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Buffalo Bills News - January 6, 2002

Marker Bills could send Dolphins on postseason trip [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Dolphins should know their playoff fate before they kick off against the Bills at 4:15 p.m.'

Marker Signs point to end of road for Rob with Bills [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A half-dozen Bills players said off the record this week they don't think Johnson will come back next season.'

Marker Guarded optimism [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's very hard to get yourself up from week to week knowing you dug yourself such a deep hole and you know there isn't any hope of getting into the postseason, which is what we are all here playing for each season," Brown said.'

Marker College quarterbacks prompt ruminations by Bills fans [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills need a lot of players at different positions, so they may choose to wait to select a lesser-known player who might be available in the second or third round.'

Marker Circumstance dictates that Sheppard deserves a shot at redemption [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So long as Sheppard recognizes where he has failed, he deserves a season to make amends.'

Marker Win by Bills could have impact on next season [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'Winning today would further illuminate the progress the team has made since the start of the year.'

Marker A story of success [5:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'In Vinklarek, the Bills have a friend and colleague whose life story is a steady dose of perspective and inspiration.'

Marker Sacks prove golden to players [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: '"Besides, at the end of the year when it comes time to renegotiate your contract, they want to know how many sacks you have."'

Marker Q & A with Jay Foreman [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '''It's been a hard season. We had a lot of little things that didn't go our way and it forced us to do different things each game. But next year, I feel we're going to be a lot better."'

Marker Scouting report [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills have allowed just two sacks in the last three games.'

Marker Buffalo is first order of business [5:16 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'With a victory today at Carolina (1-14), New England (10-5) will clinch the AFC East title. That means the Dolphins would be playing Buffalo to secure a first-round home playoff game as a wild card.'

Marker Dolphins trying to eliminate the negative [5:15 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins are minus-13 in turnover margin, fourth-worst in the NFL, and their 38 turnovers are tied with Detroit for second-worst in the league.'

Marker Offense Bonds, One Player at a Time [5:14 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'So the night before each of the past 11 contests, the unit has gathered without coaches present to hear one of the first-team players discuss the upcoming opponent and whatever else is on his mind.'

Marker Bowens hoping this is last stop [5:13 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'When Bowens was signed by the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 22, it marked the fourth team the defensive end had been with in the past 2 1/2 months and fifth in his three-year pro career.'

Marker Dolphins seek home field edge [5:07 AM]
Florida Today reports: '"They stepped up last week in a game they had nothing to win for," Miami quarterback Jay Fiedler said. "They dug themselves out of the snow and went down to New York and beat a pretty good team. . . We all know Buffalo steps it up when they play against Miami. We're not expecting a walkover."'

Marker Dolphins, Bucs: Final tuneup [5:07 AM]
Florida Today reports: 'If the Dolphins win today, they will clinch a home playoff game.'

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January 5, 2002

Marker Bills need assist from Johnson on salary cap [5:56 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Essentially what the Bills need is for Johnson to reduce his 2002 salary cap charge of slightly more than $11 million. The tricky part is that, while such a reduction can be accomplished easily with a long-term contract extension, Buffalo officials aren't yet ready to make a commitment to Johnson beyond the 2002 campaign.'

Marker Under cover man [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '...We have to find ways to move [Eric Moulds] around and get mismatches. Without question, he's too talented not to find ways to get him the ball."'

Marker Van Pelt agrees to five-year deal [5:31 AM]
D and C reports: 'Donahoe and Van Pelt's agent, Eric Metz, have reportedly agreed in principle to a five-year contract extension worth between $5 and 5.5 million. It is believed the deal will include a $1.5 million signing bonus. The final language of the contract is expected to be completed in the next couple weeks, and until then, no one is willing to reveal much.'

Marker Dolphins to track Pats-Panthers game [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'Regardless of what happens in the New England game, Wannstedt will not have the luxury of resting his starters because even if the Patriots win, the Dolphins need to win to secure a home wild-card game.'

Marker Here’s the deal with the Bills’ QB 'controversy' [5:29 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'It would seem the Bills' hope is that Johnson reworks his contract to soften the salary cap hit, preferably based on incentives, particularly games played.'

Marker Bromell seeks playing time [5:28 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Bromell is one of 10 Dolphins entering unrestricted free agency, among them defensive end Kenny Mixon, safety Brian Walker, cornerback Terry Cousin, running back Lamar Smith and punter Matt Turk. They may be joined by quarterback Jay Fiedler if he opts out of his contract.'

Marker Spurrier to replace Wannstedt? Stranger things have happened [5:27 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The only reason Wannstedt got the Dolphins job is because his man Johnson did to Shula what Spurrier could do to him now.'

Marker Injured Thomas to play Sunday [5:26 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Linebacker Zach Thomas, who has an injured neck and shoulder, practiced Friday and will play in Sunday's regular-season finale against Buffalo at Pro Player Stadium because a home playoff game is at stake.'

Marker Defense not worn, set for Bills [5:25 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"I know when you play those significant snaps like that, 36 or 38 minutes, it's hard for the defense to hold in there," Buffalo coach Gregg Williams said. "It's tough for your defense to hold up that long. In the AFC East, you see all those defensive-minded coaches being the head coaches. They understand time of possession is critical. That's how you improve as a team: By keeping the [opposing] offenses off the field by your offense being out there longer."'

Marker Bills on the right path [5:22 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'This is almost exactly where the San Francisco 49ers were two years ago, when they finished 4-12 after hitting the same salary-cap wall that has smacked down the Bills.'

Marker Smith knows why he's sitting out [5:21 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"I just haven't been productive," said Smith, who has rushed for 810 yards on 283 carries. "Teams have been stopping me. Stopping me cold. When Travis gets in there the ball moves, the chains move. He's playing great. He's winning games. I haven't been productive, so we've got to find more ways to utilize Travis."'

Marker Wannstedt: I don't wish I was at UM [5:20 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Before Larry Coker was named Butch Davis' successor as Hurricanes coach, Athletic Director Paul Dee made a push for Wannstedt to return to the school where he was an assistant from 1986-88.'

January 4, 2002

Marker Report: Van Pelt agrees to five-year contract extension [9:35 PM]
AP reports: 'While praising Van Pelt's performance, Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe has said Johnson will be cut unless he re-negotiates a contract that represents an $11.2 million salary cap hit next season. Van Pelt, 31, made the $477,000 veteran minimum this season for a Bills team (3-12) building for the future.'

Marker Bills place Ostroski, Price on injured reserve [4:06 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills placed offensive lineman Jerry Ostroski and defensive tackle Shawn Price on injured reserve Friday, two days before the team's season finale at Miami.'

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