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Buffalo Bills News - September 26, 2003

Marker The pick [5:19 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'Bills 24, Eagles 20.'

Marker Hard to tell what's worse, Birds' performance or personality [5:18 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"We're trying to pick that up right now,'' said safety Clinton Hart, who will start again in Brian Dawkins' spot Sunday, as Dawkins recovers from a Lisfranc foot sprain. "We've been out there in practice hyping things a little bit more. After big plays, we have to start relishing those moments, and getting other guys hyped up.'''

Marker Look for a return to the run game [5:17 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'It clearly isn't Andy Reid's first choice. But for people who paint him as stubborn and unyielding about this stuff, you really haven't been paying attention. When it isn't working the other way, Reid will run - and last year proved it.'

Marker Harbaugh sees bright future for returner Westbrook [5:16 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"Dirk's proved that he can punt in the NFL, under high-pressure situations," Harbaugh said. "When your job's on the line - David Akers talked about this his first year here, he felt like in some ways he was being evaluated every week for 16 weeks; he was just waiting to see if he was still on the team on Tuesday. I'm sure Dirk feels that way. But Dirk has punted great. He's proved he can do it."'

Marker Akers ready to test his mettle from distance [5:15 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: '"In a no-wind situation, perfectly calm conditions, I say David can go 60, 65 yards," Eagles special-teams coach John Harbaugh said. "If the wind is at his back, I'm not sure he can't go farther. He's capable of breaking the record for sure."'

Marker Birdsí QBs rally around struggling McNabb [5:14 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'McNabb was poor the first two games. He completed 37-of-82 passes (45.1 percent) for 334 yards with three interceptions, two fumbles and no touchdown passes in losses to Tampa Bay (17-0) and New England (31-10). His 41.4 rating is the lowest in the NFL. He is the only starting quarterback who has yet to throw a touchdown pass.'

Marker Young secondary on hot seat [5:13 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'This week, Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe must think he can do at least as well as Brady and Tampa Bay's Brad Johnson have done against the Eagles. In fact, the young defensive backs are bracing for an aerial assault. "Why not?" said Brown, a second-year cornerback when asked if he expected to see Bledsoe put a lot of balls in the air Sunday. "We got two rookies out there, and I'm sure they think they can throw on us."'

Marker Akers says consistency, not length, is priority [5:12 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'One of the big questions surrounding their game against the Bills this week is whether the Eagles will try to run the ball more than they have in the first two games, both of which ended in losses.'

Marker Smith, McMullen waiting their turn [5:11 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'But two games ó two losses ó into the 2003 season, Smith and McMullen have combined for a grand total of zero catches.'

Marker Week off a getaway for McNabb [5:10 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: '"Iíve never been a part of anything like this," he said. "There are times when you just donít play well or you donít put points on the board, and to do it on back-to-back games is tough. But as a leader and the quarterback of this team, I canít let it bother me or bother my play. You just have to focus on the next opponent and go out and show your team that your head is high and things are going to turn out positive."'

Marker Eagles look to shuffle in Buffalo [5:09 AM]
Trenton Times reports: 'After two games, the Eagles aren't even close to 50-50. Again, if you take away quarterback McNabb's 10 carries, the Eagles have run the ball 18 percent of the time and passed it 82 percent.'

Marker Eagles' secondary struggling [5:08 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: 'The Eagles rank 27th of the 32 NFL teams in pass defense, giving up an average of 242.5 yards per game. They have allowed five touchdown passes in two games, after giving up just 18 all last season.'

Marker Akers wants chance at 63-yard record [5:07 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: 'Akers kicked a career-best 57-yard field goal when the Eagles lost to the New England Patriots 31-10 on Sept. 14. That kick has been the brightest offensive moment for the Eagles this season, and it left open the question of whether Akers would be permitted to try other long attempts as the season goes along.'

Marker Eagles' Defense Enduring Growing Pains [5:06 AM]
Comcast Sportsnet reports: 'The Eagles' offense hasn't done anything to pick up the slack. In the first two games, the offense has been on the field an average of 22 minutes and 53 seconds, meaning the shorthanded defense has played just over 37 minutes per game. Only the Bears' defense has been on the field longer.'

Marker DeLamielleure credits roots [5:05 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: '"I was a hard player, not a hard worker," said DeLamielleure, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month. "I loved playing, but I always felt lucky."'

Marker 'D' Expects Bills Aerial Attack [5:04 AM] reports: 'Said defensive coordinator Jim Johnson: "I wouldn't imagine they'd run. I think they're going to stay with the vertical passing game. They want to go deep. I think they would like to run the ball better. We'll see if they can, but I think their philosophy is to get the ball deep." Bledsoe's main target is the dangerous Eric Moulds, who has 13 receptions for 244 yards this season.'

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September 25, 2003

Marker Bills hope Henry can practice on Friday [9:26 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams said Henry was feeling better and didn't rule out the possibility of him playing without practice time.'

Marker Bledsoe vows again to stop forcing passes [9:25 PM]
AP reports: '''For Drew it's tough because he's a competitor,'' Moulds said. ''Maybe he should've thrown that ball away. But his competitive nature took over and he tried to zip it in there.'''

Marker Eagles need a win in Buffalo to avoid 0-3 start [9:24 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Eagles are 10-4 after bye weeks. Reid owns a 21-2 mark when his club leads in time of possession and 30-4 record when his team scores 20 or more points.'

Marker Bills' Henry expects to play Sunday [9:23 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Bills held Henry out of practice again on Thursday and head coach Gregg Williams stated his desire to have Henry test the injury during Friday's practice. It is, however, possible that Henry might play without practicing this week.'

Marker Oh Henry! [9:22 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"We're all in this together and for us to be successful I need to be on the football field. A lot of guys depend on me and I'm doing everything I can to get back out there."'

Marker Bills Games Played On September 28 [9:21 PM] reports: 'A virtuoso running performance by O.J. Simpson led Buffalo to a startlingly easy 30-21 victory over Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh. In what many observers called Simpson's best day ever, the Juice ran around and through the vaunted Steeler defense for 227 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown jaunt in the third quarter that put Buffalo on top 23-0.'

Marker Kannapolis' Maddox picked up by Bills [2:14 PM]
Salisbury Post reports: 'Maddox was twice named the Associated Press Player of the Year for North Carolina and was a consensus choice as the nation's best high school running back his senior year.'

Marker Eagles' desperation won't be enough to down Bills [1:30 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Bills, 17-13.'

Marker Bills-Eagles Game Sold Out [1:29 PM] reports: 'The Bills-Eagles game this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium is sold out and will be televised locally.'

Marker Bills Coach Gregg Williams Previews Philadelphia [1:28 PM] reports: '"Right now Burns will take the snaps. We're going to continue to go on the fact that Travis will be ready to go. Joe Burns will take the significant share of snaps. We have a practice squad guy, (Ken) Simonton, that's done well with us. He'll take some snaps too in practice. But Joe will take the bulk of the snaps."'

Marker Quarterback Drew Bledsoe Previews Philadelphia [1:27 PM] reports: '"Joe Burns came in and played well for us last week when Travis (Henry) was out. Injuries are a part of this game. That's the way it is. If a guy goes down then the next guy has to step up and play for us. It's unfortunate that that's part of life and this game. If you're going to continue to win in this league you have to have guys step up when injuries happen. Every team that goes through a season is going to deal with some injuries. The teams that are able to deal with those missing players the best are the teams that ultimately win most consistently."'

Marker Whiting expected back next week [1:27 PM] reports: 'The other injured Eagles - cornerback Bobby Taylor, defensive end Jerome McDougle and safety Brian Dawkins - won't play Sunday. Taylor's out with a foot injury, McDougle with an ankle and Dawkins with a foot.'

Marker Turnaround must start with McNabb [1:26 PM] reports: 'From East Rutherford to Irving, Texas, from his first season as an NFL starting quarterback until now, this has been the mark of Donovan McNabb: It didn't bother him. Every time he had to, every time the Eagles needed him, he reaffirmed his resiliency. They need him now more than ever, one more time.'

Marker Eagles' big plays have been sparse so far [1:25 PM] reports: 'We'll start by defining big plays as turnovers, sacks, offensive plays or punt returns of 20 yards more or kick returns of 40 yards or more. Through two games, the Eagles have seven. Their opponents have 24. Which says it all.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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