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Buffalo Bills News - November 2, 2002

Marker Fletcher's memories of the Pats not so sweet [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Last year is last year," said Fletcher, who signed with the Bills as an unrestricted free agent a month after the Super Bowl. "I can't do anything about that. It's water under the bridge. I'm on a new team now, and I'm trying to do everything I can to help the Buffalo Bills win this game. This game is important to our team. It's a big division game. It's important because it's the only one we'll be playing on Sunday."'

Marker A tale of two QBs [5:35 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'What adds the most juice to tomorrow's clash at Ralph Wilson Stadium has been the recent struggles endured by the man that replaced Bledsoe.'

Marker Getting reacquainted [5:34 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'But there were still problems against the run, where they rank 29th in the NFL.'

Marker There's no debate; game is about them [5:33 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Massachusetts gubernatorial election is Tuesday, but New England's big day is tomorrow, when the staggering Patriots go to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., in an effort to get their season back on track and defend the football judgment of their once-infallible head coach.'

Marker Brown set to expand his roles [5:32 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Brown, the Patriots' top offensive weapon, wears a protective brace on the knee while playing. Asked if he thought he might need to wear the device all season, he said, ''I hope not.'''

Marker Van Pelt at ease as reservist [5:31 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''I was disappointed at first,'' Van Pelt acknowledged yesterday. ''I was looking forward to starting. But after that wore off, I realized what a great opportunity it was to have him in here. It was a great chance to work with another great QB, another great mind to pick. So after the initial disappointment, I was excited.'''

Marker Pats zone in on Bills [5:30 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``Any time Centers is on the field, that's certainly one option,'' said Belichick. ``I think Buffalo does a good job using all their receivers down there in the red area. Riemersma is a good red-area receiver. Centers is a good red-area receiver. Moulds and Price are guys who, if they get single coverage, can beat you on different option routes. They run fades, slants underthrown fades and fades in the back of the end zone."'

Marker Patten moves past poor effort [5:29 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'In last Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium, Patten did not record a single reception - and let a sure touchdown pass from Tom Brady sail through his hands in the end zone. Patten plans to turn things around in tomorrow's big AFC East showdown with the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y.'

Marker Brady now has bunch to prove [5:28 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'This is the toughest week of the Patriot quarterback's fledgling career.'

Marker Bledsoe has found his niche in Bills' spread-out offense [5:28 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"They've changed offenses," Belichick said of the Bills. "(Gilbride's) brought in a whole new system, which is what Kevin has run pretty much everywhere he's been, whether it was at Houston, Jacksonville or San Diego. In Pittsburgh it was more adapted to the Pittsburgh style."'

Marker Buffalo's Price having big year [5:27 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: '"I think the sky's the limit," Price said recently. "All the pieces have to be in place for a receiver to be successful. He's got to be in an offense that gives him opportunities. He needs a quarterback who believes in him. I believe I can be a top five receiver in this league. It's just the way I think, and the way I should think."'

Marker Centers: Buffalo's bull with soft hands [5:25 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Centers -- a 13-year veteran -- is the kind of player who can quietly kill you while you mistakenly devote all your attention to the more notable skill players.'

Marker Graham ready to go for first time since September [5:25 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Graham was the Patriots' first-round draft pick this season -- the 21st overall pick -- but he hasn't had much time to showcase his potential. He was inactive for the season opener, then caught four passes in the next three games before injuring his shoulder. Without much playing time lately, there's a chance he could be rusty Sunday afternoon.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Looks to Beat Patriots After Being Benched, Traded [5:24 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'As Bledsoe prepares for his first game against the team he once symbolized, motivation isn't hard to come by.'

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November 1, 2002

Marker Hype winds down [9:02 PM] reports: '"He's a significant player and they gave up a significant draft choice for him," Belichick said. "They know they're getting a good player. We know we're trading a significant player. But, you can only have one quarterback."'

Marker Drew Bledsoe First Half Recap [5:04 PM] reports: Drew Bledsoe is off to the best statistical start of any quarterback in Bills history. His 2,500 passing yards lead the NFL and are the most ever by a Bills QB after eight games. He is the only QB in franchise history to throw a TD pass in his first eight games and has 16 total TDs to just five INTs.

Marker Two Minute Drill... With Ryan Denney [4:19 PM] reports: Ryan Denney was the latest player to share some secrets about his teammates during the Two Minute Drill with

Marker Thurman Thomas To Receive 2002 Ralph C. Wilson, JR. Distinguished Service Award [3:49 PM] reports: Former Buffalo Bills' running back Thurman Thomas will receive the 17th annual Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the Monday Quarterback Club at separate ceremonies on December 1 and 2. The former team standout will be honored during pregame ceremonies on the field at the Bills-Dolphins home game on Sunday, December 1 and at the Monday Quarterback Club's luncheon at HSBC Arena the next day.

Marker Jill of the Week - Stephanie [3:11 PM] reports: Stephanie (Miss October 2003) is a regular visitor of the Stadium Wall. Please congratulate her on the Stadium Wall.

Marker Showtime for Brady and Bledsoe [3:01 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'ďObviously from the time the trade happened, Iíve been getting questions about this game,Ē Bledsoe said. ďEveryone has been focused on it. The thing that I said from Day One is that I hope when we get to the game that itís fun from the standpoint that it has implications for a division race ... and thatís whatís happened. Iím excited about that, our players are excited about that and weíre focused on it in that way.Ē'

Marker Scouting the Patriots [2:59 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Buffalo may be running into the Patriots at exactly the wrong time.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe's Touchdown Targets [2:43 PM] reports: Ok. So there's no question this is the best group of receivers Bledsoe has had during his career but who's the best individual target he's had? Eric Moulds? Here is a list of Bledsoe's 34 touchdown targets during his career (regular season):

Marker Pats fans will delight in this [1:14 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'You have to love the buildup of this affair between the hometown Pats and their divisional enemies of New York's western borders. A date with the Bills in their present streaking state would usually be enough to peak the imagination and ping the chest hairs, but the Bledsoe drama to inhale and taste makes it all even better.'

Marker Pats need to lift offense or suffer consequences [1:13 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Much has been made this week of Buffalo's new quarterback, its suddenly high-powered offense and the propensity to engage in the overtime game. But if the Patriots don't quickly improve their own offense, you could play quarterback for the Bills and it really wouldn't matter.'

Marker Marquee Matchup: New England at Buffalo [12:31 PM] reports: "Buffalo has gained confidence each week and with Miami playing a tough game Monday night in Green Bay, the Bills have a chance to take over the AFC East lead. Expect a high-scoring affair with Buffalo winning a close one at home."

Marker A rivalry is born [9:09 AM]
Orange County Register reports: 'The Patriots' problems go beyond Brady - their offensive line has struggled, they have had trouble running and stopping the run, and they aren't making as many big plays on special teams - but as long as they are behind Bledsoe's Bills in the AFC East, Brady's going to hear about it.'

Marker Lately, it's been anything but Patriots' day [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The roster remains mostly intact - only three starters from the Super Bowl are gone - and coach Bill Belichick didn't suffer any losses on his staff. But the Patriots seem to have forgotten how they won the Super Bowl in the first place.'

Marker Drew fatigue can't deter Pats' admiration society [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Patriots genuinely liked Bledsoe. They admired him as a player and maybe even more so as a man.'

Marker Ex-Bucs defensive end Jones pays visit [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Free agent defensive end Marcus Jones paid the Buffalo Bills a visit Thursday. Jones, a former first-round draft pick, was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three weeks ago.'

Marker Fireworks start in Buffalo around 1 p.m. [9:05 AM]
Daytona Beach News Journal reports: 'The early returns suggest vindication for Bledsoe and expulsion from Mensa for Belichick.'

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