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Buffalo Bills News - September 9, 2004

Marker Bills tighten their grip on pass rush [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm going to put pressure on myself because that's what motivates me," Schobel said. "There's always something to play for. You play hard for your teammates. I don't like looking bad on film. When everybody watches it together, I don't want to be the weak link."'

Marker Kelsay and Reed named starters [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Josh just looks a lot more comfortable," quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. "When he's on the field, he's ready to go play. There were times last year when I think some of the comparisons that were thrust on him were hard to deal with. But Josh had a great camp, he caught the ball very well."'

Marker Confidence in Donahoe is fading [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Coaching isn't the real problem, though. It's the personnel. Donahoe has brought in a lot of names, but he doesn't have a playoff roster. Like the man who put it together, this Bills team is less than what it seems, a team that will struggle to be average.'

Marker In order to fly first class, Bills look to coach [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The defense is solid and could be aided by better ball control. It remains to be seen how the same defensive cast will create more turnovers. Good luck (in the form of health along the lines) is essential. Get ready for a lot of tight games. The Bills will need numerous fourth-quarter wins to make the playoffs. Look for a 9-7 finish but no wild card.'

Marker You Make the Call [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The game dictates what I like to call," Gray said. "I have to pick what's working that day. It's trial and error. I know their tendencies, but if they get ahead or behind, they may get away from some of their tendencies. Or maybe they've made adjustments and we've never seen the adjustments they're making on the film that we've watched. Now it's up to us to adjust."'

Marker Thinking on the run [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Our approach this year is run the ball first, pound them with the running game and get the play-action going and not put too much pressure on our protection with the deep passing game," Bledsoe said. "I like that approach. It allows us to be more efficient and not so reliant on making big plays. We'll be more consistent, move more methodically and control the time of possession better than we did last year."'

Marker Catering to strengths [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's true on any team," Clements said. "In order to win in the NFL, you have to be able to run the ball and stop the run. There may be some exceptions in years past. If you can run the ball, you're going to be in third-and-shorter situations where you don't have to hold onto the ball a long time. The pass protection is still at a premium, but the quarterback can get it out of his hands quicker. It helps the offensive line."'

Marker Can running mates share top spot on Bills' ticket? [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"If you're a pounding running team, you need good, quality backs who can hold up," Mularkey said. "I think Travis and Willis give us a chance to have a very good rushing attack."'

Marker Pass rush comes wrapped in surprise packages [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"In this league any hesitation you can create on the offensive lineman gets you one step closer to the quarterback," Posey said. "We've been able to create that hesitation."'

Marker Bills high on the cheap-seats list [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo is the cheapest place to attend a National Football League game, Team Marketing Report revealed in its survey of all 32 NFL franchises.'

Marker 64 Bills season tickets stolen from desk drawer [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo police are looking for a thief who stole 64 Buffalo Bills season tickets from the general manager's desk drawer at an Elmwood Avenue company.'

Marker Murphy ready to take control [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'One of his goals is to draw out Van Pelt by asking questions. "I feel like I've got to pick his brain," said Murphy. "He's got a lot of knowledge, a lot of insight, and I feel part of my job is to open it up for listeners. He knows what he's looking at. Bledsoe told me in training camp that he's the smartest football guy he's ever been around."'

Marker Reed welcomes Evans [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"It wasn't any pressure, I was happy he was here," Reed said Wednesday after the Bills concluded practice inside their fieldhouse on One Bills Drive. "The coaches told me we might be picking a receiver and I called him up and I never had any hard feelings. He's a Bill and he's bringing another dimension to the team."'

Marker Schobel given $23 million extension [4:59 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"Of course I always want to make more," said Schobel, who has 197 career tackles. "But three years ago if I would've known I'd be making this after three years, (heck). I'm so happy. Maybe I left something on the table, maybe I didn't. It's over and I'm happy." His teammates, concerned about continuity and the distraction a contract issue can become in the locker room, are happy, too."'

Marker The new Bill [4:58 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'With Williams gone, expectations are fairly high among Bills supporters -- perhaps higher than the roster actually warrants.'

Marker Del Rio sees tricks as bunch of Mularkey [4:57 AM]
Florida Times Union reports: 'Mularkey was known in Pittsburgh for having wide receivers line up at quarterback, using direct snaps to the running back and -- most notoriously -- for using late sideline substitutions just before the snap in hopes of throwing off opposing defensive coaches. The Jaguars should expect more of the same this weekend, Mularkey said Wednesday.'

Marker Thursday's Jacksonville Coverage [4:56 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Taylor says he's ready (Florida Times Union)
Del Rio sees tricks as bunch of Mularkey (Florida Times Union)
Former Gators selected as captains (Orlando Sentinel)
Statement possible (Jaguars.com)
Stop the run, sack the QB (Jaguars.com)
Big time on Saturday (Jaguars.com)

Marker Marv Levy: 'It just didn't happen' [4:55 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'When he looks back on those four close-but-no-cigar Super Bowl runs now, what does he feel? Disappointment? Frustration? Emptiness? Try pride.'

Marker Inside slant [4:54 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"Willpower," said Mularkey when asked what it takes to be a run-oriented offense. "One thing you can't do is get frustrated. You have to understand there's going to be no-gain plays and maybe a negative play. But you have to be persistent with it and your players have to know you're going to be persistent with it. Don't ever show a sign of frustration out there because you have to believe in what you're doing. I believe they do. On top of that, we (the coaches) have to react the same way. We can't get frustrated in our play calling."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:53 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills want to establish a run-first identity under new coach Mike Mularkey and Jacksonville is a great opening gauge. The Jaguars ranked first in run defense in 2003. In last year's Week 2 match-up against Buffalo in Jacksonville, the Jags played eight men in the box from the get-go, holding Buffalo to 43 yards rushing on 32 carries, daring QB Drew Bledsoe to beat them through the air. Bledsoe did, going 19 of 25 for 314 yards and two touchdowns, hitting a handful of big plays downfield.'

Marker Notes, quotes [4:52 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills finished the preseason with a whopping 41 penalties for 340 yards in the preseason, capped by a 17-penalty game against Detroit. Think Coach Mike Mularkey has addressed the issue? "I addressed it this morning. I addressed it Monday. I addressed it Friday. I addressed it Thursday night. I addressed it at halftime. I addressed it before the game. It will be addressed," he said.'

Marker Bills Establish Cornerstone On Defense [4:51 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Schobel has been talked about as one of the "big three" Bills players in contract years. Jonas Jennings and Pat Williams are the other two playing out the final year of a deal. While those two shut down negotiations with the Bills at the start of training camp, Schobel left the door open and today committed to play with the Bills into the future.'

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September 8, 2004

Marker Schobel Signs Extension; Bills Prep for Jags [9:49 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I'm going to go out there and play hard and do what I've always done. I'm going to put pressure on myself because that's what motivates me. There's always something to play for. I don't like looking bad on film. When everybody watches it together I don't want to be the weak link."'

Marker Mularkey Ready for Opener [9:48 PM]
RNews.com reports: '"I'm excited myself, but probably more for this team," Mularkey said. "They have prepared diligently and they've been impressive to be around. They've made my job a lot easier."'

Marker Jacksonville at Buffalo [9:47 PM]
AP reports: '``I know the pressure's there,'' said Mularkey, Pittsburgh's former offensive coordinator. ``We expect to win. And I'd say that regardless of what talent was on this team.'''

Marker McGahee settles for backup role behind Henry [9:46 PM]
AP reports: '``What, third down?'' McGahee said. ``Nothing's good enough for now. But you know, you always strive to be better, and that's what I'm going to do.'''

Marker Stop the run, sack the QB [9:46 PM]
Jaguars.com reports: '“Yeah, in Pittsburgh we ran some trick plays and I think they keep defenses off balance, I really do. If you design them right they succeed and you have given yourself a chance for big plays. I never want to not take a chance for a big play, ever. I doubt the conservative side will come out, whether we show a trick play this game or not. I doubt that will ever happen,” Mularkey told reporters on Wednesday when he was asked if the Bills' rather conservative personnel might mellow him.'

Marker Home Game Traffic Safety Increased [5:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"It's our hope that fans will be respectful of each other, and mindful of their own behavior so that the game can be enjoyed equally by everyone," said Tom Donahoe, the Bills President/General Manager. "We have the best fans in the league, and we want to see every one of them back in Orchard Park game after game and week after week."'

Marker Celebrate the Season with 'Blue Friday' [5:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Buffalo Bills and Heritage Centers are teaming up to celebrate the start of the 2004 NFL Season in grand style. On Friday, September 10, Heritage Centers and Buffalo Place will host a Buffalo Bills pep rally, dubbed "Blue Friday" to commemorate the beginning of another exciting Buffalo Bills season.'

Marker Schobel Extends Contract [5:00 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills today announced that Aaron Schobel has extended his contract. As per team policy, terms of the extension were not disclosed.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
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12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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