Are Bills trying to buffalo Belichick on QB issue? [5:51 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'In a move that probably was designed to give Bill Belichick pause, Wade Phillips told reporters yesterday that he hadn't decided whether Doug Flutie or Rob Johnson would be starting at quarterback when the 4-4 Buffalo Bills face the 2-6 Pats Sunday at Foxboro Stadium.'
Not Business As Usual [5:50 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'As Belichick retools the Patriots, the middle of the offensive line - guards and centers - seems to have stabilized. Belichick cut 1999 fifth-round pick Ed Ellis at the start of training camp when it became obvious to him that Ellis had size but a lousy work ethic. After praising the talent of 6-6, 350-pound second-year pro Derrick Fletcher during training camp, Belichick started him in the opener and cut him two weeks later. He cut third-year backup center Jason Andersen two weeks ago.'
Johnson not ready; Flutie set to start against Patriots [8:34 PM]
AP reports: 'Barring miraculous improvement to Rob Johnson's injured shoulder, Doug Flutie will make his third straight start when Buffalo faces New England on Sunday.'
Wednesday's Bills Notes [3:14 PM]
Shout! reports: 'If Doug Flutie ends up being the Lou Gehrig of football, Rob Johnson may never play for the Buffalo Bills again. Johnson is questionable against the Patriots, but even if he were 1000 percent he most likely wouldn't start. Wade Phillips wouldn't say one way or the other.'
Buffalo Bills Desktop Wallpaper [3:13 PM]
TBD reports: Download great Buffalo Bills artwork to use as wallpaper for your PC. Includes a calendar! Free!
Charity cases [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Tuesdays are the traditional day off for NFL players during the season, but for many it's a busy time for those active in community projects. Defensive end Marcellus Wiley and Sammy Morris visited young patients at Roswell Park. Tight end Jay Riemersma was the guest speaker at an assembly at Clarence Central High School. Tight end Sheldon Jackson participated in an after-school arts program with students at the Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy. Cornerback Donovan Greer taped a public service announcement on the dangers of drinking and driving at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'
Bjornson, Floyd are repositioned [8:03 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '...coach Bill Belichick plans to try two position shifts this week in practice to see whether he can get more punch into the offense. On Monday, his staff informed tight end Bjornson that he was to learn the wide receivers' plays and Floyd, a fullback by trade, to master the tight end's job.'
Pats get future line on Hamilton [8:02 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'While the important work has yet to be done, the Patriots began to rebuild their defensive line for the future yesterday when they agreed to terms with defensive end Bobby Hamilton on a three-year contract extension.'
Veteran Rucci cut loose by Pats [8:01 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Coach Bill Belichick continued to retool his roster yesterday when he released Rucci, an eight-year veteran and full-time starter at right guard the previous four seasons.'
Flutie is Phillips' best nightmare [8:00 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Flutie's a cynical, hard-bitten veteran who retains a self-confidence so overwhelming it verges on megalomania.'
Smith is the wizard Bills can thank for Flutie magic [7:59 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Call him the Kurt Warner of pro personnel directors. Because, like the Rams' quarterback, A.J. Smith came out of obscurity to become one of the best in the NFL at his position.'
Lions' free safety a free thinker [7:58 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '[The Buffalo Bills] could not afford to give [Kurt] Schulz the money he wanted, and only now are people beginning to understand that he might have been Buffalo's biggest offseason loss.'
Bills' victory overshadows play calling [1:33 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'I hate to be critical ... but heck, that's what a column is for...'
Flutie no fun to play [1:31 PM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"Doug Flutie?" said Lawyer Milloy. "I don't want to talk about that little (expletive)."'
Bills enjoy big plays on defense [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There is little doubt the Buffalo Bills have one of the strongest defenses in the National Football League. Just imagine how good the unit would be if it starts creating more big plays.'
QB pecking order remains the same [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quarterback controversy? What quarterback controversy? As far as coach Wade Phillips is concerned, it does not exist with his team.'
You Make the Call! [8:46 AM]
Shout! reports: '"You Make the Call" is a presentation of both real and imagined NFL scenarios, where we invite you to "make the call" based upon the Official Rules for the NFL for 1999. Good luck, because you'll need it.'
Who's at Quarterback? [8:45 AM]
Shout! reports: 'Wade Phillips wouldn't commit to a starting quarterback for the Bills' game at New England Sunday, Nov. 5. Rob Johnson had said he was going to throw Monday, but after coming from a team meeting, Phillips wasn't sure whether the early-season starter had thrown.'
Phil Hansen Out 4-6 Weeks [8:44 AM]
Shout! reports: 'One thing we can expect against New England is that the Bills again will use the nickel defense that made a successful debut against the Jets. But they'll have to do it without left defensive end Phil Hansen.'
Belichick can barely contain praise [6:21 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Though the Bills have yet to name their starting quarterback for Sunday - Rob Johnson or Doug Flutie - Patriots coach Bill Belichick is preparing for Flutie. "I expect it to be Doug," said Belichick. "You can't rule it out. Last year Rob started the playoff game, and if he's healthy, I suppose we could see him. I expect to see Doug because he's playing well and the team plays well with him in there."'
Belichick knows Flutie's act well [6:20 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"He gets away from people and keeps the play alive with good judgment and he's an accurate thrower," Belichick said. "Part of his being a quarterback is to pull the ball down, reverse his field, make the guy jump up in the air and pull it down again."'
Flutie has fans among Pats who will be out to get him [6:18 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Safety Larry Whigham wants to be counted as one of Doug Flutie's biggest fans. "He's earned my utmost respect," the veteran said yesterday of Buffalo's scrappy little quarterback. "You can talk about his size, the way he throws the ball or whatever . . . the bottom line is that he wins games."'
Patriots Preparing For Chase [6:17 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"[Flutie's] tough. He's not a guy you look forward to playing against. He's a pain in the butt."'
Jet report card [6:16 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Defensive backs: Another poor job, as Bills' WR Eric Moulds caught six catches for 137 yards with CB Marcus Coleman covering him. Coleman and FS Scott Frost were beaten on a pivotal 52-yard pass to Moulds. Nickel back Ray Mickens had a tough day, with three balls for 44 yards caught on him by WR Jeremy McDaniel out of the slot.'
Linebacker's mom campaigns for her son [6:03 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Harriet Cowart wants to see her son, Sam, win a trip to Hawaii in February. She has begun the effort by doing what any good mother in this era of high-speed technology would do: Via the team e-mail at www.buffalobills.com she has asked 20,000 fellow Bills fans to help her.'
Flutie had eye on CFL record [5:44 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'In his days as an Argonauts quarterback, Doug Flutie had it in his mind to get to Ron Lancaster before Damon Allen beat him to the punch. But when four-down football beckoned before the 1998 season, Flutie gave up his chase to become the CFL's career passing yards leader.'
Station asks fans to vote for Flutie or Johnson [5:42 AM]
CP reports: 'Local sports radio station WGR 55 has organized a mock election for Nov. 7 with fans voting for either Flutie or Johnson. The station ordered 20,000 election signs -- 10,000 for each quarterback. Some people have taken it to heart, sticking a Flutie or Johnson sign on their lawns.'
Johnson not ruled out for Sunday [5:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills coach Wade Phillips was asked yesterday about the status of quarterback Rob Johnson, and he said Johnson cannot be ruled out of Sunday's game against New England. His status will be evaluated during the week when Phillips finds out whether Johnson is able to throw without pain.'
Hansen's loss hurts Bills [5:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'Hansen suffered a sprained right knee late in the first half during a scrum following a Vinny Testaverde fumble. The 10-year veteran and team leader will miss at least four weeks, possibly as many as six. Hansen said yesterday he doesn't want to put a time frame on the injury, but he did not seemed too encouraged by the way he felt. He will undergo an MRI today.'
Phillips: Flutie vs. Johnson controversy is 'media generated' [8:11 PM]
AP reports: '"The quarterback controversy -- and this is just my opinion -- is media generated in that for me there's no controversy because we got good quarterbacks that we can win with," Phillips said. "The controversy comes when I can't find a quarterback to win with, and I have to go from one to the other and back, and then say, 'Well, the third-team guy can come up and play for those two guys."'
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