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Buffalo Bills News - January 5, 2003

Marker Offensive line shows improvement [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: '“I really believe it was an instrumental part of the season,” coach Gregg Williams said, referring to the play of the revamped line. “We had some skill guys in place, and obviously we brought Drew in for a big part of the improvement, but he has to have those five guys up front to have the chance to do what he does.”'

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January 4, 2003

Marker NFL Announces Pro Bowl Starters [6:29 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The starting all-star lineups for the 2003 Pro Bowl were announced today at halftimes of the AFC and NFC Wild Card playoff games. The AFC All-Star starters were announced during the Indianapolis at New York Jets game and the NFC starters at the Atlanta at Green Bay game.

Marker Dickerson will drop off the dial until Bills resume play in September [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'WGR-AM General Manager Greg Ried announced a move that Dickerson has openly discussed - his impending departure until the Bills' regular season starts up again in September.'

Marker Bledsoe says playoffs are next step [6:28 AM]
D and C reports: '“The expectations within the team and everywhere should be for us to make the playoffs,” he said. “We won’t back off of that one bit. This year, for this team to go from 3-13 to 8-8 is a step forward. We feel like we should’ve been better, been in the playoffs, but next year definitely. This team should be a playoff team and anything less will be unacceptable.”'

Marker Bills getting even more Donahoe-ish [6:27 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Of the 60 players currently on Buffalo’s squad, including injured reserve and non-football-related injury, a total of 14 — less than a quarter — were with the team when Donahoe became president/general manager in January of 2001. And that number will shrink.'

Marker Bledsoe lets Bills linemen share in his return to the Pro Bowl [6:26 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"Anytime you have an offense where you have two 1,000-yard receivers [Peerless Price and Eric Moulds] and a 1,400-yard rusher [Travis Henry], it's a reflection of the guys up front who allow that to happen," Bledsoe said. "They don't get as much recognition, so I thought it was the right thing to do to bring them along."'

January 3, 2003

Marker A two-for-one comeback special [9:34 PM]
Sportsnet.ca reports: It was ten years ago on January 3, 1993. The AFC Wild Card game between the Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills.

Marker Woodlands High alum completes rookie season with Bills [9:26 PM]
Woodlands Villager reports: 'A year ago, Grant Irons was sitting in a South Bend, Ind. classroom, pursuing graduate courses at the University of Notre Dame.
This year, he's mulling a suddenly bright future as a defensive end in the National Football League.'

Marker Bills Greatest Comebacks [2:04 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalo 37, Indianapolis 35 - September 21, 1997 at Rich Stadium The Bills mounted the second-larges comeback in NFL regular season history when they overturned a 26-0 deficit. Rookie RB Antowain Smith capped off Buffalo's scoring frenzy when he crashed through the line and scampered 54 yards. He had scored the go-ahead TD (30-29) on a one-yard plunge on the previous series.

Marker The Comeback vs. Houston - How it Happened [2:02 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Two plays into the Oilers' next drive, Bills safety Henry Jones intercepted a deflected Moon pass and returned it 15 yards to the Houston 23-yard line. The Bills gained five yards on three plays and faced a fourth-and-five. Time out, Buffalo. Reich convinced Levy to go for it on fourth down. He then saw Reed break away from the safety and hit him on the goal line for 18 yards and a touchdown. Houston 25, Buffalo 31. In a span of six minutes and 52 seconds, the Bills had cut their deficit from 32 points to four.

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 3, 1993 (Comeback Game) [2:02 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalo scored four TDs in under seven minutes in the third quarter, and rallied from a 35-3 deficit to down the Oilers 41-38, marking the greatest comeback in NFL history.

Marker Buffalo Bills NFL Auction [12:52 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Claim a one of a kind item for your collection and bid on the actual jersey (Reebok size 46) worn by wide receiver Eric Moulds in the Bills' win over the Dolphins on 12/1/02. In this huge win for the Bills, Moulds had five catches for 130 yards and one score. Also autographed by Moulds immediately after the game, this jersey will be a valuable addition to any Bills fan's collection. Bid today!

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 3, 1982 [12:47 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Cincinnati jumped out to a 14-0 1st quarter lead, after cashing in on a long punt return and an INT, and defeated Buffalo 28-21, to secure the 1st postseason victory in the history of the Bengals’ franchise.

Marker Playoff Flashback: Jan. 3, 1981 [12:47 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: In dramatic fashion, San Diego rallied from a 14-3 deficit as QB Dan Fouts connected with WR Ron Smith on a 50-yard scoring pass with just 2:08 remaining in the game. The reception was only the 5th of the season for Smith.

Marker Alumni Update: Joe Cribbs [9:43 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Joe Cribbs had a very successful rookie campaign. A consensus choice as AFC Rookie-of-the-Year, Cribbs finished second in the conference with 1,185 rushing yards and was the only rookie to start in the Pro Bowl. The key to his early success?

January 2, 2003

Marker Send your question to Drew Bledsoe [2:46 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Bledsoe finished the season with a strong game, completing 23 of 31 passes (74.2%) for 231 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT. His quarterback rating in the season finale was 105.7. It was one of six times in 2002 that the first-year Bills quarterback had a rating of over 100 and the 28th time in his career.

Marker Bills' TV ratings top all CBS affiliates [1:14 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'According to figures released from Nielsen Media Research and WIVB-TV, the Bills had the highest market-by-market ratings of all CBS affiliates across the country and third overall behind Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.'

Marker 5th Down: Go, Henry, Go [11:32 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: In the course of one year, Travis Henry has completed a marathon run in sprinter's time. If you compare the rookie of 2001 to the veteran of 2002, you'll find a man who has traveled the greatest of distances in the quickest of times.

Marker Q&A With Definsive Line Coach John Levra [11:31 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "My recommendations would just to be… our objective would be to improve our pass rush. We haven't done a great job of that this year. We would certainly like to put more pressure on the quarterback. I think we've done a decent job of playing the run most of the time. I would probably try to get some guys bigger and stronger before next season."

Marker Cincinnati Holds First Pick In 2003 Draft [9:53 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bengals' choice will be followed by the Detroit Lions picking second and Houston Texans third. Buffalo - 14th.

Marker Buffalo Bills 2003 Opponents [9:13 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The NFL has a regular-season scheduling rotation under the current realignment plan. The schedules will take the Bills through a cycle of games - home and away - against every other team in the league. In these seven seasons, the Bills will play every other team at least twice - once home and once away.

Marker Fletcher proud to walk in Spielman's path [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He did a better job of anticipating plays and getting on the proper side of the lead blockers the second half of the year than the first.'

Marker A reason to shout [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills of 1988 entered the domain of the NFL's elite teams. The Bills of 2003 are on the doorstep. We can hardly wait for training camp to start.'

Marker Bills may pursue LeBeau [6:13 AM]
D and C reports: '“Anytime you can get a coach like Dick LeBeau, you try to fit him in anywhere you can,” Donahoe told bengals.com. “I would obviously be interested in something like that because of what I think of him.” The two were together in Pittsburgh from 1992-96, when Donahoe was the Steelers’ director of football operations and LeBeau served as secondary coach and later defensive coordinator.'

January 1, 2003

Marker LeBeau interests Bills [4:08 PM]
Bengals.com reports: 'LeBeau ended his run as Bengals head coach in Buffalo this past Sunday, but the Bills are interested in extending his career in the NFL to a 45th season. Bills president Tom Donahoe said Wednesday morning that he wants to explore adding LeBeau to his staff in some form even though he doesn’t anticipate major changes on Buffalo’s defensive side of the ball.'

Marker Mike Williams makes ESPN "ALL ROOKIE TEAM" [1:09 PM]
ESPN reports: Up front are a trio of first-round picks, a second-rounder and a free agent. Minnesota's Bryant McKinnie joins fellow top 10 pick Mike Williams of Buffalo at tackle despite [Bryant McKinnie] missing half the season because of a holdout.

Marker Bledsoe looks ahead after season of records [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It will feel even better next year when we are a playoff team."'

Marker Bills prepare to huddle up [5:46 AM]
D and C reports: 'This season, Williams coached with a roster where 24 percent of the cap space was devoted to players the Bills had cut. Next season, that “dead” money will drop to around 10 percent.'

Marker Local news in brief [5:46 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'U.S. Bank, based in Cleveland, filed suits Monday against Buffalo Bills' running back Travis Henry and Reggie Germany, an Ohio State University wide receiver the Bills cut this season.'

Marker Former NFL star Thomas finishes treatment program [5:45 AM]
AP reports: Former Pro Bowl running back Thurman Thomas admitted to being a recovering alcoholic and recently spent 28 days in a rehabilitation program in Minnesota. Thomas told members of the Purdue and Washington football teams at a Sun Bowl luncheon Monday that he has had problems with alcohol since retiring from football two years ago.

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
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