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Buffalo Bills News - December 29, 2002

Marker Little left to play for [5:04 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'The Bills rank fourth in the league in pass defense, allowing just 188.9 yards a game, and Clements leads the way with five interceptions.'

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December 28, 2002

Marker Bills buoyed by one thing: Bengals they're not [6:40 PM]
AP reports: '''I can't compare it to Cincinnati, but it definitely starts at the top. And in Cincinnati, their top guys have been the same guys for a while,'' Bills defensive end Chidi Ahanotu said. ''Here, you've got some good people in (Bills president) Tom Donahoe, who've been around a lot of winning organizations. The same with (coach) Gregg Williams. They're consistent in what they do and what they preach, and that is the foundation that you lay to start a winning franchise.'''

Marker Where Are They Now: Ken Jones [11:16 AM] reports: Where is it written that an offensive lineman who is drafted in the second round can not be shifted to the defensive line during his first training camp? Certainly not in Lou Saban’s book.

Marker A Family Affair: Sunday With The Schobel's [11:15 AM] reports: Though this is the first time they've played against each other in the NFL, they are no strangers on the football field. Growing up they played together in both high school (Columbus, TX) and on the same team at Texas Christian in college. The elder Schobel claims there is no additional pressure in literally going up against his sibling.

Marker Buffalo Bills Notebook: Week 17 Quick Hits [11:14 AM] reports: Entering the season finale Sunday against Cincinnati, linebacker London Fletcher is just 9 tackles shy of the team's single-season tackle record of 206 set by Chris Spielman in 1996. Fletcher has recorded 12-or-more tackles in a game 11 times this season and has had 14+ in five straight.

Marker Riemersma, others may bid farewell following Bills' finale [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's absolutely in the Bills' court," Riemersma said this week as he prepared for the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. "I've stated all along that I wanted to be here for my entire career. They've given me no indication that I won't, either. But obviously you know what happened last offseason. So that's a valid question."'

Marker Ready for a Schobel showdown [8:08 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'The two both said they probably won't talk during the game. It'll be all business. After the season is over, however, they'll spend plenty of time together watching film and trying to get a little better. They've talked on the phone plenty this season, critiquing each other. Big brother has had plenty of advice for little brother, but not this week.'

Marker Bengals at Bills [8:07 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'Game keys for Bills...Score early and often. If the Bengals fall behind by a large margin, their interest level and focus will drop severely.'

Marker No holding back for Schobels [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: 'Aaron is Buffalo’s right defensive end, meaning he lines up to Kitna’s left. As a tight end, Matt normally lines up on the right side of the offensive formation because most teams are right-handed. However, there will be situations when Matt will come in motion to the other side, and he will probably find himself swapping helmet paint with Aaron.'

Marker Brothers to battle in Bengals-Bills [5:15 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'They attended Columbus (Texas) High School together — Matt was a quarterback and Aaron was a defensive end and receiver — and played at Texas Christian University together. But that was then and this is, well, war. Sort of.'

December 27, 2002

Marker Rare brother vs. brother matchup [4:15 PM]
AP reports: '''I'm hoping they each have a good game,'' said their mother, Donna Schobel. ''I won't be rooting for either team.'''

Marker Price needs to avoid the Harper curse [4:14 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'It took awhile, but he reminded us that, at heart, Price remains Petulant Peerless.'

Marker Cincinnati slump lasts for 12 years [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 2-13 Bengals' ineffectiveness has reached such depths that it isn't even fashionable for Jay Leno - or any other comedian - to make fun of them anymore.'

Marker Season finale brings closure for some Bills [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '“As the year winds down, every year you kind of get that nostalgic feeling that it could be it for you here. You just really never know what’s going to happen,” said Riemersma, one of just 12 players left from before general manager Tom Donahoe and coach Gregg Williams took charge in 2001. “I’m not concerned about that, though. I’m worried about beating the Bengals and helping out as much as I possibly can doing that.”'

Marker Call them brothers in ball [5:18 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Matt, the Bengals' rookie tight end, will be blocking Aaron on some running plays.'

December 26, 2002

Marker Big Mike grows up during rookie season [8:46 PM]
AP reports: Based on Williams' performance, the Bills continue to have great hope that he'll remain a fixture on an emerging and talented line that includes second-year left tackle Jonas Jennings and second-year right guard Marques Sullivan.

Marker Bills’ young linemen get good reviews from OL coach [12:48 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Although the Bills have given up no fewer than two sacks in each game, the offensive line has done a fine job this season and certainly has become a focal point for an optimistic future. Rookie ORT Mike Williams, second-year ORG Marques Sullivan and second-year OLT Jonas Jennings have all "steadily progressed," according to Bills OL coach Ronnie Vinklarek.

Marker Buffalo Bills Holiday E-Cards [9:53 AM] reports: Send a FREE Bills Holiday E-Card to a friend or family member.

Marker Bills - Bengals Series History [9:52 AM] reports: The Bills and Bengals have met 18 times in regular season play and the series is all knotted up at nine wins per side. Buffalo has won four straight against Cincinnati, including the most recent game (33-20 at Cincy in 1998) and the last time they played in Orchard Park (31-17 in 1996).

Marker Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Answers Emails [9:44 AM] reports: It is difficult for me to find words to express the tremendous job that Tom Donahoe has done for the Bills in his short time in Buffalo. He came in under a terrible salary cap situation with veteran players being paid three times their market value and if he could suit up, he should go to the Pro Bowl!

Marker Touch of Gray has Bills' 'D' back from dead [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills have allowed only three touchdowns in the past 11 quarters.'

Marker Moulds, Price could be history-making duo [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Both Eric Moulds and Peerless Price are in position to break the Buffalo Bills' record for most receptions in a season.'

Marker Bills' Thomas gaining notice [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: '“Earlier in the year when it was a little bit overwhelming, he got thrown in there and he wasn’t quite ready to go. He just needed to relax, gain a little bit more experience in practice, and understand what we want done and how we want our particular schemes to be played. He took advantage of an opportunity this past weekend and played well.”'

December 25, 2002

Marker Left in the cold [10:01 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"If you'd come in here and said at the beginning of the year that we'd be a .500 team or have a chance to be a .500 team at the end of the season, a lot of people would have said that would be a reasonably successful year, that we had made somewhat of a turnaround," said Bledsoe. "But as we started playing and won a few games early, the expectations from both inside and from outside the organization changed pretty dramatically. We felt like we had a chance to be a playoff team, we felt like we had a chance to throw our hat into the ring and be competing for a chance at a championship at the end of the season. It hasn't happened for us and it's been disappointing for us."'

Marker Time to play in the snow [10:00 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"We would try to convince our players, this is Buffalo Bills weather," he said. "Our fans are tough, you better be tough. They don't even want a domed stadium here. We took that psychological approach, and I think there are some teams that came in and maybe it did bother them. I tried to tell our players that it's an advantage if the others let it prey on their mind. We used to have a statement with our team that if it's too tough for them it's just right for us."'

Marker Late-season downturns are familiar to Bledsoe [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He feels like he's not throwing the ball as well as he can right now," Moulds said. "It's a number of things. We're not protecting him really well, and we have to do better. At the same time, he's not stepping into his throws and making his throws like he did early in the season. He looked at the film today and said he was throwing off his back leg more than he should have, and the ball is sailing on him. Those are things he can correct."'

Marker Battle of the Schobels provides brotherly sidelight to Bengals game [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Matt Schobel is a rookie tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals and will be forced to block Aaron at times when the two teams meet in Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Bills pledge to play hard vs. Bengals [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: '“We’re going to prepare to win this football game,” Williams said. “We’re going to play the best guys that we have. They enjoy competing, and they’ll enjoy going out and finishing this season on a positive note. We need to win to finish this season out. It doesn’t make any difference at what point in time you’re at in the season, you treat it no different."'

Marker After 44 years, coach Levra will leave [5:14 AM]
D and C reports: '“I’ve loved football all the years I’ve been in it. It’s a great way to make a living and it’s been very kind to me. I’m pleased at what’s transpired while I’ve been a coach, but I’ve had enough, I’m ready to quit and watch the games as a spectator.”'

Marker Bledsoe fit quarterback bill in Buffalo [5:13 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"It brought instant credibility to the position, to the offense, and the team," Bills coach Gregg Williams said. "When you can bring somebody of (Bledsoe's) stature at that point of time, it was an immediate impact of energy throughout the community and the organization. We felt we got a good deal. Our No.1 draft pick (this April) is Drew Bledsoe."'

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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
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01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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