Another Twist In Buffalo [4:38 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'They finished 4-0 in the exhibition season for only the third time in their history, but much of that good karma vanished Monday when coach Bill Belichick dumped team captain and spiritual leader Lawyer Milloy because the four-time Pro Bowl choice refused to take a pay cut from the $4.4 million he was due in 2003.'
It's time to measure up [4:37 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'Belichick has to wonder if his team is OK with the Milloy issue that broke only five days ago. He knows the players don't like it, even resent it, but he also undoubtedly expects them to play well in spite of those emotions. "Tuesday was a tough day," Belichick said, "but I think the overall concentration and focus on the field was good through the week. We'll be ready to go."'
Brown leads by example [4:36 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'I think that every year. We've just got to go out and prove it.'
How to fire a Lawyer [4:35 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'Milloy, as proud as they come, was apparently willing to take a sizable pay cut. He was also willing, if necessary, to test that open market - not always the friendliest of places at this time of the year. He did pretty well, though, with a reported 4-year, $15 million deal that included a $5 million signing bonus.'
Donahoe making the right moves [4:34 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Buffalo radio stations are calling Donahoe "the general manager of the century".'
Milloy ouster leaves a New England frost [4:33 AM]
Baltimore Sun reports: 'The aftershocks are still rippling through New England.'
Bills happy to pick up another Patriots castoff [4:32 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Rumor has it someone in New England was leaking word that safety Lawyer Milloy's game had slipped. Buffalo president and general manager Tom Donahoe has heard that one before. It's a good one. That's how the Bills got quarterback Drew Bledsoe in 2002.'
Ex-Patriots Bledsoe, Milloy ready to celebrate reunion [4:31 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'Lawyer Milloy and Drew Bledsoe, ex-Patriots reunited, will have a common goal when the Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots today: revenge.'
Report: Milloy claims Redskins made offer before Patriots cut him [4:30 AM]
AP reports: 'Milloy said his agent, Carl Poston, ``called some teams to see who would want me'' before he was cut Tuesday, and added: ``The Redskins gave us a bigger offer than the Patriots.'''
Buffalo Bills Season Preview [7:09 PM]
ExtraPoint.net reports: 'Greg Williams has been a poor imitation of a coach on match day, however with the talent available to him the last couple of years he has done a passable job for the team overall and with new additions to the coaching staff his game day decisions should continue to improve from the most dire to respectable. He is hard working and does learn, however, and this year te team enters the season well prepared and healthy, with some success in the play-offs a reachable goal.'
New England (9-7) at Buffalo (8-8) [6:58 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"I know everybody wants to hype the Bledsoe story again, but the important part is that we want to beat Buffalo, a division team," Belichick said. "If you want to do well in your division you have to do well against the division teams."'
Milloy raises anticipation for latest Bledsoe Bowl [4:50 PM]
AP reports: 'As season openers go, this is far from being another game. ''It's starting to turn into like the old backyard brawl, you know, guys are switching sides,'' Bills tight end Dave Moore said. ''It's good, it just adds to the whole drama of it.'' Or a potential bad dream. ''That would be a nightmare,'' Patriots fullback Larry Centers said, when asked to consider the prospect of the Bills and Milloy combining for a victory.'
Questionable timing [4:46 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Milloy, a four-time Pro Bowl safety with the Patriots, signed with the Bills Thursday and is likely to make his Buffalo debut Sunday against New England in a poetic-justice sort of season opener for both teams. Those headlines could soon be eclipsed by questions over whether his agent, Carl Poston, was in contact with other NFL teams before the Patriots released Milloy.
Hungry Henry shoots for the moon [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I love competing because it brings out the best in you," he said. "Whenever he gets healthy and they decide to put him out there, it's going to make us better. I know it's going to make me better."'
Milloy itching to face former mates [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Milloy offered one anecdote from the practice. "It felt weird when I was running scout team cards and I was actually playing myself," Milloy said.'
M&T Bank, Choice One sign sponsorship deals with Bills [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Companies like to become "official" product or service providers of NFL teams to promote their brands with the NFL's loyal fan base.'
Moulds says Bledsoe pressed [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bledsoe Bowl III, taking place Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, features more twists than a box of nightcrawlers. Three ex-Bills (Antowain Smith, Ted Washington, Larry Centers) face three-ex-Patriots (Bledsoe, Sam Gash, Lawyer Milloy), none leaving their former team with a Christmas card list for the front office.'
Team is happy to pay big bucks for a good Lawyer [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Patriots had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to resolve the issue or they would’ve been obligated to pay Milloy his full salary. Under a tight deadline, the sides never came to an agreement but were only $600,000 apart at the end of talking.'
Milloy's game plan is a secret [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '"If anybody has the ball, they've got to get hit," he said. "That's how I play. I never try to see numbers. I never try to see, you know, personalities or fame. We all line up the same. And I think everyone in the league, and not just the Patriots, knows what I bring to the table. That's what I bring to the game."'
Johnson lands in captain's chair [5:13 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Milloy will receive a $5 million bonus and a $2 million salary this year. Next season, and in 2005, he is scheduled to receive a $1.75 million roster bonus and $1 million salary, while in '06 Milloy is slated for a $1.5 million roster bonus and $1 million salary. The contract also includes assurances that the Bills will not name him their their franchise player when the deal expires.'
Trench rivalry on line [5:12 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Schobel and Light's battle could put a pair of new faces on a long Pats-Bills rivalry that has been filled with great one-on-one matchups.'
Bills `D' looks A-OK [5:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I sure wasn't happy about the situation and we've made some moves for a tighter defense this season,'' Fletcher said. ``We did a lot to shore up the front seven.'''
Harrison comes on strong [5:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Harrison is now the one responsible for setting a physical tone in the Pats secondary. The two-time Pro Bowler is the one who will line up the defense and call out the adjustments. He's the one who will creep up into the box to stuff the run. He's the one his teammates will look to as the last line of defense. In other words, he'll be Lawyer Milloy.'
Belichick: Cooler heads will prevail [5:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``After a few plays in the game, I don't think it's about which team slammed their helmets into their lockers the hardest coming out on the field,'' Belichick said. ``I think it's about what team can execute and play under pressure and make adjustments during the game and make good decisions."'
Centers, Milloy share the burden of proof [5:08 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I know the type of player I am. I know the player that I see when I look in the mirror," he said. "To go out and just confirm that is big for me, especially after a situation where I was fired, kicked out, sent away, put on the street, whatever you want to call it. It's time for me to go out and just make a statement."'
Rookie cornerback Wilson already wants a challenge [5:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"It's cool to get the Bills out of the gate," he said. "When I saw we had the Bills first, I was kind of happy because it's cold there. I was happy to get the Bills early on in the season and not in December."'
Questions remain with just one day until kickoff [5:06 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The No. 1 running back position has yet to be determined, though Bill Belichick hinted that both Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk will share the workload. They still don’t know who will start at cornerback alongside Ty Law, whether that be Tyrone Poole, Eugene Wilson or Asante Samuel, and they’ve yet to make a decision on who will replace Lawyer Milloy in the secondary among a trio of candidates.'
Belichick not playing head games with Bledsoe [5:05 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"Ridiculous," Belichick said. "I am not in anybody’s head. I am just trying to put together a game plan against each opponent that we play."'
Challenge awaits rookies [5:04 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'What happens when quarterback Drew Bledsoe goes looking to expose a rookie playing one of the game's most unforgiving positions? What happens when one or both players have to respond to adversity?'
Pats trying to turn corner [5:03 AM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: '‘‘I am sure that whatever they think our weaknesses are, they won't hesitate to go after them,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ‘‘Wherever they think they are, I am sure they will try to hit us. Talking defensively in general, as we said at the end of the season, if you are trying to get younger on defense, then you are obviously going to be less experienced there. There is no way to meld those two together. To be younger is to be younger. To be more experienced is to be older. You kind of have to make a choice there.'''
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