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Buffalo Bills News - December 23, 2001

Marker Q&A with Raion Hill [6:25 AM]
D and C reports: '[Q:] The man you replaced, Henry Jones, started for 10 seasons and was among the NFL's best-ever strong safeties and one of the Bills' most popular players. How did Henry help you? [A:] ''I learned a ton from Henry, not only how to play on the field but how to act off the field, because he was a good person. He had a good reputation, a guy who handled himself like a true professional and I admired that a lot.'''

Marker Bills scouting report [6:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'Dan Reeves is 2-7 lifetime against the Bills.'

Marker Young guns give Bills fans hope for future [6:23 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The one encouraging aspect of an otherwise awful year has been the performance of several young players with whom the Bills will build their future.'

Marker Ebbing season foretells change [6:21 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: '"Losing always makes it seems longer and tougher," linebacker Mark Simoneau said. "You have to focus. . . . And keep grinding."'

Marker Expect unexpected from banged-up Bills [6:20 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Lately, teams have had surprises for the Falcons, and they haven't adjusted well. They'd better today. The Bills have lost five games by a touchdown or less.'

Marker Clements making an impact in league [6:19 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: '''Each week he plays more confidently,'' said Buffalo coach Gregg Williams. ''As we get better around him, we think you'll see more plays and bigger plays because he has the ability to take more risks. He's more than a pure cover-corner kind of guy. He's a guy who can play in the run front and do some special things there.'''

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December 22, 2001

Marker Buffalo Bills Player and Others Defrauded - SEC [5:22 PM]
Reuters reports: 'In 1999, Winfield, who has played professional football for three years after a collegiate career at Ohio State, gave Yetts $1.35 million to put in the stock market for his retirement and his children's education, among other things, the SEC said. Instead, Yetts used some of the money to pay country club dues, credit card bills, student loans and insurance premiums, alleged the SEC, which is seeking to have him repay investors and pay a fine.'

Marker Former OSU athlete among those bilked in scheme, suit says [5:12 PM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'Former Ohio State University football star Antoine Winfield and 13 others lost $1.8 million in a fraudulent investment scheme devised by a former OSU wrestling champ, federal regulators alleged in a lawsuit yesterday.'

Marker Bills cornering market on hits in secondary [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Winfield was solid before this season. Clements' emergence this year makes a tandem that could be together for years.'

Marker Bills show kindness to loved ones [5:46 AM]
D and C reports: 'Of course, at 2-11, the Bills can give themselves an early present with a win over Atlanta tomorrow.'

Marker Falcons excelling in special teams [5:43 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Leaks on the offense and defense have been the main story line in the Falcons' 6-7 season, which continues Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. They overshadow what has been a noteworthy performance by the special teams, coached by Joe DeCamillis.'

Marker Calf strain might sideline Christian [5:41 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Mohr called the Bills "a great organization," although he was perturbed by how it ended. Mohr said no one from the new management team, led by president and general manager Tom Donahoe, called to tell him he was getting cut. He found out when a reporter called for his reaction. "I guess different strokes for different folks," Mohr said. "That's the way some people are."'

December 21, 2001

Marker Bills face a sack full of QB questions [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But perhaps most telling is not how many times Johnson was sacked, but how infrequently Van Pelt has been since he took over.'

Marker Bills make rare visit to Atlanta [9:00 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Buffalo's most famous game in Atlanta wasn't against the Falcons, but the Dallas Cowboys, as the Georgia Dome was the site of Super Bowl XXVIII. Unfortunately for the Bills, the fourth time to the Super Bowl wasn't the charm, as a 13-6 halftime lead over the Cowboys evaporated when James Washington returned Jim Kelly's fumble to tie the game, and game MVP Emmitt Smith ran for a pair of touchdowns as Dallas won their second straight Super Bowl title at the expense of the Bills.'

Marker Scouting the Falcons with John Guy [8:56 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "But at the same time, Chris Chandler's doing what he can do with that offense, throwing the ball, moving it around, but they haven't had Jamal Anderson in there to give them the running game they need, and they miss that. They're not running the ball like they would like to."

Marker Bills have a few cornerstones for future [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'Clements, who supplanted Ken Irvin in the starting lineup by Buffalo's fifth game against Jacksonville, has teamed with Antoine Winfield to give the Bills one of the better cornerback duos in the league.'

Marker View from sideline pains Anderson [5:15 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: '"It's been emotional; there have been a lot of dark nights," said Anderson, injured Sept. 30 on the opening drive of the 34-14 victory at Arizona. "You turn those things into the fire that gets you back on the field. Watching it slip away, when you can't participate . . . it's almost like watching your family get robbed and you can't do anything about it."'

Marker Dark days for Blackmon, defense [5:14 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel's 6.5 sacks are third in the NFL among rookies, trailing Cincinnati's Justin Smith (7.5) and Pittsburgh linebacker Kendrell Bell (7.0).'

December 20, 2001

Marker Bills strive to remain motivated [9:20 PM]
AP reports: '"This is kind of like working for a company that you know is going out of business in a couple of months. How do you go out and put your best foot forward?"'

Marker Bills Grade: Worse off. [3:40 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Rob Johnson: Everybody but Mario Cuomo weighed in on the Johnson vs. Doug Flutie debate last offseason, and the whole mess did make for a heck of a Bills-Chargers game in October. But you can't ignore these two realities: Johnson got hurt a lot, like he always does, and when he did play, he didn't win much. Like always. Thus, Buffalo made the wrong decision for 2001. Flutie would have given them a shot at more success than 2-11. But long term, Johnson may still be the answer. That is, if the Bills bring him back, which they appear to be leaning toward.

Gregg Williams: Last year, the Bills were in playoff contention until the final two weeks of the season. This year, the Bills were in playoff contention until the regular season started. With the salary cap cutbacks that took place this year, Buffalo never really had a chance. The best hope is that this was a take-your-medicine type of season that bears quick fruit in the future. Still, somewhere out there, Wade Phillips is smiling, and counting his money from that last Ralph Wilson paycheck.

Marker Packers decide not to add Ex-Bill Cornelius Bennett [1:02 PM]
ESPN reports: The rehabilitation of the Green Bay Packers battered linebacker unit won't include the addition of five-time Pro Bowl performer Cornelius Bennett. Team officials having concluded after a workout that the 14-year veteran was not in good enough physical condition to help the team.

Marker Patriots got lucky in rebuilding to get Ex-Bill Antowain Smith [12:58 PM]
ESPN reports: To be successful, you have to be lucky and the Patriots got a few breaks. Belichick knew Antowain Smith from trying to stop him for years in Buffalo. After the Bills released him, the Patriots signed him for $500,000. He's gained 920 yards on 240 carries.

Marker Its Jim Kelly Time [12:28 PM]
LA Times reports: He was, however, more than their QB, much more. He was the architect -- the creator -- of the Bills' new offense, which was a fast-break, no-huddle, impressively pass-oriented offense. First he envisioned it, then he sold it to the Buffalo coaches, and finally he directed it on the field, calling all the plays himself. That first year, 1990, Kelly's offense was the most remarkable new thing in American sports.

Marker Laughing stock no longer [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Still, that's a long way up from being the laughingstock of the league, which is what they were in 2000.'

Marker Ho, ho, hum . . . empty seats await Bills, Falcons [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Falcons rank 30th in the NFL in attendance with an average of 54,628 fans through seven home games.'

Marker Bills made right choice on bottles [7:54 AM]
D and C reports: 'When two major beer makers offered their product to sell in nifty plastic bottles last year, at least 20 NFL teams jumped on the idea. The Buffalo Bills are happy they weren't among them.'

Marker Leave your hat on at the stadium [7:53 AM]
D and C reports: It's tough. It's one of those things where what we do is dangerous (enough) and I wish fans would at least adhere to the rules. It's something that needs to be worked on.

Marker Reeves increases Kozlowski workload [7:52 AM]
D and C reports: 'About 45,000 fans are expected to attend Sunday's game. Keith Brooking, the Falcons' star linebacker who grew up in Georgia and attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, doesn't understand the apathy. "They've been kind of complaining about the Braves attendance as well," Brooking said. "I don't know what it is about this city."'

Marker Bob Christian: Ultimate anti-star [7:51 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Christian, a 5-foot-11, 232-pound fullback, is blocking as well as anyone at his position in the NFL. He has become an integral part of the Falcons' offense and has compiled several career highs as a result. He has been in the league for 10 years and continues to improve. But crow? Forget it.'

Marker Dome joins bottle ban for Falcons game [7:50 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'The incidents, however, led Georgia Dome officials to reconsider the notion that the sober and well-hydrated are not also capable of mayhem. Henceforth, starting with Sunday's Falcons game against the Buffalo Bills, fans purchasing water will drink it out of cups, as well, not water bottles.'

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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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