Bills lean on veterans like Moulds [8:38 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'With injury striking the quarterback position and the league's youngest roster continuing to adjust and search for confidence, the team will lean on the veterans left over from the playoff runs of the 1990s more than ever. On offense, no veteran will have more asked of him than wide receiver Eric Moulds, a signature player for the franchise ever since he stepped into the starting lineup on a full-time basis during the 1998 season.'
Gregg Williams press conference [8:37 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "That decision is a future decision, and the future is this week. We have to do what we need to do the next 8+ weeks. We have to make sure we move on each week and are able to win ballgames. Getting Alex ready to go, we have to get a few cramming things with him with some extra time. The team has a little pep in their step about that, and know that Alex will play the best that he can play. He'll do some good things, he did some good things in the Jets game, and we're excited about it."
Mideason grade - D-minus [8:37 AM]
ESPN reports: Larry Centers was only player Clayton's All-AFC team
Bills: As many as 5 rookies are being played on defense. The run defense is porous. QB Johnson finally couldn't avoid the sack that fractured his clavicle and sidelined him until December. Still, Williams is getting good effort out of the players. They are playing hard, particularly on defense. Maybe having Alex Van Pelt at QB will manage a more steady passing game. Rookie CB Nate Clements has all the looks of being a star. Still, the coaching turnover and the salary cap has caused a three-game drop to 1-7.
Van Pelt fits West Coast offense [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'They don't need a quarterback with a perfect body and a cannon for an arm. They already have one of those in Rob Johnson, and all they have to show for Johnson's much-ballyhooed physical gifts is a 1-7 record.'
Bills will simplify offense to cut down on mistakes [5:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'Against New England last week, the team burned three timeouts because players misunderstood signal calls and lined up wrong. Sunday against Seattle, the Bills plan to use less motion and shifting because it means using fewer words to communicate. "You can fool your opponent as much as you want but sometimes you do it so much, you fool yourself," said wide receiver Eric Moulds, who complained after the Patriots game about burdensome terminology to get a play off. "I think that's what we've done a couple times."'
Jones blocks out perfect grade [5:34 AM]
Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: '"I know that all the players have a lot of confidence in Alex," Bills guard Ruben Brown said in a telephone interview. "They all are very excited when Alex steps into the lineup. We know that he can win games for us."'
Alexander latest to carry torch for Seahawks [5:33 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'As many as 17 men have occupied the Seahawks quarterback position, but only a quartet of running backs have marked the past three decades. Sherman Smith started it all. He ran leadoff during the 1970s before giving way to Curt Warner, who carried the rushing load over the next decade. The '90s belonged primarily to Chris Warren, who then made the exchange to Ricky Watters four years ago. And now, the baton, or rather the football, appears as if it's changing hands again. This time, Shaun Alexander is on the receiving end and he's running better than anyone has before him in the short amount of time since he's arrived.'
Hawks' Hutchinson doesn't mind initiation [5:32 AM]
Everett Herald reports: 'Robbie Tobeck is up on his pulpit. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
The Seattle Seahawks' center, team captain and, at 31, the old man of the offense, is going on about the young players not appreciating what it means to play in the NFL.'
Watch out for Van Pelt, Buffalo's new top QB [5:29 AM]
Everett Herald reports: '"Don't underestimate this guy," said Seahawks defensive tackle Chad Eaton, who was a member of a New England defense that faced Van Pelt in 1997. "Our whole thing when we played Buffalo was, 'Don't hurt Rob Johnson.' That's how much respect we have for (Van Pelt)."'
Bills hope 'The Pill's' their quarterback answer [8:56 PM]
AP reports: '"It feels good. This is obviously a position that I tried to put myself in," Van Pelt said. "I haven't had this kind of opportunity yet, and it's something I'm really, truly looking forward to. I'm expecting good things."'
Seattle at Buffalo Preview [1:38 PM]
Yahoo Sports reports: Buffalo is still trying to give the fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium something to cheer about. The Bills are 0-4 at home for the first time since 1984, when they started 0-6. The Seahawks got back to the .500 mark last Sunday with an emotional 34-27 victory over the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.
Seattle leads the all-time series, 5-3. This is the first meeting in Buffalo between the teams since 1995.
Bills sign QB Dreisbach [12:46 PM]
AP reports: 'Dreisbach, a free agent, spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Raiders and is familiar with the Bills' West Coast offensive scheme. He has yet to appear in a game and missed all of last year with a shoulder injury.'
Bills make changes to practice squad [12:45 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills today announced that the team has signed quarterback Scott Dreisbach (pronounced DRIZE-bock) to the team's practice squad and released practice squad cornerback Tim Carter. Dreisbach (6-3, 210) signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1999 out of Michigan. He was on the Raiders 53-man roster for the entire 1999 season but failed to see any action and spent all of 2000 on Oakland's injured reserve list with a shoulder injury. The 25-year-old Dreisbach will wear jersey #3 with the Bills.'
The Seahawks' opponent this week: Buffalo Bills [12:44 PM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'Offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard plans to simplify the offense this week, something he probably would have done regardless of Johnson's injury. With little talent on the offensive line and problems at quarterback, Sheppard's offense has foundered. But the players have remained professional - in their approach to subterfuge. "Some of the plays today I don't even think were in our playbook," receiver Eric Moulds told the Buffalo News after the loss to New England. Not to be left out, defensive tackle Shawn Price sprinkled a few granules of dissension. "It's nice to see the defense growing," he said. "We didn't take a step back. I think some other parts of our team have made a step back."'
Bills release DB Tim Carter, add QB Dreisbach to practice squad [12:28 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: QB Scott Dreisbach was signed to the PS. He spent the 1999 season with the Oakland Raiders but the 2000 season in injured reserve, will join the Bills practice squad this week to see if he can fill the role for the third QB on the team. Should the Bills need a third QB for Sunday's game, the Bills will activate him and have to take someone off their current roster. He (like former Bills QB Todd Collins) is a former QB from Michigan. NOTE: His uncle, Tom Ehlers, played in the NFL from 1975-81 with Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles.
Roswell Park Holiday Card Drawing Party [9:56 AM]
TBD reports: Last night the Bills held a Holiday Card drawing party for 50 children from Roswell Park in the Fieldhouse. Jack In Syracuse, TBD's resident blue coat, has provided pictures and information from the event. Players in attendance were DaShon Polk, Junior Robinson, and Brian Moorman, along with several of the Jills.
2002 Preseason schedule opponents selected [9:36 AM]
NFL.com reports: Commisioner had control for weeks 1-3 so blame him why Bills have no meaningful games at home.
WEEK 1 — AUG 8 - AUG 12 - Cincinnati at Buffalo
WEEK 2 — AUG 15 - AUG 19 - Minnesota at Buffalo
WEEK 3 — AUG 22 - AUG 26 - Buffalo at Indianapolis
WEEK 4 — AUG 29 - SEP 1 - Buffalo at Detroit
Jim Kelly's second act [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Kelly feels injured quarterback Rob Johnson has the talent to be a good one, if he can stay healthy long enough. But Kelly believes Johnson won't be successful unless the Bills surround him with more talent. Kelly acknowledged that Johnson holds the ball too long, but understands why he does it. "When you're struggling and trying to make things happen as a quarterback, they are going to hold on to the ball a little bit," Kelly said. "You're going to take a pounding, you're going to take that hit because you're sacrificing your body to complete that pass hoping that it's going to be a big one. But there comes a time when you just have to go more to a quicker passing game."'
How long do you stick with an inexperienced OC? [8:47 AM]
ESPN reports: Mortensen: Brady wasn't great against the Bills, and it will be interesting to see how he plays in the next couple of weeks while Bledsoe tries to get back in playing shape. Nevertheless, the Pats climbed above .500, and they can measure themselves against the best Sunday night when they play host to the Rams. The Bills lost Johnson again, this time with a broken clavicle. How long do you stick with him? The question might be, how long do you stick with an inexperienced OC (Mike Sheppard)? It can be a cruel league, but at some point there must be improvement, plus results. The Bills aren't getting them on offense.
Seahawks seek end to roller coaster [8:05 AM]
Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: 'On any given Sunday, the Seahawks are capable of beating any team -- as was the case Sunday night against the Raiders, and in their earlier upsets of the Broncos and Dolphins. They also are capable of losing to any team -- as was the case against the Redskins two weeks ago. Or being completely embarrassed -- as was obvious in back-to-back 24-points losses to the Eagles and Raiders in September.'
Alexander's secret is out after Sunday [8:04 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'He is slowly becoming "The Face" of the Seahawks, a team without ready-made stars that needed to market the past glory of its Super Bowl winning coach. Shaun Alexander's franchise-record performance of 266 rushing yards Sunday will garner him his second AFC Player of the Week award today when the NFL makes the announcement.'
Road test is familiar ground for Seahawks [8:03 AM]
Everett Herald reports: 'By all accounts, the Seahawks are expected to win this Sunday's game. Not that Seattle, with its ho-hum 4-4 record, can look down on many opponents, but Buffalo is really struggling. The Bills' only victory was a narrow 13-10 win over Jacksonville almost one month ago. They start five rookies, and will enter Sunday's game without starting quarterback Rob Johnson.'
No matter how you cut it, the marks are low for the Bills' midterm grade [6:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'Johnson bought California beachfront on potential and more power to him. But his next contract he should be forced to earn. With another team.'
It's been a quick trip back to bad [6:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'There is much pain and suffering for Bills fans this season, but if the hierarchy can develop the players worth developing, weed out the dead weight and use the 2002 draft to infuse the roster with talent, the Bills could again become competitive as early as 2003. "As difficult as this is to go through, I look at it as a positive because I can see the end result," Donahoe said. "I can see that it's helping us get to where we want to get to."'
Report card [6:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'This was Rob Johnson's chance to prove himself as a viable NFL quarterback, but not only did he make no progress, he actually regressed.
Healthy Bills lose Johnson [1:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Van Pelt is a super guy, beloved by his teammates and better-versed in the no-huddle offense than Johnson. Unfortunately, he is neither strong-armed nor mobile. Van Pelt is a backup and doesn't seriously aspire otherwise, which makes him perfect for his position. Oh, he relishes this opportunity . After all, since going to camp with the Steelers back in 1993, the 31-year-old Van Pelt has started exactly three NFL games, all in Buffalo's nightmarish 1997 season when guys named Todd Collins and Billy Joe Hobert were his competition. Now, if he can stay healthy, Van Pelt will get a month's worth of starts. But what makes him different is that even if he plays lights-out, the former University of Pittsburgh star wouldn't expect to take Johnson's job. That's why Doug Flutie and Johnson couldn't co-exist, salary cap issues aside, while Van Pelt is perfect for that role.'
New November Buffalo Bills wallpaper by 'Moose' [1:18 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Subject: #22 rookie sensation Nate Clement.
The artist, Gina Mustico, is a poster who first started creating wallpaper for TwoBillsDrive.
Patriots win despite pestered all day by Bills pass rush [12:59 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Antowain Smith, RB, New England: Rushed 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 350 rushing yards in the past four games.
In a defensive battle that featured 12 combined sacks, the Pats persevered despite their problems in the passing game. Brady hit a high percentage of passes but threw for only 107 yards and was pestered all game by the Bills' pass rush. The Bills tightened it up to 14-11 with a Moulds TD grab with 2:43 to play, but the Patriots put it away when Smith broke free for a 42-yard scoring run on the first play after the two-minute warning to seal the victory.
Tom Donahoe comments [10:24 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "Last week, I think what I said … was that when we made the decision with Rob, it was a decision we were not making for 8 games, or 16 games, or whatever. We felt we were making a decision for the future. I also said we evaluate every player on this roster, and I'll be evaluated this last 8 games, as will the coaches and the players. There's a lot at stake here, and we can't feel that despite our record, the rest of our season we can go through the motions. If people are going through the motions, they're not going to be here. That's one thing I can assure you of."
Johnson suffers broken collarbone [10:23 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "One of those things that I will explain to you [about his injury] right up front of why he wasn't able to talk last night, it's more than just that," Williams added. "He found out late Friday night that his grandfather passed away, his dad's father, and he already had plans as soon as the ballgame was over to get him on out there and go to the funeral, and it's important as a family to do that."
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