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Buffalo Bills News - September 19, 2002

Marker Bledsoe feels loved [5:22 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: '"This offense has a little bit more flexibility than what I've been in the past three, four years," Bledsoe said. "I have more flexibility to change things at the line of scrimmage, more flexibility in the routes and how I'm going to read things. It's a good offense for me because it's challenging . . . I'm having a lot of fun."'

Marker Bledsoe vs. the Broncos [5:21 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Drew Bledsoe endured some tough times against the Broncos when he played for New England.'

Marker Walker, once Gray's baby, to take his Bills to task [5:20 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'For a short time after Denard Walker's arrival in Denver before the 2001 season, the Broncos cornerback went through separation anxiety from his defensive backs coach with Tennessee, Jerry Gray. "Getting away from him was like a baby getting away from his mama," Walker said Wednesday. "It was a tough adjustment."'

Marker Bills a passing fancy; expect to be bored [5:19 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'The gaudiest statistic of the young NFL season, not counting Terrell Owens' false starts, is this: The Broncos' defense ranks first in the league against the run. If this doesn't tell you what's coming, you haven't been paying attention. Or, possibly, you sit in the club section and haven't left the bar in a while. The last time the Buffalo Bills played a team that could stop the run - Minnesota, for example, which ranks first in the NFC for some reason - Drew Bledsoe threw the ball 49 times.'

Marker Pass-happy offense Gilbride's brainchild [5:16 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'The Broncos' defensive brain trust might not mind facing Gilbride's wide-open aerial circus - as long as they sack Bledsoe four or five times, intercept two or three of his passes and don't allow any of his throws to result in Bills touchdowns.'

Marker Procedure opens door for Davis [5:15 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'Davis is scheduled to undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee today at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail. He will be unable to walk for two months and will need six months of rehabilitation.'

Marker Bledsoe renews career in Buffalo [5:14 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"The reception I've received has been outstanding," he said. "It was almost comical how crazy these people went when we came in here. They had a pep rally. The hardest part about that was having all the excitement and all the things that go with that, then not being able to go out and play for a few months. Now that we're going, I'm really enjoying myself."'

Marker Intricate plans have players hitting books [5:14 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"In years past, basically Ed (McCaffrey) was the only guy going in motion," Sharpe said. "Now we have Ed going in motion, myself going in motion, Rod (Smith) going in motion, we have backs out of the backfield. We try to keep it complex, because we never want the defense to know what's coming next. We've done a great job of that the first two games of the season. Hopefully we can keep it going."'

Marker Bledsoe's rough, tumble ways earn Bills' respect [5:13 AM]
USA Today reports: '''Drew has so much presence in the huddle,'' said Centers, in his 13th NFL season. ''In every game, there's a lull in your mentality, a time when you're doing your job, but you're just chugging along. That's when the quarterback steps in and makes sure that everybody's light is turned on. That's what they mean by 'field general.' Drew's got all that and then some."'

Marker Drew Bledsoe, Kerry Collins, Brian Urlacher Win NFL Awards [5:09 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Mike Hollis won the award for special teams and Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter was honored for defense.'

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September 18, 2002

Marker Special teams aren't so special anymore [8:58 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Once, rosters were so fixed that DeHaven estimated half of his coverage units on Buffalo’s Super Bowl clubs had at least five years of experience. In fact, there was so little mystery to DeHaven’s units that special-teams coach Mike Westhoff -- once with Miami, now with the Jets -- told DeHaven he didn’t bother previewing videotapes of the Bills. He knew the players, and he knew what they’d do.'

Marker Bills can't rely on Bledsoe to do it all [8:31 PM]
AP reports: '"It's exciting, (the offense) scoring 35-40 points a game, making it easy for us," Winfield said. "Giving up 30-some points a game, you're not going to win many games on the field like that."'

Marker Buffalo Bills/Denver Broncos Injury Report [4:59 PM] reports: Bills have no injuries to report. Broncos have five players listed as probable.

Marker Alumni Update: Shane Nelson [4:09 PM] reports: Nelson not only beat the odds and made the Bills, but he started every game, totaled 168 tackles and was named to the All-Rookie team. Two seasons later with Buffalo using a 3-4 defensive alignment, he racked up an incredible 192 tackles and anchored the middle next to Jim Haslett, who was in his first year. Add another rookie, nose tackle Fred Smerlas, and Western New York became home to its own ‘Bermuda Triangle.’

Marker Uni Watch - Another Review [1:45 PM]
The Village Voice reports: By now you've seen the league's new uniforms, which range from the good (the Texans and the Redskins' 70th-anniversary throwback home unis) to the very bad (the Seahawks) to the mixed bag (the Bills, whose unsightly new home duds are offset by their sharp new road outfits).

Marker Chris Mortensen answered one of TSW's posters questions [1:25 PM]
ESPN reports: Question from chat with Mark (UB2SF)
Mark (SF): How do you like Buffalo's chances against Denver this weekend? I think it will be another physical, heartstopping shootout for the Bills, with a decent chance of a "W". Keep up the great work, Mort!
Mortensen: The Bills have been lighting it up, but it's tough to win in Denver. I think it probably depends on how intense the Broncos come out after two very good, tough games against the Rams and 49ers. The Bills will make everybody they play pretty uncomfortable.

Marker Bills WR Josh Reed A Candidate For Pepsi NFL Rookie Of Week Honors [9:50 AM] reports: The winner is determined entirely by fan voting on which ends later today. As of this morning, Josh was the leading candidate with 38.6% of the vote and was ahead of Chargers LB Ben Leber (20.4%), Panthers DE Julius Peppers (19.6%), Saints WR Donte Stallworth (12.2%) and Giants TE Jeremy Shockey (9.2%).

Marker Two Bills Selected For Player Of The Week Honors [9:09 AM] reports: Two Bills players have earned AFC Player of the Week honors for their performances in last Sunday’s 45-39 overtime victory at Minnesota. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week while kicker Mike Hollis earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Marker Special teams coach learns to fasten seat belt [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's the nature of the beast," Smith said. "I'm directly responsible. You're eligible every single play to make something happen on special teams. It can go for you or against you. I tell the players, "You have to do it now. You have one play. You have to be on top of your game.'"'

Marker Williams makes his point about conversion [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"A two-point conversion, we felt we could get up six points," Williams said Tuesday. "Knowing if we didn't get it, we would still be a field goal (from tying). Obviously, it's a double-edge sword. We were trying to make it a six-point game."'

Marker Teague has found new home at center [5:24 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Buffalo offensive line coach Ronnie Vinklarek singled out Teague for handling Minnesota's four- and-five-man rushes. "Trey Teague did an outstanding job with communication," Vinklarek said. "You have to realize, he's a first-time center playing just his second game at the position."'

Marker Nothing special about Bills' special teams [5:23 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'But the Bills' special teams have disintegrated into some of the worst. "That's why I'm shocked," Bush said. "Because I know how much (Williams) pays attention to detail, and he won't let anything slip past him. When they let up the first kick return for a touchdown against the Jets, I could see them saying, "OK, so I made a mistake.' But two blows me away. I learned a lot of the stuff I know from Gregg. So I wouldn't be surprised if he's not in that room getting after them again this week."'

Marker Bledsoe and Hollis honored [5:22 AM]
AP reports: 'Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe is the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week and Bills kicker Mike Hollis has earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for their roles in Sunday's 45-39 overtime win at Minnesota.'

September 17, 2002

Marker Sportsticker Nfl Preview (Buffalo-Denver) [9:39 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'For the third straight week, the Broncos face one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks on Sunday when they go up against Bledsoe and the Buffalo Bills. In wins over St. Louis and San Francisco - two of the NFL's top offenses - the Broncos' defense has more than been up to the challenge, allowing just one passing touchdown and 30 points.'

Marker Power Poll Rankings [9:20 PM]
Multiple reports: Power Poll Ratings from major sources.

  • ESPN (20 was 19) - This team sure is a lot of fun to watch. Although we're guessing Gregg Williams would take a "boring" win.
  • CNNSI (13 was 18) - Here's the inside word on Mike Hollis' 54-yard field goal that doinked over the crossbar to send the Vikings game into OT. NFL Films told him they'd pay him big bucks if he could get the ball to do that for one of their highlight shows. He practiced all off-season, until he got it down. He's also working on kicks that will scrape either upright and drop in, but that's for later in the year.
  • CBS (17 was 22) - As long as Drew Bledsoe can win it like he did against the Vikings, they will be in a lot of games.
  • Sporting News (20)
  • Marker Reed emerges as another Bills target [6:04 PM]
    ESPN reports: Josh Reed apparently has no problem playing the same position as a perennial Pro Bowler and emerging league star. Instead of being lost in the shadows of Eric Moulds and Peerless Price, Reed pulled in eight receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown as the Bills defeated the Vikings 45-39 in overtime on Sunday. Reed, a second-round draft pick from LSU, is the first rookie this season to have 100 receiving yards in a game.

    Marker PFW Players of the Week [5:25 PM]
    Pro Football Weekly reports: Bills players got two of three weekly citations by PFW.
    [WR Peerless Price] Beating out Rich Gannon and teammate Drew Bledsoe was no easy task in Week Two, but Price’s 13 catches for 185 yards and two TDs, including a game-winning 48-yard clincher in overtime, put him on top. [PK Mike Hollis] Hollis connected on 4-of-5 FG attempts (52, 20, 20, 54) in a thrilling win over the Vikings, including a 54-yarder that bounced on and over the crossbar to send the game into overtime.

    Marker Buffalo Jills Calendar is on sale [1:44 PM]
    WGR reports: $15 per calendar + $2.50 per calendar for shipping

    Marker TMQB Gives Moulds Team Spirit Award [1:41 PM]
    ESPN reports: Best team spirit: In the Buffalo-Minnesota game, the Vikings were doubling on Bills star receiver Eric Moulds. According to the Buffalo News, Moulds went to Bills coaches, declared "Forget about me" and offered to run decoy routes for fellow WRs Peerless Price and Josh Reed, who responded with 21 receptions for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

    At one point in the fourth quarter, Bledsoe's lip was cut; he went the sideline and had the cut stapled together without anesthesia, immediately returning to the game. Remember, this is a gentleman whom most of the league's general managers did not want when he was placed on the trading block last winter, questioning his arm strength and spirit

    Marker Bledsoe Bails Out Coaches [1:29 PM]
    WIVB-TV reports: 'No one gives Williams a better chance to stick than Bledsoe. On Sunday Bledsoe helped Williams avoid some serious coaching questions.'

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    09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
    09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
    09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
    10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
    10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
    10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
    10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
    11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
    11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
    11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
    11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
    12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
    12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
    12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
    12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
    01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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