reports: '“The knee feels real good, I’ve practiced the last couple days. I get a little pinch every now and then but with this week and next week coming up, I’ll be ready.”'

Marker McGinest is fined for hit on Bledsoe [5:43 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I think it was a weak call, but that's what happens," McGinest said. "You gotta play with it. Gotta deal with it."'

Marker Crossing the line [5:42 AM]
Boston Phoenix reports: 'In other situations, like in Ralph Wilson Stadium, it’s harder to explain. It’s difficult to believe the Buffalo Bills box office somehow managed to identify potential idiots from afar and handily assigned them to an area that resembles their natural habitat. But perhaps in some circumstances the Bills ticketers do have that power.'

Marker AFC midseason report card [5:41 AM] reports: The blowout loss to the Patriots was a letdown, but it can't damper an exciting start to the season. No one thought of the Bills being a playoff contender coming into the season. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe passed for 2,802 yards and did a remarkable job of getting the ball to the outside receivers. Eric Moulds had 62 receptions for 853 yards and Peerless Price was right behind him with 60 receptions for 838 yards. The success on offense made Bills fans forget the problems on defense, which resurfaced against the Patriots. The schedule toughens in the second half, but Gregg Williams has a great chance to get this team to eight or nine wins, which is a big step after a 3-13 season.
Grade: B-plus.

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November 6, 2002

Marker Ask Peerless Price A Question [1:21 PM] reports: Price had a team-high nine receptions for 98 yards and one touchdown against New England. He extended his consecutive games with a reception streak to 48 with a 16-yard catch in the second quarter. His fifth reception of the day, a 17-yard effort in the third quarter, was his 56th grab of the season and established a new single-season high for the fourth-year wide receiver.

Marker According to Bledsoe, Steinberg Fumbled Snap [1:20 PM]
Los Angeles Times reports: 'In 1993 Bledsoe was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and Steinberg was his agent. But now Steinberg is suing his former partner, David Dunn, for $40 million for allegedly swiping most of his clients, including Bledsoe.'

Marker The Month Of November In Bills History [12:45 PM] reports: November 20, 1988 -"FANDAMONIUM" - BILLS WIN AFC EAST TITLE Bills' kicker Scott Norwood kicked the game-winning field goal, 3:47 into overtime to give Buffalo a 9-6 victory over the NY Jets at Rich Stadium. NT Fred Smerlas blocked a Pat Leahy 40-yard field goal attempt with 19 seconds left in regulation. It was Buffalo's first AFC East title since 1980.

Marker Williams welcomes time to reflect, recharge [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Of the remaining seven games, five are against teams at or above .500 and all have legitimate postseason hopes, save the 1-7 Cincinnati Bengals, whom the Bills play in the regular-season finale.'

Marker Plowing new ground [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Dubenion thinks Fowler might have become one of the best Bills ever if not for the Achilles' injury. "He had as much talent as anyone," Dubenion said.'

November 5, 2002

Marker Bills now have time to correct flaws [9:30 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But the reality is, the Patriots exploited flaws in every area of the Bills ... offense, defense, special teams and coaching. And Buffalo won’t be playing in January unless they’re corrected.'

Marker Nobody asked but... [1:20 PM]
Cape Breton Post reports: 'Battle of Bledsoe, Brady and Belichick - Buffalo vs Beantown - bluntly being broken down to a blatant boor.'

Marker Bills owner gives suburban Rochester college big boost [1:19 PM]
AP reports: 'The school already had been planning for such a building before Wilson came through with a donation, said President Katherine Keough. But, she added, ''without his help, we could not have built this.'''

Marker Long day before the home folks [11:50 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'One ex-Bill watching the Bills and Patriots in the tunnel before the game told me “the Bills are in trouble. Look how they’re jumping up and down and pumping each other. They aren’t ready.” The Patriots were much more calm and focused, and while you can’t always tell a lot by watching a team before a game, that ex-Bills player was right on target.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Fourth Down Trivia [10:47 AM] reports: Ok, Bills fans… it's trivia time In the Buffalo Bills "Fourth Down Trivia" Contest, you can play to win whether you know it all or not. The weekly winner will receive autographed Buffalo Bills merchandise and the runner-up each week will win a Buffalo Bills keychain.

Marker 5th Down: The Truest Test [10:46 AM] reports: Sometimes reality smacks you in the face like a heavyweight boxer in a back room brawl. Just ask the Buffalo Bills. For a team that is climbing back to the apex of the National Football League, Sunday's game was the most anticipated contest in years.

Marker Exceeding expectations [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With the 5-4 record in mind, here are the five most positive and four most negative developments of the first nine games...'.

Marker In age of parity Bills can have playoff hopes [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I don't expect them to win the Bowl. But you know what? If the season ended today, they'd be in the playoffs. So I'm happy. I remember what 3-13 felt like. I remember pulling for them to lose so they'd get a high pick."'

Marker Thomas will be honored at Dolphins game [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' great running back will be honored during pregame ceremonies on the field at the Bills-Dolphins home game Dec. 1 and at the Monday Quarterback Club's luncheon in HSBC Arena the next day.'

Marker Bills coach defends his decisions [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: '“The big thing is, it’s the first drive of the third quarter, we’re only down 10 at the time, and New England had been on a short field all day long. It was one opportunity to try to put them on a long field. We would’ve liked for it (the punt) to have been deeper but it didn’t work out that way. But it was still an 83-yard field, and we didn’t get off the field on defense ... the big thing is, you’ve got to get off the field.”'

Marker Bills walk away with eyes 'wide open' [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: '“They had our number,” said fullback Larry Centers of the Patriots (4-4), who snapped a four-game losing streak by dominating Buffalo on both sides of the ball. “In this business, if you fight long enough, you’re gonna lose a game like that. We just have to react in the proper way, diagnose the problems and be honest about what we have to get done. I think the bye week comes at an excellent time. It gives us a chance to do a little bit more soul searching.”'

Marker Can the Bills make playoffs with this coaching staff? [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'That’s difficult to answer, but I do know this: It will take a playoff appearance to save some of their jobs.'

Marker Looking ahead for the Bills: A week to regroup [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills were dealt a sobering reminder that they are still very much a work in progress, and they are a team that can’t afford to play poorly against the league’s better teams because if they do, they have almost no chance to win.'

Marker Ralph, Mary Wilson give St. John Fisher $2 million [5:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'The donation is a thanks both to Fisher for hosting the Bills’ summer camp and to the wider Rochester area, Wilson said. “Our fan base in Rochester is important to the Buffalo Bills football team. And when we (Wilson and wife Mary) heard about the need to enhance education at this great college and the possibility of helping to fund a new building ... .” they decided to make the donation.'

Marker Patriots made it a mission of control [5:20 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''There was a certain point in the game where Buffalo really couldn't run the ball,'' Belichick said. ''And we were able to maintain balance on our side because we were in control of the score. There's no question that getting off to a good start enables you to do that.'''

Marker Pats finally rise and shine [5:20 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'COACHING - A. A fine design by all involved.'

Marker Bledsoe bowled over, welcomes bye week [5:19 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'That having been said, it's difficult to lay what happened Sunday at Bledsoe's feet. All things considered, particularly given the way his supporting cast performed, you'd have to say he had a pretty good game.'

Marker Pats-Bills spoke the truth about football [5:19 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'It's not like we haven't seen this all before. In truth, we saw it for nine years. Give Bledsoe time, let him find his comfort zone, and he will put up numbers that reside in record books. Get in his face, and he starts looking like someone trying to run against the current. This is not some instant evaluation, like staring at a painting for the first time. This is looking at an artist's body of work.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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