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Buffalo Bills News - November 2, 2001

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.'

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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.'

Marker Price's play powers Bills [11:15 AM] reports: "With over 150 yards Sunday, he broke his personal mark for yardage in a game, and also was able to provide the big play when the Bills needed it. In the second quarter, he caught a 46-yard pass and brought it to the San Diego goal line, a play that helped what had been a sputtering Bills' offense up until that point get its first touchdown of the game by setting up Rob Johnson's one-yard quarterback sneak."

Marker War Room: NFL Power Poll - 26 (was 26) [9:59 AM]
The Sporting News reports: Johnson shines; Bills play hard in San Diego but don't have an answer for late Flutie heroics.

Marker Fullbacks remain in the gameplan -- out of the spotlight [9:24 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Every so often a FB in this league is respected as an offensive weapon. Long known as a quality receiving threat, Larry Centers released through the line in the second quarter and bent in on a "teaser" route under the coverage in order to open up the passing lane for WR Price. Chargers LB Gerald Dixon reacted to Centers and Price got open. There was no mention of Centers after the play, of course; he's a fullback.

Marker Dr. Z's Power Ratings - 24 (was 25) [9:10 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Don't ever knock Rob Johnson 's courage. Hurt his ankle, knocked woozy, I mean the guy was out on his feet, and still drove his team down the field twice at the end. There's a downside to all this, though. I don't see him ever really going through a season without some sort of physical mishap.

Marker Hall pass - Kelly's success bust-worthy in Canton, Ohio [9:07 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Sports Illustrated Football Front Page

Eleven first-year eligible players are on the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2002. Among those players is Jim Kelly, who threw for 45,309 yards and 320 TDs -- including two seasons with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. After all, it is the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Marker Quick practices push Bills up to game speed [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And the practices so far have not been any longer this year than they were the past two or three years. They're averaging about 2 hours and 15 or 20 minutes. However, by most accounts, there is more emphasis on running plays at up-tempo game speed than in the past.'

Marker Injuries may sideline Colts' James, Bills' Jennings [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'James was not available to Indianapolis media after practice but released a statement saying, "We've ordered a new leg and it should be here by Friday."'

Marker Indianapolis (3-3) at Buffalo (1-5) Preview [8:56 AM]
CBS Sportsline 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.

Don Criqui & Steve Tasker will be doing game for CBS

Marker Pasquerelli's "Praises of the Unsung".... [8:11 AM]
ESPN reports: "Antoine Winfield:
CB Bills If he was three inches taller, no one would overlook the third-year veteran, who, at 5-foot-9, packs tremendous power in a small package. The big hitter possesses explosive closing speed to the ball."

Marker Bills' coach: Fill seats to beat the Colts [5:42 AM]
D and C reports: 'But at 1-5 following last Sunday's bitter 27-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers, the club is facing a stiff challenge to fill all the seats at Ralph Wilson Stadium for five final dates. Of those five, a game against top rival Miami on Nov. 25 is close to selling out and beating the 72-hour television blackout. About 4,000 tickets remain for the Dolphins. However, approximately 14,000 remain for Seattle (Nov. 18) and 20,000 each for Carolina (Dec. 9) and New England (Dec. 16).'

Marker Ostroski practices, may play Sunday [5:41 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't know yet, we'll see, there's a lot of week left, we'll see what happens," Ostroski said.'

Marker Penalty could have erased kickoff return [5:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'But upon further review, Bills coach Gregg Williams said Jenkins' kickoff return quite likely never would have happened had the officials been more alert. Williams said that a San Diego player -- he didn't identify who -- threw his helmet to the ground in the field of play after a replay challenge of Travis Henry's go-ahead touchdown run was upheld, giving Buffalo a 24-20 lead. "That's classic -- that's a 15-yard penalty," Williams said. "We're kicking off from the 45."'

Marker Bills hope for warm welcome [5:39 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'So will the fickle fans at the Ralph acknowledge that effort, plus the one from a week earlier in Jacksonville where Johnson was solid in a 13-10 win over the Jaguars? "I'm looking forward to coming home and playing and getting some crowd response," Johnson said yesterday. "I think they see what we are doing here and how we are competing and trying to win. I think they will respect that and give us a good homecoming."'

Marker Balance remains Colts' best bet on offense [5:38 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Despite Manning's presence and productivity, the Colts' success since 1999 mirrors the leaguewide trend. Consider they're: 4-5 when Manning has thrown for 300 yards, a record that includes a 3-0 mark when he's eclipsed 400 yards; 20-4 when James has rushed for 100 yards.'

Marker Here's hoping that Pathon returns soon [5:37 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Admit it. With the talent on this team, there was no way in the world you thought someone would say something like this: Man, the Colts desperately need Jerome Pathon to come back from his injury.'

Marker Bills build game plan with James in mind [5:36 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I'm assuming he's playing," Buffalo coach Gregg Williams said Wednesday. "He's answered the bell every time. That's the kind of competitor he is."'

Marker Bills QB starting to win over critics [5:36 AM]
CP reports: '"A quarterback is not generally known as a tough guy but Rob showed everyone Sunday that he's every bit as tough as anyone on our team," Centers said Wednesday following the Bills' practice. "He laid to rest a lot of questions out there concerning his ability to lead us. The Rob Johnson critics have to be quiet now. They really don't have much to base their criticism on."'

October 31, 2001

Marker Bills defense seeks to make amends against explosive Colts [10:35 PM]
AP reports: 'Things are going to be different this weekend as far as the Bills are concerned. That's because they believe this isn't the same young and inexperienced unit they were at the start of the season.'

Marker Mum's still word on James' status [10:34 PM]
AP reports: 'Nobody at the Indianapolis Colts is saying Edgerrin James won't play Sunday. Nobody's saying he will, either.'

Marker Ostroski returns to practice [4:19 PM]
AP reports: 'While listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Indianapolis, Ostroski's presence was the first sign of good news for Buffalo's banged-up offensive line.'

Marker Levy: Flutie vs. Johnson: A tie? [10:59 AM] reports: If nothing else was accomplished with the Buffalo-San Diego game, it's this: The controversy is over. Both Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie played heroically, both played with a lot of character. They fit their teams -- be glad the controversy is over. I don't think either QB came out on top or looking bad, both did great things. Let's put the manufactured controversy to rest.

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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