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Buffalo Bills News - September 29, 2004

Marker A Bill believes he's due [5:00 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '"He's just not the same player," an NFL general manager said last week. "You can only take so many hits. It's not a question of courage. He's proven that. But your body can only take so much and then you start to react different. I doubt he even senses it. It's not a conscious thing, but you can't pull the trigger when you need to anymore."'

Marker Trouble on the line [5:00 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'The Bills' offensive line will be challenged by the Patriots' interchangeable ways Sunday when the teams meet in Buffalo. The Bills' line consists of left tackle Jonas Jennings, left guard Lawrence Smith, center Trey Teague, right guard Chris Villarrial and right tackle Mike Williams. Jennings, Teague and Williams are returning starters, while Villarrial was a top free-agent acquisition and Smith a first-year free agent signee. Leaky offensive line play (NFL-high 51 sacks in 2003) has been a concern in Buffalo in recent years and the well respected McNally, a 25-year NFL coaching veteran hired by first-year coach Mike Mularkey, is being counted on to help fix it.'

Marker Wednesday's New England Coverage [4:59 AM] reports:
A Bill believes he's due (Boston Globe)
Right on schedule (Boston Herald)
Pats chat with Tom E. Curran (Providence Journal)
Trouble on the line (Metro West Daily News)
Time for the real Seymour to show (Woonsocket Call)
No hype, just wins (Attleboro Sun Chronicle)
Numbers don't tell story for Seymour (Brockton Enterprise)
Patriots may join elites (Quincy Patriot Ledger)
Drew is blue (Lawrence Eagle Tribune)

Marker Foundering Bills have more questions than answers [4:58 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 'I still can’t figure out if he’s to blame for the Bills’ failure to throw the ball downfield or if it’s the fault of his line for failing to give him enough time. However, with each passing game, it seems more and more that Bledsoe is unable, or unwilling, to throw the ball quickly enough to avoid getting sacked as often as he does.'

Marker Bills vs. Patriots Preview [4:57 AM] reports: All conventional wisdom leads you to believe the Patriots will tie the NFL record with their 18th consecutive win. Both teams have had two weeks to get ready so they should both be well prepared. Bill Belichik is arguably the best coach in the game and giving him two weeks to prepare could be bad news for the Bills. The Bills are desperate for a victory and the Patriots are due to lose. The Bills will need to play a near perfect game to win this week. They stressed the mistakes they made in the first two weeks over the bye, I think that they were listening and will stop shooting themselves in the foot. In the NFL on any given Sunday anybody can win. So even though it makes no sense whatsoever I'm picking the Bills to pull off a monumental upset to save their season.

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September 28, 2004

Marker Flashback: Last-Second TD Beats Pats [3:40 PM] reports: 'Nov. 22, 1981: Maybe former New York Yankees star Yogi Berra was on to something when he said, ‘It ain’t over til it’s over.’ Fortunately, the Bills believed the same thing when they hosted New England that Sunday afternoon and came away with a 20-17 victory.'

Marker Pats shift attention to Bills [1:28 PM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"Their record is deceiving," Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour said. "They could easily be 2-0. They’re probably the best 0-2 team in the league."'

Marker Players Prefer Bye Week Mid-Season [1:15 PM] reports: 'I think it's going to be a very intense game this week at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The rivalry between the Bills and the Patriots has really heated up over the past few seasons. It's always a grudge match when these guys get together. The crowd will play a big part in the game. With the Patriots coming here it may be a better game than most people think. The Bills will have to play mistake free for the first time this season to beat New England, but it is possible. They need to come out and have a good opening drive to get their confidence back on offense.'

Marker HS Football "Coach of the Week" - Week 4 [1:15 PM] reports: 'Coach Jerry Smith of St. Francis High School has been named the Buffalo Bills high school football "Coach of the Week" for the fourth weekend of the 2004 season (Sept. 24-25).'

Marker Catching up with Bledsoe [1:04 PM]
Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports: 'It doesn't appear, however, that Bledsoe will be leading the Bills to a championship any time soon.'

Marker Bledsoe still looks lost [12:51 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Think of the Patriots of 2001-03 and a pair of Lombardi trophies spring to mind. Think of the Bills of 2002 and 2003, and it's their run-ins with the Pats - both on and off the field - that tell you all you need to know. If Pedro Martinez can declare the Yankees to be his daddy, the Bills might have to admit the same about the Patriots.'

Marker Struggling Bledsoe has fallen on tough times with the Bills [12:48 PM]
Brockton Enterprise reports: 'Would it be too much to ask an offense that features Bledsoe at quarterback, Travis Henry and Willis McGahee in the backfield and Eric Moulds and Josh Reed at wide receiver to exceed the point production one would expect from an NBA sixth man?'

Marker Bills fans continue support losing team [12:47 PM]
AP reports: 'And yet, as difficult as it's been in Buffalo, a city who's population has dropped by about 35,000 over the last 15 years, Bills fans are proving resilient.'

Marker Bills hope to derail Patriots' express [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You can't help but to look at this game as a great opportunity," said Bills safety Coy Wire. "There would be no better way for us to turn it around than against a team like New England."'

Marker Aerial circus has Bills fans wondering [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'That's the most discouraging thing about the Bills, that in a league where fortunes change so rapidly, they're one team that seems to be standing still.'

Marker Can Szabo's secrets help the Bills? [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'He knows what makes coach Bill Belichick tick, why quarterback Tom Brady is so successful, how defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel schemes a blitz. Heck, he knows how the Patriots take their coffee. But just how important is his input this week?'

Marker Patriots respect Bledsoe, 0-2 Bills [5:03 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``We are not as familiar with them as before with them having a new coach,'' Pats linebacker Roman Phifer said. ``They are going to do some things different but they do have a lot of the same players. We know that they are good players and they are capable of being a good team. The couple of games they lost, they could have won. It could have gone either way, so we are not taking anything for granted.'''

Marker Drew is the biggest draw when it comes to Bills [5:02 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"Every starting QB in the NFL is dangerous. All of them can beat you," said Pats safety Rodney Harrison. "It's just a matter of which Drew shows up. I don't think it's about him. It's about us. It's about us going out there and playing good, tight coverage against the receivers. When they catch it, we hit them and be fundamentally sound."'

Marker Patriots return from bye to battle the Bills in Buffalo New England Patriots [5:01 AM] reports: 'The Patriots are 13-6 against the Bills in their last 19 meetings.'

Marker Tuesday's New England Coverage [5:00 AM] reports:
Phifer still has that old touch (Boston Globe)
Patriots respect Bledsoe, 0-2 Bills (Boston Herald)
Dillon gives Pats a decisive leg up (Boston Herald)
Pats anxious to get the ball rolling again (Providence Journal)
Drew is the biggest draw when it comes to Bills (Providence Journal)
Graham moves to head of classs (Metro West Daily News)
Patriots Still Could Be Run Over (Hartford Courant)
Phifer sticks to routine (Springfield Republican)
Pats shift attention to Bills (Woonsocket Call)
Catching up with Bledsoe (Attleboro Sun Chronicle)
Bledsoe still looks lost (Quincy Patriot Ledger)
Struggling Bledsoe has fallen on tough times with the Bills (Brockton Enterprise)
One year after last loss, Patriots focus on next game (AP)
Patriots exit bye week with anxious feeling (
Patriots return from bye to battle the Bills in Buffalo (
Grogan's Grade: Bye Week (
Patriots fight a losing battle in Beantown (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Marker Why to watch: Patriots-Bills [4:59 AM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Run or pass, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said this week -- after Belichick took his gag off -- that this year's personnel is the best group he has ever had. Look for a wide-open attack as they try to get a big lead early. . . .'

Marker Beleaguered Line [4:58 AM] reports: '“I'm very confident about the O line, we're real close,” said running back Travis Henry. “We have shown in the preseason and training camp what type of football team we can be and I think we're going to get it done."'

Marker Inside slant [4:57 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'In four previous games against their old signal caller, the Patriots sacked Bledsoe 11 times, intercepted him seven times, held him to an average of 236 yards passing and won three times.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:56 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills line can't sustain its blocks long enough and Bledsoe can't buy any time, meaning they can't use Evans speed to get deep.'

Marker Notes, quotes [4:55 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'QB Drew Bledsoe has been almost as easy to sack as ex-Bill Rob Johnson, who was run out of town because of his inability to make plays under pressure. Bledsoe has been sacked 111 times in 34 games with Buffalo - an average of 3.3 per game. Johnson was sacked an average of 3.63.'

September 27, 2004

Marker Losman on track to begin practicing within five weeks [6:45 PM]
AP reports: '''Putting the plate in was first and foremost the smartest thing,'' Wichard said. ''This way there's no question about the healing of the bone. ... Now it's just a question of building it up, the bone marrow, and it heals.'''

Marker Ask him yourself: Tom Donahoe [5:03 PM] reports: raig Feinberg (Buffalo, NY): Mr. Donahoe, how do you justify your performance as GM when you have spent two first-round picks in 4 years on a QB, already misfired on one coaching staff, misjudged a No. 4 overall draft choice. Selected only 1-Pro Bowler in 4 years, and have a 17-33 record as the Bills GM? TD: In the three plus years we've been in Buffalo we've had a lot of issues to deal with and many of the issues we have dealt with successfully. People can pick and choose what they want to talk about with regard to our record in Buffalo and ultimately we will be judged by that record. We do feel that there are a lot of positives to our organization. There are a lot of positives to our team and we're going to continue to build on those positives. From three years ago we have a very healthy cap situation with our team we have basically transformed our roster. There are only two veteran players that still remain from the first team that we had here in Buffalo and there are a lot of positive signs things are improving. Some people see the glass as half empty and we've always chosen to see the glass as half full.

Marker Ask him yourself: Mike Mularkey [5:03 PM] reports: Matt Hagstrom (Bemus Point, NY): How long do you back Bledsoe when he just doesn't seem to be producing? MM: I think a one-game performance is way too early to start thinking about when will I pull him or when will I not pull him. I still believe that Drew gives us the best opportunity to win. Fans may not want to hear that, but some of it goes to the old adage that the QB receives too much blame when you lose and too much credit when you win.

September 26, 2004

Marker Bledsoe's talk is brave, but he acts like he's defeated [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills can rationalize all they want, but the leader of their offense is running out of time. And they're running out of options.'

Marker Bills need attitude, not sympathy [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'To borrow a political phrase, it's the offensive line, stupid.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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