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Buffalo Bills News - October 3, 2000

Marker Dolphins notebook [7:23 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: '"He`s as big as all outside." -- Linebacker Robert Jones on Buffalo nose tackle Ted Washington.'

Marker Dolphins gearing for Bills [7:22 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: '"I guess with Buffalo and the Jets, it starts feeling more intense around here than any other week because of the rivalry," receiver Oronde Gadsden said. "With the history between the teams we`ve put together, it`s going to be a little more intense."'

Marker Dolphins have a different look [7:15 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Robert Jones couldn't say it last week. He wanted to, and he was even asked to, but he couldn't say anything bad about Cincinnati for fear of motivating the Bengals. He doesn't have such a problem this week with Buffalo up next. "Now that it's done and over with, I can honestly say I didn't have much respect for Cincinnati," the linebacker said. "I only said that (to the media), but I do respect Buffalo. Buffalo's got a lot of talent. Great quarterbacks. Either one can give us trouble. Both have given us trouble in the past. Great wide receivers. A harem of running backs, massive offensive line. It's going to be a tough, physical battle this week." How tough? "Look at their mascot," he said, "it's a buffalo. There's nothing finesse about a buffalo."'

Marker Dolphins' backfield crowded [7:13 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Thurman Thomas will get all the attention -- it is, after all, Buffalo week -- but the Miami Dolphins' running backs are learning to share the football. For the first time this season, three Miami runners got at least five carries in Sunday's 31-16 victory over Cincinnati. This depth was needed after Thomas was held out with a groin injury.'

Marker Bills hoping to reverse trend against Dolphins [6:36 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Two weeks ago against the New York Jets it was special teams mistakes and last Sunday, red-zone ineptitude led to the 18-16 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. "It's a division loss at home against a team (Indianapolis) that's supposed to be the Super Bowl champ and we had them," Bills linebacker John Holecek said. "But we let it slip through our fingers." That's where the problem lies. Given the Bills have had games against the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Jets and Colts, few would argue that a 2-2 start is a disgrace. But losing the hard way, when statistics say they shouldn't, hurts that much more.'

Marker Trash talk was just Thurman being Thurman [5:04 AM]
D and C reports: 'Thomas singled out Holecek, safety Henry Jones and defensive end Phil Hansen as players he had no respect for, players he would not shake hands with before or after Sunday's game at Pro Player Stadium.'

Marker Dolphins-Bills: Same script, different cast [4:58 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"The last few weeks I've had to do a lot of talking to the players, covering all the bases," Wannstedt says. "But this week, getting ready for Buffalo, players understand what's on the line. Coaches enjoy weeks like this. We can save our voices."'

Marker Ruddy gets praise, braces for big test [4:56 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Tim Ruddy earned his second game ball of the season after Sunday's victory in Cincinnati. Coach Dave Wannstedt says the seventh-year center is playing at a "Pro Bowl level." And vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman says Ruddy is playing a lot more physical than in past years. But accolades and testimonials aside, Ruddy's ascent will be tested Sunday at Pro Player Stadium by an old nemesis -- the Bills' Ted Washington. Buffalo's Pro Bowl nose tackle and immovable force remains a daunting task for any center, but especially Ruddy. But Ruddy's play this season has convinced even the greatest doubters that the Dolphins made a wise choice to re-sign him to a five-year, $12.75 million contract -- including a $4 million signing bonus -- last February.'

Marker Dolphins deal for Bears TE [4:54 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins acquired yet another tight end Monday when they dealt a seventh-round draft pick in the 2001 NFL draft to Chicago for Alonzo Mayes.'

Marker Ruddy `at a Pro Bowl level' [4:52 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins don't want to reveal how coaches have graded center Tim Ruddy through the first five games of the season, but the fact he is the only offensive player to receive two game balls from coach Dave Wannstedt speaks volumes.'

Marker Monday notebook [4:50 AM]
Dolphin Digest reports: 'While most of the attention this week will be on running back Thurman Thomas, playing his first game against his former team, a more important storyline -- if the Dolphins are to run against the Bills Sunday at Pro Player Stadium -- should unfold in the trenches. That's where center Tim Ruddy, who according to head coach Dave Wannstedt is playing the best football of his career, will butt heads with All-Pro tackle Ted Washington. The Bills enter Sunday's game with the league's second-ranked run defense, yielding an average of only 66.3 yards per game. The 6-5, 330-pound Washington, who has averaged nearly 110 tackles the past four years, remains a big reason why Buffalo is so formidable against the run.'

Marker Dolphins offense shows signs of improvement [4:49 AM]
AP reports: 'The Bills rank among the NFL's best defensive teams, and in two meetings against them last year, Miami totaled one touchdown. "They're probably the most physical team we play all year,'' coach Dave Wannstedt said.'

Marker Dolphins acquire TE Mayes from Bears [4:47 AM]
AP reports: 'The Miami Dolphins acquired tight end Alonzo Mayes from the Chicago Bears for an undisclosed late-round draft choice Monday.'

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October 2, 2000

Marker Bills don't bite after being baited by Thurman Thomas [8:55 PM]
AP reports: '"We know Thurman. I think he's pulling everybody's chain," Bills coach Wade Phillips said. "He's a great guy and a great leader. He'll do whatever it takes. ... Thurman's got his own reasons for everything. He's a special guy as far as leadership is concerned, we all know that."'

Marker Vanderjagt's kick beats Bills [4:00 PM]
Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. reports: '"The way this turned out doesn't surprise me at all. The way this turned out -- coming down to the last play -- doesn't surprise me at all. It was a real dogfight right from the beginning," said Colts coach Jim Mora. "To come up here and beat these guys here in a really important game for both teams is a tremendous accomplishment for our football team. I couldn't be more proud of them."'

Marker A loss to remember for the Bills [2:31 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Waiting for the elevator outside the Ralph Wilson Stadium press box, the Indianapolis Colts' assistant coaches who had been in the booth, spotted general manager Bill Polian. Spontaneously, they shared a collective hug and Polian, who held that position for eight seasons with Buffalo, gave a relieved eye roll that said, 'We stole one.''

Marker Colts win at Orchard Park for only second time since '87 [2:30 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Indianapolis sacked Bills' quarterback Rob Johnson four times. The first was recorded by former Bill Cornelius Bennett. Later, Marcus Johnson sacked Johnson, who fumbled, with tackle John Fina recovering. However, Fina wasn't allowed to advance the ball since the fumble occurred in the final two minutes of a half and, thus, could only be taken forward by the fumbler. Dwight Hollier also got a sack. It was first sack of the season for all three linebackers. In addition, defensive end Chad Bratzke recorded his second sack of the campaign.'

Marker Vanderjagt was ready for Colts' call [2:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'As for Vanderjagt, he once played a double for actor Tony Danza in a football movie called 'The Garbage Pickin' Field-Goal Kickin' Philadelphia Phenomenon.' That my well be a forgettable part, but his heroics yesterday will be a role that will be remembered for a long time.'

Marker Bills’ Blown Opportunities On Offense Come Back To Bite Them [11:07 AM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Nope, the burden of this second straight AFC East loss sits squarely on the shoulders of Buffalo's offense. "We definitely blew good opportunities in the first half," Johnson said. It came back to bite them in the end.'

Marker Colts Win in Buffalo [11:01 AM]
ColtsNews.com reports: 'In a game that was dominated by the Bills in almost every statistical category the Colts have to feel fortunate to come out of there with a win. The Bills who has had a very weak running game so far this year was able to "run by committee" and put up some impressive numbers. The combination of running Bryson and Litton had 101 yards on 24 carries. Rob Johnson had a solid day connecting on 21 of 32 for 246 yards and a TD. What hurt Buffalo the most was their inability to punch the Ball in the end zone. In the first half Buffalo had three impressive drives that got them in the red zone every time, but had to settle for field goals.'

Marker Whewwww!!! [11:00 AM]
ColtsNews.com reports: 'Overall, this was a tough battle in a tough place to come away with a win. Perhaps not the prettiest of victories but I'll take it. I'm sure Jim Mora and the Colts will say the same.'

Marker Whatever happened to wide right? [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo had run for 170 yards and a 5.2 average, passed for 246, performed well on special teams, had no turnovers and almost a 12-minute advantage in time of possession. In addition, the Bills' defense limited the production of the Colts' talented trio of Manning, Harrison and running back Edgerrin James. Usually that is a prescription for winning. Not Sunday, however. The problem was the Bills' inability to put the ball in the end zone, especially in the first half.'

Marker Bills let Colts slip from lasso [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Our defense held them to 18 points," said center Jerry Ostroski. "I feel bad. I don't even want to look those guys in the eye. It's a joke. That's another week now that they've played lights out. . . . We're a 4-0 football team and here we are sitting 2-2 and we've dug ourselves a nice little hole by losing the last two weeks."'

Marker Bills' ground game comes to life [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It gets us past the frustration that now we know we can run the ball," Linton said. "But we didn't win. That's the biggest stat there is.
"We didn't score a rushing touchdown. The running backs obviously didn't do enough."'

Marker Vanderjagt delivers on prediction [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I told Coach Mora at halftime that we needed to kick into the wind in the third quarter so in the fourth quarter, when I kick the game-winner, we'll have the wind," Vanderjagt said. "He's like, "I don't care how you do it, just go get it done.' " He said, "I'm gonna kick the winner for ya,' " Mora said. "I kinda laughed it off."'

Marker What if Johnson could have outplayed Manning? [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If Indianapolis' hair-raising, 18-16, last-play victory over Buffalo could be distilled down to one essential factor, it would be this: Johnson, for all his skills, is not yet up to winning a war of nerves against the Colts' wonder quarterback, Peyton Manning.'

Marker Colts' Big Three figures out way to win [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sunday's 18-16 win over the Buffalo Bills was a case in point. It wasn't the greatest day for the Colts' triplets. But when a pass needed to be completed, when a clutch run or catch had to be executed, they delivered.'

Marker Christie denied chance to pad lead [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Kicker Steve Christie kicked three field goals in the first half, but he was miffed when coach Wade Phillips declined to attempt another on fourth-and-6 from the Colts' 29 with about four minutes left in the third quarter and the Bills leading, 9-7. After Christie and holder Chris Mohr took a few steps onto the field for the 46-yard field-goal attempt, Phillips waved them back because he wanted to go for the first down. Christie threw up his hands and ripped off his helmet. "I told (special teams coach) Ronnie (Jones) I was ready to go, and Ronnie called for the field goal," Christie said. "But then Wade overruled him and kept us off. I was ready to go. "He said we were going for it and that was it. His call. I'll just leave it at that."'

Marker Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Unsung Heroes: The Colts' defense. In spite of giving up the 40-yard TD pass, they held Buffalo to three field goals on first-half trips into the red zone, keeping the offense within striking distance the entire game.'

Marker Thurman's mouth warming up for Bills [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Thurman Thomas fired the first salvos in his upcoming battle with the Buffalo Bills, who visit his new team, the Miami Dolphins, on Sunday. In an interview with the Miami Herald published today, the Bills' all-time leading rusher said he is itching to beat his former teammates in Miami. And he said he's especially eager to take a few legal shots at a few teammates with whom he is unhappy.'

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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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