Johnson lands in captain's chair [5:13 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Milloy will receive a $5 million bonus and a $2 million salary this year. Next season, and in 2005, he is scheduled to receive a $1.75 million roster bonus and $1 million salary, while in '06 Milloy is slated for a $1.5 million roster bonus and $1 million salary. The contract also includes assurances that the Bills will not name him their their franchise player when the deal expires.'
Trench rivalry on line [5:12 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Schobel and Light's battle could put a pair of new faces on a long Pats-Bills rivalry that has been filled with great one-on-one matchups.'
Bills `D' looks A-OK [5:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I sure wasn't happy about the situation and we've made some moves for a tighter defense this season,'' Fletcher said. ``We did a lot to shore up the front seven.'''
Harrison comes on strong [5:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Harrison is now the one responsible for setting a physical tone in the Pats secondary. The two-time Pro Bowler is the one who will line up the defense and call out the adjustments. He's the one who will creep up into the box to stuff the run. He's the one his teammates will look to as the last line of defense. In other words, he'll be Lawyer Milloy.'
Belichick: Cooler heads will prevail [5:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``After a few plays in the game, I don't think it's about which team slammed their helmets into their lockers the hardest coming out on the field,'' Belichick said. ``I think it's about what team can execute and play under pressure and make adjustments during the game and make good decisions."'
Centers, Milloy share the burden of proof [5:08 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I know the type of player I am. I know the player that I see when I look in the mirror," he said. "To go out and just confirm that is big for me, especially after a situation where I was fired, kicked out, sent away, put on the street, whatever you want to call it. It's time for me to go out and just make a statement."'
Rookie cornerback Wilson already wants a challenge [5:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"It's cool to get the Bills out of the gate," he said. "When I saw we had the Bills first, I was kind of happy because it's cold there. I was happy to get the Bills early on in the season and not in December."'
Questions remain with just one day until kickoff [5:06 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The No. 1 running back position has yet to be determined, though Bill Belichick hinted that both Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk will share the workload. They still don’t know who will start at cornerback alongside Ty Law, whether that be Tyrone Poole, Eugene Wilson or Asante Samuel, and they’ve yet to make a decision on who will replace Lawyer Milloy in the secondary among a trio of candidates.'
Belichick not playing head games with Bledsoe [5:05 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"Ridiculous," Belichick said. "I am not in anybody’s head. I am just trying to put together a game plan against each opponent that we play."'
Challenge awaits rookies [5:04 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'What happens when quarterback Drew Bledsoe goes looking to expose a rookie playing one of the game's most unforgiving positions? What happens when one or both players have to respond to adversity?'
Pats trying to turn corner [5:03 AM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘I am sure that whatever they think our weaknesses are, they won't hesitate to go after them,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ‘‘Wherever they think they are, I am sure they will try to hit us. Talking defensively in general, as we said at the end of the season, if you are trying to get younger on defense, then you are obviously going to be less experienced there. There is no way to meld those two together. To be younger is to be younger. To be more experienced is to be older. You kind of have to make a choice there.'''
New England at Buffalo [5:02 AM]
AP reports: '``Last year, it was pretty frustrating against them,'' Bills receiver Eric Moulds said. ``But the good thing about football is you get a new year and you have a new team. We're coming out this year to erase what happened last year. It's a fresh start for us. We have a chance to prove we can beat this team.'''
Second-year lineman ready for first start [9:13 PM]
AP reports: 'Mike Pucillo was a seventh-round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills in 2002. Mike Williams was their first-round pick, chosen fourth overall in the 2002 NFL draft. On Sunday they'll line up together in the season opener.'
Washington the "BIG" Story [9:04 PM]
RNews.com reports: '"I never played against him before, just practiced just practiced against him," Brown added. "Nobody holds down that position like him. We got our work cut out."'
Found a good Lawyer [3:55 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"It's always good when you can try to improve your team by any measure," Williams said. "He's an awful good football player. He's very intelligent. He's been the quarterback for them on the defensive side of the ball in their multiple coverage packages."'
New-look Bills on tap [2:49 PM]
Patriots Football Weekly reports: '“I think you can already start to see some of his influence in the defensive scheme, some blitz-zoning, some different pressures,” Belichick said of the new-look Bills defense. “They are doing a few things schematically a little different than they did last year on defense. They have added some players like Spikes and Posey, Adams to go with Pat Williams on the defensive line. [Ryan] Denney is starting for them at left end so they look like they have incorporated a little bit of some scheme changes and then also some personnel changes. They look bigger on defense especially with Adams in there and Williams. They have added some pass rushers in terms of Posey and some playmakers in terms of Spikes. They are a good solid team that has added some players and added some scheme things in the offseason.”'
Bills To Honor Military With Pre-Game Salute [1:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Over 100 individuals from various branches of the United States Armed Forces will be on hand and will assist in displaying a special 10-yard by 30-yard American flag on the field.'
Center of attention [1:10 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘The addition of Sam Gash is a big one for us, but it was also very, very unfortunate to see Larry move on. I hope he doesn't come back and haunt us too much this week.'''
Belichick has hold on Bledsoe [1:09 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘We have done a pretty good job of reducing those (sack) numbers through the preseason although they're just preseason games,'' Gregg Williams said. ‘‘But I've liked what I've seen the last couple of preseason games out of that unit. That's been an emphasis that we have talked about, reducing negative plays from an offensive standpoint.'''
Milloy arrives eager to play but Sunday's status is unclear [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I thought I would make whatever I make this season and go on," Milloy said. "Then (Belichick) calls me in a week before the game and that really threw me off guard. I wish it would have been handled in a different way (but) that organization and (Belichick) made the process speed up. I thought it was really unfair for what I've brought to that organization. The type of leadership and loyalty . . . that's what really hurt."'
It's more than just money for Milloy [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Milloy will earn $7 million this season in base salary and bonus with the Bills instead of $6 million over two years, which was New England’s final offer. The rugged 6-foot, 210-pounder — who averaged 121 tackles a season for the Patriots — will also get to play in a defensive system that will use him near the line of scrimmage. The Patriots had gotten away from using him in that role and his statistics fell off sharply in 2002.'
Belichick builds Bills' psyche [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Smart? No. But it just shows how confident Belichick is. Or arrogant.'
Bills, Choice One ink pact extension [5:17 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: '“Buffalo is one of our most mature and most successful markets,” said Philip Yawman, executive vice president of corporate development for Choice One. “Our partnership with the Buffalo Bills has had a significant impact on our visibility and brand in Buffalo and throughout Western New York.”'
Did Lawyer sign out of spite? [5:16 AM]
Corning Leader reports: 'Sure, Milloy told the media he was impressed with how eager the Bills were to get him. But you have to wonder with Dan Snyder in the bidding war - quite possibly offering money exceeding that of Buffalo's offer - if a desire to spite Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and company helped the Bills' cause.'
New Bill wings it into Buffalo [5:15 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The steel-shouldered Gash, back here for a second time after a three-year stint with Baltimore, said Milloy can count on better days here. He had a six-year stay in New England and, similar to Milloy, didn't like how his New England experience ended. "I told him I'm glad to see him and said, `It's about time,' " said Gash. "I'm very happy to see him, and obviously, I think he's going to mean a great deal to this team."'
Belichick is wary of signal-caller on Bills [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Specifically, Milloy, though it's difficult to imagine him playing a key role in Buffalo's defense mere days after joining it, figures to be able to assist his new teammates, particularly one new old teammate (quarterback Drew Bledsoe), in deciphering the Patriots' coverages, audibles, and formations. "We will have to pay particular attention to some of the things like that, the communication signals, the play calling, and so forth," Belichick said. "Nobody knew our defense any better than Lawyer did over the last three years. He handled a lot of the audibles and checks in the secondary."'
Milloy thrilled to be a Bill [5:13 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Poston said the Redskins offered more money over seven- and five-year terms, but he wanted the certainty of up-front cash, and Bills owner Ralph Wilson stepped up.'
Pats vs. Bills is unrivaled [5:12 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'They're already calling it ``The Incest Bowl.'''
Ex-mates: Lawyer a boon for Buffalo [5:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I think he has a lot to prove and I think he'll make the whole defense better, even the team better,'' Fauria said. ``He's not a defensive leader, he's a team leader. I hate to say it. He's a friend but he's the enemy now and that's weird.'''
Locker room talk centers on Milloy [5:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'On the other side of the coin, another veteran was asked if Milloy's release had demoralized some players. ``Hell, yes,'' said the veteran. ``Let me ask you, what does it mean to be a captain around here? What does it mean to get one of those parking spots (for being among the team leaders in offseason workouts, which Milloy was)? I see that `Iron-man' T-shirt hanging in his locker (given to those players who participated in every training camp practice) - what does that get you?'
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