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Buffalo Bills News - September 5, 2003

Marker Ex-mates: Lawyer a boon for Buffalo [5:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I think he has a lot to prove and I think he'll make the whole defense better, even the team better,'' Fauria said. ``He's not a defensive leader, he's a team leader. I hate to say it. He's a friend but he's the enemy now and that's weird.'''

Marker Locker room talk centers on Milloy [5:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'On the other side of the coin, another veteran was asked if Milloy's release had demoralized some players. ``Hell, yes,'' said the veteran. ``Let me ask you, what does it mean to be a captain around here? What does it mean to get one of those parking spots (for being among the team leaders in offseason workouts, which Milloy was)? I see that `Iron-man' T-shirt hanging in his locker (given to those players who participated in every training camp practice) - what does that get you?'

Marker Milloy Leaves Patriots Behind [5:09 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'A bigger problem is what Milloy can tell the Bills about the Patriots. Although Belichick and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel don't give the defenders that Sunday's game plan until Wednesday - a day after Milloy was dumped for refusing to take a pay cut - Milloy's knowledge of the Patriots defense is almost unsurpassed.'

Marker Big-time defense [5:08 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I would expect our defense to be a little more stingier this year than they were last year," Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe said, "and I would expect our offensive production to remain high. The real goal for us this year is to eliminate some of the mistakes that put us behind the eight-ball in some games."'

Marker Trio makes bid for Milloy's safety spot [5:07 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: '"Nobody knew our defense better than Lawyer did over the past three years. He handle a lot of audibles and checks in the secondary. I know he knows it and knows it well."'

Marker Pats have no safety net [5:06 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'One thing the Patriots have in their favor now that they didn't have last year is an improved pass rush. If they can put heat on Bledsoe -- who's not a terribly elusive sort -- that can cover a multitude of sins in the secondary.'

Marker Words rather than deeds may be Milloy's first contribution [5:05 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Maybe more important will be the way the Bills decide to deploy Milloy. He is talented. And he will be motivated. The Bills will want him on the field. But Milloy will be working virtually without a net if Buffalo opts to use him extensively. If he messes up a coverage -- and working with an unfamiliar secondary group, that's not out of the question -- the Patriots will be ready to make him pay.'

Marker Offseason deals appear to fill the Bills [5:04 AM]
USA Today reports: '''I think we're going to be pretty good,'' he says. ''This is not going to change how I coach or my relationship with the team. This team plays hard all the time.'''

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September 4, 2003

Marker Milloy joins Bills, puts Patriots behind him [8:59 PM]
AP reports: 'Milloy arrived too late to take part in Thursday's practice, but he made it clear when asked about his feelings toward the Patriots, particularly head coach Bill Belichick. ''I could care less about him,'' Milloy said. ''I'm all about the Buffalo Bills.'''

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [4:48 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '12 -- Number of combined sacks and turnovers the Patriots had in last season's two lopsided wins over Buffalo.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:47 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills' top priority is to keep the game close so all their game planning doesn't go out the window after a half. In last year's two lopsided losses, they trailed 17-0 and 20-0, forcing QB Drew Bledsoe to put the ball in the air 72 times and allowing New England coach Bill Belichick to scheme him to death. Buffalo's remodeled defense needs to show up from the opening bell.'

Marker Inside slant [4:46 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'His decision to pick Buffalo over other suitors such as Washington, St. Louis and Minnesota involved his familiarity with the AFC East and style of defense the Bills play. Buffalo is conjuring up new blitz looks under assistant head coach Dick LeBeau and Williams' "46" scheme has always relied on a big-time hitting strong safety to play in the box.'

Marker Bledsoe, Milloy add flair to Bills-Pats opener [4:44 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Despite all of the changes on both sides of the ball for Buffalo, Belichick thinks the biggest improvement the Bills made was on special teams. "The biggest change that I notice in Buffalo is on special teams," Belichick said. "They have a new kicker [Rian Lindell] but they have a very explosive return game. Their kickoff return game in preseason has been strong. The punt return game is probably as good as anybody's in the league. Antonio Brown has shown great speed and playmaking ability in that phase of the game. So that is a big change for them."'

Marker Bills Make Roster Moves [4:31 PM] reports: 'Also today, the team announced that quarterback Travis Brown has reached an injury settlement with the Bills. Brown had been placed on Injured Reserve on August 31 with a finger injury.'

Marker Bills cut LB Haggan to make room for Milloy [4:30 PM]
AP reports: 'Haggan, a three-year starter at Mississippi State, was Buffalo's seventh-round draft pick. He became the odd-man out as the Bills were already carrying eight linebackers on their roster.'

Marker Bills don't need lawyering up to break Pats jinx [4:28 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: About the only way the buildup could get more intense would be if New England coach Bill Belichick started "your momma"-ing his Buffalo counterpart in the press, or if Gregg Williams publicly offered to relieve the Patriots coach of his teeth at midfield before the coin toss.'

Marker Bledsoe finds comfort, happiness in Buffalo [4:27 PM]
AP reports: '``It's not about proving myself,'' Bledsoe said. ``It's about winning ... If I can go win a championship with this team, that'll be a great career. It sounds, maybe, cliche or simple, but that's what it is.'''

Marker Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 09/04/2003 [3:07 PM] reports: 'Q: What advantage, if any, has [Larry Centers] been able to give you on Buffalo? BB: Larry has given us some insight into all of the things that you would think he would be able to. He knows the players. He has been in that system for a year and knows some things about it. Larry is a smart guy too.'

Marker Bills, Milloy present emotional challenge [3:04 PM] reports: 'In the bigger scheme I have to channel my emotions and my feelings into doing things that are not necessarily best for me but best for the team. I can't go out [free-wheeling] and doing things that aren't in the game plan. I have to go out and play football, play it to the best of my ability and hope for the best. And that is probably what Belichick is hoping for from every player in his locker room, because in the end after all the theater and underlying themes are tossed aside, both teams need to start the season with a win in what is probably the tightest division in football. Yes there will be a lot of emotion on the field Sunday, but like Seymour said once the ball is snapped the players just have to play football.'

Marker Bills-Patriots Game Sold Out [1:51 PM] reports: 'The Bills-Patriots game this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium is sold out and will be televised locally.'

Marker Belichick betting he's right again [1:29 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Belichick's gambit with Bledsoe worked out perfectly last year. The Pats beat him twice and made him look bad both times. Meanwhile, Bledsoe led the Bills to a sweep of Miami, the Patriots' archrival. That the four-game swing didn't translate into a division crown for New England was (to Belichick's thinking) beside the point. He took a risk and it paid off.'

Marker Sunday just got more interesting [1:27 PM]
Lowell Sun reports: '"I don't think there are too many Lawyers out there," said Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown in a locker room of players still stunned yesterday morning by the release of Milloy the day before. "I've played 11 years, and I haven't played with any other guy like him. He is just one of those crazy defensive guys. His personality as far as getting going (in a game) was a little different than everyone else's. He was running into someone as hard as he could. It's kind of hard to replace that."'

Marker M&T Bank, Choice One sign on as Bills' sponsors [1:26 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Buffalo-based M&T is now the "official bank" of the Bills and has taken the naming rights to one of two premium suite seating areas at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Clearly, Bills werent happy with their starting safeties [1:22 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'And for a team that clearly wanted to upgrade the position Coy Wires potential notwithstanding the Bills feel they got the perfect player at absolutely the right time ... and, significantly, at the right price.'

Marker Fearless Football Forecast [11:47 AM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'The Bills will beat Miami in a playoff game in Orchard Park in January, then lose to the Chiefs.'

Marker Could Milloy signing backfire for Bills? [11:45 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Likewise, this wont be easy for a few of the Bills players to take either. Coy Wire busted his butt during training camp and throughout the pre season, and hes the obvious man out, at least as a starter. Hes saying the right things because hes a class young guy, but players are only human, and this disruption could be a short term distraction for the Bills, who have already started forming a bit of chemistry on the D.'

Marker Bills And Choice One Communications Announce Five-Year Extension To Existing Partnership [11:44 AM] reports: 'As part of the agreement, Choice One will remain the official telecommunications provider for the Buffalo Bills and Ralph Wilson Stadium. Additionally, the Bills and Choice One have agreed to extend the existing marketing sponsorship to promote Choice Ones association with the team, which includes in-stadium signage, naming rights to the Choice One Club, business-to-business marketing, game tickets, special events and community outreach programs. Also as part of the marketing sponsorship, Choice One is a major corporate sponsor for the Buffalo Bills Training Camp, which is held each summer in Rochester, New York.'

Marker Bledsoe Talks About 2003 Season Opener [11:43 AM] reports: '"It's an important game for us, there's no question, it's a division game. It's the first one out of the blocks. It's a huge game, there is no other way I can put it. If we win this game that's not going to put us in the playoffs, but it's a big game. We are going to do everything we can to win the ball game."'

Marker NFL 2003 AFC East [11:08 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Outlook: An improved team, but the rest of the division is too tough.'

Marker Forget pay, it's all about the payback [10:08 AM]
Portland Press Herald reports: 'From the moment he walked out of Gillette Stadium for the last time, Lawyer Milloy was ready. You hit your friends harder.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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