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Buffalo Bills News - October 31, 2002

Marker To play or not to play . . . that is the question [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The status of right tackle Mike Williams and cornerback Antoine Winfield for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots remained uncertain as the Bills returned to practice Wednesday.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Quotebook: Patriots Preview (Part II) [8:02 AM] reports: "Tom did a great job across the board in what he did. He's a great guy; he's a very hard worker. I think that is his strongpoint. He works his butt off whether it's the off-season, during the week, or whenever it is. He continuously has gone onward and upward. I would expect him to continue to do that."

Marker Drew Bledsoe Quotebook: Patriots Preview (Part I) [8:01 AM] reports: "Time heals a lot of things. I think that everyone knows that last year was a difficult year for me from the standpoint of going through the injury and going through the situation where I wasn't able to get back on the field. That was a hard year but I am honest about this, I really don't spend much time thinking about it."

Marker Bills can't take it too personally [5:46 AM]
D and C reports: '“A lot of those guys are still my friends. If we lose the game, I’m going to hear about it all year. That’s a big motivator right there.”'

Marker Henry vs. Smith is more like it [5:45 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills have issued more than 50 credentials to Boston-area media; the normal amount for a visiting team is about 25, said Scott Berchtold, vice president of communications. “This isn’t unlike a playoff game,” Berchtold said.'

Marker A special nomination for Bills' Tasker [5:44 AM]
D and C reports: 'Tasker, always a credit to the NFL as a player and now as a broadcaster, deserves the honor of representing all of the relatively obscure players who have put their bodies on the line on special teams.'

Marker Drew Patriot love lost [5:43 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Where the Pats apparently miscalculated was how quick Bledsoe could help turn around a team that finished 3-13 a year ago. Now the native of Walla Walla, Wash., has a chance to put a serious dent in his former team's chance to make it to the post-season, let alone repeat as champions.'

Marker 'Backup' Bledsoe ready to take on the Pats [5:42 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Buffalo head coach Gregg Williams said he spoke to his players about the extra attention the game is receiving and while many said they want to win it for Bledsoe, he's confident his players will keep their emotions in check. "We want to go out and fight for him because he's a classy guy and a winner, he has proven that," said receiver Eric Moulds.'

Marker Drawn into Drew talk [5:41 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''The Bills are on a three-game winning streak and it's no secret Drew's done a good job,'' Belichick said. ''He has a good group of receivers. Drew is the same now as he has been through his career. He's made big plays in the passing game, has thrown the ball well downfield. He's done a lot of things with a lot of skill throwing the football. Drew is a good football player. We traded him for a valuable pick [first round] and we hope he's a good player.'''

Marker Bledsoe is top pick on spotlight team [5:41 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Yes, time heals a lot of things and I think everybody knows that last year was a difficult year for me from the standpoint of going through the injury, and then going through the situation where I wasn't able to get back on the field,'' Bledsoe said. ''That was a hard year, but I really don't - and I'm being honest about this - spend much time thinking about it. I'm having fun playing with the guys I'm playing with and I'm glad I'm in the situation I'm in.'''

Marker Patriots should reflect [5:39 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Patriots don't need to worry about Drew Bledsoe this Sunday. They need to worry about themselves.'

Marker Brady clarifies matter and points finger at himself [5:39 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Believe me I'm a part of the problem, and I'm going to be part of the solution, too. I remember a question being asked, `Did you call the guys out?' And I said no, not a bit, and of course that's what I heard I said. So like I said, maybe I didn't express myself the way I wanted to and unfortunately things get said, and that's part of losing four games in a row, too. I understand the role of the media, and the way it works, and I'm making your job easy, I guess.'''

Marker No lie, Drew reborn as Bill [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``No matter how hard you try to avoid (complacency) and how much lip service you pay it, at some point you do start to take (being a starter) for granted a little bit - and I think I was guilty of that,'' said Bledsoe. ``But having this change - having to go through what I went through last year and then having a chance to get back on the field - has really renewed my passion for the game.'''

Marker Brady: I'm to blame, too [5:37 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Brady may have shown some of the strain yesterday when a reporter asked him if he ever thought that he would be the one dealt from the Pats last spring instead of Bledsoe. ``Don't even think about that (expletive),'' Brady snapped.'

Marker Hayes on outside [5:37 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``The players want to win for Drew,'' said Moulds. ``It's an important game as far as the division is concerned, but it's also important for a guy who is a main guy on the team.'''

Marker Will 3-4 set be spark? Patriots defense likes look of new alignment [5:36 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'What the Patriots are clearly worried about is opponents running wild on them, as the last five teams they've faced have had a 100-yard rusher. The suspect run defense has limited the Patriots' ability to attack the passer on third down, because oftentimes opponents are facing third-and-3s instead of third-and-7s.'

Marker Bledsoe had only one option [5:35 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Bledsoe forced the Patriots' hand last spring. The Patriots didn't go with the first option that presented itself. They went with the only option.'

Marker Bledsoe fills the bill in Buffalo [5:34 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"How he handled last year," Bills coach Gregg Williams said yesterday, "was a very large determining factor in us wanting to pursue a deal for Drew as aggressively as we did."'

Marker Bledsoe can teach Brady lesson or two [5:33 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Now, Bledsoe's career has been reborn in Buffalo, as if he went through Football Hell and came out better for the journey. And the lesson for Brady? It's all about overcoming adversity. That's what Bledsoe has learned; it's what Brady has yet to learn.'

Marker Comments misinterpreted [5:32 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I think they know me pretty well," he said. "And I think they know just how frustrated I get and how much I want to win. After a half-hour of talking, I don't think that everything you've built over the last two years is destroyed by the way it was interpreted. They know the way it's interpreted by the way I play and the way I try to get ready to play. And I know them, too."'

Marker Catching on to system has been tall order for Hayes [5:32 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Hayes signed a two-year contract worth more than $2 million after catching 56 passes for Carolina last season. He's caught 11 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown so far this season. He told The Boston Globe two weeks ago that he was having trouble fathoming the Patriots' intricate offensive system.'

Marker Drew's Friends Coming To Play [5:31 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'When a team has lost four in a row and has developed the alarming habit of playing lousy football and falling behind early, when some of its members wonder if the team has lost its competitive edge, the last thing it wants is another distraction, like the Bledsoe Bowl.'

Marker Bledsoe: Ex-Patriot feels at home [5:30 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'And while Bledsoe undoubtedly remains much the same man, he is playing like a different quarterback than he did his final seasons in New England. He is certainly surrounded by more talent than perhaps ever before - running back Travis Henry, receivers Peerless Price and Eric Moulds and so on - but he also seems to be throwing the ball with greater accuracy and playing with ummatched gusto.'

Marker Pride at stake in Bledsoe Bowl I [5:29 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe would like to be able to tell you that Sunday is just another game, but he'd have a hard time keeping a straight face.'

Marker Brady trying to regain poise and confidence [5:28 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I'm just extremely frustrated," Brady said. "Frustrated that we're not getting the job done and I think we work on so many things in practice and, as we've said before, I think guys practice hard and the guys are energized."

Marker Quarterback may have been 'misinterpreted' [5:27 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I think a lot of it might have been, not that I can blame you guys for misinterpreting me, but I think sometimes things are said and maybe don't come off as clarified as I would have liked," Brady said.'

Marker Head 2 Head - Did the Patriots blow it with Bledsoe? [5:27 AM]
CNNSI reports: Even so, the Patriots still had some offensive problems with Brady. But they were masked by winning. Remember, with just three postseason offensive touchdowns, New England arguably was the weakest offensive team to win the Super Bowl.

Marker Dolphins feeling psychologically betrayed [5:26 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '''We had an agreement that he wouldn't do anything with anybody in the division, and he does it the week before the game,'' Wannstedt said. ``I don't know what people's motives are. But it was disappointing for me, and it was disappointing for our players.'''

Marker Ex-Bill Thomas chosen as 2002 Sun Bowl legend [5:25 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'Thomas, who is ninth on the all-time rushing list (12,074 yards) behind Smith (16,743) and Sanders (15,269), said there's no doubt in his mind they were the best three backs of their time in the NFL.'

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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.'

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