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Buffalo Bills News - September 20, 2001

Marker Eight days, three games: How would players respond? [9:34 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: It was Haslett, a former LB with the Bills, and Saints general manager Randy Mueller who proposed that each team play Thanksgiving Day to make up games, between regularly scheduled weekend games.

"It would be tough, but it's doable," Haslett said. "If it means getting in the four wild-card teams the league is thinking of eliminating, then it would be worth it."

Haslett even has a Jan. 5-13 schedule worked out: Play Saturday, off Sunday, practice Monday, walk-through Tuesday, play Wednesday, off Thursday, practice Friday, walk-through Saturday and play Sunday.

Marker New Bills regime: They don't hold back any punches [9:28 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: One thing about the new regime in Buffalo: They don't hold back any punches. Whether it's new HC Williams or GM Donahoe, they make sure players know what they're thinking -- even if it's sometimes through the media. Donahoe questioned the play of veteran John Fina this week. That comes on the heels of the release of veteran safety Henry Jones and linebacker John Holecek. With Donahoe and Williams, the Bills are going to be a good football team down the road. It's just going to take a few years. As one personnel director said, "They have the worst team in the league." In a year or two, nobody will be saying that.

Speaking of Jones, he was a Pro Bowl player for much of his 10-year career with the Bills, but he still remains unsigned after the Bills determined he didn't fit Williams' defense, which stresses physical safeties who can play near the line of scrimmage. There's another reason Jones was let go: He's clearly not the same player he has been. "He's terrible," said one scout who has studied him on tape. "He didn't come close to tackling anybody on the tapes I watched."

Marker Williams starting to lean on Johnson ever so slightly [8:03 PM]
WGR reports: Williams, has for the most part been protecting his starting QB from the slings and arrows that have been thrown his way. All the while he has downplayed lackluster performances in the preseason and a 3 interception performance in the season opener. But now heading into the Bills 2nd regular season game he isnít coddling his QB anymore. As far as he is concerned itís time for Johnson to take hold of the reins of this offense and ride.

Marker NFL 101 Football Clinic For Women [7:51 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills will hold their fourth annual NFL 101 Football Clinic For Women on Oct. 2, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Registration (689-6981, ext. 101 or 112) is required.

The clinic teaches all aspects of football while providing interaction with current and former players.

The fee is $40 per person, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society and the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation

Marker No Cowart? No problem, Bills say [7:24 PM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo's defense prepares for an intimidating test this weekend without its most important player, linebacker Sam Cowart. Raising a white flag is not an option.'

Marker Owner donates $130,000 of tickets to emergency personnel [4:02 PM]
AP reports: 'Citing their heroism, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson donated more than $130,000 worth of football tickets (3,300 tickets) to local police, fire and emergency medical technicians on Thursday.'

Marker Cowart-less defense faces huge test in James [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'James has won the NFL rushing title in each of his two seasons in the NFL and is the second-best rushing-and-receiving threat in the league behind St. Louis' Marshall Faulk. And he opened the 2001 season with a blast - gaining 135 yards in the Colts' rout of the New York Jets.'

Marker Pregame should be emotional [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'All game telecasts Sunday afternoon will open with a 60-second piece prepared by NFL Films recognizing the unprecedented events of the past week. The piece also will air in the stadiums. There also will be a moment of silence.'

Marker Nimda virus hits area computer networks hard [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And Buffalo.com, a Web portal operated by The Buffalo News, unplugged itself to avoid catching the virus and spreading it to users, officials said. The site was offline for most of Wednesday after being switched off Tuesday afternoon.'

Marker Bills back at it [5:37 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"In our meeting (yesterday) we discussed, 'If you were handed a hard hat, if you were handed a shovel, if you were handed a rope, would you take it?' To a man, they said they would. We have been handed a football. That's our job, that's what we're supposed to do."'

Marker Bills want to keep Johnson off turf [5:32 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Bills coach Gregg Williams made it clear on Wednesday that it would behoove Johnson to pick up a few pointers from watching his counterpart Sunday afternoon. In fact, it won't be the first time Manning will have served as a role model for Johnson. "We use as many examples as we can in our coaching and our teaching, and (Manning) is one of the examples that we've used with Rob," Williams said.'

Marker Chartered flight eases Bills' concerns of flying [5:29 AM]
D and C reports: '"I have no concerns about it," Williams said. "It's time to play, it's time to travel, and Indianapolis is where we're going."'

Marker Fina says he's been playing poorly [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills have worked free agent Kris Farris with the starting unit for some series in practice but Fina is still slated to start Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.'

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September 19, 2001

Marker Prepared for anything [12:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Along with rest of the country, the Bills are adjusting to a new life AFTER last week's tragic events. Now it is time to get back to normal and deal with the situation at hand including a revised 16 week schedule and an injured Pro Bowl linebacker Sam Cowart.'

Marker Quick Hits [12:16 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Former Bills practice squad wide receiver Drew Haddad made the Colts' regular season roster, and made an impression with some solid kickoff and punt return work, although he did not return a kick in the Colts' season opener.'

Marker Bills re-start season in Indianapolis [12:15 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Offensively for Buffalo, the Bills likely will look to control the clock to help keep the dangerous Indianapolis offense off the field, and with that, they need a solid performance from rookie running back Travis Henry. Henry rushed for 22 carries against the Saints, gaining 58 yards.'

Marker Bills will cut Christie as soon as he is healthy [8:04 AM]
D and C reports: Donahoe said the Bills will release Christie once he's recovered from his groin injury. Donahoe said Christie refused the team's injury settlement, which would've allowed the Bills the option to re-sign him in 10 weeks.

Marker NFL reschedules cancelled games for weekend of Jan 5-7 [7:51 AM]
NFL.com reports: The NFL playing schedule that was postponed this past weekend will be played on the weekend of January 5-7 to retain a 16-game regular-season schedule, the league announced Tuesday.

They are continuing on working on keeping the six division winners, six Wild Cards and our entire postseason format intact. If they cannot resolve the entire postseason lineup, they will go to a system of six division winners and two Wild Card teams for this one season only.

Marker NFL, officials agree to contract [6:59 AM]
NFL.com reports: 'The NFL and its officials agreed to a new contract Monday, all but ending the lockout and the need for replacements, a league source told The Associated Press.'

Marker Bills send message to Fina [5:22 AM]
AP reports: 'What's unusual with Donahoe's remarks is that general managers -- in Buffalo, at least -- have rarely publicly challenged their players, especially during a season. Then again, this isn't the old Buffalo Bills.'

September 18, 2001

Marker Bills' Achilles heel … losing Cowart's skill [1:23 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Thus, it's virtually assured that the Bills' best defender is out for the season, leaving Buffalo's run-stopping responsibility in the hands of second-year pro Kenyatta Wright and rookie fourth round draft choice Brandon Spoon. In reality, though general manager Tom Donahoe and head coach Gregg Williams will never admit it, this is the Bills' worst nightmare come true.'

Marker Ask Phil Hansen! [1:10 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Phil Hansen will take questions from the Buffalo Bills website.

Marker Tom Donahoe's Weekly Bills Update [12:58 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Tom Donahoe answers a number of questions including:
Football-wise, did it help the young team to get more practice in, would you rather have had more game experience?

"Our situation's not any more difficult that anyone else's. With the young team, it has given us more practice time, which we can use, so that our players can improve and further develop. From that standpoint, we can take advantage of the extra time that we've had in terms of preparation and our players getting better."

Marker Levy, fan take road trip after tragedies [9:51 AM]
NFL.com reports: On Tuesday morning, Levy was en route from Denver to Chicago following Monday night's matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants. Shortly into the flight, the pilot announced that their plane would land in Omaha, Neb., due to possible terrorist strikes in New York City and Washington D.C.

Marker Levy has seen this level of patriotism [9:50 AM]
NFL.com reports: "There was a tremendous pulling together of the nation, a oneness of mind that I saw reflected after these events of last Tuesday that I haven't seen since Pearl Harbor," Levy told NFL.com.

Marker Bills coach turns focus toward working [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's the challenge we have in every walk of life throughout the country right now," Williams said. "It's not only here. The (stock) markets opened up (Monday). We'll do our part. That's my job, our job as coaches. We'll do our part to get it back to as normal as we can, whatever that may be."'

Marker Players pitch in to raise funds [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Rob Johnson, Phil Hansen, Jay Riemersma, Alex Van Pelt, Kris Farris and Michael Early were among those who signed autographs at the Walden Galleria on Saturday. They also accepted donations from shoppers and pooled an unspecified amount of their own money to help in the rescue and recovery project.'

Marker Harmon Forcast - Indianapolis 23, Buffalo 15 [8:48 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Here's the explosive Colts offense's first test against a top-notch defense. With 18-16 and 44-20 wins in Buffalo and Indianapolis, the Colts swept the Bills in '00 for the first time since '94.

Marker Greed put aside at tough time? Refs agree on deal? [8:45 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: If they don't take this deal, which will give them a 50% raise this season and a 100% raise in the fourth year, the NFL is expected to play the season with the replacement officials.
Count on them taking it.

How could they not? As one league insider noted, the stock market is down nearly 700 points and the officials are squawking about a 50% increase for a second job?

Tom Condon, chief negotiator for the union, told USA TODAY Monday night that the report was erroneous and no deal was in place.

Marker 5th and 6th playoff seeds don't make it to Superbowl [8:38 AM]
ESPN reports: "Given everything that you have to go through if you're one of those last two wild-cards teams, staying around in the playoffs for any length of time is (a hard thing)," said former Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips.

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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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