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Terrible Second Half Costs Bills Opener

Travis HenryGrades Aren't Very Good: Our first position by position grades show that the results of the game weren't a fluke. Most positions grade out C or below with the quarterback position receiving the lowest grade of them all. Gameday Grades.

A Tale Of Two Halves: The Bills defense dominated in the first half giving up just one first down on the last play of the half as the Bills built a 6-0 lead. Unfortunately they seemed to wilt in the second half because of the heat and lack of production from the struggling offense. Rob Johnson threw a career high three interceptions and the running game that showed promise in the first half struggled in the second half as the Saints reeled off 24 second half points enroute to the win. Complete Analysis.

Cowart Injury Update: He has an achilles injury but it is a non surgery situation. He will miss significant time with what appears to be a partial tear of the tendon. There is no timetable on his return and they should know more in a few weeks. Kenyatta Wright is now the starter and Brandon Spoon will get some playing time, he was inactive this past week to rest his banged up knee and hamstring. The coach praised the play of Wright in Cowart's absence. No roster moves are expected at this point as the club hopes to get Cowart back by the end of the season but that isn't a sure thing at this point.

Williams On The Loss: The coach looked at all the film from yesterday's loss and the players are doing extensive film study and he said they need to be prepared to come out on Wednesday and begin preparing for the Dolphins. The coach wasn't happy with the play of Rob Johnson and especially the fact that they didn't get the football to Eric Moulds more. He felt when things were slipping away that is the time the special teams needed to make a big play but it never happened.

Williams Cancels Practice: Gregg Wiliams decided against making the team practice instead they will do extra film work and some locker room work. This is to help get the team properly hydrated after yesterday's scorching weather during the game.

Donahoe On Christie: Tom Donahoe said that the Bills placed Steve Christie on the reserved-injured list so the possibility would still exist for him to return to the Bills later in the season. He said they didn't slight Christie by not calling him they just couldn't make contact with him. The reserved-injured list allows a team to make an injury settlement with a player, release him, and then possibly re-sign that player after week 10. As of now, Jake Arians is the kicker for now as his 2 for 2 showing made him our player of the week.

Saturday September 8, 2001

Christie Done: The Bills placed Steve Christie on a reserved injured list which means his career in Buffalo is basically over. He will be released as soon as an injury settlement could be made. He says he is upset at the way things happened and he wasn't even given the courtesy of a phone call from Gregg Williams or Tom Donahoe. The Bills will elaborate more on Monday.

Reed Retires: Andre Reed officially announced his retirement as a member of the Buffalo Bills today. He thanked the fans and especially QB Jim Kelly for all the great times. On hand at the ceremony were Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Don Beebe, and Adam Lingner.

Friday September 7, 2001

Christie Misses Practice: Steve Christie missed practice again today and he is becoming a real question mark to play on Sunday. He will give it a try tomorrow and then the Bills will need to make a decision on whether or not to activate Jake Arians from the practice squad. Christie worked with Arians on the tricky winds at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Coach Williams said Christie's injury is better today and he is hopeful he will be able to kick without pain tomorrow.

Reed To Retire: Andre Reed is in Buffalo and is expected to announce his retirement from the NFL. There is a press conference scheduled for noon tomorrow. Reed will sign a one day contract to end his career where he should, as a member of the Bills.

Game Sold Out: The game sold out in time to lift the television blackout meaning the game will be seen on the local fox affiliates in Western and Central New York.

More On Christie: Steve Christie apparently injured his groin warming up on Wednesday. He did not kick in practice on either Wednesday or yesterday. They are resting him as a precaution and believe it is just a strain. He is expected to try and kick today. Christie may have overdone it trying to correct the problems he has had recently kicking. The Bills need to decide by 4pm tomorrow if they will activate recent practice squad signee Jake Arians.

Tickets For Opener Remain: As of last night there were approximately 500 tickets left for Sunday's opener. The club has until 1pm today to sell them to lift the television blackout. Expect the local fox affiliates and/or local corporations to buy the remaining tickets in time to lift the blackout.

Thursday September 6, 2001

Christie Injured: It appears the practice squad addition of a kicker was done for a reason. Steve Christie has been added to the injury report and is listed as questionable with a groin injury. NO word on whether he will be able to kick or not on Sunday.

Blackout Deadline Extended: The league had given all teams a 24 hour extension of the blackout deadline because of the labor day holiday. The Bills have around 700 tickets available for the game at last count, it will have to be soldout by tomorrow at 1pm to lift the blackout.

Practice Squad Moves: The Bills added a kicker to the practice squad today. Jake Arians was on the Falcons practice squad last year but was cut in training camp. This move sends a further message to Steve Christie that is job is in jeoparday. WR Reggie Allen was taken off the squad and put on the injured list after injuring his ankle in practice yesterday.

It Looks Like Henry: It appears that Peerless Price is getting the first shot at returning punts during this weekend's game against New Orleans. He says he's looking forward to the opportunity to get his hands on the ball more. The other option is rookie Nate Clements.

Allen Hurt: Practice squad WR Reggie Allen was injured in practice yesterday. His leg injury may be an achilles tendon injury, he was helped off the field. Injury Page.

Wednesday September 5, 2001

Three Bills On Injury Report: The NFL has released the official injury report for each game and their are three Bills on the report. Jerry Ostroski will be one player on the list for the rest of the year and is the only player listed as out. Brandon Spoon and Chris Watson are the other Bills on the report. Injury Report

Bills Add Practice Squadder: The Bills announced today that cornerback Tim Carter has been added to the practice squad. He was with the Saints in training camp. Practice Squad

Williams Presser: Coach Williams said today that all of the work in the off season and preseason was geared for today's first full practice in preparation for the opener against the Saints. He thinks the club has practiced very well today and Monday and feels they are ready to go for the season. The coach emphasized that to win the Bills are going to have to run the ball well.

Johnson Ready: Rob Johnson addressed the media today and said he is ready for the game on Sunday. He feels that even though the Saints will get to the quarterback the team is excited and ready to go all out for a full game. Johnson thinks that the club will put up points on Sunday despite the offensive struggles in the preseason.

Bills Get To Work: Today is the first day of heavy practice on the gameplan for the opener on Sunday against New Orleans. All the players are expected to practice as the players try to get the gameplan down over the next three days. Complete Preview.

Tuesday September 4, 2001

Jimmy Williams Not On Squad Yet: The Bills offical announcemet did not have draft pick Jimmy Williams on the practice squad. Apparently there is a contract snag. The other four players we reported earlier are officialy on the squad.

Williams Prepared For Saints: Coach Gregg Williams is a master of preparation and he has been preparing for his head coaching regular season debut since he took over the job in February. The Saints have more experienced talent and an edge in many matchups but the Bills may have some intangiables in this game including the 12th man. Complete Preview.

Tickets Remain: The Bills announced today that over 1,000 tickets remain for the opener against New Orleans on Sunday. The game must be sold out by 1pm on Thursday to lift the television blackout. Tickets are available by phone at 877-BB-TICKS or from the team's ticket offices or the official website.

Bills Name Practice Squad: The club has added five players to the practice squad. They include: WR Reggie Allen, T Jon Carman, RB David Dinkins, DE Kendrick Office, and CB Jimmy Williams. Dinkins was well liked by Coach Williams and he is a talented man without a position. Jimmy Williams was the only draft pick cut so it isn't a surprise he was placed on the practice squad. Carman was a surprise cut, so he is also welcomed on the squad. Office played very well in camp and the preseason making his inclusion a good choice. Allen saw limited action since he was brought on later in camp, the coaches must have seen talent there to bring him back.

Players Off: The players will have their third day off in four days today. The club is now in the regular season routine which has Tuesday as the normal day off for all NFL players. They will begin game planning for the Saints extensively beginning tomorrow. The coaches meanwhile will install the plan today as the front office looks to fill out the practice squad.

Monday September 3, 2001

Waiting On Practice Squad: The Bills can now pick their five man practice squad and most of the players will most likely come from the recent cuts. The one draft pick cut, Jimmy Williams is a good bet for the sqaud along with Brian Leigeb and Josh Whitman.

Williams Talks About Practice: Coach Williams addressed the media after today's opening practice in preparation for the Saints game. He said some players looked relieved not to be cut and the players were very energized and a lot got accomplished. He wished Henry Jones well saying he admires his play but the move was based on a philosophy change. He said it was a tough decision that they talked about for two weeks. He spoke highly of Raion Hill who now inherits the starting position since Keion Carpenter has yet to play the position. He did say that the two safety positions are interchangeable.

Henry Is The Starter: The coach confirmed today that Travis Henry is the starter but they will mix up combinations including using Sammy Morris and Larry Centers together in the backfield as well as Henry and Morris together. It was interesting that he never mentioned Shawn Bryson who is now third on the depth chart.

It Looks Like Christie: Coach Williams spoke about Steve Christie and it appears that he will stick with the veteran for the time being. He said he got an extra day of kicking in today and they practiced pressure situations for him.

Hulsey Is In: Corey Hulsey is the starting right guard as Coach Williams showed confidence in his abilities showing he is very happy with his progression. He feels Hulsey has taken full advantage of the opportunity he had.

Spoon Misses Practice: Brandon Spoon was held out of practice today because of tightness in his hamstring. The coach feels it is a compensation for his injured knee earlier in camp. He is expected to return to practice in some basis on Wednesday. Injury Page

Bills Prepare For Saints: Today the Bills being their regular season routine as they begin preparing for the season opener against the Saints on Sunday. Of course, Gregg Williams has been preparing for this game since the day he was hired as the head coach in early February. He is expected to address the media today regarding the cuts, and potential roster moves that may lie ahead, and to hopefully name starters at right guard, strong safety, and running back. It is a foregone conclusion that Travis Henry will be the starting running back and it looks like Corey Hulsey will start at right guard.

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