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Buffalo Bills News - October 11, 2000

Marker Confusion abounds as Smith disappointed he's still in Buffalo [8:18 PM]
AP reports: 'News of Smith's trade request arose Tuesday when agent Scott Casterline told The Buffalo News that he was trying to get Smith dealt before that day's NFL trading deadline. The trouble is, as Smith pointed out after practice Wednesday, that he fired Casterline about six months ago and is now represented by Herb Rudolph. Smith, however, didn't hang around long enough to explain why Casterline might have been speaking for him.'

Marker Bills try to fix what's broken in return game [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills are at the point of no return. They rank dead last in punt returns. They rank second from the bottom in kickoff returns. But special teams coach Ronnie Jones doesn't think those stats will reflect the performance the Bills will turn in Sunday against the winless San Diego Chargers in Ralph Wilson Stadium. "We're going to get it fixed," Jones said. "I expect us to break out this week and have a good day. I expect to see a lot of improvement this week. "I like what I'm coming up with after watching film. I think I've drawn up a play that gives us a good chance at a big return this week."'

Marker For Smith, all systems are not 'go' [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think there's confusion among the coaching staff," [Antowain Smith's agent Scott] Casterline said. "Some people want Antowain and some people don't. I don't see a resolution unless he plays somewhere else or until there's a coaching change. "As long as there's certain coaches on the staff, Antowain's best future won't be with the Buffalo Bills, which is too bad because he enjoys the town and his teammates."'

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October 10, 2000

Marker Playoffs are far from a lock for Bills [9:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '...their 0-3 division record virtually dooms them to a wild-card spot and a berth in the post-season is hardly guaranteed.'

Marker Smith stays with Bills as NFL trade deadline passes [9:22 PM]
AP reports: 'Running back Antowain Smith didn't get his wish granted as he remains a member of the Buffalo Bills after the NFL trading deadline struck on Tuesday. A Bills spokesman said no deals had been made after the 4 p.m. deadline passed.'

Marker Smith asks Bills to trade him [4:18 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills' spokesman Scott Birchtold withheld comment. "There's nothing there," he said. "Why would we want to comment on it?"'

Marker Agent asks Bills to deal Antowain [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '[Antowain Smith's agent Scott] Casterline said the Bills told him in May that Smith would be the featured back in the offense. "I flew out there specifically to find out what his role was going to be and what their expectations for him were," Casterline said. "Wade and John told me he was the go-to guy, their franchise back. I feel like I was lied to. "Antowain has been patient and has never complained in his career. He has been a team player. He played hurt on a painful turf toe last year. He needs to be traded."'

Marker Sack artist enjoys feast vs. Bills' RTs [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There was a lot of blame to go around from tight end to weak-side tackle. But two particular offensive linemen will be among the first to stand up and accept responsibility for mistakes made in Miami: right tackles Robert Hicks and Marcus Spriggs.'

Marker Bills need fixes before playoffs become pipedream [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's time for Fina and Ruben Brown to start justifying those hefty contracts they received during the offseason. It's time for Hicks to live up to his potential. It's time for Spriggs, Jerry Ostroski, Jamie Nails and Joe Panos to raise their games up several notches.'

Marker Johnson seeing fewer stars a day later [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'When asked if he could use another bye week, Johnson replied, "I'd much rather go through a couple games not . . .," and then stopped himself before talking about the number of hits he's received. "Let the body recoup a little bit." Doug Flutie's legion of fans were excited to see the backup quarterback replace Johnson Sunday. They also might think it would be the perfect week to start Flutie and give Johnson a break. The San Diego Chargers are the closest thing to a bye week. They enter Sunday's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium at 0-6, the worst record in the NFL.'

Marker Chargers could shuffle QBs heading into Buffalo [7:36 AM]
AP reports: 'An ineffective Jim Harbaugh or a recuperating Moses Moreno? San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley must pick one as his starting quarterback for Sunday's game at Buffalo. "Let me think about that for a day," Riley said on Monday when asked who would start against the Bills. "I don't want to jump to conclusions too much."'

Marker Phillips needs to admit it: Bills not ready yet [5:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'His team is good, this I do not doubt, nor should he. But this year, it's probably not good enough to make the playoffs, so I wish Phillips would stop trying to fool us with his illogical explanations for the Bills' recent poor play and stop pretending he's coaching a Super Bowl contender.'

Marker QB Johnson will remain the starter [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'Despite the battered and bruised state of Rob Johnson, Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips said yesterday he has no intention of starting Flutie against the winless San Diego Chargers this week at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "No, he doesn't need the rest," Phillips said, as his sifted through the ruins of his team's third consecutive loss, Sunday's 22-13 debacle at Miami where Johnson was sacked five times and forced out of the game with 3:24 left with an inflamed throwing elbow. "If rest would make a big difference for him, that would be a different factor, but Rob's been playing this way and he still hasn't thrown and intercepton in I don't know how long. And he played better in the second half. We -- he, all of us, me -- didn't have a good first half, but the second half he did play well."'

October 9, 2000

Marker From the locker room [8:20 PM]
Dolphin Digest reports: 'Thurman Thomas on having words with Bills LB John Holecek: "I'm sure John was probably going at me with a little extra than some of the other guys. I wasn't going out there looking for John until he said something to me and that's when it really got going. From that point on, I was really looking forward to getting a shot at him and letting him know that I was out there on the football field."'

Marker Bills tight ends coach hospitalized [8:15 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills tight ends coach Max Bowman was hospitalized for precautionary reasons after suffering dizzy spells on Monday. "I think he's fine," said Bills coach Wade Phillips, noting that Bowman suffers from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).'

Marker Bills offense failing to pull its share of the load [7:58 PM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo's defense has been mostly doing its part, allowing an average 18 points per outing. The offense on the other hand has scored more than 16 points once and, against Miami, gave up nine points -- one touchback and a touchdown off a fumble. "It's boiling down to one or two plays," Johnson said. "We're not playing well enough throughout the game to not have it come down to those one or two plays." Perhaps, center Jerry Ostroski put it best, saying: "Hopefully, we've hit rock bottom, because I don't think we can get much lower."'

Marker Dolphins defense rides again [2:22 PM]
Florida Today reports: 'Somebody asked Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor on Sunday afternoon if he was surprised by his team's 5-1 record. "Hell, no, I'm not surprised," Taylor said angrily. "We think we should be 6-0. But I'm happy about where we are."'

Marker Dolphins' victory satisfies Thomas [2:21 PM]
Florida Today reports: 'Veteran running back Thurman Thomas had modest statistics Sunday afternoon during the Dolphins' 22-13 win over the Buffalo Bills. But it was one of the biggest wins of his career.'

Marker Dolphins stays even-keeled [2:19 PM]
Florida Today reports: '"People better start taking us seriously," Miami defensive tackle Jermaine Haley said, nodding his head slowly. "I'm tellin' ya, we're for real."'

Marker Johnson Beaten Up In Bills’ 22-13 Loss [1:41 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Sam Cowart, Antoine Winfield, Ted Washington and Phil Hansen are playing their hearts out, but No. 1 rankings don't mean anything when your offense can't put the ball in the end zone with any consistency. Shoot, it can't even protect its quarterback. It's proving to be a recipe for disaster. For the life of me, I don't know how Johnson gets out of bed on Monday mornings.'

Marker Have Dolphins finished off the Bills? [1:38 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The Dolphins have 24 sacks, 16 takeaways (10 interceptions, six fumble recoveries), two defensive touchdowns and a safety in six games. But contrast, the Bills, who are giving up fewer yards per game, have only 10 sacks, seven takeaways and no defensive points in five games. Buffalo's defense, while solid, JUST doesn't make big plays, the mark of the league's elite.'

Marker Bills' woes begin with front five [1:36 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'If Wade Phillips doesn't see a problem with his offensive line, he's guilty of selective myopia.'

Marker Thomas adds spice to Bills, Dolphins rivalry [9:20 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The Bills-Miami rivalry may be in jeopardy for another reason: The NFL is staring at realignment, an issue that's been debated for many seasons but remains unresolved. When Houston returns in 2002 as franchise No. 32, it will pave the way for eight four-team divisions across the two conferences. There is some sentiment for placing teams in geographic configurations and, based on the rivalry discussed above, the Bills have resisted that, always favoring an AFC East that keeps the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots on the schedule. The Indianapolis Colts would probably be the team left out (and now that the Colts have vastly improved that really makes sense). The Bills' voice in the realignment matter should be well heard because owner Ralph Wilson has been appointed by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as the divisional rep. Tagliabue said the seven-member panel (the AFC Central will have two reps because it currently has six teams) will interview other owners and file a report in January. The realignment issue will be resolved by June 1, 2001.'

Marker Dolphins' dominant 'D' deflates Bills [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Dolphins dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage. Miami's defense held the Bills to 76 yards rushing, and 44 of those came on runs by Johnson, who was under heavy pursuit all afternoon. He was sacked five times, and his backup, Doug Flutie, was sacked once after relieving Johnson in the fourth quarter when the starter suffered an injury to his right elbow, on his throwing arm.'

Marker Dolphins whale on the Bills [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This is a good defense," Johnson said of the Dolphins. "When you can't run the ball and you're not protecting very well, what are you going to do?" The two answers to that question are: 1) Get beaten up. 2) Lose.'

Marker Offensive line has day to forget [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Any more days like this and quarterback Rob Johnson might need to upgrade his health insurance.'

Marker Bills' shaky offense misfires on all cylinders [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'They don't have anything approaching a featured back, running by committee isn't getting it done, and their offensive line may get their quarterback annihilated.'

Marker Dolphins hit Rob where it hurts [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' quarterback left Sunday's 22-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins late in the fourth quarter in obvious pain after taking a direct hit on his tender right elbow from Miami defensive end Kenny Mixon in the fourth quarter. Doug Flutie had to finish the game.'

Marker Monday billboard [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Never mind the statistics. If you put any stock in stuffing an opponent's running game and assaulting a foe's quarterback, then the Dolphins won this bout on a TKO. They had a half dozen sacks and allowed Buffalo running backs just 32 yards on 17 carries, fewer than two yards a crack.'

Marker Defense makes point [8:15 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Their Dolphins are in first place. No Dan Marino. No Jimmy Johnson. But five wins in six games. Best record in the AFC East. Best record in the conference. Post-season thoughts danced in their heads, like the Dolphins' defense danced on the field. The Dolphins are excited, too. But they're also wary. "We did the same thing last year, starting fast," middle linebacker Zach Thomas said, "and we know it all fell apart. Coming into the season with no Marino, no Jimmy Johnson, nobody thought we'd be where we'd be. I didn't understand how people would say we'd be terrible. It's early and we know what we've done in the past, so let's not do it again. We're not going to get too happy."'

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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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