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Buffalo Bills News - September 28, 2002

Marker Toronto fits the Bill [5:55 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'During the roughly two-hour drive to Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ahanotu grabs some more sleep, works the cellular phone and gets himself ready for the football assignment ahead. On the way home, he does more of the same while trying to forget about the game that has become his profession. In that sense, he believes the time and the $5,000-a-month or so he pays Cameron to chauffeur him is well spent.'

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September 27, 2002

Marker Fletcher says Martz "underestimated the loss of me" [9:05 PM]
St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'He has emerged as the Bills' defensive quarterback, calling the plays in the huddle and barking at teammates he believes are letting up. He did some of his best yapping last week about his former teammates.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Fan Q&A [12:58 PM] reports: "That will be a weapon for us as we get more proficient in our offense. At times if we need to change things up we may go to a no-huddle earlier in the game."

Marker Tailgate Party: Tops Game Day Experience [12:53 PM] reports: This weekend, prior to the Chicago Bears game, the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse is transformed into the largest indoor tailgate party in the league: Tops Gameday Experience. In addition to a variety of interactive games, and food, the Bills Experience features the live broadcast of the 97 Rock pregame show.

Marker CLUTCH FACTOR: Bunching at the top [11:57 AM]
Fox Sports reports: Apparently it helps to be on a winner. Three of the top four play for unbeaten teams, while the fourth — Drew Bledsoe — is on pace to break Dan Marino's passing yardage record for a season.

Marker Bills need to pick up some pickoffs [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are one of just three teams (along with Baltimore and Cincinnati) in the NFL that hasn't picked off a pass.'

Marker Just call newest signee Prioleau a big spender [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Last year this time I was sitting at home watching games on TV. To know I'm back in football and starting and having fortunate things happening to me is a blessing. The Bills have been good to me."'

Marker Give Gilbride credit for Bills' resurgence [7:20 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Drew Bledsoe is on his way back, but he has company. Kevin Gilbride, come on down.'

Marker Shelton set to rock Bills [6:35 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'The Bills' defense allows 5.3 yards per rush and ranks 28th against the run. But it is not for lack of trying. The Bills mass eight, sometimes as many as 10, men on the line to stop the run, meaning the Bears may adjust their approach slightly. "It's unlike some things that you've ever seen, so it gets hard sometimes," offensive coordinator John Shoop said.'

Marker Secondary's primary test [6:34 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: '"They're going to throw the ball 40 or 45 times," said cornerback Reggie Austin, who stayed after practice Thursday with the wide receivers, running routes to work on his technique for catching the ball. "They know we're thin, so they're going to try to get one of us out of there to see who's coming in next. You definitely have to have your track shoes on."'

Marker This teacher a quick study [6:12 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'The Bears expect to see quite a bit of passing from Drew Bledsoe, and Knight would like nothing better than to notch his first career sack at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the team he grew up cheering for.'

Marker 100-plus brothers and sisters helped mold Bears' Knight [6:11 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'Bryan Knight gets to play in front of his parents Sunday when the Bears play the Bills in his hometown of Buffalo. But chances are good Knight has family almost anywhere the Bears play, since he has more than 100 brothers and sisters.'

Marker Knight well conditioned to change [6:10 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'When the Bears play Sunday in his hometown of Buffalo, Knight likely will have a prominent role as pass rush end much of the time in nickel defenses because of the Bills' extensive use of multi-receiver formations.'

Marker Blitzing Bills provide big play opportunities [6:09 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'The Bears of the 1980s sent every available warm body across the line to swarm running backs and quarterbacks. Buffalo's tactics may be similar, but the results have been different. They have managed 12 sacks, tied for fourth best in the league. But they give up big gainers on running plays when the blitz doesn't stop a runner.'

Marker The hunt for QBs gives Schobel a rush [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: '“Overall, I like the food back home better,” Schobel was saying the other day from the Ralph in a drawl thicker than Texas tea. “But I gotta admit that the wings up here are damn good. That’s why I told my folks back at the restaurant to get the recipe. Plop a few buckets of those things down next to me, give me an extinguisher to put out the fire and I’m a contented man.”'

September 26, 2002

Marker 6. Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills [9:40 PM]
ESPN reports: The Broncos slowed down Drew Bledsoe to a small degree last week, but the Bears face a battle for their respect. Despite last year's playoff run, the Bears head into Ralph Wilson Stadium as underdogs. They are down three key starters on defense. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ted Washington's absence leaves them vulnerable to the run.

Marker Gray challenges Bills defense to play up to expectations [9:39 PM]
AP reports: '''We've been pumping it up the whole offseason,'' Gray said. ''Well, let's see us stop living on what we say, and do it on what we do.'''

Marker Urlacher fits the mold of Bears LB [9:38 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'At least for the span between March and May, Reebok, the exclusive manufacturer of NFL jerseys, says that Urlacher's signature black No. 54 was the sales leader.'

Marker Not-done-yet Rams featured in Week 3 top-five lists [9:38 PM] reports: 5. Drew Bledsoe, Bills -- Sure, they're 1-2, but just ask Jets, Vikings and Broncos how this guy has made Buffalo a scary team.

Marker The dark domain of the pileup [9:37 PM]
The Sporting News reports: After a draining and exhilarating fourth quarter, the Vikings and Bills are in overtime in Week 2. About two minutes into the extra period, Buffalo is operating near midfield when quarterback Drew Bledsoe fumbles a shotgun snap. A recovery could turn the game to Minnesota, but Mike Williams, the Bills' rookie tackle, comes up with the ball.

Or does he?

Marker Q&A with Williams [12:43 PM]
Shout! reports: Q: Outside linebackers Keith Newman and Eddie Robinson haven't had a lot of tackles after three games. Is something wrong?
GW: The outside LBs in this defense are funnel players. If people are attacking the inside of this defense, most of the tackles will go to the middle LB and the strong safety and the free safety.

Marker No answers for beleagured jets [12:26 PM]
Sporting News reports: A unit with big potential hasn't come close to reaching it. As expected, weakside linebacker Sam Cowart is off to a slow start and probably is rusty after missing nearly all of last season after Achilles' tendon surgery. Cowart isn't the explosive tackler he was with the Bills.

Marker Moulds Off To A Flying Start [12:04 PM] reports: Wide receiver Eric Moulds has 25 catches for 294 yards and two TDs through the first three games of the season. He ranks second in the AFC/fifth in the NFL in receiving yards behind Peerless Price (352), Chicago's Marty Booker (343), NYG's Amani Toomer (326) and St. Louis' Tory Holt (318).

Marker Buffalo Bills To Hold Annual Food Drive At Bears Game [12:03 PM] reports: The Buffalo Bills will host the annual Fan Food Drive prior to the September 29 game against the Chicago Bears. All donations will benefit the Food Bank of WNY. Monetary donations and non-perishable food items will be collected at all gates by Food Bank volunteers and Bills' wives and girlfriends. Collection points will be outside every gate at the stadium.

Marker Grrrrrrlacher [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'OK, so Urlacher falls short of Butkus in the nasty department. But he has the potential to rank with Butkus and the other all-time great NFL middle linebackers in just about every other category.'

Marker Washington is among Bears' walking wounded [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Ted has been something special for us since we got him," Jauron said. "He's been great for us in the locker room. He's great for us on the practice field and he's great for us on Sunday. It was a loss, no doubt about it. But Alfonso Boone stepped in and played a good game. Hopefully he'll get better and we'll go on."'

Marker London enjoys his new location [6:06 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: '"[Rams coach] Mike Martz, if he's asked the question, he'll tell you. He definitely probably underestimated the loss of me, not only what I brought to that defense but also in terms of challenging guys who were not playing up to their abilities. You can't just plug in certain guys with that personality. It's just not there. I've talked to players on the Rams and they're telling me it's not there. So it's not just me talking."'

Marker High risk, high reward [6:05 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'It may seem incongruous now that he has thrown for a league-leading 1,017 yards in his first three games with Buffalo, but there were conflicting views on Bledsoe in the NFL scouting community after last season. He was only 7-19 in his final 26 starts for the Patriots and was generally considered to be on the downside of his career because of the terrible beating he'd taken the past few years.'

Marker Bears know Bills' Bledsoe will be defensive challenge [6:04 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: '"He got sacked (four) times and probably got hit another 20. But he still had the ball up in the air, and they put up 23 points on the scoreboard. He stands in there. He doesn't flinch. If you sack him on first down, he comes back and still converts the third down."'

Marker Bills expected to unleash familiar attack [6:03 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'Bledsoe utilizes an offense which basically is an evolved form of the same run-and-shoot Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride ran while dodging Buddy Ryan's punches along the Houston Oilers' sidelines in the early 1990s. The difference is a few formations designed to get running back Travis Henry more running room and to use tight ends in red zone situations.'

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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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