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Buffalo Bills News - September 27, 2003

Marker Expect Eagles to run the ball more against Buffalo [4:37 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'The video from last Sunday shows the Dolphins' Ricky Williams carrying the football 42 times for 154 yards, giving Miami possession for almost 41 of the game's 60 minutes. ''I think all teams that are playing against the Buffalo Bills will be using a little of that tape,'' Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said. ''But you also look at some of the other games they played. Early on, Jacksonville was able to hit some passes as well as some big runs . So you have to pretty much keep them balanced.'''

Marker Westbrook's 'absolutely' the punt returner [4:36 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'Barring a late change, Brian Westbrook will retain his job as the Philadelphia Eagles' punt returner for Sunday's game at Buffalo. ''Absolutely,'' Eagles special teams coordinator John Harbaugh said.'

Marker Eagles avoiding negativity [4:33 AM]
Trenton Times reports: 'Playing the 2-1 Bills in Buffalo, where the Eagles have not won since Oct. 7 1984, actually may be the lesser of two evils this weekend with many Eagles fans already on the verge of major meltdowns. Since 2000, the Eagles are an NFL-best 18-6 on the road during the regular season and 7-1 away from home following a loss.'

Marker Sheppard won’t be Buffaloed [4:32 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'With the possible exception of quarterback Donovan McNabb, nobody on the Eagles will be challenged more vigorously than second-year cornerback Lito Sheppard tomorrow in Buffalo. Filling in for All Pro Bobby Taylor -- who is expected to miss another game with a strained foot -- Sheppard will make the first road start of his young career, and the scenario couldn’t possibly be more daunting.'

Marker Eagles have faith in punt returner [4:28 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: '"It hurt, but I let it go. You have to let it go," Westbrook said. "The worst thing you can do is dwell on a mistake like that. If you're thinking about your last game or your last play, that means you're not thinking about the next game or the next play.'

Marker Eagles Looking for Some Symmetry [4:24 AM]
Comcast Sportsnet reports: 'The Eagles have run a total of 128 plays this season. They've attempted 32 running plays and 96 passing plays. That's a 25 percent to 75 percent run-pass ratio.'

Marker Henry Does Not Practice On Friday [4:15 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have until 4:00 on Saturday to activate a runningback if they feel they need to.'

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September 26, 2003

Marker Eagles' secondary primed for an aerial assault [9:27 PM]
AP reports: '"I can't imagine they'd run,'' Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said. ''I think they're going to stay with the vertical passing game. They want to go deep. I think they would like to run the ball better. We'll see if they can, but I think their philosophy is to get the ball deep.'''

Marker One step back, two steps forward [8:58 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Sunday's matchup against the Buffalo Bills is a huge deal for the Eagles. And following suit of previous years, the pressure will default to McNabb, who's never had the luxury of a big-time supporting cast. That's part of the reason he's so highly regarded. Such is Donovan's double-edged sword of success -- the good news is that he did it without anybody else before, the bad news is that ... he did it without anybody else before.'

Marker Bills' Henry has rib injury [8:54 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams said Henry's status for Sunday will be a game-time decision. The coach said Henry won't wear a flak jacket if he does play.'

Marker Burns Is Ready To Step Up Sunday If Needed [4:49 PM] reports: '"Joe is a conscientious guy that has grown up a lot from his rookie year," quarterback Drew Bledsoe said Wednesday at his press conference. "We're asking him to do a lot but we expect him to step in and do it. I know that if he is called upon to carry that load, he can come in and do it."'

Marker Loud and Clear [4:13 PM]
ESPN reports: 'But Henry still has a feeling that his show won't be running in Buffalo after this season. He walks up to his friends on the team, like Moulds, and asks, "Do you think I'll be here?" His agent, Greg Johnson, told him he should be prepared to be traded. It's easy to see how Henry would be a tasty piece of bait next off-season. He's a potential two-time 1,000-yard back with an '04 base salary of only $750,000. One GM thinks Buffalo can easily fetch a first-rounder for Henry.'

Marker Bills still hopeful on Henry [3:40 PM]
AP reports: 'Though the Buffalo Bills remain optimistic that running back Travis Henry will be able to play in this Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the actual prospects are getting a bit dimmer.'

Marker OK tailgaters...wanna win a trip to the Super Bowl? [1:43 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'The Jack Daniel's Mega Bus will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday in search of Buffalo's top tailgaters. Jack Daniel's Mater Distiller, Jimmy Bedford, will be part of that search team. Bedford agrees Buffalo has the best football fans. Winning tailgate teams will be awarded a trophy and will be qualified for a trip to the Jack Daniel's Ultimate Tailgate Party in Houston on January 29-February 1.'

Marker McNabb perplexed by struggles [1:39 PM]
ESPN reports: 'In June, McNabb married his Syracuse sweetheart, Raquel Nurse, a former basketball player for the Orangemen. Somehow, some folks are implying, this is all her fault. That's what they said about Pete Sampras before he won the 2002 U.S. Open.'

Marker What should we expect from Philly coming off the bye week? [1:38 PM]
ESPN reports: 'The Bills have limited the opposition to 17 or fewer points in six straight games.'

Marker Man arrested after theft of Bledsoe jerseys [1:37 PM]
AP reports: 'Police in Hamburg say the suspects made off with 500 dollars worth of Bills jerseys taken from the Dick's sporting goods store.'

Marker Eagles still face myriad of issues [1:36 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Assessing Sunday's game in Buffalo (2-1), one senior member of the Eagles organization said, "It's a playoff game. A one-game season. Going 0-3 is not an option."'

Marker 3 Starters remain sidelined [1:33 PM] reports: 'But the team remains without three key starters -- defensive end Brandon Whiting, safety Brian Dawkins and cornerback Bobby Taylor. Reid said Dawkins is officially out for the game, and Taylor and top pick Jerome McDougle, sidelined since the preseason finale, "most likely will not play" and that it will be a "stretch" for Whiting to play.'

Marker Eagles won't change offensive strategy [11:05 AM] reports: 'The Bills rank sixth in the NFL in pass defense but only 23rd in rush defense, mainly because Williams ran 42 times for 153 yards last week, when the Dolphins beat the Bills, 17-7, in Miami. Williams had twice as many carries in that game as all of the Eagles' backs have in two games.'

Marker Westbrook receives vote of confidence [11:04 AM] reports: '"Eric Moulds is in a class by himself," Johnson said, "He's one of the best receivers we'll face this year, no question about it. When he goes up for the ball, most of the time he comes down with it. The other guys are very productive guys. They're not in Moulds' class, but they're good receivers. Moulds is an exceptional receiver."'

Marker Impatient McGahee watches and waits [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Shoot, I think I'm ready right now," an optimistic McGahee said. "But it's not up to me. I'm just working hard, taking mental reps and doing what I can do right now until they let me turn it loose."'

Marker Bledsoe, McGahee have mixed feelings on Clarett [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"After one year in college, yeah, that seems a little young," Bledsoe said. "I don't know. I'm the wrong person to stand up here and say that he's got to go to school because I came out a year early, too."'

Marker Bills have their say regarding Clarett's pro quest [5:28 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“That seems a little bit young,” the Bills quarterback said, when told Clarett’s age. “But I don’t know. I’m probably the wrong person to stand up here and say he should stay in school because I came out a year early.”'

Marker Takeo Spikes, linebacker, Buffalo [5:27 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Spikes is so hyperactive on the football field that he must consume hot dogs topped with Ritalin at halftime.'

Marker Reid could see himself in criticism by HBO show [5:26 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'The popular HBO program Inside the NFL delivered some strong opinions about the pro football season that should resonate with Eagles fans, who can watch a rerun at 7 tonight.'

Marker Bledsoe must make good on promises [5:25 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'And make no mistake, Bledsoe was bad Sunday. It was obscured by the halfback option and the sorry running game, but he was awful. In fact, it might have been the worst game of his 11-year career. Bledsoe was 10 of 25 for 98 yards, no TDs, and two interceptions. It was the fewest yards he's ever had in a game in which he threw at least 18 passes.'

Marker Turnovers crippling the Birds [5:24 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Add in the three interceptions by struggling quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the Eagles have eight turnovers in two games. That's one-third as many turnovers as the 24 the Eagles had in each of the last two seasons when they advanced to the NFC championship game.'

Marker Eagles can only dream of winning [5:23 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Bills running back Travis Henry is hurting and questionable for Sunday's game. Questions persist regarding the toughness of the Bills' offensive line. Coaches are being interrogated about their play-calling, and with the loss in Miami, Buffalo lost sole possession of the AFC East lead. This all qualifies as motivation for the Bills. No team wants to lose two straight. And no one should be more motivated than Bledsoe, one week after aiding his team's demise.'

Marker Childress explains how it came to pass [5:22 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Yesterday, it was offensive coordinator Brad Childress' turn to explain why the team's three top running backs have carried the ball just 21 times for 65 yards in two games.'

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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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