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Buffalo Bills News - October 4, 2001

Marker Defense gets a turn to play What's My Line? [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills will be without starting left defensive end Phil Hansen, along with backup defensive tackle Leif Larsen, who got a decent amount of playing time the first three games. It's a worrisome situation given the already undersized Bills front seven has allowed two straight 100-yard rushers and is bracing for Jets star back Curtis Martin.'

Marker Rob's bubble hasn't burst, but it's leaking [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'No one has confidence in Johnson anymore. Not the coaches, or the players, or Rob himself.'

Marker Christie waived, while Office sets up shop on defense [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills waived place-kicker Steve Christie off the injured reserve list as expected Wednesday and added defensive lineman Kendrick Office to the active roster.'

Marker Jets are eager to get defensive [6:40 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Jets linebacker James Darling got a phone call from his grandmother in Washington state on Tuesday. She wanted to know how the defense gave up a mind-boggling 233 yards rushing to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, how her grandson could be part of such an "embarrassing" performance.'

Marker Jets Q&A: Bills' Johnson can't escape Flutie comparison [6:39 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: '[Q:] What do you attribute so many sacks to? The offensive line? You've been sacked 13 times already this season. {A:] I have no idea. I'm sick of commenting on that stuff. Just blame it on me and we'll go from there.'

Marker Johnson just can't win [6:03 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'In NFL telecasts last weekend of both the Chargers win over the Cincinnati Bengals and the Bills loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS showed a detailed graphic comparing the two former teammates. And it's only going to get more pronounced in the buildup to Oct. 28 when the Chargers and Bills meet in San Diego.'

Marker Jury Is Out, but So Far the Jets' Defense Rests [5:45 AM]
New York Times reports: 'The problem with the defense, as Edwards sees it, is not effort, but execution. Usually, a defense could expect to miss perhaps five or six tackles a game. Monday night, the Jets missed an astonishing 18. Edwards said players are not lining up correctly. And when they are out of position, they are forced to lunge and reach for tackles. A good running back, like the 49ers Garrison Hearst, was able to run through arm tackles.'

Marker Jets' Tacking Troubling [5:44 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Under Cottrell's guidance from 1998 to 2000, the Bills were known as a sound defense that rarely beat itself. In 1999, Buffalo had the No. 1 defense in the NFL. But on Monday night, the Jets' defensive performance was "disheartening," Cottrell said.'

Marker Vinny's Not Testy About 'O' [5:43 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who spent the previous three seasons in the same position with the Bills, admitted it was a "little disappointing" that he wasn't hired as Wade Phillips' successor. He interviewed for the head-coaching position last offseason, but it went to Gregg Williams. "I thought I had a ... hey, what are you going to say?" Cottrell said. "You can't tell people who to hire."'

Marker Tackling dummies [5:42 AM]
New York Post reports: '"Oh man," Darling said yesterday, "when something like that happens [allowing 233 yards rushing before a national-television audience], you want to get back out there and prove that wasn't who we are as a team or who you are as a player."'

Marker Cottrell still has plenty of Buffalo pals [5:41 AM]
New York Post reports: 'He spent the last seven years in Buffalo as the Bills' linebackers coach and defensive coordinator after spending three earlier years there as the defensive line coach. "Oh God, I'll see a lot of friends," Cottrell said yesterday. "I spent 10 years of my life there. I think it's going to be different. I'll have a lot of thoughts, memories and emotions, but we've got a job to do."'

Marker Quiet Chrebet Waits For Another Chance [5:40 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Now it is Chrebet's seventh year in the league, and he's still struggling to prove his worth. He's not complaining about it, and would only discuss it if someone else brings it up. But the fact is, the Jets have thrown only 12 passes to their best receiver in three games. Not surprisingly, he's caught nine of them.'

Marker Lapses on 'D' Stun Coach [5:40 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Ted Cottrell, the Jets' defensive coordinator, could only shake his head when asked yesterday to comment on the team's defensive performance against San Francisco. "Geez," Cottrell said. "My God."'

Marker Offense ready to take flight [5:39 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Buffalo's defense is ranked 29th and is yielding almost 7 yards per play on first down, last in the league. Cornerback Antoine Winfield is a top player, but he is also the Bills' top tackler, not a good sign for "Herd" fans. The most recognizable name left on a unit gutted of its legendary names is left end Phil Hansen, but he's out of Sunday's game with an elbow injury.'

Marker Bills' offense has problems aplenty [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: '"Right now I see a team struggling, and it's not just one or two individuals," Williams said. "We have to play better to beat the Jets than we did last weekend, or any other weekend." Williams reiterated that he did not single out Johnson for criticism and while he did say "I thought he took a step back" he also mentioned that many other players fell into the same category.'

Marker It's official: Christie's history [5:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'Scott said Christie will hold a news conference in Buffalo today "to tell his side of the story."'

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October 3, 2001

Marker Johnson's woes magnified by Flutie's hot start [8:33 PM]
AP reports: 'The comparisons between the two aren't being made just on television during game broadcasts. Flutie jerseys are still plentiful in the of Ralph Wilson Stadium, and many newspapers in the Buffalo region publish weekly charts highlighting the two. And then there are the letters to the editor. In one recent issue of The Buffalo News, seven letters critical of Johnson were printed, including one that read: "Flutie wins. Johnson loses. Enough said."'

Marker Banged-up Bills shuffle roster; release Christie [3:22 PM]
AP reports: 'Under NFL rules, the Bills had to wait until Christie was healthy before they could release him.'

Marker Bills waive K Steve Christie [3:21 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The move to release Christie was expected after he refused an injury settlement, which could have allowed him to re-sign with the team after Week 10.'

Marker Jets have dropped five of their last six at Buffalo [11:57 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'While this week isn't critical, it sure is pivotal. The Bills may be winless, but they also are bad hosts when the Jets pay their annual visit, having won five of the last six at Ralph Wilson Stadium. A loss would drop the Jets to 1-3 (1-2 in the division) and their summer talk about being a playoff team and aspiring to play in the Super Bowl would ring very hollow.'

Marker New faces surround Pat Williams [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Pat Williams looks around and shakes his head at what remains of the once-proud Buffalo Bills defense he played for during his first three NFL seasons. With preseason cuts, free-agent defections and in-season injuries, only one member of last year's starting front seven - linebacker Keith Newman - will be on the field Sunday when the Bills host the New York Jets.'

Marker Sheppard's X's and O's provoke ?'s [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Gregg Williams needed little time to consult his exhaustive database of candidates and peg Sheppard as his guy back in February. The new head coach said, "Mike has had to learn at the elbow of one of the masters of the West Coast offense in Mike Holmgren." But what exactly did Sheppard learn during his two-year stint as Seattle's quarterbacks coach?'

October 2, 2001

Marker Bumbling, batterd Bills let game bounce away [1:48 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Forget Johnson's other problems for a moment. Unless offensive line coach Ronnie Vinklarek and offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard can turn a bunch of very large young men better suited for construction work into a cohesive unit very quickly, it won't matter if Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas are time-warped forward from 1991.'

Marker Bills coach just doesn’t get it [1:33 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'He minimized the importance of experience and leadership as Buffalo not only lost a handful of players to free agency - most notably Marcellus Wiley - but also turned loose a dozen veterans including lockerroom leaders Henry Jones and John Holecek.'

Marker Bills prepare to place Farris on injured reserve [11:54 AM]
USA Today reports: Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Kris Farris will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair his broken right leg.

On Monday, Bills coach Gregg Williams said the team will place Farris on the injured reserved list, and consider their options on how to fill that roster spot.

Marker Tom Donahoe's Weekly Bills Update [11:45 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: With the unusual October schedule, how do you plan on utilizing that on improving the team?

"The coaches are taking a look at that, and their plan was to initially have some practices that were dedicated to fundamentals, then start working on Jacksonville, and then we've got another stretch after that as well, and then we can get ready to play San Diego. Obviously, as you get closer to the game, you can focus in on who you're playing, and prepare to do that. The extra time, you have to use wisely, and try to improve the fundamentals of your football team."

Marker Winfield - A force in the new defensive scheme [11:03 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Antoine Winfield is a perfect fit with the new defensive scheme brought into Buffalo by Williams and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. Unlike a lot of players at his position, he plays a very physical style and is regarded as one of the best tacklers in the league, despite having a smaller 5-9, 180 pound frame.

Marker Farris can't seem to catch a break [11:01 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Farris, who has had foot injuries previous two years, will be placed on the IR list. Farris, making his first NFL start, was injured by Travis Henry as he was blocked and rolled over his leg breaking it.

Other players are to be re-evaluated later this week.

Marker Larry Centers wins Game Ball of the Week [10:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: FB Larry Centers was chosen by fans to receive the buffalobills.com Game Ball of the Week for Sunday's game against the Steelers. Centers became the first back in NFL history to record 700 catches in a career. You can ask Centers a question this week.

Marker Williams looks for ways to rally the Bills [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams feels the team's problems come down to poor execution of techniques and communication breakdowns by the players and coaches.'

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