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Buffalo Bills News - October 18, 2001

Marker Bills look to 'stay on course' [2:38 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'ESPN isn't exactly salivating over this one.'

Marker Pro-Bowl ballots are available with a few surprises [12:02 PM] reports: The NFL has their Pro-Bowl ballot prepared and as always there are a few glitches; Chrsitie is listed as the Bills kicker although he is no longer with the Bills and ex-Bill A. Smith is on it but he is listed as a Pittsburgh RB.
NOTE: the electronic ballot no longer has a fill-in-the-blank spot and allows 'express' submissions.
QB: R. Johnson, RB: T. Henry, FB: L. Centers, WR: E. Moulds & P. Price, TE: J. Riemersma, C: B. Conaty, G: R. Brown & J. Ostroski, T: J. Fina & J. Jennings
DE: P. Hansen& E. Flowers, LI: P. Williams & S. Price, OL: J. Foreman & K. Newman, IL S. Cowart (IR), CB: A. Winfield & K. Irvin, FS: K. Carpenter, SS: R. Hill
Special Teams:
K: S. Christie (released), P: B. Moorman, KR: N. Clements, ST: D. Polk

Marker Metzelaars' son lights up Charlotte sky with aerial brilliance [10:47 AM] reports: Former Buffalo Bill and Carolina Panther Pete Metzelaars spent 16 seasons in the NFL catching passes and battling in the trenches from his TE position.

Around the Carolinas, he is also the answer to a great Panthers trivia question. Metzelaars was the first Panther to score a touchdown, hauling in an 8-yard TD pass from former Bill Frank Reich during Carolina’s inaugural season.

Now his son, Anthony Metzelaars, is putting up numbers in Charlotte that will make him the answer to future trivia questions. The younger Metzelaars QBs Charlotte Christian, where his father serves as OC of the football team and as assistant athletics director. Like his father, Anthony is finding much success on the football field.

Marker Buffalo (0-4) at Jacksonville (2-2) Thursday, 8:30 pm EDT [10:43 AM] reports: NFL Preview of game.

Marker Bills, Jags regroup after respite [10:02 AM]
ESPN reports: Warning: Joe Theismann ahead, some people like coffee others hate it.
GM Tom Donahoe made the right decision to release Flutie and keep Johnson because the West Coast style suits Johnson more than Flutie. But the problem is that Johnson isn't getting rid of the ball quickly enough. If he can make decisions, learn the offense and survive the season, he will be fine -- and so will the Bills.

Marker Bills will be a test for Jags [9:54 AM]
ESPN reports: Based on the records of the two teams, the Jaguars should be able to get back on track. Tony Brackens will be back to help the Jaguars' defense.

But the Bills are a desperate team with good skill-position players. The Bills' defense has been marred by injury, especially to LB Cowart, their best player. They have been close several times to putting things together. Under new head coach Williams, the Bills are really struggling with the system and getting everyone on the same page. The young coaching staff is just taking a little longer than other staffs to get a pulse on its personnel. That's what they are struggling with. I don't expect Buffalo to be an easy test for the Jaguars.

Marker ESPN first-quarter report card [9:47 AM]
ESPN reports: QB Johnson holds onto the ball too long and can't finish games because of injuries. Salary cap problems forced them to dismantle a 3-4 defense that could stuff the run. The Bills have fallen to the bottom of the league. First-year coach Williams hasn't won over his veterans so far with his aggressive style of coaching.
Grade: F (only F in AFC)
NOTE: Ruben Brown did make all AFC team

Marker Jaguar receivers awaken Bills' deep thoughts [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Jacksonville boasts the player who has the most catches and receiving yards in the NFL over the past five years - Jimmy Smith. Containing Smith, receiving partner Keenan McCardell and quarterback Mark Brunell figures to be a key to the Bills' chances of getting their first win of the year in the nationally televised game at Alltel Stadium.'

Marker Gaining a foothold [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Taking over for Chris Mohr, perhaps the best punter in franchise history, Moorman is the AFC's second-ranked punter at 48.1 yards behind Denver's Tom Rouen (48.9). The Bills' single-season record is 44.5 by Paul Maguire in 1969.'

Marker Moulds grabs for the reins of leadership [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Getting Moulds involved would be a start. To borrow an old phrase from his pal, Keyshawn, give him the damn ball.'

Marker Battered Bills, Jags looking to get off the ropes [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The outcome of tonight's game between the Bills and Jaguars will go a long way toward determining which team has a chance to salvage its season and which one can start thinking about its holiday travel plans.'

Marker Highlights of this week's game notes [8:30 AM] reports: Moulds now ranks 4th on the Bills all-time receiving yardage list after passing Thurman Thomas last week. He needs 10 receptions to tie Bob Chandler in 5th place on Buffalo's all-time receptions list and 11 to tie Elbert Dubenion in 4th. He's currently tied with Frank Lewis for 6th all-time in receiving touchdowns and his next one will tie Pete Metzelaars for 5th best. With a catch against the Jaguars, he'll also extend his club record of games with a reception to 54.

Marker Johnson returns to Jacksonville Thursday [8:29 AM] reports: "He said, 'No, I don't want you to go back in,'" Johnson said afterwards. "If you can't move, you can't go back in. … I just wanted to make sure my ankle wasn't broken because it hurt like it was broken. Once I found out it wasn't broken, I knew I had to suck it up. It's just something you have to do. My team needed me."

Marker Johnson a gamer [8:02 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I think (Johnson has) had stretches of playing well, but he has had some unlucky situations," Bills coach Gregg Williams said this week. "He has had stretches where he has executed the offence very well. The breakdowns on offence have not just been the quarterback."'

Marker Johnson returns to Jacksonville as an opponent [5:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'So tonight before a national television audience, Johnson's goal isn't to settle an old score. It's to merely prove the Bills didn't get fleeced for first- and fourth-round draft picks, something he hasn't been able to do during his three-plus disappointing seasons in Buffalo.'

Marker Q and A with Antoine Winfield [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'By coach Gregg Williams' count, the secondary has dropped seven interceptions so far. Are you guys wearing oven mitts?'

Marker Hard work keeps paying off for Payne [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'Life is good for the young man from Victor who starred at Cornell University and is now carving out a nice little career for himself in the NFL.'

Marker Scouting report [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'This is the Bills' first visit to Jacksonville for a regular-season game. It is the only NFL city they hadn't played in.'

Marker Going in different directions [5:26 AM]
Florida Times Union reports: 'Donahue drafted 12 players and the Bills kept 11, a stark contrast to the Jaguars, who drafted 10 and kept five. The Bills, though, are paying a price for their youth. They're 0-4. That is why rebuilding is not popular in Jacksonville.'

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October 17, 2001

Marker PFW’s Personnel Analyst Takes a Look at the Best Blue-Collar Overachievers [4:07 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Survey selects five Bills players: two current (Phil Hansen and Antoine Winfield) and three former ones (Sam Gash, Marvcus Patton, John Parrella)as the best "blue-collar" players at their positions.

Marker Travis Henry #4 in Rookie of year meter [3:13 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 4. Travis Henry, RB, Buffalo Bills
Season Stats: 70-240-1 Sunday: Bye
Henry rushed for 113 yards his last time out and has a chance to duplicate that performance Thursday against a Jacksonville defense that allowed 176 yards rushing its last time out.
Henry has been solid considering the offensive line?s poor job of opening holes, though he is averaging only one catch per game. That?s poor for the starting RB in a West Coast offense.

Marker Pat Williams rated #4 run stuffer [3:10 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 4. Pat Williams / Bills ? "There was no drop-off when Washington went out last year and Williams came in."
[Ex-Buffalo Bill Ted Washington is #1]

Marker Flutie fans in western New York have reached mania stage [3:04 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Some would say that Johnson is what’s in the water, while other Bills fans would say that’s where they’d like to throw him. They claim that Flutie would have this Bills team with a better record than 0-4.

That’s why I call this a mania. There is absolutely no guarantee that the diminutive miracle worker from Boston College would have done a better job had he been kept by the Bills instead of Johnson. But these cries from Flutie fans are nothing new.

Marker Jacksonville mayor complains against blackouts [2:58 PM]
ESPN reports: The mayor of Jacksonville, John Delaney, has written letters to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Florida legislators in an effort to get the league to revise its blackout policy. The Jaguars experienced their first-ever TV blackout this season and expect that the game versus the Bills in Week 6 will also be banned from being shown on television in Jacksonville because it won't be a sellout.

Marker Rookie CB Williams, Bills 6th round pick, added to 49ers roster [2:25 PM]
ESPN reports: Jimmy Williams, 22, was a sixth-round draft choice of the Bills this spring, the 196th player selected overall. He was the only player drafted by the Bills who did not make the roster, but the club attempted to retain his rights by signing him to the practice squad. He declined the Bills' offer to sign instead with the 49ers PS, in part because of the presence of former Vanderbilt teammate Jamie Winborn, a LB with the 49ers. The two, both represented by agent Terry Bolar, now are roommates.

Marker CBS Power Rankings: Bills: 29 (was 30) [2:16 PM]
reports: 29. Buffalo Bills (30): The one bright spot is that coach Gregg Williams hasn't lost his sense of humor

The Bills are the highest ranked unwinning team.

Marker Tom Donahoe's Weekly Bills Update [9:35 AM] reports: "Right to the end, to the onside kick, we thought we had a chance to win the game. That's one thing you want to get out of your players. If you can get 60 minutes of effort from your players every week that you play, you're going to have a chance to win some games. The effort has to be there, and if it's not there, 11 players all out on every player, you're not good enough to win in this league."

Marker Bills looking to get Riemersma into the flow [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's difficult for me to get in the flow of the game when I'm checking protection and releasing to the flat, which I seem to be doing a lot in this offense," Riemersma said after the Bills' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "We've got to find a way to free the release guys and get rid of the ball quicker. Bottom line."'

Marker Johnson's moment with Jaguars remains his brightest [5:31 AM]
AP reports: 'Indeed, life hasn't been nearly as good for Johnson since he started the 1997 season opener for Jacksonville in place of the injured Mark Brunell and threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-27 win. The performance led to his trade to the Bills -- Jacksonville got a first- and fourth-round pick -- and a five-year, $25 million contract when he arrived.'

Marker Bills still waiting for TE to break out [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: '...Jay Riemersma is still waiting for his opportunity to become a major contributor to the Buffalo Bills offense. The sixth-year tight end has been told in each of the last two training camps that he would be a prime receiving target in Buffalo's passing offense, yet he has spent the majority of his time helping the Bills' perpetually weak offensive line protect quarterback Rob Johnson.'

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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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