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Buffalo Bills News - January 8, 2002

Marker Bills, Johnson face uncertain offseason [6:15 PM]
AP reports: 'Instead, Johnson confirmed many of his critics' worst fears -- that he was incapable of staying healthy and unable to perform as the team's undisputed starter.'

Marker It's Van Pelt in, Johnson out for Bills [1:54 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Four years of premium-priced quarterbacks added up to zero playoff wins for Buffalo. With a crowded wholesale market this offseason, it's time for the Bills to do a little bargain hunting.'

Marker Character guy says good-bye [1:33 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'He leaves as one of the most admired and respected players in Bills history.'

Marker First class all the way [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Hansen had no immediate plans other than to spend time with his wife, Dianna, and their 7-month-old daughter, Hope.'

Marker Rob not closing - or opening - any doors [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He has told several teammates that he doesn't expect to be here next season, mainly because he doesn't believe he can get a fair shake in this town after being criticized heavily for the Bills' problems.'

Marker A humble guy looms large across WNY [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He was small town all the way, an underdog, a small-college player who gave every ounce of himself on the field and made himself into one of the top defensive ends in the game.'

Marker Players try to shake off residue of losing [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Nine of the last 12 games were (decided by) seven points or less. The hope is we can learn from that, and the biggest part of that is coming back ready to go even harder than we did this year."'

Marker Bills' classy Hansen tackles retirement [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '"He's one of the best people I've ever been associated with," said Bills offensive lineman Jerry Ostroski. "There isn't a phony bone in that guy's body. You won't find a better teammate or friend. He will be missed."'

Marker Bills' to-do list includes making Van Pelt starter [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'Rookie coach Gregg Williams and his staff had more growing pains this year than a teenager with a new weight set and Williams would've been better served hiring a pair of experienced coordinators last winter. But now that Mike Sheppard and Jerry Gray have gotten their hands dirty, their second years should operate much smoother. Why start over?'

Marker Fickle Johnson should not return [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'Donahoe's recent comments about Johnson's durability and burdensome contract lead one to believe that the Bills are ready to file for divorce. Still, talk that Donahoe will meet this week with Johnson's agent have kept open the possibility that he may return. Let's hope not.'

Marker Ex-NDSU star ends 11-year Buffalo career [5:09 AM]
Fargo Forum reports: '"I want to be remembered as a consistent, dependable guy everyone could depend on," Hansen said. "I got everything out of my God-given talent, and I believe I used all the tools at my disposal, and got everything out that I could."'

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January 7, 2002

Marker Bills Defensive End Hansen Retires After 11-Year NFL Career [7:45 PM]
Bloomberg reports: '"I want to be remembered as a consistent, dependable guy," Hansen said. "I wasn't Bruce Smith, and I couldn't do what Bruce Smith did. I believe I used all the tools at my disposal, and got everything out of my talent that I could."'

Marker Bills' Henry to have knee surgery [2:59 PM]
AP reports: 'Rookie Travis Henry, the Buffalo Bills leading rusher, will have arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to relieve tendinitis in his right knee.'

Marker Bills DE Phil Hansen announces retirement [1:55 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Although he never received Pro Bowl recognition, Hansen started 148 of 156 games with the Bills and was regarded as one of the team's most consistent players, compiling 867 tackles.'

Marker Phil Hansen announces his retirement [11:33 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'One of just two Bills remaining from the team's Super Bowl runs of the early 1990s, Hansen leaves the Bills as the team's second-best sack producer, with 61.5, and the team's active leader in games played (156).'

Marker Bills Hansen retires, ending 11-year career [11:13 AM]
AP reports: '"My body and my heart tell me it's time to move on. I've known for a long time now that this would be my final season. I tried to keep it a secret because I didn't want it to become a distraction to any of my teammates," Hansen said. "I always thought the focus should be on the opponent."'

Marker Glory days aren't around the corner for Bills [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Nine of the Bills' 16 games were decided by a touchdown or less. That means they were competitive. But they won just three of those games. That means they weren't good enough to make the plays when it counted.'

Marker Sprained shoulder ends Van Pelt's day and season [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think it's a partial dislocation, and the doctors said it should take about six to eight weeks to completely heal."'

Marker Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Fiedler is 4-0 against the Bills since becoming the starter last year.'

Marker Buffalo finishes out season with loss [7:22 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills wrapped up their 42nd season with a 34-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins Sunday afternoon at Pro Player Stadium, a game in which the Dolphins were able to keep the Bills offense off the field in the first half. As a result of a dominant 30 minutes early, Miami wore out the Buffalo defense in the second half, and broke open a close game in the fourth quarter.'

Marker Plug is finally pulled on long, painful season [5:50 AM]
D and C reports: 'There couldn't have been a more fitting end to this pathetic season for the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Chilling reminder under Miami sun [5:50 AM]
D and C reports: 'But losing this way, manhandled on both lines of scrimmage, melting down with penalties and special teams mistakes -- Dolphins safety Brock Marion returning an interception 100 yards at the buzzer for the merciful exclamation point, for crying out loud -- well, there won't be any false pretenses engulfing the club heading into free agency and the draft.'

Marker Brown can handle No. 3 role [5:49 AM]
D and C reports: 'Let's put it this way: How much worse was he than Johnson?'

Marker Bills report card [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'There were some dubious offensive play calls (a pass on critical third-and-one in third quarter was among them) made and the lackluster defensive unit made Fiedler and Smith look like Griese and Csonka. Lousy finish spoils a good last month for Gregg Williams.'

Marker Convincing romp over Bills ensures playoff game at Pro Player Stadium vs. Jets or Ravens [5:47 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"It was a great team win,'' coach Dave Wannstedt said after Miami outgained Buffalo on the ground 202-39 to clinch a home playoff game next Sunday.'

Marker Just In Case: Backup excels [5:46 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The stingy Dolphins defense allowed 38 rushing yards on 17 attempts. That included 3 rushing yards in the first half on eight attempts in what was a stunning defensive effort.'

Marker Buffalo QB R. Brown gets first extensive playing time [5:45 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"He did some good things with a limited amount of practice time and game-speed experience,'' Bills coach Gregg Williams said. "We saw him do some good things, but he saw some things that he has to improve to take the next step."'

Marker A mirage, or start of something special? [5:45 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The remnant of a big home crowd howled, coach Dave Wannstedt jogged off the field into a grinning hug from old Hurricanes quarterback Jim Kelly, and Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga waited inside the winners' dressing room, beaming, squeezing every sweaty player's fingers in a pistoning handshake. Everybody felt great.'

Marker Moulds held in check [5:44 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'But in three of the past four meetings, Moulds has been held to 12 catches for 164 yards and no touchdowns.'

Marker Huizenga: Spurrier a nonissue [5:43 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Quarterback Jay Fiedler finished the season with a rating of 80.3, the highest for a Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino's 80.7 in 1997.'

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