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Buffalo Bills News - October 11, 2001

Marker Kenyatta Wright spends Tuesday in the community [1:14 PM] reports: Rush for Reading, in conjunction with the Buffalo Bills, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and just buffalo literacy center, runs throughout the month of October and is designed to encourage the development of reading and increase literacy of students grades 3 through 6.

Marker Mo Lewis fined only $12,500 for hit on Johnson [1:13 PM]
ESPN reports: New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis was fined $12,500 for hitting Buffalo QB Rob Johnson last Sunday as Johnson slid to the ground.

NFL spokesman Dan Masonson said Lewis hit Johnson in the head with his forearm after Johnson was down. The quarterback missed the rest of the game, a 42-36 Jets victory.

Marker New coaches winning is the exception not the rule [8:15 AM]
ESPN reports: Gregg Williams of Buffalo has been forced to constantly shuffle his defensive lineup and is dealing with 12 injuries.
A few of them -- Schottenheimer, Vermeil and Williams certainly -- were faced with immense salary cap problems. Buffalo, for instance, was left in such poor shape by former general manager John Butler that the Bills probably can't afford a major free agent acquisition until 2003.

Marker Henry Bullough among those honored by MSU [7:58 AM]
AP reports: Henry Bullough, former head coach of Buffalo Bills, whose earned the nickname 'Doctor of Defense' will be honored by MSU with a 'Distinguished Alumni Award' during 2001 'Spartan Pride Worldwide' Homecoming.

Marker WHAM says Bills sacked Flutie broadcasts [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'WHAM, however, has accused the Bills of essentially blocking a possible deal because Russ Brandon, the team's vice president of business development and marketing, refused a request from station manager Jeff Howlett to speak to the Chargers on his behalf.'

Marker Channel 8 answers call of Flutie fans [5:04 AM]
D and C reports: '[WROC-TV (Channel 8) sports director John] Kucko is now steadily deluged with correspondence from viewers demanding that his station carry the Chargers games over the national game assigned them by the network -- or that he even pre-empt the Bills game in favor of San Diego's. Kucko said the vast majority of the hundreds of fans who have contacted him are female.'

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October 10, 2001

Marker Right now we need Alex in there [11:50 AM]
CNN/SI reports: The most surprising boost came from Alex Van Pelt in Buffalo. After Johnson got hurt, Van Pelt came in and threw three touchdown passes. Even though the Bills lost to the Jets, they managed to score 36 points, which was more than any winning team scored in any other game this week. One Bills player told me, "Right now, we just need Alex out there. It's nothing I can put my finger on but it's something."

Marker Power Ranking - 28 (was 27) [11:18 AM]
CNN/SI reports: This is the sadness part of the program. I don't want to give away the ending, but you will not find a victory from here on in (Cowboys, Washington and Detroit rated lower).

Marker Van Pelt wants no QB debate [11:11 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: After throwing for three touchdowns and 268 yards in a nice relief appearance for an injured Rob Johnson against the New York Jets, Alex Van Pelt is hoping he didn't unwittingly spark another QB controversy in western NY.

Johnson's expected to start, which Van Pelt is all in favor of having lived through the controversial Johnson vs. Flutie debate the past three seasons.

"I'm happy I was able to come off the bench and try to help, but that's my role," Van Pelt said. "I'm my mind, there's no debate because Rob's our No. 1 QB and we need him to be in that role.

Marker Power Ranking 30 (was 28) [11:00 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Buffalo Bills (28): This reclamation project is going to take a lot of time.

Marker Oh, those Buffalo Bills by Marv Levy [10:58 AM]
reports: The Buffalo Bills are a team that is afflicted with the "two I's:"
Inexperience and injuries. The Bills have a way to go because of the "two I's," and there's a third "I" in there -- ineffective. I'd like to see the Bills do better, I pull for them, but it doesn't look good. They have a bye, then they are on the road for three of their next four.

Marker Team rankings on offense and defense [10:55 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: These are league rankings with the toughest quarter of Bills schedule completed.
Offense: Total 15, Rush 9, Pass 16
Defense: Total 27, Rush 27, Pass 24

Marker QB evaluations often a case of mistaken identity [10:43 AM]
Sporting News reports: Physical aspects are overrated, and instinct is underrated. Instinct is the first requirement on Walsh's list when he evaluates a quarterback.

The Bills, Seahawks and Steelers, have not gotten what they expected out of the quarterback position.

Marker Power Ranking - 28 (was 29) [10:25 AM]
ESPN reports: 28. Bills (0-4) (was 29)
Good news: They scored 36. Bad news: Jets scored 42

Marker Wilson takes the long view on Bills' woes [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This is going to be a very difficult year," the 82-year-old owner said Tuesday from his home in Detroit. "But I'm optimistic about the future. We've got some good, young players that just need time to develop. If the fans stick with us, and I'm sure they will, they will be rewarded."'

Marker An optimist digs deep for silver lining [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So enjoy the regular season. There are 12 games remaining. Yes, there's good news in that, too. There aren't 13.'

Marker Smith backs Flutie [7:06 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"From the fans' point of view, they just wanted the quarterback who could win games, but I know the majority of the team basically wanted Flutie in there. I know the offensive linemen were behind him because he could make something happen and didn't give up many sacks."'

Marker Bills get an unusual bye week this season [7:04 AM] reports: 'Historically, the Bills have had success after a bye week, as they are 9-3 following the break, losing just three times. However, they have lost their last two games following the week off, falling to the Giants in 1999 and Indianapolis after last week's bye came in Week 4.'

Marker Lou Saban back coaching [7:01 AM]
ESPN reports: Lou Saban, at 80 years of age, is back coaching in the college ranks.

Marker Dear Coach Williams... [7:01 AM]
TBD reports: 'Maybe I am being cynical about your diabolical plan to choose Johnson as a foil for your master plan. But, why else would you need a perfect cover like that as you completely dismantled a decent defensive unit, and installed a new offensive game plan on a team that was perhaps a good left tackle and a running back away from being competitive?'

Marker Jets notes [6:02 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: '"So now it's, 'What is Mo doing, hurting the quarterbacks?' Mo is not a dirty player. He's just hustling, running from one side of the field to the other. Mo is not a cheap-shot guy. He wouldn't intentionally go out to maim or hurt or anybody. I know that. The problem he's got is he's got two quarterbacks already. And they look at that. I just got sent a tape from the league on quarterback hits. They're trying to protect the quarterback and rightly so."'

Marker Winless Bills are sinking to new lows [5:42 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"We knew it would be a struggle," he said after the loss to New York, "but it's been a little more of a struggle than we anticipated. "But the worst thing we can do is panic." Yet if the Bills keep playing this way, that might be the next logical alternative.'

October 9, 2001

Marker Christie Not Ready to Retire [7:31 PM]
AP reports: Kicker Steve Christie, released Wednesday by the Buffalo Bills after refusing an injury settlement, is not ready to retire from football.
The Bills (0-3) released Christie on Wednesday after a series of confusing moves Sept. 8, the eve of the regular season opener against New Orleans, placing the kicker on the reserve-injured list.

Marker Given time, Donahoe will restore Bills [4:00 PM]
The Sporting News reports: In Buffalo, these are not exactly the best of times for Tom Donahoe. The first-year Bills boss hardly is the most popular figure in town, seeing as how he is presiding over the ragged collapse of a proud franchise.

Marker NFL Trading deadline moved back to Oct 23 [1:32 PM]
ESPN reports: No major deals are expected. There have been no so-called "deadline deals" in four of the past six seasons, including last year.

Marker Johnson "the unluckiest guy in the world" [1:30 PM]
ESPN reports: Van Pelt called Johnson "the unluckiest guy in the world" for the number of times he's been hurt.
"I would have to agree with that," Johnson said, chuckling. "It'll turn around. I'm a pretty positive guy that way. I've had some rare and cheap hits. But when you run around like that and try to make plays like that, sometimes you're going to take some hits."

Marker ESPN's Outside the Lines Weekly: Total Control in the NFL [1:28 PM] reports: Discussion of whether coaches should be GMs as well. Tom Donahoe was one of the guests. October 7 episode.

Marker Bills take a needed football break [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Even if the break brings a return to health for several Bills, it won't change the fact that the team faces an uphill climb to respectability. "It's frustrating from top to bottom," Riemersma said. "We also realize that through this kind of adversity comes the true character of a football team. I think you're going to see some leadership by guys you may not have known before."'

Marker Run defense faced Fearsome Foursome [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ricky Williams, Edgerrin James, Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin. The Buffalo Bills have faced the NFL running back version of Murderers Row the last four game. As you might expect, the injury-riddled Bills defense has not been up to the challenge.'

Marker Where are they Now? Steve Tasker [8:56 AM] reports: "From the tiny town of Leoti, Kansas to the modestly sized city of Buffalo, New York, the 5'9" Steve Tasker has made a substantial name for himself. Conventional wisdom has it that the former Buffalo Bill, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and the only special teams player ever chosen as the Pro Bowl MVP, will eventually become the first true special teams player selected to the NFL Hall of Fame."

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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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