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Buffalo Bills News - August 29, 2001

Marker Stay on the field [6:55 AM]
Fox Sports reports: '"Under last year's system I thought he held the ball a little bit too long, and I thought his drops were too deep," said Williams. "We knew coming into that game last year he was going to be tough because we were going to get a bunch of hits on him."'

Marker Bills capsule [6:54 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'There are a lot of veterans who left in the offseason for salary-cap reasons or who left this summer because they just weren't good enough. That hasn't left much of anyone behind fighting for his job. Let's face it: The Bills had to clean up, and they did. Virtually all of the veterans who were worried about their jobs are gone.'

Marker Bills off-season review [6:53 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Off-season grade: B'

Marker Bills have faith in third QB Brown [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'There was a refreshing sight yesterday afternoon on the practice field inside the Buffalo Bills' training facility: a third-string quarterback who could actually play.'

Marker Williams won't prejudge NFL's replacements [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'As for the replacements, he said it would be impossible to form an opinion until he sees them in action. "You don't know what their attitudes will be or what kind of training they've gone through," he said. "The biggest thing is I'll be more conscious of the mistakes we make than the mistakes they'll make."'

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August 28, 2001

Marker CB Thomas Smoth released by Chicago Bears [9:19 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bears purged another expensive free agent mistake left over from the past front-office regime, releasing cornerback Thomas Smith.

Smith entered the league as the Bills' first-round choice in the 1993 draft. He is expected to draw immediate interest from several teams including Indianapolis and Seattle.

Marker Henry emerging as Bills top running back [8:57 PM]
AP reports: '"First I will be the best. Then I will be the first," the T-shirt reads. "That's my motto," Henry said after Tuesday's practice. "I live by it and die by it."'

Marker QB Hawley among five cut by Bills [1:28 PM]
AP reports: 'Travis Brown, whose only snaps have come in the past few days of practice, appears to have won the Buffalo Bills third-string quarterback job.'

Marker Bills release five [12:11 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports:
Jack Hawley, QB, rookie, San Diego State
Rocky Henry, WR, 1st year, Utah
Josh Lind, G, rookie, Oklahoma State
Kendrick Office, DE, rookie, West Alabama
Josh Roth, FB, 1st year, University of Buffalo

All NFL teams are required to trim their rosters to 65 by 4:00 PM (Eastern) today. The final cutdown to 53 must be made by Sunday at 4:00 PM.

Marker Johnson's level of progress on offense not a concern [11:42 AM]
WGR reports: Rob Johnsonís stat line on Saturday night wasnít very impressive. What was most disconcerting was his seeming lack of comfort in the pocket and with his progression of reads. Despite there being just one preseason game left before the opener with New Orleans, Johnson and his head coach arenít panicking.

Marker Johnson can't sack the takedown question [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'When will he learn to unload the ball? The question isn't going away until Johnson proves he can avoid getting sacked.'

Marker Newcomer Brown gets his turn to play [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Travis Brown had his first full workout with the Bills on Monday, five days after he was signed to compete for the third quarterback position behind Rob Johnson and Alex Van Pelt.'

Marker A Taste of the Season - Buffalo Bills Style [9:02 AM]
Buffalo Niagara Partnership reports: Held Tonight (Tuesday).

It kicks off the Bills season for the corporate community and raise awareness and support for the Food Bank of Western New York.

The networking reception brings together corporate sponsors, local restaurants, chefs and the entire roster of Buffalo Bills players and coaches. Guests will sample specialty foods prepared by some of the region's finest restaurants.

Marker My notes from Bengals game [8:12 AM]
StadiumWall.com reports: 'The third sack in particular occured on a stunt, with 5 men rushing. The RDE looped around to the left and shot thru the right guard and tackle, who were both occupied. It is Larry Center's job to pick it up, he threw a poor block. Ruben Brown saw this and quickly rolled back to hit attacker, leaving Michael Early with no help on Oliver Gibson, who had a near clean shot at Johnson, and ultimately lead to RJ getting sacked near the line by the safety...'

Marker Christie working to regain FG form [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'With just one dress rehearsal left, Thursday at Pittsburgh, Christie's struggles are magnified, putting into question new general manager Tom Donahoe's decision-making last spring.'

Marker Moulds says Johnson needs a quicker release [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'A new offense or not, blocking problems or not, it's going to be another long season for Johnson unless he learns to throw the ball sooner, Moulds said.'

August 27, 2001

Marker It's up to Johnson to shed sack label: Moulds [7:50 PM]
AP reports: '"It's easy for people to go in and continue to preach and say that he has to do this and he has to do that," Moulds said. "But Rob has to go out and make the decision that, 'This is what I'm going to do. And this is the type of quarterback that I'm going to be."''

Marker Bills-Steelers pre-season preview [12:21 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Buffalo isn't too sorry to see Three Rivers Stadium go, as the Bills were just 2-8 lifetime at Three Rivers, with their last win in Pittsburgh coming in the 1992 AFC Divisional Playoffs on the heels of the comeback game against Houston.'

Marker Personnel losses, injuries will take toll on Buffalo this season [10:48 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: The Bills catch a break with a relatively soft schedule. However, with huge holes along the offensive line, the brittleness of starting QB Rob Johnson and the vast turnover of players on defense, the Bills will do well to break even this season.

Marker Early time could be nearing [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Center Michael Early was a no-name free agent when he signed just before the Buffalo Bills went to training camp. To most fans and media, the 6-foot-2, 320-pounder was nothing more than an extra body for practice. However, Bills observers recently were hit with the reality that Early is close to being the regular-season starter.'

Marker Reliving replacement glory [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'On Oct. 18, 1987, the Buffalo Bills defeated the New York Giants in a rather nondescript game at Rich Stadium. It was the third and final replacement game during the '87 players strike - a contest that featured its fair share of insurance agents, welders and construction workers - and the Bills came away from this glorified pillow fight with a 6-3 overtime victory. Bills coach Marv Levy called it the worst football game ever played, but that's not how Rick Schulte remembers it.'

Marker Three injured in shooting [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A former Buffalo Bills linebacker escaped injury when bullets sprayed through a house on West Balcom Street, wounding three men. Three Buffalo men are recovering from gunshot wounds, but two others in the house, former Buffalo Bills linebacker Damien Covington and his brother, Kip, both of New Jersey, suffered no injuries during the Saturday night shooting, Buffalo police officials said.'

Marker AFC East Preview/Who's Sorry Now? [6:36 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Team on the rise: Buffalo Bills...Team on the slide: Miami Dolphins.'

August 26, 2001

Marker Defense powers 20-10 win over Bengals [9:29 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "That was outstanding," Johnson said of the defense's performance in getting field position. "It's great to have. When you are going thirty or forty yards, your plays change. The defense did us a great job of getting us the ball in plus territory."

Marker Defense powers win [9:28 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'While the Bills got the return of Rob Johnson to the lineup, Buffalo's defense helped out the cause by powering the Bills to a 20-10 win over the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.'

Marker Bills merely good enough to beat Bengals [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quarterback Rob Johnson and the rest of the Bills' first-team offense played through the first series of the third quarter. The resulted were mixed.'

Marker Bills should let their mushrooms grow [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Jerry Ostroski, their veteran right guard, broke his leg last week and will miss a large chunk of the season. Jerry O. is a nice guy and a team leader, although not the second coming of John Hannah. Yet to hear the fans' reaction, you would think a falling meteor had wiped out Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Winfield experiences a windfall [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Antoine Winfield was picked on early and often by Bengals quarterback Scott Mitchell, but the Bills' diminutive corner responded with a pair of interceptions.'

Marker Mitchell fails to capitalize with big game [9:17 AM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'Rob Johnson threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy McDaniel to give the Bills a 12-3 lead late in the second quarter, and that was all the offense Buffalo needed.'

Marker Loss leaves Cincy QB job up for grabs [8:06 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'Dillon played the entire first half, rushing seven times for 34 yards. And the defense managed five sacks. Other than than, not much went right.'

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