Patriots down but not out [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: '“We’re not pushing the panic button around here,” wide receiver Troy Brown insisted, “but we are pushing the urgency button.”'
Buffalo shuffle works for Smith, too [5:27 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''I think I have an understanding of what Drew is going through,'' said Smith. ''I think I had the same feeling last year. I wanted to do really well against them [the Bills]. I built it up in my own head last year. Part of me wanted to show them they made a mistake, and they didn't know what they were doing. We won both games against Buffalo last year and I felt satisfied, or at least I felt that I showed them the player I always was.'' That was last year. This season, it's just another game.'
Belichick vs. Bledsoe [5:26 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Our records are pretty close to even,'' said Belichick. ''He's made plenty of good plays. He's a good player.'''
From now on, a fine for not staying in line [5:25 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Patriots are expected to use the same five offensive linemen in Buffalo Sunday for the second straight game. Mike Compton and Woody will continue to rotate at center/left guard depending upon whether it's a shotgun situation, Joe Andruzzi is back at right guard, and Kenyatta Jones appears to be holding on at right tackle.'
They could get caught in throes [5:24 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Bills, who are 16th in the league against the pass, appear especially vulnerable in the secondary as starting cornerback Antoine Winfield will miss a third consecutive game following arthroscopic surgery Oct. 18 to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.'
Amid hype, don't forget defense [5:23 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '. The Pats have given up big plays and small ones. They've been porous against the run while the secondary (particularly Smith and Buckley) have been hit for several long gains.'
Ex-mates huddle up to discuss Drew [5:22 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``He had to be prepared for that, that's what it's all about. You have to be prepared in case your number is called. He went out and did the job knowing other people were depending on him and did real well.'''
It's Belichick vs. Bledsoe [5:21 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Bledsoe has the two leading receivers in yardage in the AFC. Bledsoe has the fourth-leading rusher. Bledsoe has the home field. Bledsoe has the momentum. Bledsoe has the emotion. Bledsoe has motivation, and his teammates want nothing more than to win one for Drew. Belichick has O-T-I-S and other assorted problems. Edge: Bills.'
Shoulda kept Bledsoe?: Two QBs one big problem [5:20 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Use your imagination. Picture what New England's season would be like today if Belichick had asked Bledsoe to stick around and the quarterback had swallowed his pride and done so.'
Drew likes his reception [5:19 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I've got a bunch of receivers - not just Eric and Peerless, but Josh Reed and Jay Riemersma, Larry Centers out of the backfield, Travis Henry, a bunch of guys who when I drop back to pass, I know can all make plays for me.'''
Ch. 5 joins in debate [5:18 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Ch. 38 has a Brady-Bledsoe ``Showdown in Buffalo'' special at 7 tomorrow night and ESPN's Sal Paolantonio has Bledsoe address his 2001 Pats' ordeal and Buffalo rebirth on ``NFL Countdown'' at 11 a.m. Sunday.'
LB Johnson shows his stuff again [5:17 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It was less than two months ago that it looked like Ted Johnson was finished as a viable member of the Patriots. Now he could be one of the players instrumental in turning around the team's fortunes.'
Right time, place for Bledsoe [5:16 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'He's been good -- even great -- before. But never was he this good for this long. Why? "Because he's gotten off his (butt) and probably gotten himself in a little better shape," theorized Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated. "Guys like him. They don't think he's a chicken (expletive). I don't think there's a secret formula. He decided he's at a crossroads. He could either let it go down the dumper or make something of the situation."'
Arm injury has Otis Smith at 50-50 [5:15 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Otis Smith, who has handled that job for the Patriots for the last three years, continues to have problems with an arm injury, coach Bill Belichick said yesterday. Smith is listed as questionable on the injury report, meaning he has a 50 percent chance of playing Sunday in Buffalo. Belichick indicated Smith would have problems trying to play in his current condition.'
A Score To Settle [5:14 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"It's totally different," Moulds said. "He gives you the freedom to say what you feel, but when it's time for him to talk and call the play, it's totally quiet [in the huddle]. Back in the day, last year, everyone was arguing and fussing. Give me an opportunity to make a play for you, and it's fun."'
Price, Moulds best receiving combo in football [5:13 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The Patriots are going to have a hard time slowing down these two even if Smith plays, but it'll be no picnic if Antwan Harris, Ben Kelly or Terrell Buckley has to start in his place.'
Patriots better not forget about Henry [5:12 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I played against Travis in college and he was a good back in college and he's even better now," said defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who graduated from Georgia two years ago. "He adds another dimension to their offense, he's a quick slashing runner. They don't run him that much, but when he runs they're effective."'
Emotions will be key [5:11 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: '"For me, it's even more important to manage my emotions going into a game like this because I'm not a linebacker," Bledsoe said. "I don't get to run over people and take out my aggression that way. So I'll do everything I can, everything in my power, to be calm and cool and just have fun with it."'
Smith to play large role [5:10 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Although they have played better of late, Buffalo ranks in the lower half of the league in most defensive categories. Controlling the ball with the help of some effective work by Smith could help the Patriots keep the Bills' potent offense on the sideline.'
Revenge always sweet for QBs [5:09 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'There is not a more jacked-up, emotion-driven place to be this week.'
Bledsoe regains his air of excellence [5:08 AM]
Baltimore Sun reports: 'Not only has Bledsoe had a Most Valuable Player-type season on the field, but he also has become more of a vocal leader in the locker room.'
Bledsoe more than filling the bill [5:07 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'In Belichick's defense, there weren't a lot of teams interested in Bledsoe. Which tells you all you need to know about the incompetence that's running rampant in a lot of NFL front offices. The Cowboys preferred Quincy Carter to Bledsoe. The Bengals preferred Jon Kitna and Gus Frerotte. The Seahawks preferred Trent Dilfer.'
Feud heats AFC East [5:06 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Hey, at least we have some honest emotion here, not some phony, "Oh, everything's OK."'
Ex-Utes Coach Is Catching On to NFL Game [5:05 AM]
Salt Lake City Tribune reports: 'In 19 years of coaching University of Utah receivers, Fred Graves worked with some outstanding players and strong personalities: Kevin Dyson, Steve Smith, Bryan Rowley, Cliff Russell and others. None of them quite prepared him for Eric Moulds and Peerless Price.'
Former pro football player comes home with new heart and a miraculous story [5:04 AM]
AP reports: 'The 60-year-old former player for the NFL's Buffalo Bills received a transplant at New York Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 11, 2001, the day terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center.'
Reeling Patriots face Bledsoe, Bills [5:03 AM]
USA Today reports: '"It's like competing against your brother," Bledsoe says. "When you're playing against somebody that you've gone to war with, that you've battled with over the years, you're going to want to win. ... A lot of those guys are still my friends. If we lose the game, I'm going to hear about it all year. That's the big motivator."'
Bledsoe, fans know sports [5:02 AM]
Daily Illini reports: 'Bledsoe realized the situation and rolled with the punches. The fans did their part, too. When Bledsoe left, there wasn't a mass outcry of "don't let the door hit you on the way out." As much as they loved and admired Brady, they hated to see Bledsoe go.'
4:48 - The Moment The Bledsoe Era Ended [5:01 AM]
PatsFans.com reports: "The Bledsoe era ended suddenly that night in New England, and only time will tell if he'll join the list of Boston athletes who later came back to haunt their football team."
Bills aren't overlooking Brady's abilities [9:17 PM]
AP reports: '``He's still got MVP behind his name,'' Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said Thursday. ``And to me that says a lot.'''
Looking for some payback [2:27 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'But his production began to slip. Then so did his playing time. Pretty soon his mail was being forwarded to a new NFL address. And guess what? Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his game, beat his old team and lived happily ever after. For at least one season anyway. The Drew Bledsoe Story, 2002? Maybe. But also the Antowain Smith Saga, 2001.'
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