Will 3-4 set be spark? Patriots defense likes look of new alignment [5:36 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'What the Patriots are clearly worried about is opponents running wild on them, as the last five teams they've faced have had a 100-yard rusher. The suspect run defense has limited the Patriots' ability to attack the passer on third down, because oftentimes opponents are facing third-and-3s instead of third-and-7s.'
Bledsoe had only one option [5:35 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Bledsoe forced the Patriots' hand last spring. The Patriots didn't go with the first option that presented itself. They went with the only option.'
Bledsoe fills the bill in Buffalo [5:34 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"How he handled last year," Bills coach Gregg Williams said yesterday, "was a very large determining factor in us wanting to pursue a deal for Drew as aggressively as we did."'
Bledsoe can teach Brady lesson or two [5:33 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Now, Bledsoe's career has been reborn in Buffalo, as if he went through Football Hell and came out better for the journey. And the lesson for Brady? It's all about overcoming adversity. That's what Bledsoe has learned; it's what Brady has yet to learn.'
Comments misinterpreted [5:32 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I think they know me pretty well," he said. "And I think they know just how frustrated I get and how much I want to win. After a half-hour of talking, I don't think that everything you've built over the last two years is destroyed by the way it was interpreted. They know the way it's interpreted by the way I play and the way I try to get ready to play. And I know them, too."'
Catching on to system has been tall order for Hayes [5:32 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Hayes signed a two-year contract worth more than $2 million after catching 56 passes for Carolina last season. He's caught 11 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown so far this season. He told The Boston Globe two weeks ago that he was having trouble fathoming the Patriots' intricate offensive system.'
Drew's Friends Coming To Play [5:31 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'When a team has lost four in a row and has developed the alarming habit of playing lousy football and falling behind early, when some of its members wonder if the team has lost its competitive edge, the last thing it wants is another distraction, like the Bledsoe Bowl.'
Bledsoe: Ex-Patriot feels at home [5:30 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'And while Bledsoe undoubtedly remains much the same man, he is playing like a different quarterback than he did his final seasons in New England. He is certainly surrounded by more talent than perhaps ever before - running back Travis Henry, receivers Peerless Price and Eric Moulds and so on - but he also seems to be throwing the ball with greater accuracy and playing with ummatched gusto.'
Pride at stake in Bledsoe Bowl I [5:29 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe would like to be able to tell you that Sunday is just another game, but he'd have a hard time keeping a straight face.'
Brady trying to regain poise and confidence [5:28 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I'm just extremely frustrated," Brady said. "Frustrated that we're not getting the job done and I think we work on so many things in practice and, as we've said before, I think guys practice hard and the guys are energized."
Quarterback may have been 'misinterpreted' [5:27 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I think a lot of it might have been, not that I can blame you guys for misinterpreting me, but I think sometimes things are said and maybe don't come off as clarified as I would have liked," Brady said.'
Head 2 Head - Did the Patriots blow it with Bledsoe? [5:27 AM]
CNNSI reports: Even so, the Patriots still had some offensive problems with Brady. But they were masked by winning. Remember, with just three postseason offensive touchdowns, New England arguably was the weakest offensive team to win the Super Bowl.
Dolphins feeling psychologically betrayed [5:26 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '''We had an agreement that he wouldn't do anything with anybody in the division, and he does it the week before the game,'' Wannstedt said. ``I don't know what people's motives are. But it was disappointing for me, and it was disappointing for our players.'''
Ex-Bill Thomas chosen as 2002 Sun Bowl legend [5:25 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'Thomas, who is ninth on the all-time rushing list (12,074 yards) behind Smith (16,743) and Sanders (15,269), said there's no doubt in his mind they were the best three backs of their time in the NFL.'
Allen, Walker among first-time nominees [9:57 PM]
AP reports: 'Allen is a first-time nominee, joining running back Herschel Walker, quarterback Boomer Esiason, special teams player/wide receiver Steve Tasker, tight end Brent Jones, offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman, defensive lineman Richard Dent and linebacker Sam Mills.'
Not quite ready for some football [9:55 PM]
Finger Lakes Times reports: 'It was my first time at a professional football game, and thank the maker, I finally have the answer to the question that's been dogging me lo these many years - "Are you, Chuck Schading, ready for some football?" The answer? Apparently not.'
Drew Bledsoe Pre-Game Press Conf. 10/30/2002 [9:54 PM]
Patriots.com reports: 'I never was and still am not a real rah-rah guy, but I have made an effort here to be a little more vocal, to take a little more of a vocal role on the field. But, as far as the meetings and that kind of stuff that we've done, that's something that I've done for a long time. It was something that we did in New England for a number of years.'
The hype begins [9:52 PM]
Patriots.com reports: '"To say that this is just another game, I'd be laying and you guys would know I was lying," Bledsoe said. "So yeah, it's a special game for me. I'm playing against a bunch of guys that I went to war with for a long time and a lot of guys that I have tremendous respect for. I've used the analogy for a while now that it's like playing against your brother. You go out and play against somebody that you respect and somebody that you're friends with and you want to win that one bad because you're going to have to hear about it for the of the year if you don't win."'
Drewmania Gripping Buffalo Niagara Region [9:50 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'It's not hotcakes, but the hot ticket of the week. A Bills-Patriots ticket is going for 275 dollars a pop on E-Bay. The rivalry between Bills Quarterback Drew Bledsoe and his ex-teammates and nemesis coach Bill Belichick is driving up the price. That figure is also in the ballpark for tickets advertised in the Buffalo News. A News 4 staffer checked out prices Wednesday, "The end zone are starting at 200 dollars, U.S. per ticket."'
Only one scar remains for Bledsoe from Patriots days [9:40 PM]
AP reports: 'If Bledsoe was unhappy with Bill Belichick's decision to stick with Brady last season, he's now crediting his former coach for doing him a favor by sending him to Buffalo in exchange for a first-round pick in next year's draft. ``I can't imagine or look at another team in the league and say, 'There's another team that would be a better fit for me than where I am,''' Bledsoe said.'
Brady just wants to beat Bills [9:38 PM]
AP reports: 'While he still has respect and admiration for quarterback Drew Bledsoe, it doesn't matter to Brady that his former mentor is leading the Buffalo Bills (5-3). ''We're in a tougher situation than he's in,'' Brady said. ''We're the ones who are looking up at him.'''
Brady stands by his comments [9:37 PM]
AP reports: 'After the team's fourth consecutive loss, Brady appeared to question the commitment of some of his teammates. On Wednesday, he said those comments were misinterpreted.'
Bledsoe again a star, but without the glower [9:35 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'And now, some six months since the trade, and with the two teams scheduled to meet for the first time Sunday, there is growing concern in New England that perhaps the Patriots traded the wrong quarterback.'
Larry Felser: Bills Surrounding Cast Helps the Bills to 5-3 [5:03 PM]
Empire reports: Take Phil Crosby, the lead blocker from the fullback position when the Bills are in “I” formation. Crosby just rocked Detroit LBs in opening holes for Travis Henry, his college teammate at Tennessee. He drilled Barrett Green at least three times. Not only that but he annoyed Green so much Crosby also coaxed two personal fouls, retaliation penalties out of the angry Lion.
WR Johnson's Thoughts on Facing His Old Team [4:59 PM]
Empire reports: Johnson knows Bledsoe pretty well having spent the last two years with him. Two of his 14 catches last year came from Bledsoe in the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh. Johnson feels Bledsoe would not want the rallying cry this Sunday to be "lets win one for Drew."
Bills Notebook: Offense On Pace For Top Scoring Season [4:59 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Keith Newman on the New England Patriots' four-game losing streak: "They've played some good teams: Miami, Denver, San Diego and Green Bay. Those are tough opponents. It's not like they (the Patriots) have been losing to just anybody. At this point last year they were 3-4 and they won eight of the last nine and ended up with a championship. They are going to be a tough team to deal with this Sunday."
Mike Doser: I hope I can keep my emotions in check [4:43 PM]
Shout! reports: Drew Bledsoe: From the time this trade happened I've been getting questions about the game... I think I would be insulting my teammates if I said they were going to give a better effort this week. I think I would be disparaging them.
Preliminary List of Nominees for the Class of 2003 [4:34 PM]
Hall of Fame reports: Steve Tasker is on the Preliminary List of Nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a special teams player as well as wide receiver (1986-1997). Other Bills on it are James Lofton (WR, 1989-1992), Joe DeLamielleure (Guard, 1985) and Chuck Knox (Head Coach, 1978-1982) and Ralph Wilson, Jr. (Owner, 1959-Present).
Alumni Update: Stew Barber [2:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Over 850 players have suited-up for the Buffalo Bills. Eight men have been the team’s general manager. However, only one has done both. Stew Barber.
Drew Bledsoe Takes On Patriots For First Time [1:52 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: This Sunday marks the ninth time that a quarterback will start against a team for which he threw more than 25,000 passing yards. In those games, the quarterback defeated his former club all eight times.
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