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Buffalo Bills News - November 7, 2001

Marker Donahoe maintains confidence in Johnson [4:11 PM]
AP reports: '"It was not a decision we made for one year," Donahoe said, referring to his choice to keep Johnson over Flutie. "We knew we were going to try to build a team here, and Rob was the quarterback to help us do that. I think when you look at Rob's performance and look at some of the circumstances surrounding it, he's played well."'

Marker Keith Schleiden on RJ [4:01 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: steve(malden,ma): Keith, based on his flashes of star potential, do you think Rob Johnson is still the Bill's QB of the future? And if not, who do you think would pick him up if the Bills decide not to re-sign him?

Keith Schleiden: I was talking witha very well-respected NFL writer the other day, someone who has been around for 40-plus years (and he's not senile). He told me the best QB he's seen in person this year is Rob Johnson. While that is a stretch in my personal opinion, Johnson is opening some eyes. He is getting more comfortable in the Bills' offensive system, and it is beginning to show up on the stats sheet. I believe if Johnson continues to show signs of development over the second half of the season, the Bills will keep him and his large cap figure around.

Marker Bills at Pats Preview [2:47 PM] reports: After three straight overtime games over the last two seasons, the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills will meet on Sunday for the first time this season. Five of the last six games between the AFC East rivals have been decided by four points or less.

Marker Bills lose rookie safety Driver for season [2:36 PM]
AP reports: Bills rookie safety Tony Driver will miss the rest of the season because of a torn ligament in his left knee.

Driver was placed on IR and will have reconstructive surgery by next week. He was hurt while covering a kickoff return in the first half of Buffalo's loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. HC Williams said no decision has been made on filling the roster spot.

Marker Dominic Rhodes bright spot for the Colts; a bleak note for the Bills [2:27 PM]
ESPN reports: Chad Bratzke reappeared on the radar screen for the Colts, as did their defense, but it may be premature to get excited. The Bills were again down to their fourth and fifth tackles because of injuries, and the Colts took appropriate advantage of it. Bills QB Rob Johnson didn't have much of a chance, although there were times when he again held onto the ball too long. The Colts' offense wasn't spectacular, but they got more encouraging signs when Dominic Rhodes had a 100-yard rushing day in place of injured Edgerrin James. That was the bright spot for the Colts; a bleak note for the Bills

Marker Can Smith pay Bills? [1:51 PM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'For Smith, it's about revenge. It's a chance to show the folks who thought he was washed up and picked clean that he still has something left. The 29-year-old said yesterday it's not about that, but he did so with an unmistakable gleam in his eye.'

Marker Driver put on IR, PK Doug Brien tried out [9:37 AM]
USA Today reports: Special-teams standout S Tony Driver injured his knee Sunday and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
With Jake Arians struggling, the Bills worked out former Saints PK Doug Brien on Tuesday.
FS Keion Carpenter cracked a rib early in the game against the Colts and did not return. His spot was taken by Travares Tillman.

Marker Henry wants Bills' ground game to get carried away [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Henry aims to bolster the Buffalo Bills' running game. He has shown flashes of brilliance during his rookie season. In fact, there are only three first-year running backs with more yards. But 388 yards in seven games is not Henry's idea of success. He wants a lot more. The question is, will the Bills oblige him?'

Marker Big-time honor for Brandon [5:21 AM]
D and C reports: '"One of the things that really impressed the selection committee about Russ was what he's been able to accomplish in a small market with a struggling economy," said Tom Stinson, the Journal's assistant managing editor. "We also look for young people who are influencing the business they are in, and Russ clearly is doing that. (NFL commissioner) Paul Tagliabue said that the Bills training camp is a model for the rest of the league, and has called upon Russ to stage sponsorship seminars at the league meetings. We see Russ as one of the creative young minds who is shaping the future of the sports industry."'

Marker When Smith runs, Patriots follow [5:21 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Patriots, 4-4 at the midpoint of the 2001 campaign, are 4-0 in games in which Antowain Smith has run the ball 15 or more times and 0-4 when he has not.'

Marker Smith set for run at the Bills [5:19 AM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Despite seeing his playing time slashed last season and then being cut in May, Smith said he holds no grudges against Buffalo, partly because the Bills have a new coaching staff. Still, he's been struck by the 180-degree difference in attitude the Pats have demonstrated, believing in him as the primary running back after the Bills obviously thought he was unable to fill that role anymore.'

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November 6, 2001

Marker Bills Brandon listed among top sports executives [9:05 PM]
AP reports: 'Brandon, responsible for Bills business development and marketing, was among 40 executives 40-years-old and younger noted by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal in a list released Tuesday.'

Marker Gregg Easterbrook talks about Titans downfall - Blame the Bills [11:55 AM]
MSN Slate reports: Tennessee also suffered the most painful coaching losses of any NFL team. Tastefully named DC Gregg Williams and his assistant Jerry Gray left to become HC and DC at Buffalo. They're struggling with the Bills' cap-imploded roster, but nevertheless are top-shelf types whom the Titans dearly miss. You don't drop from first to 27th based on a couple player changes alone.

Professor John Kessel (aka Dr. K) of NC State University protested TMQ's making fun of the "Becoming Human" conference of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Kessel was a speaker at the conference and, presumably, is human. Kessel offered as evidence of his humanity the fact that he is a "lifetime Buffalo Bills fan," which means he knows human suffering. TMQ is a Bills fan, too, and died a thousand deaths during the Super Bowl loss streak.

Marker For Bills, there's help down the line [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams said starting tackles John Fina and Jonas Jennings will return to practice when the Bills begin preparations for Sunday's game at New England. Fina was given the week off to rest his sore knee, while Jennings has been sidelined for two weeks with a sprained foot. The Bills' medical staff also has cleared guard Jerry Ostroski to practice more extensively this week.'

Marker Bad season may have jumbo reward [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Ooooh, no," Rex said. "This is what it's all about now, man. Today, the Bills moved one step closer to picking second in the next draft. Do you know what that could mean? Look at this guy." He shoved a Kiper article in my face about Bryant McKinnie, the 6-8, 335-pound left tackle at Miami (Fla.). It said McKinnie was the second-best prospect in the country, after Julius Peppers, the defensive end at North Carolina. And his stock is still rising.'

Marker Kelly can see the writing on the wall [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As Kelly stared at his bobbleheaded likeness, he couldn't help but poke fun at himself. "It made me look a lot better than I am," he said. "That's pretty cool."'

Marker Bills coaching staff running away from the running game [9:23 AM]
WNSA reports: DON'T GET ME STARTED asks the question that needs to be asked. "Why did the Bills draft running back Travis Henry?"

The Bills coaching staff doesn't hesitate to use rookies at the tackle position (after failing to address a big need on the offensive line) but for whatever reason, Mike Sheppard and Gregg Williams ignore the running game.

Marker 150 fans at Bills game kicked out for rowdiness [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It was probably the most disruptive game we've had internally this year," Orchard Park Police Chief Samuel M. McCune said Monday. "The fans were a little more rowdy than usual."'

Marker Intellgent Sports Talk Radio - what will they think of next? [8:37 AM]
Buffalo News reports: In just a year talking about Johnson or Flutie and Biron or Hasek, Schopp (WNSA-FM) has developed into the most thoughtful, logical, entertaining and, yes, interesting sports talk host on the air. The 1989 graduate of Grand Island High School already has attracted the attention of stations in bigger markets, as well as ESPN Radio.

Marker Todays Bills Community Events [8:32 AM] reports: Several Bills players will spend Tuesday involved in different community activities. They include the following:

Marker Kelly receives bobble head [8:24 AM] reports: NOTE:Empire mistakenly reported that everyone coming to the Seattle game would get a bobblehead. That is not true.

In a press conference today, the Bills presented Kelly with the first of the commemorative bobble head dolls that were produced for the occasion. All fans who purchase Bills-Seahawks tickets at Wegmans stores will received the limited edition Jim Kelly bobble head.

Marker A well-grounded runner [7:52 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I look at it that they drafted me and gave me an opportunity when I first came into the league, but it just didn't work out for me there. So I've moved on and came here and hope to establish myself and keep playing well. There's no grudge. It was just the old coaching staff, mainly the old offensive coordinator. We didn't see eye to eye. In his eyes, I guess I wasn't his type of back. But I'm happy here."'

Marker Content, with no contempt [7:45 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '- In general, Antowain Smith has nothing against the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Bills feeling lousy about Colts debacle, 1-6 record [7:36 AM]
D and C reports: '"You could see the improvement week to week," said Polian, the Bills' former general manager. "But the one thing you can't handle to any great degree in the NFL is serious injury. No team is ever as good without their front-line players. Say what you will about having backups, it's fanciful thinking in the salary cap era." Boy, don't the Bills know it.'

Marker Arians isn't totally to blame [7:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'While not exonerating Arians, the coaching staff has determined that protection problems are also to blame on the blocked attempts against San Diego and Indianapolis. "It was something we saw the week before also and I'm sure the Colts saw it," coach Gregg Williams said. "We worked hard on correcting it but we didn't get it done."'

November 5, 2001

Marker Running game proposed as solution for beleaguered Bills offensive line [11:50 PM]
AP reports: 'Enter Ruben Brown, who proposed a simple solution on Monday. "I'm a big believer in the run game," guard Brown said. "I think the run game will give you confidence."'

Marker Kelly to join Bills' Wall of Fame [11:49 PM]
AP reports: 'Kelly will be the first player from those 1990-93 teams to have his name enscribed on the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Bills take giant step backwards [11:49 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'What's worse than disdain? In pro sports, it's apathy.'

Marker Rhodes puts Colts back on playoff map [11:48 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"I'll tell you what, that guy there is a good football player," said Colts' coach Jim Mora as he passed Rhodes outside the locker room. "We were very confident that he'd do it for us today."'

Marker Bills' Brown makes poor media decision after loss [11:46 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'An awkward situation arose in the Bills' lockerroom after the game. Guard Ruben Brown was visibly upset several times during the game, once throwing his helmet, then gathering his offensive teammates around him for an emotional chat. Naturally, the media wanted to talk to him after the game. But he declined, except to WGR's Ed Kilgore. As Brown explained, "They pay me."'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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