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Buffalo Bills News - September 17, 2001

Marker Thomas: no doubt about Hall of Fame [5:56 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'One of the most prolific running backs in NFL history, Thomas becomes eligible for induction in 2006. But with four other strong candidates in the same class -- Troy Aikman, Reggie White, Deion Sanders and Warren Moon -- Thomas admits he might not be a first-ballot selection. "When all those guys had retired, they had won a Super Bowl," said Thomas, referring to Aikman, White and Sanders. "I haven't. That makes it pretty tough to get in. "But I've always thought that it doesn't matter whether I make it on the first time. Just as long as I make it and can say my speech and they say, `Thurman Thomas made it as a Buffalo Bill.'"'

Marker Bills spend the unplanned day off with family and loved ones [5:09 AM]
D and C reports: '"It's going to change the history of the world," Morris said of the terrorist attacks that leveled the twin World Trade Center towers and a portion of the Pentagon, killing perhaps more than 5,000 people. "You think about it every day, all the personal stories of what the families have gone through. It's still a shock. Especially when you see more and more video."'

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September 16, 2001

Marker Bills fans find other diversions to ease their minds [7:01 PM]
AP reports: 'After attending a memorial service Friday, the Bills took the weekend off before their scheduled practice Monday. Along with collecting money to help victims of the attack, many Bills players were expected to attend a city-sponsored vigil Sunday evening in front of Buffalo's city hall.'

Marker Departed Jones disputes notion he rocked Bills' boat [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Jones admits he does not love the way coach Gregg Williams deals with players. "I didn't totally agree with their approach," he said. "He's not treating them like men. And I'm not the only guy who feels that way. You don't insult players. There's a certain way you talk to grown men, and there's a certain amount of respect you give grown men, and liberties and freedoms you give them. . . . I think he's still trying to figure that out as a head coach as far as how he wants to do it."'

Marker Team waiting for results of surgery on linebacker [7:13 AM]
ESPN reports: 'When middle linebacker Sam Cowart suffered a partially torn Achilles tendon in the season opener, Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams acknowledged the team's defensive star likely would miss a "significant" amount of time. It appears now that "significant" translates into the balance of the season.'

Marker Dolphins fond of Buffalo QB [7:05 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'It's almost seven months later, and it seems the Dolphins might have had made the offseason's best decoy move by getting the Buffalo Bills to keep Rob Johnson instead of Doug Flutie. In February, a top team source with the Dolphins told The Herald and two other South Florida newspapers the team would be very interested in Johnson if the Bills were to let him go. But did they mean it?'

Marker Cowart's year may be over [5:05 AM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo Bills linebacker Sam Cowart underwent surgery on a partially torn Achilles' tendon Friday, increasing the likelihood that he will be out for the season. But the Bills have not officially ruled out Cowart, who was injured in last Sunday's 24-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints.'

September 15, 2001

Marker Surgery means Cowart likely out for year [9:17 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams said Cowart's injury is not as severe as the complete tear of the tendon that was suffered by Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde two years ago. "It's up higher in the muscle belly moreso than on the tendon," he said.'

September 14, 2001

Marker DB Daryl Porter signs with Titans [11:53 AM]
The Tennessean reports: Porter, who signed with the Dolphins in March after not being resigned after three seasons with Buffalo, was cut in preseason.

Porter was one of the players burned in Homerun Throwback by the Titans.
"He is a young guy who has played cornerback and safety and is a good special teams player," Titans GM Floyd Reese said.

Marker Wilson lauds NFL's no-play decision [9:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I feel it is the absolute right decision by the NFL to postpone games this weekend," Wilson said in a statement. "I had conveyed my thoughts to the league in regards to not playing this weekend well in advance of the announcement because I feel that to play the games would have shown a great insensitivity to this national tragedy that has shocked our nation and the world. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their loved ones, as well as the heroic rescue workers who continue in their tireless efforts to search for survivors."'

Marker Reflection, not games, what's needed [9:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Players throughout the NFL carried the flag on this charge. They saw their games as circumstantially irrelevant and, one would think, recognized the magnitude of their influence. It's telling that after the players stripped the NFL of its corporate veneer that baseball and NASCAR and major-college football quickly postponed their activities through the weekend. We don't need to climb to the peaks of our stadiums. Cause for reflection is right before our eyes.'

Marker Dolphins want to play Bills at later date [9:43 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins prefer to play the game, since it was a home date against a division opponent that lost its opener. The majority just didn't want to play it now, for reasons of preparation, security, safety and respect.'

Marker Bills coach will support any NFL decision [9:42 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"As it was brought to my attention yesterday, [I felt] the initial shock and the disbelief and numbness in what was going on," he said. "In the middle of the afternoon, [I was] angry about what was going on. Finally, well after midnight last night, as I was getting ready to leave the office, I came to the resolution that if our government says it's safe to play this football game, and our league office says it's safe to play this football game, we need to do our part."'

Marker Bills agree with league decision [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '"How are you going to play in the Meadowlands (the Giants were to host the Green Bay Packers Sunday) when you have people under rubble right across the river? It would be very insensitive."'

Marker NFL proves to Bills it has a heart [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: '"I hope and pray that all the people in our organization take the time this weekend to take a walk with their kids, hug their wife, go and do something with one of their loved ones," general manager Tom Donahoe said. "I hope we just realize how fortunate all of us are."'

Marker Bills' Wilson near attack site [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. was in the near vicinity of the Pentagon when a hijacked airliner slammed into the nation's military center on Tuesday, the team confirmed yesterday. The Bills would not say why Wilson was in Washington, D.C., or the nearby area.'

September 13, 2001

Marker NFL calls off weekend games [1:58 PM]
AP reports: 'Tagliabue spent Thursday morning on a conference call with team owners to discuss the options. Afterward, he said: "A decision on whether to reschedule this weekend's games or play a 15-game season schedule is under consideration and will be announced as soon as possible."'

Marker Fantasy League kicks off 2001 [1:52 PM] reports: Even writers seem to be into Fantasy Football.

Marker Bills have mixed feelings on weekend game [1:52 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"It would be hard for me to put a word on how inconsequential this is," he maintained. "This is a game ... entertainment. (The terrorist attacks) were the very core of what our existence is as a nation."'

Marker NFL decides not to play [1:49 PM] reports: The National Football League decided to not play this weekend due to this week's events in New York and Washington, the first time in league history the league has postponed the entire schedule due to a national tragedy (AFL posponed games for a week after Kennedy assasination).

There is no word if the games, which includes Buffalo's annual visit to Miami, will be made up or simply have the Bills, and every other team but the San Diego Chargers, play just 15 games this season.

Marker NFL postpones Week 2 [12:06 PM] reports: We in the National Football League have decided that our priorities for this weekend are to pause, grieve, and reflect. It is a time to tend to families and neighbors and all those wounded by these horrific acts of terrorism.

We understand those individuals in sports who want to play this weekend. We also can empathize with those who want to take the weekend off and resume their personal lives and professional careers next week. We strongly believe that the latter course of action is the right decision for the NFL.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, the NFL, its players and coaches will return stronger than ever and resume our playing schedule. A decision on whether to re-schedule this weekend's games or play a 15-game regular season schedule is under consideration and will be announced as soon as possible.

Marker Bills' minds on tragedy, not Miami [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"If the players had a vote, I'd vote - obviously just out of respect to families and the people that died - not to do it," said Bills quarterback Rob Johnson. "It's not up to me. If the commissioner says we're playing, we'll play. This is a big event in history and our life. We don't want to trivialize it by playing. But we came today and put in a full work day. We're ready to play if we have to play."'

Marker Fisher probably won't see any active service duty [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Fisher graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1999 and was a seventh-round draft choice of the Bills that April. Air Force cadets must serve a five-year military commitment upon graduation. But the few cadets who become professional athletes often are allowed to cut their military commitment short after two years.'

Marker Pompei: Johnson, West Coast offense may not be good fit [8:48 AM]
The Sporting News reports: The Bills might have the worst offensive line in the league and the easiest quarterback to sack, which is kind of like being bald and having pearly white skin.
Getting burned is a foregone conclusion.

Marker Tuesday's terrorist attacks impacts on athletes with military backgrounds [7:39 AM]
ESPN reports: NFL players such as Denver Broncos running back Mike Anderson, a former Marine, and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Bryce Fisher, who was in the Air Force, spent a lot of time on phones to check on friends.

Marker Bills talk about Tuesday's tragedy [7:28 AM] reports: Instead of building intensity for what traditionally is one of the biggest games of the year, the thoughts of the coaches and players were on the victims and rescue efforts at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon during Wednesday's practice.

Marker With Tuesday's attacks, games still not certain [7:26 AM]
reports: There has only been one similar precedent in NFL history, in November 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assasinated. The NFL went on with its slate of games, but the AFL postponed its games for a week.

The Bills were slated to play the Boston Patriots in Fenway Park when the news struck about Kennedy's assasination in Dallas, and owner Ralph Wilson was the first AFL owner to order the cancellation of one of four games that weekend.

Marker Football comes second for Bills [6:56 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"We have to take into account there are more important things than whether I get a sack this weekend or whether (quarterback Rob Johnson) throws a touchdown," Fisher said. "There are 10,000 people who aren't going to go home."'

Marker Hansen ready to relinquish paycheck to not play Sunday [6:55 AM]
AP reports: '"Doesn't football seem pretty trivial after yesterday?" he said. "It's a wake-up call. Go home. Hug your wife. Count your blessings."'

Marker Bills don't want to play [5:32 AM]
D and C reports: '"I'm not going to be making the decision, but I think we have to seriously look at our fellow Americans and (not play)," said defensive end Phil Hansen, Buffalo's players union representative. "Normalcy is one thing, but this is serious stuff. It certainly makes football seem very trivial."'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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