No 49ers wins are taken for granted [1:34 PM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Sunday night, the 49ers will host a Buffalo Bills team (1-9) that has struggled after unloading a wealth of veteran defensive talent. Sound familiar, San Francisco fans?'
Hearst is Player of the Week [1:33 PM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Hearst's comeback is remarkable. Since spending two years rehabilitating from four ankle surgeries, he has not just returned to the NFL but to elite status.'
Mort Chat [11:49 AM]
ESPN reports: Jeb (Tallahassee): Mort, pleased to meet you. What do you think of Alex Van Pelt? Chris Mortensen: (9:16 PM ET ) I think if Alex Van Pelt decided to get real serious about his conditioning and being a starter in the NFL, he would have a chance. The opportunity obviously is right there in Buffalo. He's got a little Jim Kelly in him, froma leadership standpoint. He's extremely popular in the locker room.'
Christie can't kick about our weather [10:12 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"It's great to have him," defensive end Marcellus Wiley said. "That's 'Clutch' Christie."'
Chargers sign Christie to replace Richey on FGs [10:11 AM]
North County Times reports: '"I just don't think it [my release] was handled properly," he said. "They sort of bumbled a few other guys, too. It's certainly not the way the Bills used to handle things. I'll leave it at that."'
49ers dismiss rumors [9:20 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'One league source told The Chronicle and an NFL columnist later warned that coach Steve Mariucci could be pushed out by the end of the season in favor of general manager Terry Donahue. When the notion surfaced at 49ers headquarters, Donahue and Mariucci immediately met. "We laughed about it," Mariucci said. Donahue concurred that there's nothing to the rumors.'
49ers wonder if they'll be able to keep Hearst [9:19 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'Hearst, named the NFC offensive player of the week Wednesday, will become a free agent after this season because of a clause that voids the final two years of his contract.'
3Com weighing name deal [9:18 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'With their rights to the 3Com Park name set to expire at the end of the current football season, officials with the Santa Clara-based networking company said Wednesday that they remain open to extending their agreement with the 49ers but suggested it would have to be on different terms.'
Injured Owens may sit Sunday [9:17 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'Injured wide receiver Terrell Owens was a spectator at Wednesday's practice and he may be watching from the sideline Sunday night, when the 49ers play the Buffalo Bills.'
49ers have no time to relish record [9:16 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: '"But first things first. Buffalo is the next round."'
Winborn spends more time on field [9:15 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Rookie reserve Jamie Winborn found himself on the field for nearly 50 percent of the snaps last Sunday as part of an increased rotation among the 49ers' linebacking corps in a 40-21 win at Indianapolis.'
Bills game has special meaning for coach [9:14 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: '"The best thing about [my firing]," DeHaven said Wednesday, "was I had a year left in my contract. The worst thing that could have happened was I was going to spend another winter in Buffalo, but at least I'd get paid to do it."'
Owens' status unclear because of leg injuries [9:13 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: '"At this point, I'm not sure," Owens said when asked whether he expects to be able to play against the Bills. "We have six games left. I know what's at stake for the team. I have to be smart about it."'
Flowers benched by lack of bulk [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Former first-round draft pick Erik Flowers says his benching by the Buffalo Bills comes down to two factors: weight and strength. He doesn't have enough of either.'
Graham finally gets his shot at the big time [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Graham starred at Virginia Tech and joined Donovan McNabb as the only players ever to earn All-Big East honors four straight seasons. But he was cut by New Orleans in preseason two years ago and by Seattle this summer.'
After a wait, Graham gets his shot [8:58 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Despite being voted the Big East Conference's best kicker for four years straight, setting the conference record with 371 points, and also playing under the spotlight of a national championship contender with Virginia Tech, Shayne Graham had to work hard over the past two years to keep his dream of being an NFL kicker alive.'
Shayne Graham press conference [8:58 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "I guess with any sport, you get in a situation to perform in order to earn your keep, and this is an opportunity. I can't promise anything will go well or badly, all I can do is prepare the way I prepare for a game, perform at the best of my ability and I'm confident in myself, and that's what you have to be in order to be in a game situation."
Gregg Williams press conference [8:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "We've been honest every week with respect to this is a great opportunity, and our guys like playing in the national game, and we've been playing physical. Our offensive and defensive lines right now are as healthy as we've been in training camp, we've played very physical the last couple of weeks, and we've got to out and do that again. That's the mark of being a pro is playing hard and physical each week, and then hopefully gain some experience with some of the younger guys, and play smarter each week."
Henry third place on list of rookie rushing leaders [8:51 AM]
ESPN reports: This artice talks about some of the up and coming rookies throughout the league. We all know Travis Henry is good, but here are some stats that validate that assumption. Henry turned in one of his best performances of the season in Buffalo's loss to Miami. The second-round pick from Tennessee has quietly moved into third place on the list of rookie rushing leaders, behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Anthony Thomas.
Best Draft 2001 - Buffalo Bills [8:49 AM]
ESPN reports: Yes, we have looked at the Bills' record, so don't suggest that we ought to be fitted for a straitjacket. Eleven of the 12 choices are still on the active roster or injured reserve, and this group, which is starting to produce modest results, will represent the foundation for the future. The top 3 choices have combined for 14 starts, and corner Nate Clements is going to be a "shut down" defender. Buffalo is taking its lumps now, for sure, but the Class of '01 will contribute to improved play over the final 1½ months of this season. The Bills got quality and quantity.
Upon further review, never mind [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams, however, is also eager to play a game where plenty of television cameras will be in use. That's because he's 1 of 7 on instant-replay challenges this season, a .143 batting average he feels likely would be better had Buffalo not played in mostly regional telecasts that provide limited camera angles for replay analysis.'
Graham finally realizes dream of kicking in NFL [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'In between working as a substitute school teacher, selling cars, and running his own sportswear embroidery business, Shayne Graham has managed to keep alive his dream of becoming a National Football League place-kicker.'
Better Bills [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'Of the NFL's three teams with fewer than two victories, the Bills have by far the best combined ranking in total offense and total defense.'
Don't count on Texans taking Johnson from Bills [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'League rules dictate that the Texans must spend 38 percent (approximately $30 million) of their salary cap money on the expansion draft, but general manager Charley Casserly reportedly won't be selecting a high-priced, sack-prone veteran quarterback (i.e. Johnson, or Chris Chandler if they were made available) because he knows they'd be sitting ducks behind a porous offensive line.'
Chargers sign Christie [8:36 PM]
AP reports: 'Christie, cut by Buffalo in early October because of a groin injury, will handle field goal attempts and PATs, while struggling Wade Richey will do kickoffs and maybe long field goal attempts.'
Chargers sign free agent K Steve Christie [8:34 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Terms were not disclosed, but ESPN reported the deal to be at one year for $477,000.'
Van Pelt making a case as Bills full-time starter [8:34 PM]
AP reports: '"I'm real pleased that Alex has given us a chance offensively right now to be in these ballgames," Williams said. "He's given us some life."'
Graham ready to quit his day job for Bills [8:32 PM]
AP reports: 'To make ends meet, Shayne Graham spent the past two years working odd jobs -- including a stint as a substitute teacher -- while pursuing his dream to become an NFL kicker.'
Second-round picks make big contributions [5:38 PM]
CNNSI reports: "This really has been an impressive second-round group," said Buffalo general manager Tom Donahoe who, in addition to Henry, got suddenly emerging defensive end Aaron Schobel in the second round. "That round is producing a lot of good players."
Early winners and losers from 2001 draft [4:52 PM]
Espn.go.com reports: Yes, we have looked at the Bills' record, so don't suggest that we ought to be fitted for a straitjacket. Eleven of the 12 choices are still on the active roster or injured reserve and this group, which is starting to produce modest results, will represent the foundation for the future. The top three choices have combined for 14 starts and corner Nate Clements is going to be a "shut down" defender. Buffalo is taking its lumps now, for sure, but the Class of '01 will contribute to improved play over the final 1 ½ months of this season. The Bills got quality and quantity.
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