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Buffalo Bills News - August 30, 2001

Marker Former Bill CB Ray Hill put on Patriots injured reserve list [2:23 PM]
AP reports: The Patriots put cornerback Ray Hill on the injured reserve list along with three other players.
Hill played for the Bills in 1998 & 1990 as well as for Miami in 1997 & 1999.

USA Today reports:
#3 — Johnson. Without Flutie looking over his shoulder, he finally reaches the stardom long predicted for him.
#2 — Improved special teams. Units cost Bills at least 3 wins last year so maybe they turn the tide.
#1 — Nobody thinks they can and the Bills play the easiest schedule on paper in the NFL.

Marker Stillers vs. Bills Pre-game [1:56 PM] reports: 'All in all, the Bills have looked decent in pre-season but, of course, that means little.'

Marker Chris Mortensen on Bills RB's [12:58 PM]
ESPN reports: What is the progress of Travis Henry in Buffalo? Who do you think will be the starting RB for the Bills?

Chris Mortensen: Travis Henry has made a real run for the starting job, but I think the Bills will start off using all 3 backs - Henry (the most potential but still inexperienced in the passing game), Sammy Morris (tough, can catch) and Shawn Bryson (speed, catches).

Marker Pompei's Picks - Bills #3 in AFC East [12:50 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 3 Bills. They lost some defensive firepower but still could have enough to be in the playoff hunt.

Marker Listen to the game on the internet! [11:34 AM]
TBD reports: While you are listening to the Bills vs. Steelers game over the internet, make sure you join in on the conversation in the GoBills! chat room.

Marker Join us in the GoBills! Chat Room! [11:31 AM]
TBD reports: Join us during the most popular Bills' chat sessions on the net! The Bills face the Steelers tonight and the room will hopping with Bills fans from around the world. Kickoff is at 7:30, so grab your seat as early as 6:30 tonight!

Marker Punt, Pass, and Predict, 2001 [10:29 AM]
MSN reports: Consecutive offseasons of salary cap crashes, brought on by mortgaging the future to hold the Jim Kelly-Bruce Smith-Thurman Thomas Super Bowl group together as long as possible, have blown both chaff and wheat from the Buffalo roster.
Buffalo fans will spend the season squinting at the names on jerseys and inquiring, "Who dat?" Finish: 8-8.

Marker Roster spots up for grabs in finale [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills will have to trim a useful player or two at all three defensive units - defensive line, linebacker and secondary - when they pare their roster from 65 to 53 players by 4 p.m. Sunday.'

Marker Quarterbacks no longer center of attention [7:11 AM]
ESPN reports: "I don't necessarily agree that the position has been minimalized, because you still need your QB to play well if you're going to win, and that probably won't change in this league," said Tom Donahoe. "But it doesn't all have to be on the QB anymore. You don't see as many offenses where, if a quarterback doesn't have a great day, his team loses. It's more a case sometimes of wanting your QB to give you a chance to win."

Marker Regulars will be missing from Bills-Steelers game - players and officials [5:53 AM]
AP reports: 'The officials won't see much of Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart or Bills quarterback Rob Johnson, even though he has some problems adjusting to the quickness of Buffalo's West Coast-style offense. Johnson still is getting familiar with the quick reads he must make and the speed with which he must release the ball. But, like the other offensive regulars, Johnson will likely play only about a quarter. Alex Van Pelt, the former Pitt quarterback, will follow.'

Marker Bills hopefuls ready for final auditions [5:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Rookie Travis Henry has had the best summer, but Sammy Morris and Shawn Bryson have shown flashes as well. Each has started one game, and tonight, Williams hopes to get all three one series each with the first-string unit before those players are lifted for the night.'

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August 29, 2001

Marker 5th Down: Inside the Mental Game [9:08 PM] reports: Football ISN'T just physical; it is a mental execise as well.

Marker No surprises in Bills' cuts to 65 players [2:05 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'In short, 12 players must be cut from among the defensive linemen, linebackers, defensive backs, running backs, tight ends and receivers. To do it, two defensive linemen figure to go (Jarrett Procell and Tyrone Robertson?), a tight end (Josh Whitman?), two running backs (Crosby and Curtis Alexander?), two linebackers (DaShon Polk and Jim Robinson) and three defensive backs (Brian Legeib, Tony Driver and Chris Watson) and two wide receivers (from among Reggie Germany, Reggie Allen, Avion Black and ??? Rosier).'

Marker My hero [1:27 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Players appreciating fans... now there's a novel concept. But it works in Buffalo. And it works because there's a new head coach who's decreed a lot of things -- including a new offense, new defense and open practices where there weren't any before. I like Gregg Williams, and I like him a lot. He was a good coach at Tennessee. He's a good man in Buffalo. Nobody gained a better response from his players this summer. Here's hoping it continues.'

Marker Buffalo Bills 2001 Preview [1:21 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'There was room for one big signing, and that was for game-breaking wideout Eric Moulds, who settled for less money than he could have gotten elsewhere in order to stay with what he calls "a team that has a chance to win, a team with a defense that can take the other team's quarterback out of the picture."'

Marker Former Boonville kicker may shuffle off to Buffalo for shot at NFL job [12:32 PM]
Evansville Courier and Press reports: "Hopefully, I'll be playing against the Saints in that first game," Hilbert said, referring to the Saints' regular-season game at Buffalo on Sept. 9. The Bills top the list of teams that have shown interest in Hilbert, who was among 13 players waived by New Orleans on Tuesday.'

Marker Roth one of five players released [10:52 AM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Sixteen months ago Josh Roth realized his dream of becoming a member of the Buffalo Bills when he signed a free-agent contract with the NFL team. On Tuesday, that dream came to an end. Roth, a Pine Valley Central School and University at Buffalo star, was released with four other players as the Bills met the league deadline to trim their roster to 65 players.'

Marker Timing is everything for Christie and crew [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The problem apparently hasn't been Christie's right leg but his two feet. He has been too quick on his approach toward the ball. It's been enough to throw off his timing while he adapts to new long-snapper Dan O'Leary and holder Jay Riemersma. They replaced snapper Ethan Albright and holder Chris Mohr.'

Marker Banquet guests get a taste of football [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams and Donohoe addressed about 550 people who attended "A Taste of the Season - Buffalo Bills Style" in the Jim Kelly Club in Ralph Wilson Stadium. The general manager and coach emphasized how much it meant for the Bills to represent Western New York.'

Marker Stay on the field [6:55 AM]
Fox Sports reports: '"Under last year's system I thought he held the ball a little bit too long, and I thought his drops were too deep," said Williams. "We knew coming into that game last year he was going to be tough because we were going to get a bunch of hits on him."'

Marker Bills capsule [6:54 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'There are a lot of veterans who left in the offseason for salary-cap reasons or who left this summer because they just weren't good enough. That hasn't left much of anyone behind fighting for his job. Let's face it: The Bills had to clean up, and they did. Virtually all of the veterans who were worried about their jobs are gone.'

Marker Bills off-season review [6:53 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Off-season grade: B'

Marker Bills have faith in third QB Brown [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'There was a refreshing sight yesterday afternoon on the practice field inside the Buffalo Bills' training facility: a third-string quarterback who could actually play.'

Marker Williams won't prejudge NFL's replacements [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'As for the replacements, he said it would be impossible to form an opinion until he sees them in action. "You don't know what their attitudes will be or what kind of training they've gone through," he said. "The biggest thing is I'll be more conscious of the mistakes we make than the mistakes they'll make."'

August 28, 2001

Marker CB Thomas Smoth released by Chicago Bears [9:19 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bears purged another expensive free agent mistake left over from the past front-office regime, releasing cornerback Thomas Smith.

Smith entered the league as the Bills' first-round choice in the 1993 draft. He is expected to draw immediate interest from several teams including Indianapolis and Seattle.

Marker Henry emerging as Bills top running back [8:57 PM]
AP reports: '"First I will be the best. Then I will be the first," the T-shirt reads. "That's my motto," Henry said after Tuesday's practice. "I live by it and die by it."'

Marker QB Hawley among five cut by Bills [1:28 PM]
AP reports: 'Travis Brown, whose only snaps have come in the past few days of practice, appears to have won the Buffalo Bills third-string quarterback job.'

Marker Bills release five [12:11 PM] reports:
Jack Hawley, QB, rookie, San Diego State
Rocky Henry, WR, 1st year, Utah
Josh Lind, G, rookie, Oklahoma State
Kendrick Office, DE, rookie, West Alabama
Josh Roth, FB, 1st year, University of Buffalo

All NFL teams are required to trim their rosters to 65 by 4:00 PM (Eastern) today. The final cutdown to 53 must be made by Sunday at 4:00 PM.

Marker Johnson's level of progress on offense not a concern [11:42 AM]
WGR reports: Rob Johnson’s stat line on Saturday night wasn’t very impressive. What was most disconcerting was his seeming lack of comfort in the pocket and with his progression of reads. Despite there being just one preseason game left before the opener with New Orleans, Johnson and his head coach aren’t panicking.

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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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