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Buffalo Bills News - September 20, 2004

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Quarterback: F.'

Marker Bills Muddle Through Another Close Loss [4:59 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Gregg Williams was fired because this club was not mentally tough, but after two games there's been absolutely no improvement in that area.'

Marker Bills Falls To 0-2 [4:58 AM] reports: 'Drew Bledsoe was sacked seven times, and Travis Henry was stopped short on a fourth and goal at the Raiders one yard line with the Bills trailing 10-3 early in the fourth quarter.'

Marker Bills Lose In Oakland 13-10 [4:57 AM] reports: Two games into the Mike Mularkey era and everything seems eerily familiar to the old Gregg Williams era. Stop me if you've heard this before: A pathetic performance by the offense and untimely penalties by the special teams was too much to overcome. Another valiant effort by the defense went to waste as the Bills fell to 0-2 with a 13-10 loss in Oakland.

Marker Two of Three Units Awful In Loss [4:56 AM] reports: The Bills struggled mightily offensively for a second straight week, actually maybe it is 16 straight weeks dating back to the third game of last season. The special teams made one big play but had three called back because of penalties. The defense single handedly, as a unit, kept the team in the game before they tired down the stretch. Here are our position by position grades:

Marker Defense Keeps Game Close [4:55 AM] reports: '"We didn't shut down the big plays and we had too many penalties," Adams said. "Once we're able to solve these problems we'll be a better football team."'

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September 19, 2004

Marker Oakland 13, Buffalo 10 [7:27 PM]
AP reports: 'Drew Bledsoe's first career game in Oakland wasn't much fun, either. Playing before Raider Nation for the first time in his 12th season, Bledsoe was sacked seven times and struggled for the second straight week to take advantage of good field position.'

Marker Oakland 13, Buffalo 10 [7:26 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"It's tough having to think about the 0-2 record going into the bye week," Moulds said. "They have a solid D and played a lot more cover-two than I thought they would."'

Marker Oakland 13, Buffalo 10 [7:26 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"We're a better offense than what we showed," said Bledsoe. "We have to execute better. There were some glaring mistakes."'

Marker Countdown to Kickoff... Pregame Notes [3:46 PM] reports: 'Former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman will be honored with a league-wide tribute this week, as every team will don a #40 on their helmets in honor of the fallen hero.'

Marker Gannon, Mularkey share common roots [9:33 AM]
Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports: 'Mularkey's ascent in the coaching ranks has been rapid, especially when you consider he started at Concordia (Minn.) College in 1993. He spent seven seasons as a position coach with the Buccaneers and Steelers, was promoted to offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, and three years later was hired as Bills head coach at the age of 42. "He's a real innovative guy, a real sharp guy, " Gannon said.'

Marker Building a safety net [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I want to be the best safety that I can be in this defense," said Wire, who will start at strong safety this afternoon when the Bills (0-1) face the Raiders (0-1) in Oakland. "That's the most that I can offer and what's expected of me. I feel I bring everything I have when I go out on that field."'

Marker Downfield passing game nonexistent for Bills' offense [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Can you remember the last time they completed a touchdown pass of at least 25 yards? It was in last year's Jacksonville game, in the second game of the season.'

Marker Raiders return to old-style offense [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We are going to push it down the field and we're going to take our shots," said Gannon. "I think we have a little different personnel than a year ago. You look over the preseason and the first two games of the season, and you can see we do have some people who can really get vertical and stretch the defense."'

Marker Strong, silent type [6:28 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'During games, Wyche works in a booth upstairs connected via headset to offensive coordinator Tom Clements, who calls the Bills' plays. When he's with the quarterbacks, say on the field before a game or at practice, Wyche has a miniature amplifier he can wear on his belt. So far, he really hasn't had to use it.'

Marker Mularkey lands in Buffalo [6:16 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'People close to Mularkey say he said no to the Raiders because the Bills made it clear that Mularkey was the front-runner among the seven candidates they interviewed.'

Marker Sunday's Oakland Coverage [6:15 AM] reports:
Running into Black Hole (Oakland Tribune)
Mularkey lands in Buffalo (Contra Costa Times)
Bills (0-1) vs. Raiders (0-1) (Contra Costa Times)
Raiders still ironing out the kinks (San Jose Mercury News)
Raiders' need to strike balance puts emphasis on run game (San Francisco Chronicle)
Raiders (0-1) vs. Bills (0-1) (San Francisco Chronicle)
Strong, silent type (San Francisco Chronicle)
There's money in it if Woodson plays big (Sacramento Bee)
Raiders vs. Buffalo (Sacramento Bee)
Gannon, Mularkey share common roots (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Rice adjusting to role (Springfield Republican)

Marker Bills are ready for Raiders and their fanatics [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I looked up in the stands and this kid was probably 8 years old and he was giving me the finger, and he was standing next to his dad,” Villarrial recalled. “You can expect the unexpected at this place.”'

Marker Roland is a Raider to the core [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I look at things this way," said Williams, who will hold his sixth youth football camp in Rochester next summer. "The average NFL career lasts 2.5 years, so I've almost tripled that. That makes me pretty lucky."'

Marker Bills face Raiders and Oakland Coliseum’s mystique [5:07 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Meanwhile, first-year Raiders’ coach Norv Turner is delighted by the intimidating reputation of his team’s home field. “It’s hard to play here,” he said, “just like it’s hard to play in Pittsburgh or Buffalo. We’ve got to make it a homefield advantage. We have a great start with our fans ... they’re fabulous and they’re different, but we have to do what it takes at home to ignite them.”'

September 18, 2004

Marker I'll be billionaire in 10 to 15 years [6:08 PM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Q: How long is it going to take you to make $1 billion? A: It's something I threw out there. I don't know. Say, 10 to 15 years. I think that's conservative.'

Marker What to Look for…Bills vs. Raiders [5:51 PM] reports: '"They've got a tough defense," Bledsoe said. "They're not afraid to come after you with the blitz because they have one of the best corner tandems in the league in (Charles) Woodson and (Phillip) Buchanon. Those guys can cover man-to-man as well as anybody. When they leave those guys in coverage we're going to have to make plays against them."'

Marker Lindell finds life beyond 40 [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's the longer kicks that he falters on. The longest field goal Lindell hit last season was a 44-yarder - every one of the other 31 NFL teams had a kicker make a longer field goal than that.'

Marker Bills' Bledsoe is prepared for a 'Black Hole' welcome [8:56 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: '"I do feel like we have enough (talented) skill position guys that the big plays are going to happen for us," Bledsoe said.'

Marker A new challenge for Bledsoe [6:28 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: '"I hesitate to say I'm looking forward to it, but it's certainly one of those unique experiences in the NFL,'' he said. "Like I guess, without being there, it's kind of like going to Green Bay. It's just one of those unique places in the league where it's an experience to be a part of it.'''

Marker Bills' Bledsoe seeking change of fortune [6:18 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: '``Last year we really struggled with our passing game,'' Bledsoe said. ``Our stud, our horse in the passing game, Eric Moulds, was hurt most of the year. And we really didn't have a speed guy to stretch the field. We made too many mistakes offensively to consistently move the ball. This year I do feel like we have a team that can execute in that manner.'''

Marker Bledsoe knows slow start is no reason to panic [6:17 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Not so important that either team should refer to it as a must-win game, he added. "It can be done if you go 0-2," Bledsoe said. "But at the same time, that's a pretty big hole to have to start digging yourself out of to start the season. So, this is a pretty pivotal game for both of us, even though it's very, very early."'

Marker Saturday's Oakland Coverge [6:16 AM] reports:
Illegal contact? No problem (Oakland Tribune)
Bledsoe knows slow start is no reason to panic (Contra Costa Times)
Bills' Bledsoe seeking change of fortune (San Jose Mercury News)
A new challenge for Bledsoe (San Francisco Chronicle)
Bills' Bledsoe is prepared for a 'Black Hole' welcome (Sacramento Bee)
Defensive backs fit right in (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Marker Raiders' Turner is NFL survivor [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Having faced the Bills five times in the past three years (3-2 record), he knows Buffalo defensive coordinator Jerry Gray inside and out. "Put the tape on from say Week 2 of last year when we played them and you see guys grow and understand the defense better and not make the little mistakes," he said. "There's no question that the Bills defense is as talented as any in the league. Jerry's done a great job with them and they continue to get better."'

September 17, 2004

Marker Venturing into the Black Hole [9:21 PM] reports: '“When they pressure us we're going to have the opportunity to take some shots,” Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. “They are aggressive in the secondary, both at the corner position and their safety's they're aggressive as well. There should be some chances to take the ball down field against these guys.”'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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