Questionable timing [4:46 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Milloy, a four-time Pro Bowl safety with the Patriots, signed with the Bills Thursday and is likely to make his Buffalo debut Sunday against New England in a poetic-justice sort of season opener for both teams. Those headlines could soon be eclipsed by questions over whether his agent, Carl Poston, was in contact with other NFL teams before the Patriots released Milloy.
Hungry Henry shoots for the moon [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I love competing because it brings out the best in you," he said. "Whenever he gets healthy and they decide to put him out there, it's going to make us better. I know it's going to make me better."'
Milloy itching to face former mates [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Milloy offered one anecdote from the practice. "It felt weird when I was running scout team cards and I was actually playing myself," Milloy said.'
M&T Bank, Choice One sign sponsorship deals with Bills [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Companies like to become "official" product or service providers of NFL teams to promote their brands with the NFL's loyal fan base.'
Moulds says Bledsoe pressed [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bledsoe Bowl III, taking place Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, features more twists than a box of nightcrawlers. Three ex-Bills (Antowain Smith, Ted Washington, Larry Centers) face three-ex-Patriots (Bledsoe, Sam Gash, Lawyer Milloy), none leaving their former team with a Christmas card list for the front office.'
Team is happy to pay big bucks for a good Lawyer [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Patriots had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to resolve the issue or they would’ve been obligated to pay Milloy his full salary. Under a tight deadline, the sides never came to an agreement but were only $600,000 apart at the end of talking.'
Milloy's game plan is a secret [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '"If anybody has the ball, they've got to get hit," he said. "That's how I play. I never try to see numbers. I never try to see, you know, personalities or fame. We all line up the same. And I think everyone in the league, and not just the Patriots, knows what I bring to the table. That's what I bring to the game."'
Johnson lands in captain's chair [5:13 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Milloy will receive a $5 million bonus and a $2 million salary this year. Next season, and in 2005, he is scheduled to receive a $1.75 million roster bonus and $1 million salary, while in '06 Milloy is slated for a $1.5 million roster bonus and $1 million salary. The contract also includes assurances that the Bills will not name him their their franchise player when the deal expires.'
Trench rivalry on line [5:12 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Schobel and Light's battle could put a pair of new faces on a long Pats-Bills rivalry that has been filled with great one-on-one matchups.'
Bills `D' looks A-OK [5:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I sure wasn't happy about the situation and we've made some moves for a tighter defense this season,'' Fletcher said. ``We did a lot to shore up the front seven.'''
Harrison comes on strong [5:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Harrison is now the one responsible for setting a physical tone in the Pats secondary. The two-time Pro Bowler is the one who will line up the defense and call out the adjustments. He's the one who will creep up into the box to stuff the run. He's the one his teammates will look to as the last line of defense. In other words, he'll be Lawyer Milloy.'
Belichick: Cooler heads will prevail [5:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``After a few plays in the game, I don't think it's about which team slammed their helmets into their lockers the hardest coming out on the field,'' Belichick said. ``I think it's about what team can execute and play under pressure and make adjustments during the game and make good decisions."'
Centers, Milloy share the burden of proof [5:08 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I know the type of player I am. I know the player that I see when I look in the mirror," he said. "To go out and just confirm that is big for me, especially after a situation where I was fired, kicked out, sent away, put on the street, whatever you want to call it. It's time for me to go out and just make a statement."'
Rookie cornerback Wilson already wants a challenge [5:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"It's cool to get the Bills out of the gate," he said. "When I saw we had the Bills first, I was kind of happy because it's cold there. I was happy to get the Bills early on in the season and not in December."'
Questions remain with just one day until kickoff [5:06 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The No. 1 running back position has yet to be determined, though Bill Belichick hinted that both Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk will share the workload. They still don’t know who will start at cornerback alongside Ty Law, whether that be Tyrone Poole, Eugene Wilson or Asante Samuel, and they’ve yet to make a decision on who will replace Lawyer Milloy in the secondary among a trio of candidates.'
Belichick not playing head games with Bledsoe [5:05 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"Ridiculous," Belichick said. "I am not in anybody’s head. I am just trying to put together a game plan against each opponent that we play."'
Challenge awaits rookies [5:04 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'What happens when quarterback Drew Bledsoe goes looking to expose a rookie playing one of the game's most unforgiving positions? What happens when one or both players have to respond to adversity?'
Pats trying to turn corner [5:03 AM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘I am sure that whatever they think our weaknesses are, they won't hesitate to go after them,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ‘‘Wherever they think they are, I am sure they will try to hit us. Talking defensively in general, as we said at the end of the season, if you are trying to get younger on defense, then you are obviously going to be less experienced there. There is no way to meld those two together. To be younger is to be younger. To be more experienced is to be older. You kind of have to make a choice there.'''
New England at Buffalo [5:02 AM]
AP reports: '``Last year, it was pretty frustrating against them,'' Bills receiver Eric Moulds said. ``But the good thing about football is you get a new year and you have a new team. We're coming out this year to erase what happened last year. It's a fresh start for us. We have a chance to prove we can beat this team.'''
Second-year lineman ready for first start [9:13 PM]
AP reports: 'Mike Pucillo was a seventh-round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills in 2002. Mike Williams was their first-round pick, chosen fourth overall in the 2002 NFL draft. On Sunday they'll line up together in the season opener.'
Washington the "BIG" Story [9:04 PM]
RNews.com reports: '"I never played against him before, just practiced just practiced against him," Brown added. "Nobody holds down that position like him. We got our work cut out."'
Found a good Lawyer [3:55 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"It's always good when you can try to improve your team by any measure," Williams said. "He's an awful good football player. He's very intelligent. He's been the quarterback for them on the defensive side of the ball in their multiple coverage packages."'
New-look Bills on tap [2:49 PM]
Patriots Football Weekly reports: '“I think you can already start to see some of his influence in the defensive scheme, some blitz-zoning, some different pressures,” Belichick said of the new-look Bills defense. “They are doing a few things schematically a little different than they did last year on defense. They have added some players like Spikes and Posey, Adams to go with Pat Williams on the defensive line. [Ryan] Denney is starting for them at left end so they look like they have incorporated a little bit of some scheme changes and then also some personnel changes. They look bigger on defense especially with Adams in there and Williams. They have added some pass rushers in terms of Posey and some playmakers in terms of Spikes. They are a good solid team that has added some players and added some scheme things in the offseason.”'
Bills To Honor Military With Pre-Game Salute [1:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Over 100 individuals from various branches of the United States Armed Forces will be on hand and will assist in displaying a special 10-yard by 30-yard American flag on the field.'
Center of attention [1:10 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘The addition of Sam Gash is a big one for us, but it was also very, very unfortunate to see Larry move on. I hope he doesn't come back and haunt us too much this week.'''
Belichick has hold on Bledsoe [1:09 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘We have done a pretty good job of reducing those (sack) numbers through the preseason although they're just preseason games,'' Gregg Williams said. ‘‘But I've liked what I've seen the last couple of preseason games out of that unit. That's been an emphasis that we have talked about, reducing negative plays from an offensive standpoint.'''
Milloy arrives eager to play but Sunday's status is unclear [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I thought I would make whatever I make this season and go on," Milloy said. "Then (Belichick) calls me in a week before the game and that really threw me off guard. I wish it would have been handled in a different way (but) that organization and (Belichick) made the process speed up. I thought it was really unfair for what I've brought to that organization. The type of leadership and loyalty . . . that's what really hurt."'
It's more than just money for Milloy [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Milloy will earn $7 million this season in base salary and bonus with the Bills instead of $6 million over two years, which was New England’s final offer. The rugged 6-foot, 210-pounder — who averaged 121 tackles a season for the Patriots — will also get to play in a defensive system that will use him near the line of scrimmage. The Patriots had gotten away from using him in that role and his statistics fell off sharply in 2002.'
Belichick builds Bills' psyche [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Smart? No. But it just shows how confident Belichick is. Or arrogant.'
Bills, Choice One ink pact extension [5:17 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: '“Buffalo is one of our most mature and most successful markets,” said Philip Yawman, executive vice president of corporate development for Choice One. “Our partnership with the Buffalo Bills has had a significant impact on our visibility and brand in Buffalo and throughout Western New York.”'
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