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Buffalo Bills News - September 24, 2003

Marker Offense might be best defense against Bills [5:17 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"Miami controlled the clock, and Buffalo's offense never got into a rhythm," Eagles linebacker Ike Reese said Monday, as the Birds reconvened. "To me, that's a little bit of a blueprint of the way to beat those guys. You've got to control the clock, because if their offense gets enough chances, they're going to put points on the board."'

Marker A Sneak Peek at the Bills [5:16 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Injuries are decimating the Bills' backfield. Backup running back Sammy Morris will miss at least two weeks after surgery Monday to repair a hernia, and backup fullback Phil Crosby cracked his fibula against Miami. With Henry questionable for Sunday, the Bills are slated to announce today whether they will sign another tailback this week.'

Marker Reese: Eagles aren't 'giving up' [5:14 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'What Reese saw on TV on Sunday was both encouraging and concerning. After scoring 69 points while winning in its first two games — including a mauling of the same Patriots team that handled the Eagles — Buffalo suffered a 17-7 loss to Miami. ''They're definitely beatable,'' Reese said. ''After the first two weeks, they looked like world-beaters, headed for the Super Bowl.'''

Marker Modrak part of upgrade in Buffalo [5:11 AM]
Trenton Times reports: '"I can't say enough about the people here," Modrak said. "Obviously Tom and I know each other well and that makes for a comfortable situation. But Greg (head coach Williams) is good to work with, and I can't say enough about (owner) Ralph Wilson. He's an old-school guy who wants to win. You tell him what you want to do, and he says, `If it's going to work, do it.' "'

Marker Like Eagles, Bills aiming to bounce back [5:10 AM]
Trenton Times reports: '"It's a long season," Bills fullback Sam Gash said. "We have 13 more games to play, so we're going to watch the film and correct our mistakes and move on. We got Philly this week, so that's what we're going to do."'

Marker Eagles Can Take Cue from Dolphins' Williams this Sunday [5:09 AM]
Comcast Sportsnet reports: '"Buffalo never got a chance to get into a rhythm," Reese said. "They were out there, and the big plays weren't there for them. Miami's defense was fresh the whole night, and they were able to get after those guys."'

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September 23, 2003

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Tom Janik [8:24 PM] reports: '"All I did was jump up and down all day after we beat San Diego," Janik said. "We all had a good game. We whipped the dog out of them."'

Marker Eagles looking for fresh start, answers in game against Bills [4:20 PM]
AP reports: 'Sunday's game could be a prime opportunity for the Eagles to get their running game going. Miami's Ricky Williams rushed for 153 yards on 42 carries against the Bills, wearing down the defense and showing they're vulnerable against the run. ''I'm going to try and make something happen,'' Buckhalter said. ''Of course, I feel like if I'm in the game I can make something happen.'''

Marker ‘Spit-gate’ saga spews onto the field [2:38 PM]
Nashville City Paper reports: '"We were really focused," said Surtain. "We were hearing it all the last couple of weeks that [the defensive backs] had lost it and the D-line not getting pressure. We took it as a challenge. For those guys in Buffalo to come out and talk some junk about that they wished that we played man-to-man and they would embarrass us, we took it personal because we've got some great players on our defense."'

Marker Where's The Run? [1:20 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'Sometimes losses can be good. It's called a reality check. The Bills were given the ultimate reality check by their arch rivals. Now the question becomes how will they respond.'

Marker Bills defeat rests solely on offense [1:10 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Hopefully, Bledsoe’s nightmare game was an aberration.'

Marker Bills unfold in Miami [1:09 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“When they do that,” Bledsoe said of the Dolphins’ emphasis on stopping the run, “we’ve got to throw it more effectively that we did. “But we’ve also got to get our running game going.” And soon.'

Marker Bills leave us with plenty of questions [1:08 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'For the record, against the Jaguars and Dolphins combined, Buffalo’s running backs have an anemic 79 yards on 41 carries. That’s under two yards a carry, if you’re wondering.'

Marker Bills may be running out of runners [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The most-likely scenario, if Henry is unavailable, would have Burns inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in his two-year career and finding another backup. It's very unlikely the Bills would enter the game with only Burns and Gash.'

Marker Henry solving Bills' dilemma in own way [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills would never come out and say they drafted McGahee because they were concerned whether Henry can endure over the long haul. But that consideration might have been part of their reasoning, and a sound part of it at that. Henry, at 5-foot-9, 215 pounds, is on the smallish side for a feature back, especially one who relishes contact, thrives on breaking tackles, lacks the gift of breakaway speed and has had past problems retaining the ball. On his best day he's a reminder of Thurman Thomas, but the inconsistencies also point toward Joe Cribbs or Greg Bell, backs who sizzled, but only temporarily.'

Marker Bills have banged-up backfield [5:21 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Buffalo’s off-season master plan of building a team capable of playing physical — running the ball and stopping the run — to ease the pressure on Bledsoe has fallen off the tracks three games in.'

Marker Bills replay, Week 3 [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'How about arrested for impersonating an NFL lineman? You’ve got a 370-pound wall in Williams, yet you’re tossing halfback option passes near the goal line. That doesn’t say much about the faith the coaches have in him, and nobody can give a good explanation for why he doesn’t play left tackle if he’s supposedly so good.'

Marker Lew-Port's Johnson named Bills coach of the week [5:19 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'A member of the Bills' organization will make the presentation a 9 a.m. today at Lew-Port. Johnson will receive a framed certificate signed by Bills coach Gregg Williams, president/general manager Tom Donahoe and NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, plus a special cap designating him as a winner of the award. The Bills will also donate $1,000 to the Lancers' athletic program.'

Marker No need to panic, yet [5:18 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The truth about these Bills is that the road to a spot in the post-season comes down to this: They must win all or most of their "easy" games -- vs. the New York Jets (twice), Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys.'

Marker Ricky none the worse for wear [5:17 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'In fact, Williams seemed to gain strength as the game went on, setting up his 1-yard touchdown run with a 21-yard gain, his longest run, with 2:39 remaining.'

Marker No rest of the story for Ricky [5:16 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'At halftime against Buffalo, Wannstedt told Williams he was going to work backup Travis Minor into the mix. But every time Miami began a possession, there was Williams, sprinting to the huddle.'

Marker Record night doesn't wear out Ricky [5:15 AM]
Florida Today reports: 'The back breaker appeared to come with 2 minutes, 39 seconds remaining, when Williams turned the left corner and ran 21 yards to the Bills' 8-yard line before being pushed out of bounds. He would eventually score on a 1-yard run with 1:52 to play, sealing Miami's victory.'

Marker Inside slant [5:14 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The play broke down because the Bills' offensive line was pushed deep into the backfield by Miami's front line. Henry took the handoff and had to immediately get rid of the ball. Reed realized what happened and broke off his route, but Henry's wobbly pass never made it to him as Surtain leaped to grab it.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'For the third week in a row the Bills failed to establish a viable rushing attack, and it has now become a prime concern.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:12 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'RT Mike Williams, the fourth overall pick in the 2002 draft, has not played particularly well. The Bills have not been able to run behind the 370-pounder like they expected to, and he was beaten cleanly for a sack by Adewale Ogunleye.'

Marker Running Back Shortage [5:11 AM] reports: 'Joe Burns could be a key player for the Buffalo Bills when they host Philadelphia Sunday. Not bad for a guy who ran the ball just five times last year.'

Marker Henry, Morris And Crosby Nursing Injuries [5:10 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'That leaves Joe Burns and Sam Gash as the only healthy backs on the roster. Williams says the club will spend Tuesday looking to see if there are any backs out there they can bring in. They could also activate Ken Simonton from the practice squad.'

September 22, 2003

Marker Workhorse Williams carries Dolphins to top of division [9:26 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams had more touches (45) than Buffalo did total offensive plays (44) in a methodical performance.'

Marker Morris to miss two weeks; Henry's status uncertain [9:17 PM]
AP reports: 'Even if Henry is healthy enough to play, Williams said the team will consider signing a running back.'

Marker Week 3: Drew Bledsoe Quotes [1:33 PM] reports: '"I certainly didn't see us coming out and playing the way we did. I thought we would play better than we did. But they did a great job. They had a plan for us. They changed things up, which they haven't done in three or four years. They gave us some different looks and they had a good plan for us and we didn't respond to it very well." "They changed up a couple of their fronts on some of their third downs, which is something they normally don't do. They changed up a couple of their fronts in the running game. So they had a good plan for us but we've got to respond in those situations. We have to make our plays."'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
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01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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