Parcells casts a big shadow on Jets [10:53 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Bill Parcells is a big man ... and his shadow is vastly larger than his considerable physical size. That's Al Groh's problem. The latest coach of the New York Jets is going to have a hard time establishing an identity away from his long-time friend and current benefactor.'
No Jet lag for the Bills [10:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"This game will be a good key for us," said Bills' coach Wade Phillips. "This could actually be our biggest game of the year." Of his own team's start, he added, "I thought we were going to have a good team, but all coaches think they're going to have a good team."'
Phillips blasts Bill [10:12 AM]
Jets Confidential reports: 'Not only did Buffalo Bills head coach Wade Phillips come off as bitter during his Wednesday conference call with Jets beat reporters, he also exposed himself as a somewhat hypocritical "country coach." It wasn't difficult to figure out that Phillips was lambasting Bill Parcells when he said "We kind of country coach 'em here. They don't get a lot of that city coaching of those geniuses. But we get them to work hard, play sound football and not make mistakes." Phillips went on to define country coaching as "...a way of treating people, I guess." Oh. So that explains why Phillips benched Doug Flutie for the playoffs last year even though Flutie had directed the Bills to the postseason two years in a row and had all but saved Phillips' job and football in Buffalo in 1998. And that "country coaching" must explain why Phillips canned special teams coach Bruce DeHaan for a loss that was entirely Phillips' fault. Remember, it was Phillips who let Steve Christie kick a go-ahead field goal with 16 seconds left in last year's AFC wild card game instead of waiting until there were just a few seconds left on the clock. That move allowed Tennessee enough time to pull off the "Music City Miracle" kick return.'
Stars are suddenly aligned [10:10 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'The Bills and Jets had never been 2-0 at the same time before this season. For all the Bills' success in '90s, they started only four of those seasons by winning the first two games. "We've started the last few years pretty slowly," Bills receiver Eric Moulds said. "We've always had to pick it up and try and catch other teams. We wanted to come out this year and have them try and come after us."
Bills put a bull's-eye on Jets' Martin [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' defense aims to continue its winning streak against New York Jets workhorse running back Curtis Martin today. The Bills have shut down Martin in four straight meetings. Making it five in a row will be one of the Bills' keys to success in today's AFC East showdown at Giants Stadium.'
Ultimate sleeper [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He grew up in a divided, zero-income household. He toiled in the hay fields and picked peas for a pittance. He got his high school girlfriend pregnant. He was recruited to play football by major colleges such as Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss. He took the American College Testing exam three times, but couldn't qualify. So he enrolled in a junior college and later a Division II program. He dedicated himself to becoming a fine player, and it eventually came time for NFL scouts to notice. They labeled him a reject. But they couldn't have been more wrong about Bobby Collins, a player who was drafted in 1999 as the sleeper of all sleepers. "I came out of the blue," the second-year Buffalo Bills tight end said, flashing a smile that would glitter even without his shiny gold tooth. "Everybody else (in the draft) they know about by their sophomore or junior year. But the Bills just got me like a mutt."'
Bills could use a Jersey bounce toward postseason position [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills still have to prove they can run a little against a good opponent, and the Jets are tough to beat at home. . . . Jets, 17-16.'
The Bills didn't have a prayer? [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Millions tuned in to watch the Clinton-Lazio debate last week, but only a few hundred people got to see host Tim Russert's preshow warm-up. It was vintage Russert. The South Buffalo native had people in stitches when he told a story about the 1994 Buffalo Bills-Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl in Atlanta.'
Jets, Bills battle for top mark in east [8:36 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The Bills are formidable. Their defense, ranked No. 1 a year ago, is ranked third in the NFL this season. Rob Johnson, their new starting QB, scrambles like Doug Flutie but has a rocket for an arm. "I respect a lot about the way (the Bills) play," Groh said. "They've got their system based on their belief on how they want to play and they stay with those systems year after year, game after game. "They made some bold moves in the offseason (letting Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed go) and they're faster and just as tough, and as a result they've made themselves better than they were the last couple years."'
Jones back in black [8:35 AM]
New York Post reports: '...here comes Marvin Jones. He is back, and he is all the way back, maybe all the way back to the terror he was coming out of Florida State, when we hailed him as The Black Butkus.'
Becht's good bet against Buffalo [8:33 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Look for the Jets to get rookie tight end Anthony Becht involved in the passing game soon - as soon as today against Buffalo. With the Bills stacking up against the Jets' running game and Curtis Martin, the Jets might look to get the ball outside in - away from 350-pound Bills' NT Ted Washington. They also might look to open it up with more passes to the tight end.'
Jets need to get it going early [8:11 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'The Jets are 2-0 for the first time since 1994. If they can get off to a better offensive start at 1 p.m. today against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets will set themselves up to achieve an even rarer feat their first 3-0 start since 1966. In fourth-quarter comeback wins against Green Bay and New England, the offense has started like a power lawn mower left out in the rain that needs several pulls before sputtering to life. "We have to get off on the right foot early," center Kevin Mawae said. "We can't win every game in the fourth quarter."'
Bills' game plan loud and clear [7:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills' offense has a lot of things to improve on, like running the ball and protecting Johnson, but just getting the ball hiked without mistakes in today's first road test will be a challenge. "We know crowd noise is going to be a factor but we've got to keep our composure and not get frustrated if things don't go well in the beginning," running back Antowain Smith said. "We've got to keep plugging and hope something gives for us...This is a big matchup. It's going to be a matter of will, which team is going to be more physical."'
Scouting report [7:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if...They shut down Martin and force the Jets to be one-dimensional on offense. Of course, QB Vinny Testaverde has been at his best this season when he's had to rely heavily on the passing game at the end of games...They avoid turnovers. This is their first road game and it will be difficult to communicate on offense. Johnson will get sacked, and when he does, he has to protect the ball and not fumble it away...They can establish their own running game. This will bring their play-action passing back into use, and when the Bills have that working, they are tough to stop.'
Bills D big on stinginess [7:33 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Short of banging his head against the wall, there is not much the New York Jets' Curtis Martin can do to prepare for an afternoon of running into mounds of Buffalo Bills gut. "Between the two of them (defensive linemen Ted Washington and Pat Williams) you have about 700 pounds in there," Martin said. "It's not a game I look forward to, to be honest."'
Testaverde aims for better start [7:32 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'After missing the entire 1999 season, New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde would be expected to have some cobwebs early this season. Fortunately for Jets fans, the veteran has been able to shake them for fourth-quarter rallies in his team's first two wins. But Testaverde, who today will face the AFC's leading defence in the Buffalo Bills, believes he'll need a quicker start if his team is to go 3-0. "We're going to have to go out right away and play some good football this week if we're going to have any chance to beat the Bills," Testaverde said. "But we definitely have confidence that no matter what the situation is at the end of the game, we can come back."'
Bills' Defense Limits the Jets in Playing Catch-Up [7:31 AM]
New York Times reports: 'After two victories in which a dysfunctional offense took three quarters to come to life, today the Jets (2-0) face in the Bills (2-0) a team with a defense so dominating that it is unlikely to let the Jets catch up if they fall behind.'
Bills or Believers [7:30 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Today, the Jets can break the hex with a victory over the Bills (2-0) at Giants Stadium - a battle for sole possession of first place in the AFC East and an intriguing showdown between two teams that survived tumultuous offseasons. The Jets are winning without Bill Parcells and Keyshawn Johnson, and the Bills are doing it without Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, a trio that won six division titles and four AFC championships. They're as synonymous with Buffalo as beef on weck. But life goes on in the NFL. "It's amazing," Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde said of the Bills' resilience. "Without Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Thomas, you'd think there would be a big dropoff. But there is none. They might be a better team."'
Jets Scouting Report [7:28 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Prediction: Bills, 23-21.'
34 Years Later... [7:27 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The Jets haven't started 3-0 since 1966...'.
Old faces gone as Jets battle AFC East rivals [7:26 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'None of the Jets players was heavily into reflecting on what it will be like to play the Bills for the first time without nemeses Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed wearing blue and red. "It's not going to be strange," said strong safety Victor Green. "The guys they had did a wonderful job when they were there. All good things come to an end. Their fans will miss them more than we will."'
Bills defense facing another challenge [7:25 AM]
AP reports: 'But challenges are hardly new for the Bills, whose schedule was ranked in the preseason as the toughest in the NFL. The are 2-0 with a revamped defense -- four new starters on a unit that ranked first in the league last season. There hasn't been much falloff -- it's ranked third overall in the league.'
Jets have to be concerned with facing Bills' 'Package' [9:26 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips calls it "The Package." The super-sized, dynamic defensive tackle duo of Ted Washington and Pat Williams that Phillips occasionally employs has literally placed a heavy burden on opposing running games. Buffalo's Twin Peaks look like a double dose of William Perry and hit like Ted Williams. The Jets offensive line has the unenviable challenge of blocking 662 pounds of defensive tackle in tomorrow's 1 p.m. showdown against the 2-0 Bills. The unique defensive wrinkle has the look of a brick wall to running back Curtis Martin. "They make it very difficult to run," Martin said of the Washington-Williams defensive tackle tandem. "Between the two, that's close to 700 pounds in there. They pretty much stuff the middle. It makes it very difficult to run the ball up the middle against them." Washington weighs 350 pounds. "You need a forklift to move Washington," Jets coach Al Groh said of the Bills' Pro Bowler. These are two Bills who appear well acquainted with the fork lift. Williams, the former undrafted rookie signed out of Texas AM in 1997, is no slouch at 312 pounds. "Those two guys are huge," Jets center Kevin Mawae said of "The Package." "I might have to start eating a lot of donuts just to gain some extra weight to play against them. It's a formidable front. Those guys form a brick wall. It's not easy to run against them. "It's hard enough to block one of them when he's in the game. But to have both of them in there makes it even more challenging."'
He's back! [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Now hear this: Vinny is back. Again. The former Heisman Trophy winner has been counted out numerous times in his 14-year NFL career. But his body, mind and game are in good form entering Sunday's AFC East showdown between the Jets and the Buffalo Bills at the Meadowlands.'
Moore gets starting nod as injury shelves Rogers [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Rookie Corey Moore will get his first career start at weak-side linebacker when the Buffalo Bills meet the New York Jets on Sunday. Starter Sam Rogers was held out of practice again Friday and was made inactive for the game due to a bruised bone in his right shoulder. The Bills have a bye next week. Rogers said he expects to be fine for the Bills' next game, against Indianapolis. He played with the bruise against Green Bay last week.'
Bills fans treated to Enberg's NFL debut on CBS [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Oh, my! Buffalo fans get a treat Sunday when Dick Enberg does the Bills-Jets game, his first National Football League broadcast since switching from NBC to CBS.'
Unknown Bills 'D' getting its due [7:41 AM]
D and C reports: 'Anonymity has been good for Buffalo's defense, which last year ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL yet didn't send a soul to Honolulu for the Pro Bowl. Slowly, but surely, however, one of the league's best kept secrets is getting out.'
Special Teams for Jets Have Been Anything But [7:40 AM]
New York Times reports: 'They may be unbeaten thanks to a pair of late comebacks, but the Jets know these heroics go just so far. And it might be especially dangerous to wind up trailing late in the game against the stingy defense of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. So today, Coach Al Groh used what he described as a loud voice - one of the oldest coaching techniques - to discuss one area the Jets need to improve dramatically: special teams.'
Jets' Attack Can't Be Buffaloed [7:38 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'As exciting as the Jets' two fourth-quarter comebacks have been, the team realizes the Houdini act can't last forever. Late game rallies may work against a couple of hapless opponents like the Packers and Patriots, but not the 2-0 Buffalo Bills. When Buffalo comes to the Meadowlands Sunday, both squads' unblemished records will be on the line as will sole possession of the AFC East. The Jets know that to leave with a "W," they have to arrive before the final 15 minutes. "We need to get off to an early start," center Kevin Mawae said. "We can't wait around until the fourth quarter and hope for another come-from-behind victory. We need to come out in the first quarter and establish our game plan and the running game and get things going."'
Unbeaten Jets not so special [7:37 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The twist here is that, through two games, the Jets have gotten away with being inept in several key areas of special teams. But it's eminently clear that the time bomb's about to explode unless major improvement is made.'
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