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Buffalo Bills News - September 18, 2001

Marker Bills' Achilles heel … losing Cowart's skill [1:23 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Thus, it's virtually assured that the Bills' best defender is out for the season, leaving Buffalo's run-stopping responsibility in the hands of second-year pro Kenyatta Wright and rookie fourth round draft choice Brandon Spoon. In reality, though general manager Tom Donahoe and head coach Gregg Williams will never admit it, this is the Bills' worst nightmare come true.'

Marker Ask Phil Hansen! [1:10 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Phil Hansen will take questions from the Buffalo Bills website.

Marker Tom Donahoe's Weekly Bills Update [12:58 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Tom Donahoe answers a number of questions including:
Football-wise, did it help the young team to get more practice in, would you rather have had more game experience?

"Our situation's not any more difficult that anyone else's. With the young team, it has given us more practice time, which we can use, so that our players can improve and further develop. From that standpoint, we can take advantage of the extra time that we've had in terms of preparation and our players getting better."

Marker Levy, fan take road trip after tragedies [9:51 AM]
NFL.com reports: On Tuesday morning, Levy was en route from Denver to Chicago following Monday night's matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants. Shortly into the flight, the pilot announced that their plane would land in Omaha, Neb., due to possible terrorist strikes in New York City and Washington D.C.

Marker Levy has seen this level of patriotism [9:50 AM]
NFL.com reports: "There was a tremendous pulling together of the nation, a oneness of mind that I saw reflected after these events of last Tuesday that I haven't seen since Pearl Harbor," Levy told NFL.com.

Marker Bills coach turns focus toward working [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's the challenge we have in every walk of life throughout the country right now," Williams said. "It's not only here. The (stock) markets opened up (Monday). We'll do our part. That's my job, our job as coaches. We'll do our part to get it back to as normal as we can, whatever that may be."'

Marker Players pitch in to raise funds [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Rob Johnson, Phil Hansen, Jay Riemersma, Alex Van Pelt, Kris Farris and Michael Early were among those who signed autographs at the Walden Galleria on Saturday. They also accepted donations from shoppers and pooled an unspecified amount of their own money to help in the rescue and recovery project.'

Marker Harmon Forcast - Indianapolis 23, Buffalo 15 [8:48 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Here's the explosive Colts offense's first test against a top-notch defense. With 18-16 and 44-20 wins in Buffalo and Indianapolis, the Colts swept the Bills in '00 for the first time since '94.

Marker Greed put aside at tough time? Refs agree on deal? [8:45 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: If they don't take this deal, which will give them a 50% raise this season and a 100% raise in the fourth year, the NFL is expected to play the season with the replacement officials.
Count on them taking it.

How could they not? As one league insider noted, the stock market is down nearly 700 points and the officials are squawking about a 50% increase for a second job?

Tom Condon, chief negotiator for the union, told USA TODAY Monday night that the report was erroneous and no deal was in place.

Marker 5th and 6th playoff seeds don't make it to Superbowl [8:38 AM]
ESPN reports: "Given everything that you have to go through if you're one of those last two wild-cards teams, staying around in the playoffs for any length of time is (a hard thing)," said former Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips.

Marker Bills ready for Indy [6:25 AM]
AP reports: 'It's difficult to gauge how the Bills will react. They are a mostly young team, featuring 37 players with two or fewer full seasons of NFL experience. Receiver Eric Moulds challenged the young players to step up their levels of play. "The veteran players we have know how to win. But the young guys have to come forward and learn how to win," Moulds said. "This team is known for winning ballgames. We have to show those guys how you win around here."'

Marker Wright set for challenge of replacing star Cowart [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'The 6-foot, 240-pounder served as a backup to Cowart and John Holecek, and he made one start last year -- ironically against the team he will start against Sunday, Indianapolis. When Williams took over the team, Wright had to prove himself again. With 24 special teams tackles last season, third-best on the team, Wright had an edge because Williams values special teams play.'

Marker Surgery on his thumb won't sideline Fisher [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'In addition to linebacker Sam Cowart's operation to repair his torn Achilles' tendon, defensive end Bryce Fisher had a screw placed in his thumb. Fisher did not practice yesterday, but is expected to be back tomorrow wearing a cast on his hand to protect the thumb. The Bills are not practicing today. Coach Gregg Williams said if the Bills had played in Miami Sunday, Fisher would have played with a cast.'

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September 17, 2001

Marker School is Cool Contest Kick Off with Meadow Brook Dairy [4:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Buffalo Bills and Meadow Brook Dairy are kicking off the second annual "School is Cool" Essay Contest for kids between the ages of 6 and 14.

To participate in the contest, kids need to write a short essay on why they think "school is cool". One hundred winners will receive a pair of tickets to the Bills/Seahawks game on November 18th.

Marker Tickets for Bills vs. Steelers available [3:55 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills today announced that a number of good seats are still available for the September 30 game with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Marker Thomas: no doubt about Hall of Fame [5:56 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'One of the most prolific running backs in NFL history, Thomas becomes eligible for induction in 2006. But with four other strong candidates in the same class -- Troy Aikman, Reggie White, Deion Sanders and Warren Moon -- Thomas admits he might not be a first-ballot selection. "When all those guys had retired, they had won a Super Bowl," said Thomas, referring to Aikman, White and Sanders. "I haven't. That makes it pretty tough to get in. "But I've always thought that it doesn't matter whether I make it on the first time. Just as long as I make it and can say my speech and they say, `Thurman Thomas made it as a Buffalo Bill.'"'

Marker Bills spend the unplanned day off with family and loved ones [5:09 AM]
D and C reports: '"It's going to change the history of the world," Morris said of the terrorist attacks that leveled the twin World Trade Center towers and a portion of the Pentagon, killing perhaps more than 5,000 people. "You think about it every day, all the personal stories of what the families have gone through. It's still a shock. Especially when you see more and more video."'

September 16, 2001

Marker Bills fans find other diversions to ease their minds [7:01 PM]
AP reports: 'After attending a memorial service Friday, the Bills took the weekend off before their scheduled practice Monday. Along with collecting money to help victims of the attack, many Bills players were expected to attend a city-sponsored vigil Sunday evening in front of Buffalo's city hall.'

Marker Departed Jones disputes notion he rocked Bills' boat [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Jones admits he does not love the way coach Gregg Williams deals with players. "I didn't totally agree with their approach," he said. "He's not treating them like men. And I'm not the only guy who feels that way. You don't insult players. There's a certain way you talk to grown men, and there's a certain amount of respect you give grown men, and liberties and freedoms you give them. . . . I think he's still trying to figure that out as a head coach as far as how he wants to do it."'

Marker Team waiting for results of surgery on linebacker [7:13 AM]
ESPN reports: 'When middle linebacker Sam Cowart suffered a partially torn Achilles tendon in the season opener, Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams acknowledged the team's defensive star likely would miss a "significant" amount of time. It appears now that "significant" translates into the balance of the season.'

Marker Dolphins fond of Buffalo QB [7:05 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'It's almost seven months later, and it seems the Dolphins might have had made the offseason's best decoy move by getting the Buffalo Bills to keep Rob Johnson instead of Doug Flutie. In February, a top team source with the Dolphins told The Herald and two other South Florida newspapers the team would be very interested in Johnson if the Bills were to let him go. But did they mean it?'

Marker Cowart's year may be over [5:05 AM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo Bills linebacker Sam Cowart underwent surgery on a partially torn Achilles' tendon Friday, increasing the likelihood that he will be out for the season. But the Bills have not officially ruled out Cowart, who was injured in last Sunday's 24-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints.'

September 15, 2001

Marker Surgery means Cowart likely out for year [9:17 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams said Cowart's injury is not as severe as the complete tear of the tendon that was suffered by Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde two years ago. "It's up higher in the muscle belly moreso than on the tendon," he said.'

September 14, 2001

Marker DB Daryl Porter signs with Titans [11:53 AM]
The Tennessean reports: Porter, who signed with the Dolphins in March after not being resigned after three seasons with Buffalo, was cut in preseason.

Porter was one of the players burned in Homerun Throwback by the Titans.
"He is a young guy who has played cornerback and safety and is a good special teams player," Titans GM Floyd Reese said.

Marker Wilson lauds NFL's no-play decision [9:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I feel it is the absolute right decision by the NFL to postpone games this weekend," Wilson said in a statement. "I had conveyed my thoughts to the league in regards to not playing this weekend well in advance of the announcement because I feel that to play the games would have shown a great insensitivity to this national tragedy that has shocked our nation and the world. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their loved ones, as well as the heroic rescue workers who continue in their tireless efforts to search for survivors."'

Marker Reflection, not games, what's needed [9:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Players throughout the NFL carried the flag on this charge. They saw their games as circumstantially irrelevant and, one would think, recognized the magnitude of their influence. It's telling that after the players stripped the NFL of its corporate veneer that baseball and NASCAR and major-college football quickly postponed their activities through the weekend. We don't need to climb to the peaks of our stadiums. Cause for reflection is right before our eyes.'

Marker Dolphins want to play Bills at later date [9:43 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins prefer to play the game, since it was a home date against a division opponent that lost its opener. The majority just didn't want to play it now, for reasons of preparation, security, safety and respect.'

Marker Bills coach will support any NFL decision [9:42 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"As it was brought to my attention yesterday, [I felt] the initial shock and the disbelief and numbness in what was going on," he said. "In the middle of the afternoon, [I was] angry about what was going on. Finally, well after midnight last night, as I was getting ready to leave the office, I came to the resolution that if our government says it's safe to play this football game, and our league office says it's safe to play this football game, we need to do our part."'

Marker Bills agree with league decision [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '"How are you going to play in the Meadowlands (the Giants were to host the Green Bay Packers Sunday) when you have people under rubble right across the river? It would be very insensitive."'

Marker NFL proves to Bills it has a heart [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: '"I hope and pray that all the people in our organization take the time this weekend to take a walk with their kids, hug their wife, go and do something with one of their loved ones," general manager Tom Donahoe said. "I hope we just realize how fortunate all of us are."'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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