Buffalo Bills News - October 15, 2000

Marker Scouting report [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if...they don't play down to the level of their competition. Sometimes the Bills do this, and they can't afford it against a winless team looking to earn some respect and restore some pride...they avoid damaging turnovers. San Diego will need all the help it can get, so the Bills can't play giveaway...they pressure [Jim] Harbaugh and force him into throws he doesn't want to make. He's a veteran, but he's limited physically now.'

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October 14, 2000

Marker Ex-Trojans all set to meet in Buffalo [3:11 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"[Chargers Coach Mike Riley's] an unbelievable coach and person," [Rob] Johnson said. "He taught me a lot about football and life." Johnson and Riley were together at USC in 1993 and '94. Johnson was the starting quarterback, Riley the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. They were together before practice, at practice and sometimes after practice. "He was always in there with me," Riley said, referring to his office. "We had lunch most every day." The two would watch film and talk football, but they would talk about other subjects as well. "He's one of my favorite people that I've ever met," Johnson said. "He's so positive and has such a good attitude. I would go up to the office and talk about his family and what he likes to do. It wasn't football all the time. "I remember him being very patient, very understanding, very receptive. He's very intelligent.'

Marker It's been a rough ride for Johnson, Buffalo [3:08 PM]
North County Times reports: 'Buffalo's [quarterback] Rob Johnson needs something, some hook to get the Bills' faithful on his side. But it's a tough road for Johnson, the Newport Beach [California] native and former USC star, with fan favorite Doug Flutie constantly peering over his shoulder. Wrong choice of words. At 5-foot-10, Flutie couldn't do that to the 6-4 Johnson without a step ladder. Wrong choice of words, again. Forget the Bills and ladders - it's the winless Chargers, one can guess, who walked under a ladder at some point for an unlucky 0-6 start. The Bills and Johnson aren't concerned with the Chargers' woes. They've lost three straight, after opening with two wins, and they'll try to snap their skid Sunday when entertaining San Diego at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Johnson to face his mentor [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Aside from Rob Johnson's parents, it's unlikely anybody at Ralph Wilson Stadium will be looking at the Buffalo Bills' quarterback more admiringly on Sunday than San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley. The reason isn't just because Riley is saddled with a quarterbacking combination that has compiled the second-worst combined passer rating in the NFL this season. Riley was the offensive coordinator at Southern California in Johnson's junior and senior seasons and loves the Bills' QB. "I think the world of him," Riley said. "I really, really, really appreciated my time with Rob at USC. It was a great experience. I think he's one of the most coachable people I've ever been around." The feeling is mutual.'

Marker Life of Riley not all fun [6:25 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"We are all very frustrated with what's gone on," said [San Diego Chargers Coach Mike] Riley, whose team will have a tough task snapping out of it tomorrow against the Buffalo Bills at a sold-out Ralph Wilson Stadium. "We're just trying to climb out of the barrel. Our goals are fairly immediate. Records and playoffs and all that stuff are not necessarily (out of the question), but the first thing we have to do is get a win."'

Marker Chargers give Bills a great chance to revive [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'So the Bills are dragging 'ya down? You're stayin' awake nights haunted by third-and-five, Carl Mauck's face and another kickoff? Take a break and think of the un-plugged Chargers. The Bills' record is 2-3; the Chargers are 0-6.'

Marker Bills 'ruff' it for charity [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: 'Having lost three consecutive games, the Buffalo Bills have gone to the dogs, some say. Actually, coming home to the dogs is more accurate. The team's second annual "Bills and Their Pets" calendar, which went on sale this week with proceeds benefitting the SPCA of Erie County and the Bills Youth Foundation, reveals the team is loaded with dog lovers.'

October 13, 2000

Marker Parker eager to shuffle off to Buffalo [5:41 PM]
North Country Times reports: When inquiring about Chargers right tackle Vaughn Parker's ticket list for Sunday, one needs to only look at his jersey number: 70. "I ordered 70, but it might get up to 75,'' said Parker, the former Buffalo prep star who is headed to familiar haunts this weekend. "It's cool to go home."...In Parker, Buffalo gets to see one of its good guys. This offseason he donated a substantial sum to his alma mater, St. Joseph High. He gave $10,000 for a new weight room and $20,000 for an endowment, which he has committed an additional $20,000 to for each of the next four years.'

Marker Bills Receive Get-Well Present [3:58 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: Weekly picks from the Buffalo Post.

Marker Carrying The Blame [3:57 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'Antowain Smith didn't talk for long on Wednesday. But the beleaguered and benched running back, whose request for a trade before Monday's National Football League deadline went unfulfilled, said more in a few minutes after practice than he has in three-plus years of much lengthier interviews.'

Marker Price hopes for more chances to be peerless [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Price has caught 11 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown. But when you're a high draft pick, you're held to a higher standard. It's not enough to play well. You have to do things that impact the outcome of games in your team's favor. Unfortunately for the Bills, there have been too many games when Price's presence hasn't been felt.'

Marker Buffalo's top pick Flowers more than a wallflower [5:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"Erik had a little problem with his heel to start the season, but he's fine now and I'm pleased with him," said Phillips. "He's very quick off the ball, he's shown that." What he hasn't shown is the ability to sack quarterbacks that led the Bills to use the 26th overall pick in the draft to select him. "Erik has a ways to go yet," said 10-year veteran defensive end Phil Hansen, who has been sort of a mentor to the 22-year-old rookie ever since Flowers ended his brief training camp holdout and reported to St. John Fisher College in late July. "He's improving each week, but he has to understand this is a professional level."'

Marker Turnovers are cooking the Chargers [5:04 AM]
AP reports: 'Every time the San Diego Chargers run on the field, a couple of turnovers by the quarterbacks are practically guaranteed, usually with disastrous results. They've committed 14 so far this season, including 12 interceptions, which is the biggest reason they're 0-6 with no apparent relief in sight. Since the start of the 1998 season -- Leaf's rookie year -- Chargers quarterbacks have churned out more turnovers than your average bakery.'

October 12, 2000

Marker Dolphins 22, Bills 13: A Bad Plan Gone Awry [11:05 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'Sunday's most indelible image should be Buffalo's left tackle, John Fina, standing over Miami defensive end Jason Taylor, who in turn was lying on top of Bills quarterback Rob Johnson. You could also substitute Robert Hicks or Marcus Spriggs for Fina and Dolphins rush specialist Trace Armstrong for Taylor.'

Marker Rookie Gets It Right And Wrong [11:03 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'It's kind of the same as last week, almost like we're on a roller-coaster of emotions," said Morris, referring to the Bills last-second loss to Indianapolis. "We got a high point and then all of a sudden we got a big, hard low point.'

Marker Johnson still close to life with Riley [8:19 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Johnson, the Bills' quarterback, sympathizes with the fact that Riley, the Chargers head coach, is winless. But with Buffalo having lost three straight, Johnson's concerns are selfish, despite the Chargers' 0-6 start. Their friendship dates back to Johnson's final three seasons at USC when he was the Trojans' quarterback and Riley was offensive coordinator.'

Marker Now playing: musical quarterbacks [8:17 PM]
North Country Times reports: 'Thus far in the 2000 season, the Chargers have proved they can't win with Ryan Leaf taking the bulk of the snaps. Or Moses Moreno. Or Jim Harbaugh. The simple solution? Don't give a majority of the playing time to anybody.'

Marker Chargers to play dueling quarterbacks in Buffalo [1:34 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'In a move that was both firm and indecisive, coach Mike Riley said yesterday that both Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno will play Sunday at Buffalo. Harbaugh will start and work the first quarter. Moreno will play the second. After that, Riley is unsure. "I haven't made any plans for the second half," he said. "I'm just going to leave it alone right now."'

Marker To RBs, losing streak is really hair-raising [1:33 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'If you want to know how long it has been since the Chargers won a game, don't bother with the standings in the newspaper. Just look at hair on the running backs' heads. Several of San Diego's running backs have pledged not to cut their hair until the team gets a win. Suffice it to say it's a good thing the Afro is back in style, what with the Chargers 0-6 and having no apparent gimmes on the schedule.'

Marker Listen up [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sunday's 1 p.m. match of the Bills against San Diego is scheduled be heard at the buffalobills.com and yahoo.com Web sites.'

Marker Pendry: Upturn is near [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We're going to get better," Pendry said Wednesday as the team prepared for Sunday's meeting with the San Diego Chargers. "Everybody has to grow, and we have to make plays. That's the bottom line. "I would be extremely discouraged," Pendry said, "if we were making no first downs in the game, if we were three-and-out every game, or even worse, if we were throwing interceptions or fumbling. But we're not making turnovers. "I feel like this offense is moving the ball, but the consistency factor must be better, and when we have a chance to make a touchdown play, we're not making it," Pendry said.'

Marker A little Flutie might do a lot right about now [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So when Phillips suggested he might use Flutie in an unconventional fashion this year, as a change of pace, it was hard to take him seriously. It's too radical a concept in the ultra-conservative football coaching fraternity. But the time has come for him to consider it.'

Marker Players air out feelings at meeting [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills players were optimistic Wednesday that a players-only team meeting that was held this week would help improve the team's mental attitude after three straight losses. "I don't think all team meetings are always effective," said quarterback Rob Johnson. "But the team meetings here have been really good. You've got guys like Henry Jones and Phil Hansen talking. Doug (Flutie) talked. You get veterans like that who've played a lot and hopefully the young guys will listen."'

Marker Chargers to rotate Harbaugh, Moreno at QB [7:21 AM]
AP reports: 'In a move similar to an exhibition game, San Diego Chargers quarterbacks Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno will each play a quarter in the first half Sunday at Buffalo. This isn't the exhibition season, though. The games are real, the Chargers have lost all six of theirs and are desperate for a win heading into their bye week. Harbaugh, coming off a three-interception day, will start. Moreno, who hasn't played since hurting his right shoulder on Sept. 17, will play the second quarter.'

Marker He's not Anto-whine [6:33 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I just have to approach it the same way," said Smith, who requested the Bills trade him after he was demoted to third string after three unproductive games. "It didn't happen for me. I would like to be somewhere where I have the opportunity to play, but I have to make the best of it."'

Marker Bills rally round Rob [6:31 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"He's a competitor and a great leader," Linton said. "We have to protect him. We need him for the season." Backup quarterback Doug Flutie, who saw his first action of the year during the final three minutes of the Dolphins game, agreed. "(Johnson) has taken some shots, you don't want to see the guy you work with get beat up like that," Flutie said. "He's playing (this Sunday) like anybody would. If I could barely walk on the field, I'm playing. That's just the way it is, you go until you can't go anymore."'

Marker Johnson to start for Bills [6:30 AM]
AP reports: 'While listed as probable, Johnson and coach Wade Phillips said there's no question that Johnson will start against San Diego on Sunday. "I tested it," Johnson said. "It's one of those things where it gets better as the week goes on. ... It's just one of those things." The question is how much more of a licking he can take.'

Marker Baffled Bills look to one another for answers [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: '"This is not a losing program in Buffalo," first-year starter Keion Carpenter said. "They're used to winning in Buffalo and when you come here, you have to uphold that tradition. The older guys called a meeting and kind of challenged us to step up. We have to do whatever it takes on Sunday. "Guys said what they had to say, spoke about what was on their minds. I think that gave us a spark. I can sense the difference the way guys are walking in the locker room and I sensed a little more concentration on the practice field. It was definitely meaningful."'

Marker Smith bristles amid confusion [5:03 AM]
D and C reports: '"It didn't happen for me," he said. "I'd like to be somewhere where I have the opportunity to be out there playing, but I'm here now and I'll make the best of it."'

October 11, 2000

Marker Confusion abounds as Smith disappointed he's still in Buffalo [8:18 PM]
AP reports: 'News of Smith's trade request arose Tuesday when agent Scott Casterline told The Buffalo News that he was trying to get Smith dealt before that day's NFL trading deadline. The trouble is, as Smith pointed out after practice Wednesday, that he fired Casterline about six months ago and is now represented by Herb Rudolph. Smith, however, didn't hang around long enough to explain why Casterline might have been speaking for him.'

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09/08 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/15 Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/22 @ New York Jets 4:25 pm
09/29 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
10/03 @ Cleveland Browns 8:25 pm
10/13 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/20 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/27 @ New Orleans Saints 1:00 pm
11/03 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/10 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
11/17 New York Jets 1:00 pm
12/01 Atlanta Falcons (Tor) 4:05 pm
12/08 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
12/15 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/22 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/29 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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