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Buffalo Bills News - November 4, 2001

Marker Rhodes faces test in blocking skills [5:32 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The Bills have not mounted a consistent pass rush this year, registering just 10 sacks. They likely will make Rhodes prove he's up to the task of keeping the blitz away from Manning. "It's no secret that's something a defense will try to test," Manning said. "But we feel good about (Rhodes)."'

Marker Putting it together [5:29 AM] reports: '"You can see they're more confident because of their experience," Manning said as the Colts (3-3) prepared to play the Bills (1-5) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. The more games you play, the more everybody's on the same page and the fewer busted assignments you're going to have. You figure if you're going to score points, you've got to be really good at what you're doing. You're not going to be able to get them out of position. "In the second game, a few times we might have caught them out of position, due to their lack of experience in that scheme."'

Marker Johnson makes connection [5:26 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'If he continues the kind of quarterback play he's given Buffalo in those two games, the Pats might not have the pushover game they're expecting when the Bills come to town next week.'

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November 3, 2001

Marker Bills' O-line battered [10:35 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Starting tackles John Fina and Jonas Jennings missed their third straight practice Friday with leg and foot injuries, respectively. They haven't been completely ruled out for Sunday, but the best-case scenario would have them serve as emergency backups.'

Marker Improved Bills are ready for Colts [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'After their rout of the Bills, the Colts lost their next three games -- two to New England by a cumulative score of 82-30.'

Marker James' availability will be a game-day decision [5:26 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'He practiced for the first time Friday but remains questionable for Sunday's visit to AFC East rival Buffalo. James' availability for the game might not be determined until he tests the knee that morning.'

Marker Bills look to continue turnaround [5:24 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'The Buffalo Bills are honoring Kent Hull and Steve Tasker on Sunday, an added attraction to the Indianapolis Colts' final annual visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium. Too bad the Bills can't get Hull and Tasker to suit up. Their respective areas of specialty, the offensive line and special teams, stand as Buffalo's primary areas of concern as the season approaches the midway point. While Rob Johnson has been able to improve over the last two weeks and stay more or less in one piece, the Bills' inability to run consistently makes the quarterback their sole offensive threat.'

November 2, 2001

Marker Bills Rookie Class--Great Nucleus [4:39 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The last item is Pete Prisco's evaluation of our 2001 Draft Class. Did he steal this from John in Hemet? Sounds like something John already wrote on the Stadium Wall message board.....

Marker Gregg Williams answers e-mails [4:37 PM] reports: "We had no timeouts left, we were in kind of a disarray with the injury [to Jay Riemersma] happening right there at the end of the ballgame. Our guys were fatigued, and also we had one opportunity in the Jaguar game where we got sacked out of field goal range. It was a collective agreement, with Rob and everyone, that we should go for the field goal right there."

Marker Scouting the Colts with John Guy [4:37 PM] reports: "Where the Colts are right now, I think they've had the timing of their offense has been off, and they've been off because they haven't his full corps of wide receivers," Guy said. "They've gone down to their fifth wide receiver at times. Trevor Insley is playing, who hasn't played before, and Reggie Wayne, who was their top draft choice, is playing now after being injured much of the season, so their timing's been off. Now, this week, there's question about whether James will play or not.

Marker Colts a bit banged up heading into Sunday [4:36 PM] reports: Running back Edgerrin James did not practice with his team on Wednesday or Thursday, as he is still nursing a sprained left knee that he suffered in Indianapolis' 35-28 win over Kansas City a week ago Thursday and is questionable for Sunday's game. James, who rushed 12 times for 111 yards against Buffalo in Week 2, and has 662 yards total in six games so far in 2001, may find himself on the sideline, or at the very least have a limited role use for Indianapolis.

Marker Paul Maguire War Room's third best color commentary [2:52 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 3. Former Bills/Chargers punter/linebacker Paul Maguire, ESPN
(Sunday Night Football with Mike Patrick)

Marker NFL editor picks Buffalo among teams that will pull off upsets [2:38 PM]
USA Today reports: Indianapolis (minus 4) at Buffalo

Rob Johnson is relatively healthy he's only suffering from foot, ankle, elbow and shoulder injuries. Clearly this is an upset in the making.


Marker Indianapolis at Buffalo Preview [2:22 PM]
CNN/SI reports: The Buffalo Bills may be counting on Mother Nature to slow down the Indianapolis Colts when the AFC rivals meet at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
Buffalo is traditionally one of the NFL's tougher places to play as the season progresses due to the weather. The Bills should hope for some unfavorable conditions Sunday because they have unable to slow down the Colts recently.

Marker What? No Hall of Fame Nomination for Hull? [1:11 PM]
ESPN reports: Q: I saw the list of nominees for the Hall of Fame and I was shocked that former Bills center Kent Hull was not on the list. He was the keystone to great Bills teams of the early '90s and was just as influential to their offensive success. Does anyone honestly think Jim Kelly and Thomas would have been as successful if it weren't for Hull anchoring the line? -- Christina Barrett, Concord, N.H.
MORT -- Christina, this is a really good observation. I believe Hull is worthy of HoF consideration. However, those interior lineman usually don't get nominated until a little later. That doesn't make it right, just the way it is. Or this could be a classic oversight that needs correction by next year.

Marker Speedy Schobel starts to get it right [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I didn't think playing in the NFL would be easy," said Schobel, who had a school-record 31 sacks at Texas Christian University. "But it's been a little tougher than I expected. This is a different level and you can't just run by people here. I've got to understand some things and adjust to things I haven't done in the past. We're striving to get better each week."'

Marker Tasker, Hull will be saluted Sunday [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Monday Quarterback Club plans to honor Tasker and Hull during its luncheon meeting Monday at 11:30 a.m. in HSBC Arena's Harbour Club Restaurant. There also will be a special salute to the 1961 Bills team, which will be represented by LaVerne Torczon and Tom O'Connell.
Hull, Torczon and O'Connell will also make an appearance at the Bills Alumni Booth in the "Bills Experience" inside the team's field house Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.'

Marker Bills find another Peerless receiver [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't think people understand that you don't call the plays and you don't sit back there and throw the ball," Price said. "It's a big misunderstanding when it come to receivers. It also has to do with the company you keep. I've got Eric Moulds on the other side and he's always going to be the go-to guy."'

Marker Bills hurting on first down [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills rank second-to-last in the NFL in yards allowed per first-down play at 6.34. Only winless Detroit is worse at 6.63.'

Marker Blacked out [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'It is the first Bills blackout this season and only the third in the last 21 home games. But four of the last five Bills home games could be blacked out because of lagging ticket sales.'

Marker Fake, fade and throw [5:16 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'There is one primary, overriding reason that the Indianapolis Colts work so hard on their play-action passing game and call upon it so frequently. It works.'

Marker This week's uninformed pick -- Take the Bills [5:14 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Do I make anything of the Colts' past problems at Ralph Wilson Stadium? How about the forecast, which includes rain, with a 20 percent chance of a plague of locusts? It doesn't matter. So here goes: Heads it's Colts. Tails it's Buffalo. Tails it is. (Yes, Phil Luckett, it's tails.) Make mine Buffalo.'

Marker Irsay sees local relevance in Saints deal [5:12 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'James has done some running and cutting under the supervision of the trainers. His status for the game at Buffalo might not be determined until Sunday. If James is unable to play, undrafted rookie Dominic Rhodes will make his first NFL start.'

November 1, 2001

Marker Time has become a luxury for many first-year coaches [9:28 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Buffalo Bills first-year coach Gregg Williams is a stickler for details, so much so that when he interviewed for the position he now holds he came armed with a long list of potential assistants he might hire. It went 10 deep at every position.'

Marker Bills special teams looking ahead, not back [9:26 PM]
AP reports: '"They're hurt by what happened because we've instilled some great pride in our players," Smith said. "And I think you'll see everybody react in a positive manner."'

Marker Rob Johnson is winning back fans in Buffalo [2:34 PM]
ESPN reports: Guess what? Rob Johnson is winning back fans in Buffalo. Really, he is. What was once regarded as foolish plays in which he risk his body for injury is now being regarded as courage.

Edgerrin James says he will play despite a knee injury but you have to wonder if he will be at his 100-yard self on the turf in cold Orchard Park. This is dangerous game against the Colts, who have a big home game against the Dolphins next week.

Marker Colts have plenty of weapons [2:31 PM]
ESPN reports: How much will Edgerrin James' questionable status affect the Colts' offense?

James, who has a sprained knee, is obviously one of the NFL's finest backs. But rookie Rhodes, who came in for James, looked pretty fresh and hit the holes hard. The Colts do such a good job of distributing the football that I don't think James' injury hurts them as much as it would most teams. The Colts have so many weapons. It's like St. Louis; the Rams lost Marshall Faulk, and Trung Canidate stepped in.

Marker Hull and Tasker honored at Monday QB Club [1:54 PM]
Empire reports: In addition to being recognized at Sunday's game, The Monday Quarterback Club will honor Hull and Tasker at their luncheon meeting on Monday, November 5 at 11:30 at the HSBC Arena's Harbour Club Restaurant. There will also be a special salute to the 1961 Bills team, which will be represented by LaVerne Torczon and Tom O'Connell.

Marker Hull & Tasker to be honored Sunday [12:46 PM] reports: The Bills will honor former players Kent Hull and Steve Tasker this Sunday by presenting them with the Ralph C. Wilson Distinguished Service Award.

The award has been presented annually since 1986 to former Bills players in recognition of outstanding service to the team. Hull and Taker become the 21st and 22nd recipients of the award, which will be presented in a special pre-game ceremony.

Marker Bills get closer to health [11:15 AM] reports: 'Guard Jerry Ostroski practiced with the team for the first time since fracturing his leg in Buffalo's second pre-season game against Philadelphia on Aug. 18th, and there is an outside chance he might even play this Sunday against the Colts, although Ostroski was still somewhat hesitant about rushing back into action before the leg was healthy.'

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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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