The Eagles' faithful glimpsing signs of progress [6:12 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'About the most intriguing development at the Eagles' preseason yawn against the visiting Buffalo Bills last night occurred hours before the first snap. A banner was unfurled in a corner once strictly reserved for cynicism and despair. "Big Red Has Restored Competence," it read, and, heralds should note, no one howled. Followers of the Bills might have had trouble with the cryptic message, but surely no fan of the feel-good Eagles could have.'
Special teams yield mixed results, but give much reason for hope [6:10 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Special teams tasted like a delicacy for the Eagles in the first half of last night's game against the Buffalo Bills at Veterans Stadium. That was not the case, however, in the fourth quarter.'
Reid says no plans to trade Pederson [6:08 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'As expected, Bills coach Wade Phillips didn't play many of his starters. Quarterback Rob Johnson and star wide receiver Eric Moulds remained on the sideline, as did starting tight end Jay Riemersma. Running back Antowain Smith, who is coming off an injury, saw limited action. Defensive end Marcellus Wiley, the man who made Bruce Smith expendable, also played more because he was coming off an injury.'
Getting kicks, little else [6:07 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'So the 50,000 or so who stewed in a sticky Veterans Stadium last night saw a lot of Alex Van Pelt, who played a lot as you'd expect Alex Van Halen to play. Football, not the drums.'
Air McNabb should have time to fly [6:05 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'On the Eagles first play from scrimmage, Antoine Winfield went deep. Donovan McNabb danced in the pocket, bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet like the prime Muhammad Ali shadow-boxing. The pass was a 55-yard frozen rope. You could have hung Ed Wade's bad trades on it. Antoine Winfield made a pretty diving catch. For the Buffalo Bills, that is.'
First boos, then boot for Doug? [6:03 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'Rossum's dive at Christie resulted in only a bruised knee for the kicker.'
Bills 16, Eagles 12 [6:00 AM]
AP reports: '"Hopefully, I showed the coach I can play when given the opportunity and help the team out," said [Sammy] Morris, who also had one catch for 30 yards. "And it hopefully gives the coaches the confidence to give me more opportunities in the future."'
Bills 16, Eagles 12 [5:55 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Rookie Sammy Morris made a strong case at securing a roster spot as the Buffalo Bills earned a 16-12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the exhibition finale for both teams.'
AFC East Preview [1:27 PM]
Dallas Morning News reports: '[BUFFALO BILLS] 2000 FORECAST: 9-7, AFC wild card'
AFC East Bests [1:26 PM]
Dallas Morning News reports: '[BEST] HEAD COACH: Wade Phillips, Buffalo'
The Greatest Father-Son Combinations In NFL History / Best Passers [1:25 PM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'Jack and Jeff Kemp: Jack led the Bills to back-to-back AFL titles in 1964-65 and started two other championship games. He won an AFL passing title with San Diego in 1960 and appeared in seven AFL All-Star Games.'
Stambaugh hoping Buffalo calls him back [10:41 AM]
Easton Express-Times reports: '...Cawley, listed as a rookie, is technically in his second season he cannot be put on Buffalo's practice squad. "Cawley will be cut when Flutie comes back, that's what I believe," Phil Stambaugh said. That could open the door for Stambaugh to return to the Bills on their practice squad.'
Stambaugh puzzled by release [10:39 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: '"I don't know what they really based letting me go on," said Stambaugh, who was puzzled by the move. "I didn't get that many reps in training camp (after Van Pelt signed). I guess that should have been a sign. Signing Van Pelt eliminated that No. 3 spot. "I was shocked," he admitted. "I could see if they cut me after Philadelphia, if I got some time and couldn't do the job. I didn't really get to play. I got time in an intra-squad scrimmage that I did OK in. Over the last couple of weeks, I was running the practice team, and I thought that's what was on their mind for me."'
Youth will be served in preseason finale [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Rookies and younger backups figure to get the bulk of the playing time for the Bills tonight when the team closes its preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium. Quarterback Rob Johnson may not play at all, coach Wade Phillips said. Many other Bills starters probably will only make cameo appearances, if they aren't also held out altogether.'
Feud for thought [8:07 AM]
SportsWritersDirect reports: 'It's obvious that these guys aren't bosom buddies. In fact, you have a better chance of seeing Al Gore at a Limp Bizkit concert than of Johnson co-starring in one of Flutie's cheesy long-distance commercials. The task now is not to let this tension infect others. The two don't have to hang out, but they must be able to coexist.'
Rob's reign [8:04 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The 27-year-old quarterback didn't take over the team until the last regular-season game last season, irritating Flutie fans and Flutie himself. After Buffalo lost its playoff game with Tennessee, Flutie charged that it wouldn't have happened had he been the quarterback. Maybe, but the popular opinion throughout NFL circles was that Buffalo made a move it could have - maybe should have - made earlier. Johnson has the better arm; Flutie was running into trouble. Johnson could perk up an offense that wound down as the season wore on; Flutie was trying to do too much by himself.'
Administers of defense [8:02 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Bills saw the potential of losing Smith a few years ago and drafted Marcellus Wiley and in this year's draft, they got Erik Flowers. So that brings an infusion of young talent to the defense, but what about the invaluable veteran leadership Smith took with him? SS Henry Jones and DE Phil Hansen have taken on that role. With 10 seasons each under their belt they will carry the torch of the great Buffalo teams of the early 1990s to the class of the new millennium.'
By the numbers [8:01 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Buffalo Bills didn't make the playoffs last year because of their offense...No, this was the type of team defensive-oriented coach Wade Phillips loved.'
Settling the Bills [7:59 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'There are two things they've got to figure out right away in Buffalo. One, who's the man at quarterback, Rob Johnson or Doug Flutie? And two, if it's Johnson, can he stay healthy? The team has thought for two years now that Johnson was the guy, but there's another faction of the team that knows the wins have come mainly with Flutie. While Flutie is hurt right now, he'll be back, but Johnson is going to get the nod.'
Tit-for-tat [6:13 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Quarterback controversies germinate in the strangest places but few more strange than the pages of Penthouse where, it often is said, the two tight-end offence was perfected.'
Smith: Injury won't slow me [6:02 AM]
D and C reports: '"I've missed two games and I'd like to get back in the flow of things," he said. "I know I have to get back on top of my conditioning and you don't want to get that label as injury prone. I want to come back this year strong and be productive and help us take a step forward."'
Johnson shows he can fight back [6:01 AM]
D and C reports: 'Johnson's dad once said that there is indeed substance to Rob and we would see it in time. Now that he has been firmly reestablished as the team's starting quarterback, that time has arrived. He truly has gone from the outhouse, ahem, to Penthouse. With any luck, Johnson will say a few more things this season -- hopefully to the local media -- that are worth quoting.'
Johnson is critical of Flutie in magazine [4:00 PM]
AP reports: 'There has been friction between the two men during much of the last three seasons, as they battled for the starting quarterback job, but Johnson said the conflict has been exaggerated. "If it was that bad -- I mean, we're around each other eight or 10 hours a day -- something else would have happened by now if we hated each other that much," Johnson told the Buffalo News. "It was just a situation last year." Andre Reed criticized Flutie on his Web site around the time of Reed's departure and other players are rumored to have privately criticized Flutie promoting himself at the expense of the team.'
Are Bills facing a QB controversy? [1:41 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '...Johnson was quick to add, "There's no ill will (now) we help each other all the time. What I said referred just to that week." He did wonder, though, "Why are you guys asking so much about this now? You didn't do that (when Flutie made his remarks in Canada)?" But we quickly pointed out that, to be sure, we had made a very big issue of Flutie's annoyingly self-serving comments to the Canadian press. "Oh," Johnson said sheepishly, "I guess that didn't get to me out in California."
Johnson sounds off on Flutie in magazine [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Penthouse asked the question, "How did you feel when Doug Flutie said the Bills would have beaten Tennessee if he'd started at quarterback instead of you?" "If he was covering kicks, maybe (laughs) . . . maybe he could have been out there on that final play," he said. "I think that (what Flutie said) was more of an insult to the entire team. That's just the type of guy Doug is. He's not much fun to play with - you just have to deal with it."'
A leader emerges by stating the naked truth [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Little things can have a massive impact on a team. Johnson has taken a big step forward as a leader. By telling Penthouse that Flutie had insulted his teammates with his incessant whining about the Tennessee playoff game, Johnson told the fans, his teammates, the entire football world, that this is his team now.'
Panos to miss at least three games [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills right guard Joe Panos will be sidelined for at least the first three games of the regular season after partially tearing ligaments and a muscle along the arch of his right foot. Panos was still on crutches but moving better Tuesday after he received results from a magnetic resonance imaging exam. The injury, to an area called the plantar fascia, is not expected to require surgery. He could be back by the bye week Sept. 24. "The first week is nothing but rest and ice until the swelling goes down," Panos said. "We have to let it heal and start some aggressive therapy. It's not completely torn."'
Johnson raps Flutie [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: '...one query in particular dealt with a pertinent topic -- Flutie's interview last February with Canadian cable sports network TSN when he said, "I honestly believe that if I would have been playing (in the playoff loss to Tennessee), we could have, would have, won." Johnson's response in the Penthouse feature: "If he was covering kicks, maybe (laughs). Maybe he could have been out there on that final play. I think that (what Flutie said) was more of an insult to the entire team. "That's just the type of guy Doug is. He's not much fun to play with -- you just have to deal with it."'
Hard-luck Panos out of action four weeks [6:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'An MRI taken Monday revealed a tear in the Plantar Fascia, an area of ligaments and tendons on the bottom of the foot. There is also a strain that is affecting his big toe. Originally, the training staff was hoping Panos would only miss the season opener against Tennessee, but the bad news is it now looks like he'll be out four weeks. The good news? It could have been as much as six weeks. "After it happened I was like `What did I do to deserve this kind of stuff?' " said Panos, who missed all of last season due to neck surgery. "But it happens for a reason, though I don't know what the reason is. I'm out for a little bit longer than I thought, those are the cards that I've been dealt."'
Former Bills defensive standout Tom Day dead at 65 [6:37 PM]
AP reports: 'Day was a member of the defensive unit that helped the Bills win AFL titles in 1964 and 1965. Day also played for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers before retiring in 1968. After retirement, Day worked to help former NFL players in times of need through the retired players division of the NFL Players Association, Day was active in the United Way. He was also a member of the Bills Alumni and served as president of the organization for two years.'
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