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.
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.'
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."
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.'
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.'
5th Down: Inside the Mental Game [9:08 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Football ISN'T just physical; it is a mental execise as well.
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).'
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.'
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."'
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.'
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.'
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.'
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.'
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."'
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.'
Bills off-season review [6:53 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Off-season grade: B'
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.'
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."'
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.
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."'
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.'
Bills release five [12:11 PM]
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.
Johnson's level of progress on offense not a concern [11:42 AM]
WGR reports: Rob Johnsonís stat line on Saturday night wasnít 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 arenít panicking.
Johnson can't sack the takedown question [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'When will he learn to unload the ball? The question isn't going away until Johnson proves he can avoid getting sacked.'
Newcomer Brown gets his turn to play [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Travis Brown had his first full workout with the Bills on Monday, five days after he was signed to compete for the third quarterback position behind Rob Johnson and Alex Van Pelt.'
A Taste of the Season - Buffalo Bills Style [9:02 AM]
Buffalo Niagara Partnership reports: Held Tonight (Tuesday).
It kicks off the Bills season for the corporate community and raise awareness and support for the Food Bank of Western New York.
The networking reception brings together corporate sponsors, local restaurants, chefs and the entire roster of Buffalo Bills players and coaches. Guests will sample specialty foods prepared by some of the region's finest restaurants.
My notes from Bengals game [8:12 AM]
StadiumWall.com reports: 'The third sack in particular occured on a stunt, with 5 men rushing. The RDE looped around to the left and shot thru the right guard and tackle, who were both occupied. It is Larry Center's job to pick it up, he threw a poor block. Ruben Brown saw this and quickly rolled back to hit attacker, leaving Michael Early with no help on Oliver Gibson, who had a near clean shot at Johnson, and ultimately lead to RJ getting sacked near the line by the safety...'
Christie working to regain FG form [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'With just one dress rehearsal left, Thursday at Pittsburgh, Christie's struggles are magnified, putting into question new general manager Tom Donahoe's decision-making last spring.'
Moulds says Johnson needs a quicker release [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'A new offense or not, blocking problems or not, it's going to be another long season for Johnson unless he learns to throw the ball sooner, Moulds said.'
It's up to Johnson to shed sack label: Moulds [7:50 PM]
AP reports: '"It's easy for people to go in and continue to preach and say that he has to do this and he has to do that," Moulds said. "But Rob has to go out and make the decision that, 'This is what I'm going to do. And this is the type of quarterback that I'm going to be."''
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