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Buffalo Bills News - October 30, 2002

Marker Allen, Walker among first-time nominees [9:57 PM]
AP reports: 'Allen is a first-time nominee, joining running back Herschel Walker, quarterback Boomer Esiason, special teams player/wide receiver Steve Tasker, tight end Brent Jones, offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman, defensive lineman Richard Dent and linebacker Sam Mills.'

Marker Not quite ready for some football [9:55 PM]
Finger Lakes Times reports: 'It was my first time at a professional football game, and thank the maker, I finally have the answer to the question that's been dogging me lo these many years - "Are you, Chuck Schading, ready for some football?" The answer? Apparently not.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Pre-Game Press Conf. 10/30/2002 [9:54 PM] reports: 'I never was and still am not a real rah-rah guy, but I have made an effort here to be a little more vocal, to take a little more of a vocal role on the field. But, as far as the meetings and that kind of stuff that we've done, that's something that I've done for a long time. It was something that we did in New England for a number of years.'

Marker The hype begins [9:52 PM] reports: '"To say that this is just another game, I'd be laying and you guys would know I was lying," Bledsoe said. "So yeah, it's a special game for me. I'm playing against a bunch of guys that I went to war with for a long time and a lot of guys that I have tremendous respect for. I've used the analogy for a while now that it's like playing against your brother. You go out and play against somebody that you respect and somebody that you're friends with and you want to win that one bad because you're going to have to hear about it for the of the year if you don't win."'

Marker Drewmania Gripping Buffalo Niagara Region [9:50 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'It's not hotcakes, but the hot ticket of the week. A Bills-Patriots ticket is going for 275 dollars a pop on E-Bay. The rivalry between Bills Quarterback Drew Bledsoe and his ex-teammates and nemesis coach Bill Belichick is driving up the price. That figure is also in the ballpark for tickets advertised in the Buffalo News. A News 4 staffer checked out prices Wednesday, "The end zone are starting at 200 dollars, U.S. per ticket."'

Marker Only one scar remains for Bledsoe from Patriots days [9:40 PM]
AP reports: 'If Bledsoe was unhappy with Bill Belichick's decision to stick with Brady last season, he's now crediting his former coach for doing him a favor by sending him to Buffalo in exchange for a first-round pick in next year's draft. ``I can't imagine or look at another team in the league and say, 'There's another team that would be a better fit for me than where I am,''' Bledsoe said.'

Marker Brady just wants to beat Bills [9:38 PM]
AP reports: 'While he still has respect and admiration for quarterback Drew Bledsoe, it doesn't matter to Brady that his former mentor is leading the Buffalo Bills (5-3). ''We're in a tougher situation than he's in,'' Brady said. ''We're the ones who are looking up at him.'''

Marker Brady stands by his comments [9:37 PM]
AP reports: 'After the team's fourth consecutive loss, Brady appeared to question the commitment of some of his teammates. On Wednesday, he said those comments were misinterpreted.'

Marker Bledsoe again a star, but without the glower [9:35 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'And now, some six months since the trade, and with the two teams scheduled to meet for the first time Sunday, there is growing concern in New England that perhaps the Patriots traded the wrong quarterback.'

Marker Larry Felser: Bills Surrounding Cast Helps the Bills to 5-3 [5:03 PM]
Empire reports: Take Phil Crosby, the lead blocker from the fullback position when the Bills are in I formation. Crosby just rocked Detroit LBs in opening holes for Travis Henry, his college teammate at Tennessee. He drilled Barrett Green at least three times. Not only that but he annoyed Green so much Crosby also coaxed two personal fouls, retaliation penalties out of the angry Lion.

Marker WR Johnson's Thoughts on Facing His Old Team [4:59 PM]
Empire reports: Johnson knows Bledsoe pretty well having spent the last two years with him. Two of his 14 catches last year came from Bledsoe in the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh. Johnson feels Bledsoe would not want the rallying cry this Sunday to be "lets win one for Drew."

Marker Bills Notebook: Offense On Pace For Top Scoring Season [4:59 PM] reports: Keith Newman on the New England Patriots' four-game losing streak: "They've played some good teams: Miami, Denver, San Diego and Green Bay. Those are tough opponents. It's not like they (the Patriots) have been losing to just anybody. At this point last year they were 3-4 and they won eight of the last nine and ended up with a championship. They are going to be a tough team to deal with this Sunday."

Marker Mike Doser: I hope I can keep my emotions in check [4:43 PM]
Shout! reports: Drew Bledsoe: From the time this trade happened I've been getting questions about the game... I think I would be insulting my teammates if I said they were going to give a better effort this week. I think I would be disparaging them.

Marker Preliminary List of Nominees for the Class of 2003 [4:34 PM]
Hall of Fame reports: Steve Tasker is on the Preliminary List of Nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a special teams player as well as wide receiver (1986-1997). Other Bills on it are James Lofton (WR, 1989-1992), Joe DeLamielleure (Guard, 1985) and Chuck Knox (Head Coach, 1978-1982) and Ralph Wilson, Jr. (Owner, 1959-Present).

Marker Alumni Update: Stew Barber [2:12 PM] reports: Over 850 players have suited-up for the Buffalo Bills. Eight men have been the teams general manager. However, only one has done both. Stew Barber.

Marker Drew Bledsoe Takes On Patriots For First Time [1:52 PM] reports: This Sunday marks the ninth time that a quarterback will start against a team for which he threw more than 25,000 passing yards. In those games, the quarterback defeated his former club all eight times.

Marker Patriots suddenly struggling to address woes [1:17 PM]
ESPN reports: 'In 2001, the Patriots ran the ball well, stopped the run, played great special teams, played within themselves during their run to the title. This season, the running attack has been sporadic, too often abandoned early in games, and perhaps set back by a revolving door at the interior line positions. The run defense, for the most part, has been miserable.'

Marker Week 9 Injury Report [10:19 AM] reports: Driver, Tony S Hip Questionable Newman, Keith LB Knee Questionable Williams, Mike T Hamstring Questionable Winfield, Antoine CB Knee Questionable

Marker Crosby comes on strong as a blocker [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With the emergence of Crosby, a second-year pro from Tennessee, fullback has become a position of strength for the Bills.'

Marker Bledsoe Driven By 'Renewed Appreciation' [8:10 AM] reports: Bledsoe's impact also can be measured by the thousands of Western New Yorkers wearing his number 11 jersey. And by the off-the-charts enthusiasm and optimism area residents haven't felt about the Bills since the Kelly-led Super Bowl run of the early and mid-1990s. And by the many yawns and rubbing of eyes among his fellow members of the Bills' offense on Thursday and Friday mornings.

Marker Bills buckle up for bumpier ride [5:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'I didnt think wed ever be 5-3 with this schedule, Wilson admitted. Weve had a tough schedule and we really got a tougher one coming up the second half. Weve got a very long ways to go.'

Marker To spoil Bledsoe, go to this Victor [5:20 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''When he was here, what bothered him was pressure,'' Green said Monday, the day after the Patriots applied little to Denver's Brian Griese in a 24-16 loss, their fourth straight. ''When we game-planned for him, we wanted to get to him with pressure. That always disrupted his game.'''

Marker Pats lose their way [5:19 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Belichick has tried every approach during the Pats' four-game losing streak. He's used the power of positive reinforcement and has cracked the whip. During the bye week he got rough. There were pointed comments in film sessions and fights at practice. It didn't translate on Sunday.'

Marker Belichick owns up to it [5:18 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Bledsoe is 4-5 in nine games against Belichick-coached defenses. Included is a 302-yard passing day against the Cleveland Browns in 1995 and a 340-yard output against the Jets in 1999. Unfortunately for Bledsoe, many of the other numbers aren't very pretty. Bledsoe threw 16 interceptions (compared to 10 touchdown passes) in those nine games.'

Marker Smith knows what Bledsoe faces [5:17 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'I remember what it was like playing (Buffalo), he said. It was like, Boy Ive got to stick it to these guys. Thats how you get up the day of the game. Youre like, God, I want to show them that Im still worth keeping around. Your thing is you want to go out there and make plays to put your team in a situation to win.'

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October 29, 2002

Marker Bledsoe has been reborn in Buffalo [6:13 PM] reports: But this being today's NFL, in which teams and careers can be revitalized faster than President Bush's popularity rating, it shouldn't be surprising that Bledsoe is playing this well, that the Bills are 5-3 and a half-game out of first place in the AFC East and that he could make the Patriots' season even more gloomy. Payback indeed can be sweet.

Marker Bledsoe driven by 'renewed appreciation' [6:12 PM] reports: "We definitely want to get the win for him. We know how important it will be for him. But at the same time, we won't allow that to cause us to alter our approach in a way that might be detrimental."

Marker Page 2: Dishing out the dirt about DirecTV [5:23 PM]
ESPN reports: Stat of the Week No. 5: Bills running back Travis Henry has lost six fumbles in eight games, while Wayne Chrebet fumbled for the first time since 1996. Henry is fumbling once every 29 touches; Chrebet went 323 touches between fumbles.

Marker Pats LB Vrabel facing former teammate [3:53 PM]
AP reports: '``You've got to get pressure on him in the pocket,'' Vrabel said. ``I think that every long play I've seen on the highlights this year he's been able to step up and deliver the ball downfield. With Moulds and Price, you can't give him a lot of time to get back, let those guys run downfield, and then let him step up three or four yards and throw the ball as hard as he can throw it.'''

Marker Even Bills surprised by start [1:16 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Im just a little surprised at how fast weve jelled. The big thing is this teams starting to expect to win.'

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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
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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