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Buffalo Bills News - January 3, 2003

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 3, 1982 [12:47 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Cincinnati jumped out to a 14-0 1st quarter lead, after cashing in on a long punt return and an INT, and defeated Buffalo 28-21, to secure the 1st postseason victory in the history of the Bengals’ franchise.

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 3, 1981 [12:47 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: In dramatic fashion, San Diego rallied from a 14-3 deficit as QB Dan Fouts connected with WR Ron Smith on a 50-yard scoring pass with just 2:08 remaining in the game. The reception was only the 5th of the season for Smith.

Marker Alumni Update: Joe Cribbs [9:43 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Joe Cribbs had a very successful rookie campaign. A consensus choice as AFC Rookie-of-the-Year, Cribbs finished second in the conference with 1,185 rushing yards and was the only rookie to start in the Pro Bowl. The key to his early success?

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January 2, 2003

Marker Send your question to Drew Bledsoe [2:46 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Bledsoe finished the season with a strong game, completing 23 of 31 passes (74.2%) for 231 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT. His quarterback rating in the season finale was 105.7. It was one of six times in 2002 that the first-year Bills quarterback had a rating of over 100 and the 28th time in his career.

Marker Bills' TV ratings top all CBS affiliates [1:14 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'According to figures released from Nielsen Media Research and WIVB-TV, the Bills had the highest market-by-market ratings of all CBS affiliates across the country and third overall behind Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.'

Marker 5th Down: Go, Henry, Go [11:32 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: In the course of one year, Travis Henry has completed a marathon run in sprinter's time. If you compare the rookie of 2001 to the veteran of 2002, you'll find a man who has traveled the greatest of distances in the quickest of times.

Marker Q&A With Definsive Line Coach John Levra [11:31 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "My recommendations would just to be… our objective would be to improve our pass rush. We haven't done a great job of that this year. We would certainly like to put more pressure on the quarterback. I think we've done a decent job of playing the run most of the time. I would probably try to get some guys bigger and stronger before next season."

Marker Cincinnati Holds First Pick In 2003 Draft [9:53 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bengals' choice will be followed by the Detroit Lions picking second and Houston Texans third. Buffalo - 14th.

Marker Buffalo Bills 2003 Opponents [9:13 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The NFL has a regular-season scheduling rotation under the current realignment plan. The schedules will take the Bills through a cycle of games - home and away - against every other team in the league. In these seven seasons, the Bills will play every other team at least twice - once home and once away.

Marker Fletcher proud to walk in Spielman's path [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He did a better job of anticipating plays and getting on the proper side of the lead blockers the second half of the year than the first.'

Marker A reason to shout [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills of 1988 entered the domain of the NFL's elite teams. The Bills of 2003 are on the doorstep. We can hardly wait for training camp to start.'

Marker Bills may pursue LeBeau [6:13 AM]
D and C reports: '“Anytime you can get a coach like Dick LeBeau, you try to fit him in anywhere you can,” Donahoe told bengals.com. “I would obviously be interested in something like that because of what I think of him.” The two were together in Pittsburgh from 1992-96, when Donahoe was the Steelers’ director of football operations and LeBeau served as secondary coach and later defensive coordinator.'

January 1, 2003

Marker LeBeau interests Bills [4:08 PM]
Bengals.com reports: 'LeBeau ended his run as Bengals head coach in Buffalo this past Sunday, but the Bills are interested in extending his career in the NFL to a 45th season. Bills president Tom Donahoe said Wednesday morning that he wants to explore adding LeBeau to his staff in some form even though he doesn’t anticipate major changes on Buffalo’s defensive side of the ball.'

Marker Mike Williams makes ESPN "ALL ROOKIE TEAM" [1:09 PM]
ESPN reports: Up front are a trio of first-round picks, a second-rounder and a free agent. Minnesota's Bryant McKinnie joins fellow top 10 pick Mike Williams of Buffalo at tackle despite [Bryant McKinnie] missing half the season because of a holdout.

Marker Bledsoe looks ahead after season of records [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It will feel even better next year when we are a playoff team."'

Marker Bills prepare to huddle up [5:46 AM]
D and C reports: 'This season, Williams coached with a roster where 24 percent of the cap space was devoted to players the Bills had cut. Next season, that “dead” money will drop to around 10 percent.'

Marker Local news in brief [5:46 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'U.S. Bank, based in Cleveland, filed suits Monday against Buffalo Bills' running back Travis Henry and Reggie Germany, an Ohio State University wide receiver the Bills cut this season.'

Marker Former NFL star Thomas finishes treatment program [5:45 AM]
AP reports: Former Pro Bowl running back Thurman Thomas admitted to being a recovering alcoholic and recently spent 28 days in a rehabilitation program in Minnesota. Thomas told members of the Purdue and Washington football teams at a Sun Bowl luncheon Monday that he has had problems with alcohol since retiring from football two years ago.

December 31, 2002

Marker Proving ground [8:31 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Truth is, as I see it, they weren’t good enough, and when you add the fact teams like Miami, New England, and Denver also didn’t get into the playoffs, it’s no lock they’ll be a playoff team next season even if they’re better.'

Marker Cop sues Bills player [6:58 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'The officer suffered a separated shoulder, a sprained rotator cuff and injuries to his neck, chest and shoulders when Rogers resisted arrest and assaulted him on the morning of July 13 in the parking lot of the After Dark Gentlemen's Club, according to Edward Weinstein, the East Brunswick attorney representing Kurzydlowski.'

Marker Bills player sued by officer over July brawl [6:56 PM]
AP reports: 'According to the suit, when the officer tried to arrest Rogers, the player shouted an expletive and threatened the officer.'

Marker Reflections on an 8-8 year with the Bills [1:26 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Another defensive plus was the performance of middle linebacker London Fletcher. He finished the season with a team record for tackles, becoming only the third Bill to log over 200 in a season. But, unlike earlier in the year, his stops came closer to the line of scrimmage, rather than downfield, and he made more impact plays.'

Marker Defense will be Bills' top priority [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I felt like if we had played better defensively in the first half of the year, we would have had a better chance," said cornerback Antoine Winfield. "The offense carried us most of the year. We made too many mistakes and didn't hold up our end. But we got better and guys started to get more comfortable in their roles. We just have to carry that over to next year."'

Marker Riemersma, Newman expect to go [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I called (wife) Cara from the car (Sunday night), and it got a little emotional there," a misty-eyed Riemersma said. "I talked to guys like Phil Hansen and John Holecek, asking them how they handled it. I wear my emotions on my coat sleeve and it's been tough. It really has. You really never know in this business what's going to happen, but certainly you can see the writing on the wall."'

Marker Bills can barely wait for next year [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As Bledsoe said, there are no more long-term building projects in the NFL. You strike when the opportunity is there. Next year, in the third season of the Gregg Williams era, the door figures to be open wide for this team.'

Marker Bills' Riemersma feels he won't return [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'Riemersma is scheduled to be the third-highest paid player on the team in 2003. With a base salary of $3.5 million and a salary cap figure of $4.8 million, only Eric Moulds and Drew Bledsoe will count more against the cap than Riemersma. By cutting Riemersma, the Bills would eat the $1.3 million portion of his bonus he is still owed, but they would save his $3.5 million in base salary.'

Marker What the Bills have to do to reach the playoffs in 2003 [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'At 2-4 in the East Division and 5-7 in the conference, Buffalo had no chance in those hair-pulling tiebreaker scenarios.'

Marker Bills had chances to make playoffs [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'A play here, a play there, and they’d be breaking down film of the Steelers or Colts today.'

Marker Thomas tells luncheon crowd of treatment visit [5:22 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'This year's Sun Bowl legend, Thurman Thomas, shocked a large Rotary Club of El Paso team luncheon audience Monday at the Convention Center by saying he's a recovering alcoholic. The former All-Pro running back for the Buffalo Bills said he recently spent 28 days in an Alcoholics Anonymous rehabilitation program in Minnesota.'

Marker Runner's great day remembered [5:21 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'Thomas -- the Buffalo Bills' star who played for Oklahoma State in the Cowboys' 35-33 victory over West Virginia 15 years ago -- was honored as 2002's Legend of the Sun Bowl Monday.'

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