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Buffalo Bills News - September 4, 2003

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [4:48 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '12 -- Number of combined sacks and turnovers the Patriots had in last season's two lopsided wins over Buffalo.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:47 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills' top priority is to keep the game close so all their game planning doesn't go out the window after a half. In last year's two lopsided losses, they trailed 17-0 and 20-0, forcing QB Drew Bledsoe to put the ball in the air 72 times and allowing New England coach Bill Belichick to scheme him to death. Buffalo's remodeled defense needs to show up from the opening bell.'

Marker Inside slant [4:46 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'His decision to pick Buffalo over other suitors such as Washington, St. Louis and Minnesota involved his familiarity with the AFC East and style of defense the Bills play. Buffalo is conjuring up new blitz looks under assistant head coach Dick LeBeau and Williams' "46" scheme has always relied on a big-time hitting strong safety to play in the box.'

Marker Bledsoe, Milloy add flair to Bills-Pats opener [4:44 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Despite all of the changes on both sides of the ball for Buffalo, Belichick thinks the biggest improvement the Bills made was on special teams. "The biggest change that I notice in Buffalo is on special teams," Belichick said. "They have a new kicker [Rian Lindell] but they have a very explosive return game. Their kickoff return game in preseason has been strong. The punt return game is probably as good as anybody's in the league. Antonio Brown has shown great speed and playmaking ability in that phase of the game. So that is a big change for them."'

Marker Bills Make Roster Moves [4:31 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Also today, the team announced that quarterback Travis Brown has reached an injury settlement with the Bills. Brown had been placed on Injured Reserve on August 31 with a finger injury.'

Marker Bills cut LB Haggan to make room for Milloy [4:30 PM]
AP reports: 'Haggan, a three-year starter at Mississippi State, was Buffalo's seventh-round draft pick. He became the odd-man out as the Bills were already carrying eight linebackers on their roster.'

Marker Bills don't need lawyering up to break Pats jinx [4:28 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: About the only way the buildup could get more intense would be if New England coach Bill Belichick started "your momma"-ing his Buffalo counterpart in the press, or if Gregg Williams publicly offered to relieve the Patriots coach of his teeth at midfield before the coin toss.'

Marker Bledsoe finds comfort, happiness in Buffalo [4:27 PM]
AP reports: '``It's not about proving myself,'' Bledsoe said. ``It's about winning ... If I can go win a championship with this team, that'll be a great career. It sounds, maybe, cliche or simple, but that's what it is.'''

Marker Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 09/04/2003 [3:07 PM]
Patriots.com reports: 'Q: What advantage, if any, has [Larry Centers] been able to give you on Buffalo? BB: Larry has given us some insight into all of the things that you would think he would be able to. He knows the players. He has been in that system for a year and knows some things about it. Larry is a smart guy too.'

Marker Bills, Milloy present emotional challenge [3:04 PM]
Patriots.com reports: 'In the bigger scheme I have to channel my emotions and my feelings into doing things that are not necessarily best for me but best for the team. I can't go out [free-wheeling] and doing things that aren't in the game plan. I have to go out and play football, play it to the best of my ability and hope for the best. And that is probably what Belichick is hoping for from every player in his locker room, because in the end after all the theater and underlying themes are tossed aside, both teams need to start the season with a win in what is probably the tightest division in football. Yes there will be a lot of emotion on the field Sunday, but like Seymour said once the ball is snapped the players just have to play football.'

Marker Bills-Patriots Game Sold Out [1:51 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills-Patriots game this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium is sold out and will be televised locally.'

Marker Belichick betting he's right again [1:29 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Belichick's gambit with Bledsoe worked out perfectly last year. The Pats beat him twice and made him look bad both times. Meanwhile, Bledsoe led the Bills to a sweep of Miami, the Patriots' archrival. That the four-game swing didn't translate into a division crown for New England was (to Belichick's thinking) beside the point. He took a risk and it paid off.'

Marker Sunday just got more interesting [1:27 PM]
Lowell Sun reports: '"I don't think there are too many Lawyers out there," said Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown in a locker room of players still stunned yesterday morning by the release of Milloy the day before. "I've played 11 years, and I haven't played with any other guy like him. He is just one of those crazy defensive guys. His personality as far as getting going (in a game) was a little different than everyone else's. He was running into someone as hard as he could. It's kind of hard to replace that."'

Marker M&T Bank, Choice One sign on as Bills' sponsors [1:26 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Buffalo-based M&T is now the "official bank" of the Bills and has taken the naming rights to one of two premium suite seating areas at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Clearly, Bills werent happy with their starting safeties [1:22 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'And for a team that clearly wanted to upgrade the position Coy Wires potential notwithstanding the Bills feel they got the perfect player at absolutely the right time ... and, significantly, at the right price.'

Marker Fearless Football Forecast [11:47 AM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'The Bills will beat Miami in a playoff game in Orchard Park in January, then lose to the Chiefs.'

Marker Could Milloy signing backfire for Bills? [11:45 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Likewise, this wont be easy for a few of the Bills players to take either. Coy Wire busted his butt during training camp and throughout the pre season, and hes the obvious man out, at least as a starter. Hes saying the right things because hes a class young guy, but players are only human, and this disruption could be a short term distraction for the Bills, who have already started forming a bit of chemistry on the D.'

Marker Bills And Choice One Communications Announce Five-Year Extension To Existing Partnership [11:44 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'As part of the agreement, Choice One will remain the official telecommunications provider for the Buffalo Bills and Ralph Wilson Stadium. Additionally, the Bills and Choice One have agreed to extend the existing marketing sponsorship to promote Choice Ones association with the team, which includes in-stadium signage, naming rights to the Choice One Club, business-to-business marketing, game tickets, special events and community outreach programs. Also as part of the marketing sponsorship, Choice One is a major corporate sponsor for the Buffalo Bills Training Camp, which is held each summer in Rochester, New York.'

Marker Bledsoe Talks About 2003 Season Opener [11:43 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"It's an important game for us, there's no question, it's a division game. It's the first one out of the blocks. It's a huge game, there is no other way I can put it. If we win this game that's not going to put us in the playoffs, but it's a big game. We are going to do everything we can to win the ball game."'

Marker NFL 2003 AFC East [11:08 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Outlook: An improved team, but the rest of the division is too tough.'

Marker Forget pay, it's all about the payback [10:08 AM]
Portland Press Herald reports: 'From the moment he walked out of Gillette Stadium for the last time, Lawyer Milloy was ready. You hit your friends harder.'

Marker Lawyer in the house [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Would he provide some tactical assistance? "That always helps," Williams said.'

Marker Big game becomes gargantuan [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Winning could burst Belichick's bubble and propel the Bills to bigger things. It would do wonders for Bledsoe's state of mind, and it would be a great relief for Williams to finally win a game against Belichick. But if the Bills lose, it could have the opposite effect. If the Pats waltz into Buffalo and win the opener, five days after cutting a Pro Bowler, it will inflate Belichick's legend even more. And it will incite more howling about Williams' shortcomings.'

Marker Now with Pats, Centers is ready for 'special' opener [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I have to tell it like it is," Centers said by phone to Buffalo-area reporters. "There's no doubt I want to have a good game. It's more special than an ordinary game. But it's important for me to not allow my desire to have a big game to overshadow the big picture. It's more important for (the) team to perform well and come out on top."'

Marker Money ball [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We did a good job of spending money," President and General Manager Tom Donahoe said this summer. "Now comes the hard part."'

Marker Veteran lineman Adams still yearns for inside knowledge [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I thought that I could learn from him, that he was going to help me further my career as far as teaching me the things I need to do in order to get where I needed to go," Adams said. "When you stop learning this game, it's time for you to take your butt home. And I think he's going to teach me some things."'

Marker Engine 51 To the rescue [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"When it's all said and done, we'll definitely be among the great many linebackers that have passed through the Bills' long, storied history," Fletcher said. "There are some extremely good corps out there in the league. You have to definitely put us up there when you think about them. It's our versatility, not just one area of our game. We can all rush the passer, cover, run, hit and lead this defense by example."'

Marker Combination of Shaw, Gilbride pleased to make a reacquaintance [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Shaw played in Pittsburgh when Gilbride was the offensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000. A smart player with deceptive speed, Shaw will complement outside receivers Moulds and Reed in second-and-long and third-down situations in the slot.'

Marker Williams has a lot to prove, a year to do it [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Chances are, a game or two will come down to coaching. A crucial coaching decision could well be the difference between 10-6 and 9-7. It could determine whether the Bills make the playoffs or fall just short. It could make Williams the man of the hour, or cost him his job.'

Marker Making schemes come true [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The zone blitz is going to be a key piece of the Bills' new defensive puzzle this season.'

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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
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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