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Buffalo Bills News - September 2, 2004

Marker Bills hope the hard knocks are over [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The big thing for them is to get some time working together because they haven't gotten many opportunities," Bledsoe said. "Obviously in a perfect world you'd like to be able to rest everybody right now. But in that situation, you're probably going to see a little more of them than you would have in a normal fourth preseason game."'

Marker Bills hobbled, hungry for TDs [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Through three preseason games, Bledsoe and the first-unit offense have produced four field goals in 15 possessions. The other 11 series ended with eight punts, one interception, one fumble and one missed field goal.'

Marker Wire regains position as Bills' No. 1 strong safety [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"When Lawyer first came here, he took me under his wing and Lawyer and I have become the best of friends," Wire said. "He told me when he first came here that he would make me a good strong safety."'

Marker Inside slant [5:02 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Needless to say, many of the key questions that hovered over the Buffalo Bills heading into training camp after last season's 6-10 finish that cost Gregg Williams his job, were answered in a positive way over the past month. Unfortunately for the team and its die-hard fans, who haven't cheered a playoff team since 1999, a rash of late-camp injuries, an offensive line still in a state of upheaval and a schedule that's downright mean has tempered the enthusiasm just so heading into the regular season opener on Sept. 12 against Jacksonville.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:01 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Vagabond southpaw Greg Zolman, who has had an erratic camp, is expected to be cut after Thursday's final preseason game in Detroit.'

Marker Notes, quotes [5:00 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills stole half of the University of Tennessee's starting defensive backfield with the signing of safety Rashad Baker and cornerback Jabari Greer, two draft-rated players who for various reasons went un-selected. Both street free agents have been impressive in training camp and should make the final roster and play.'

Marker Henry Won't Play at Detroit [4:59 AM] reports: '"If it was a regular season game I would play," Henry said. "Considering the starters aren't going to be playing that much, my guess is I think they'll hold me out."'

Marker Bills’ cut to 65 players wasn’t hard [4:58 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But Sunday’s reduction to 53 players might well be the toughest in team history. And the reason is injuries at quarterback.'

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September 1, 2004

Marker Where is the love? [8:59 PM]
Rochester City Newspaper reports: 'Henry might not be as charismatic as Michael Jordan, but he's a fantastic, big-hearted, dedicated, and fearless player. It's time to show him some love.'

Marker AFC East football capsules [8:58 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Prediction: Buffalo looks like a .500 team, but if it can survive a November stretch against New England, St. Louis, Seattle and Miami in consecutive weeks, they could sneak into the playoffs.'

Marker Bills Face Lions for Third Straight Year [4:02 PM] reports: '"We've obviously had a lot of injuries this past week to our quarterbacks so that has changed some things," Zolman said. "Regardless of where I am on the depth chart, my job is to go out there everyday and do the best I can to help this team. I know what I'm doing in this offense. I assume I'll get a lot of snaps this Thursday."'

Marker Bills S Wire up for challenge to fill in for Milloy [4:00 PM]
AP reports: '''He's a guy you hate to see go down because of the passion he has for the game and what he means to our team,'' Wire said as the Bills prepare for their preseason finale at Detroit on Thursday. ''I'm taking this upon myself to not have a big drop-off from what we lost. I'm taking it very personally.'''

Marker Final preseason game important for Lions QB McMahon [4:00 PM]
AP reports: 'Even though Matthews will have only one full practice in Buffalo, he is expected to play against the Lions. ''If I was at training camp or not, I would look the same,'' Matthews said. ''I'm not real big or real strong, but I usually know where to throw it.'' Bills coach Mike Mularkey said Bledsoe would start the game and play a couple of series before being replaced by Greg Zolman.'

Marker Buffalo Bills preview [3:59 PM]
CNN/SI reports: "New coach Mike Mularkey has some tricks up his sleeve for an offense that has a couple of new weapons, but first he has to straighten out the line."

Marker The Music City Miracle [10:32 AM] reports: 'So it's a sore subject in Buffalo, to say the least.'

Marker Mularkey sticks to party line on front five [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I have total confidence that it will come together," Mularkey said. "If you're looking for excellence the first game, I think it's a pipe dream. But I think they'll get better and better as they play."'

Marker Matthews aims for game action [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Everybody runs the same plays in this league," Matthews said. "You just have to learn how they call them. I'm pretty smart, at least I think I'm pretty smart. I just have to learn how to translate the plays."'

Marker Bills QB taking a crash course in offense [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I don't have the strongest arm, but that's not the main part about playing quarterback," said Matthews, who has started 22 games in his 11-year career. "It's knowing the offense, don't kill your team, don't turn the ball over, have a quick release and throw it accurately. If you do that, you'll be OK."'

Marker Thomas fights with one hand to keep his job [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'While Thomas has been somewhat hindered in the first two preseason games by the broken bone just below his left thumb, he has nonetheless impressed new defensive backs coach Steve Szabo. "In our camp to date, he's probably the most improved player," Szabo said. "He's playing pretty good. He's playing doggone good."'

Marker Bills Cut Eleven [5:07 AM] reports: 'NFL teams are required to be down to 65 players. NFL Europe players are exempt accounting for the extra three players on the Bills roster. Teams cut to 53 on Sunday.'

Marker Zolman might not last for long [5:06 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'This could be his last chance to do so. But most likely, the next time you see Zolman you could be ordering a Happy Meal for your kids.'

August 31, 2004

Marker Buffalo Bills Scouting Report [10:09 PM] reports: 'No one has any delusional Super-Bowl-or-Bust predictions for the 2004 Bills -- unlike last year. But in the end, this year's team may fare far better than their predecessors, a pleasing thought to the extremely loyal (even in the winter) fan base. Bottom line: With Miami and the New York Jets stuck in neutral, the Bills should be the world-champion Patriots' only competition for the AFC East crown. But Drew Bledsoe must remain healthy for that to happen.'

Marker Buffalo (1-2) at Detroit (1-2) [7:55 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Bledsoe is expected to play just one or two series against the Lions, leaving Matthews and third-stringer Greg Zolman to handle most of the duties behind center.'

Marker Reserve Players Need to Step-Up [7:46 PM] reports: 'The offense hasn't been able to put the ball in the end zone yet this preseason. I think it's cause for slight concern, but I don't think there's any reason to panic. The game-planning hasn't been in-depth yet. You're just getting a group of plays called that you've been working on in camp. There's only a little bit of actual game-planning that goes on. For the most part, you're just looking at a group of plays that are being picked out of a hat to try and beat the defense in that situation. I think that's the reason they haven't scored once they get into the red zone, but I don't anticipate that being a problem in the regular season.'

Marker Banged-up Bills present Matthews with opportunity [7:42 PM]
AP reports: '''Teams try to call old guys and I'm an old guy,'' said the 34-year-old Matthews, who did not take a snap last year. ''I'm excited to be here and ready to do whatever they need me to do.'''

Marker Bills Waive 11 Players [2:47 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills now have 68 players on their roster, including three NFL Europe exemptions. NFL rosters must be reduced again to 53 players by Sunday, September 5th.'

Marker Brown Not Part of Return Game Plans [12:57 PM] reports: 'Brown was the victim of others playing well around him. McGee broke out some big gains early in the preseason and showed how dangerous he can as a return man.'

Marker KR Brown among 11 players cut by Bills [12:46 PM]
AP reports: 'Brown, who averaged 21.8 yards per kickoff return last year, was sparingly used this preseason, managing just one return for 18 yards. Receiver Josh Reed and cornerback Terrence McGee had more impressive preseason performances, and were considered to be the favorites for the job.'

Marker Bills Waive 11 Players [12:20 PM] reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have waived the following 11 players...'.

Marker Wire May Get Chance to Start [10:57 AM] reports: '"If the situation does come up where I'm going to have to fill Lawyer's shoes, then I'm going to do the best I can," Wire said. "I have a responsibility to this team to fill some pretty big shoes but I'm going to do the best I can to do that."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
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