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Buffalo Bills News - September 28, 2002

Marker NFL package might be just the ticket for digital cable [9:29 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' home season so far has been an advertisement for the NFL Sunday Ticket.'

Marker Around the dial [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bledsoe show continues on Monday when he is the subject of an "NFL Presents" show that runs at 2:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on ESPN and at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.'

Marker Different role for special player [7:02 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: '"Bledsoe has got certain skills and talents the other guys don't," Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "The guy's a big-time quarterback. He's been in the league for 10 years. He's got a big passing arm. He's not as mobile as the other guys, but he's got so much more moxie and pocket presence as far as sliding around and moving and being able to sit in the pocket and make the throws. The guy's a quality quarterback with something to prove. He's got a chip on his shoulder and he's playing that way-he's playing great. I was in the division with him for a long time and I've never seen him play as well as he's playing now."'

Marker Bears' Chandler ready for anything [7:01 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Despite his reputation for being injury-prone, last Sunday marked the first time since 1993, when he backed up Steve Beuerlein in Arizona, that Chandler has sat out three consecutive games.'

Marker Bears gain Shelton, lose Baxter [7:00 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: '"[Bledsoe's] a better passer, a more accurate passer, so you have to be tighter in coverage rather than worry about him running the ball,'' Austin said. "He won't hurt us if he runs, but he will hurt us with his arm. You have to play tighter coverage.'''

Marker Secondary faces big challenge vs. Bledsoe [6:59 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'The Bears' secondary needs help against Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe, who is considered one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL today. He has 119 consecutive passes without an interception, although he threw 2 in the season opener.'

Marker Bills looking for some balance [6:58 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'Bledsoe has revived interest in the Bills since being traded from the New England Patriots after his quarterback job was given to Tom Brady. The revival will be short-lived, however, if the defense doesn't hold up its end.'

Marker Special opportunity confronts Bears return teams [6:57 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'Statistics suggest opportunity this week for all Bears special teams, especially return teams.'

Marker Bills will try to derail 'A-train' [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'While not a superstar, Thomas did rush for 1,183 yards as a rookie, and he’s coming off a 111-yard performance in last week’s loss against a stout New Orleans defense.'

Marker Toronto fits the Bill [5:55 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'During the roughly two-hour drive to Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ahanotu grabs some more sleep, works the cellular phone and gets himself ready for the football assignment ahead. On the way home, he does more of the same while trying to forget about the game that has become his profession. In that sense, he believes the time and the $5,000-a-month or so he pays Cameron to chauffeur him is well spent.'

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September 27, 2002

Marker Fletcher says Martz "underestimated the loss of me" [9:05 PM]
St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'He has emerged as the Bills' defensive quarterback, calling the plays in the huddle and barking at teammates he believes are letting up. He did some of his best yapping last week about his former teammates.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Fan Q&A [12:58 PM] reports: "That will be a weapon for us as we get more proficient in our offense. At times if we need to change things up we may go to a no-huddle earlier in the game."

Marker Tailgate Party: Tops Game Day Experience [12:53 PM] reports: This weekend, prior to the Chicago Bears game, the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse is transformed into the largest indoor tailgate party in the league: Tops Gameday Experience. In addition to a variety of interactive games, and food, the Bills Experience features the live broadcast of the 97 Rock pregame show.

Marker CLUTCH FACTOR: Bunching at the top [11:57 AM]
Fox Sports reports: Apparently it helps to be on a winner. Three of the top four play for unbeaten teams, while the fourth — Drew Bledsoe — is on pace to break Dan Marino's passing yardage record for a season.

Marker Bills need to pick up some pickoffs [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are one of just three teams (along with Baltimore and Cincinnati) in the NFL that hasn't picked off a pass.'

Marker Just call newest signee Prioleau a big spender [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Last year this time I was sitting at home watching games on TV. To know I'm back in football and starting and having fortunate things happening to me is a blessing. The Bills have been good to me."'

Marker Give Gilbride credit for Bills' resurgence [7:20 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Drew Bledsoe is on his way back, but he has company. Kevin Gilbride, come on down.'

Marker Shelton set to rock Bills [6:35 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'The Bills' defense allows 5.3 yards per rush and ranks 28th against the run. But it is not for lack of trying. The Bills mass eight, sometimes as many as 10, men on the line to stop the run, meaning the Bears may adjust their approach slightly. "It's unlike some things that you've ever seen, so it gets hard sometimes," offensive coordinator John Shoop said.'

Marker Secondary's primary test [6:34 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: '"They're going to throw the ball 40 or 45 times," said cornerback Reggie Austin, who stayed after practice Thursday with the wide receivers, running routes to work on his technique for catching the ball. "They know we're thin, so they're going to try to get one of us out of there to see who's coming in next. You definitely have to have your track shoes on."'

Marker This teacher a quick study [6:12 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'The Bears expect to see quite a bit of passing from Drew Bledsoe, and Knight would like nothing better than to notch his first career sack at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the team he grew up cheering for.'

Marker 100-plus brothers and sisters helped mold Bears' Knight [6:11 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'Bryan Knight gets to play in front of his parents Sunday when the Bears play the Bills in his hometown of Buffalo. But chances are good Knight has family almost anywhere the Bears play, since he has more than 100 brothers and sisters.'

Marker Knight well conditioned to change [6:10 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'When the Bears play Sunday in his hometown of Buffalo, Knight likely will have a prominent role as pass rush end much of the time in nickel defenses because of the Bills' extensive use of multi-receiver formations.'

Marker Blitzing Bills provide big play opportunities [6:09 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'The Bears of the 1980s sent every available warm body across the line to swarm running backs and quarterbacks. Buffalo's tactics may be similar, but the results have been different. They have managed 12 sacks, tied for fourth best in the league. But they give up big gainers on running plays when the blitz doesn't stop a runner.'

Marker The hunt for QBs gives Schobel a rush [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: '“Overall, I like the food back home better,” Schobel was saying the other day from the Ralph in a drawl thicker than Texas tea. “But I gotta admit that the wings up here are damn good. That’s why I told my folks back at the restaurant to get the recipe. Plop a few buckets of those things down next to me, give me an extinguisher to put out the fire and I’m a contented man.”'

September 26, 2002

Marker 6. Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills [9:40 PM]
ESPN reports: The Broncos slowed down Drew Bledsoe to a small degree last week, but the Bears face a battle for their respect. Despite last year's playoff run, the Bears head into Ralph Wilson Stadium as underdogs. They are down three key starters on defense. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ted Washington's absence leaves them vulnerable to the run.

Marker Gray challenges Bills defense to play up to expectations [9:39 PM]
AP reports: '''We've been pumping it up the whole offseason,'' Gray said. ''Well, let's see us stop living on what we say, and do it on what we do.'''

Marker Urlacher fits the mold of Bears LB [9:38 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'At least for the span between March and May, Reebok, the exclusive manufacturer of NFL jerseys, says that Urlacher's signature black No. 54 was the sales leader.'

Marker Not-done-yet Rams featured in Week 3 top-five lists [9:38 PM] reports: 5. Drew Bledsoe, Bills -- Sure, they're 1-2, but just ask Jets, Vikings and Broncos how this guy has made Buffalo a scary team.

Marker The dark domain of the pileup [9:37 PM]
The Sporting News reports: After a draining and exhilarating fourth quarter, the Vikings and Bills are in overtime in Week 2. About two minutes into the extra period, Buffalo is operating near midfield when quarterback Drew Bledsoe fumbles a shotgun snap. A recovery could turn the game to Minnesota, but Mike Williams, the Bills' rookie tackle, comes up with the ball.

Or does he?

Marker Q&A with Williams [12:43 PM]
Shout! reports: Q: Outside linebackers Keith Newman and Eddie Robinson haven't had a lot of tackles after three games. Is something wrong?
GW: The outside LBs in this defense are funnel players. If people are attacking the inside of this defense, most of the tackles will go to the middle LB and the strong safety and the free safety.

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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