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Bills Daily Week in Review - Aug. 19th - Sept. 3rd, 1999Previous Week

Preseason News

September 3, 1999

Flutie Gets Start Tomorrow: The Bills announced that Doug Flutie will get the start in the final exhibition game afterall. It is not known how long he will play.

Smith and Panos to Miss Game: The Bills will hold Joe Panos out of tomorrow night's game against Pittsburgh because of his neck stinger. The surprise is, that it looks like Dusty Ziegler will start in his place instead of Jamie Nails. Wade Phillips is not happy with Nails weight problems. Bruce Smith will also miss the game as he will be going back to Virginia to be with his father who is very ill. Bruce says he'll be back in Buffalo in time to prepare for the Colts game. There is no doubt that Smith has been a selfish player throughout his career but he is definitely doing the right thing in this situation. Dan Brandenberg also will not play as he continues to nurse an ankle sprain.

September 2, 1999

Panos Injury: Problems with the neck of Joe Panos have come to light over the past two days. The Bills medical staff is watching this closely and Panos may miss the final exhibition game but they say he will be ready for the opener. Panos wasn't even at the stadium for today's practice. If this is a Spielman like situation there is a chance that Panos may miss significant time down the line. It's a good thing that they have depth their with Jamie Nails.

Smith Returns: The Bills got their defensive leader back on the practice field today as Bruce Smith returned from his father's bedside.

Bills Get Ready for Steelers: Wade Phillips said that he will be play most of his starters at least a half against the Steelers and some players into the third quarter. He is trying to develop chemistry among the starting unit. What hasn't been decided is who will start at QB on Saturday. It was reported earlier in the week that Rob Johnson will get this start but later reports say Doug Flutie will start. While they play Pittsburgh on Saturday they are already starting to prepare for the opener in Indianapolis in just 10 days!

September 1, 1999

Smith's Father Ailing: Bruce Smith missed his second day of practice today to be with his Father who is in a hospital. The elder Smith suffers from emphysema.

August 31, 1999

Bills Prepare for Steelers: The Bills held one practice today at the Ralph Wilson Sports Complex. Bruce Smith was excused from practice and Dan Brandenberg and Lennox Gordon missed practice with minor injuries.

August 30, 1999

Here's the unofficial cuts announced so far:

  • WR Todd Floyd
  • WR Tony Atkins
  • WR A.C. Tellison
  • RB Kendall Cleveland
  • OL Andy Meyers
  • G Mercedes Hamilton
  • G Corey Hulsey
  • LB Dusty Renfro
  • LB Craig Guest
  • S Raion Hill
  • QB Mike Cawley
  • TE Eric Stocz
  • K Jaret Holmes

With the 13 cuts today, the Bills have 66 men on the roster. They have a roster exemption for Dave Mudge since he played in NFL Europe, so they are ok until the next round of cuts on Sunday. There are a couple of minor surprises on this list. Mike Cawley was thought to survive this round of cuts but the organization is giving him a chance to see what's out there. Raion Hill showed some flashes in camp, so it was thought he would still be around for another few days. One name not here is the backup punter Bill Kushner, is there a chance he can unseat Chris Mohr?

Johnson to Start on Saturday: It looks like Rob Johnson will be getting the start in the final preseason game and will play most of the way. This isn't a surprise as the starters don't usually play much in the final game. Phillips continues to try and give Johnson every shot possible to unseat Flutie, don't expect it to happen though, Flutie's the guy.

Spielman Retires: The National Football League has lost one of its special warriors as Chris Spielman announced his retirement today. He did what he had to do after getting his neck injured on Saturday Night for the second time this pre-season. He will be remembered on the field as a warrior with a great work ethic. He will definitely find his way back on to the football field as a coach before too long.

Bills 30, Bengals 3

Workmanlike Effort Beats Lowly Bengals: The Bills started off slowly in this game but took it to the terrible Bengals in the second quarter and went on to rout Cincinnati. They took advantage of turnovers and good field position to score 30 unanswered points after the Bengals scored on their first possession.

QB Controversy is Over: Phillips may not admit it, but his actions spoke louder than his words. He played Doug Flutie well into the third quarter, which answers who the starting QB is. Flutie was less than stellar throwing for 116 yards on 10 of 21 including a 22 yard touchdown pass to Kamil Loud. Rob Johnson finally entered the game midway through the third quarter and played very well against the weak backups for the Bengals. He did throw an interception in the end zone but after Antoine Winfield recovered a fumble, Johnson hit Loud for a Touchdown. In the fourth quarter he led the team on an 83 yard drive that ended with a Anthony Gray TD run.

Loud Shines: The talk had been than Loud was struggling to hold off Jeremy McDaniel for the fifth receiver job. Loud's two touchdown passes should have cemented his job as the #4 wide receiver with the team. He was the most active player on the team. McDaniel's only chance to make the team is if they carry 6 wideouts. He won't be among the first round of cuts and he is an excellent candidate for the practice squad.

Offensive Line Plays A Lot: The starters on the offensive line needed work and they got it, playing into the fourth quarter, but they didn't play well. They were constantly getting beat by blitzes and were called for four holding penalties. They did open up holes a little bit better than they had last week.

Backup Tightends Have Rough Night: The battle of the rookies has taken a turn for the worse as Bobby Collins hurt himself by dropping a sure touchdown pass from Johnson. His only saving grace was that Sheldon Jackson dropped three passes, two would have been long gains, and one was a sure touchdown.

Linton Redeems Himself: Two weeks after his three fumble effort, Jonathan Linton played extremely well against Cincy. He ran the ball hard and he even caught a pass for a long gainer. Another running back who played very well was Anthony Gray besides the touchdown he ran hard and played well. Antowain Smith ran the ball 8 times for 31 yards.

First Round of Cuts to Come Monday: The coaching staff is expected to finalize their cuts tomorrow and announce them on Monday. They need to cutdown to 65 players by Tuesday. They do have three NFL Europe exemptions, which means if they want to they can cut down to 68.

August 28, 1999

Phillips Taking Heat over QB Situation: The national media has caught on to Wade Phillips not announcing his starting QB for the coming season. It is obvious to all fans, players, and to Rob Johnson that Doug Flutie will be the starting QB on opening day. Johnson stated in an AP story that he's the backup and he doesn't even understand why the coach still has them as co-starters. Phillips has told the national media Flutie's the starter but continues to tell local media that he's getting two QBs ready for the season.

Bills Meet Bengals Tonight: This will be the last road tune-up for the club and Doug Flutie will start and play about a half and be followed by Rob Johnson. All players should be ready to play except for Dan Brandenberg who is still out with an ankle sprain.

August 26, 1999

Two #1 QB?: Wade Phillips will still not commit to a starting quarterback for the coming season. He continues to say that the team is preparing both Johnson and Flutie for the season. Expect Flutie to get the start Saturday and be followed by Johnson.

August 24, 1999

Bickering Bills? Beleagured RB Antowain Smith made the worst comments of the pre season in an article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Smith basically blasted the offensive line for the poor performance of the running game against Washington. He does have a point that the run blocking was poor (as we stated here in our post game comments). You just don't go out and rip the guys you are going to count on to block for you, especially after the second pre-season game. Smith definitely still seems to be slowed by the groin injury, if he doesn't get over it soon, expect Thurman Thomas to become a more focal point of the offense this season.

Injury Front: The good news is the club is very healthy for the midway point of the pre-season, the only player not practicing today was LB Dan Brandenberg who is nursing a sprained ankle. He probably will miss Saturday's game in Cincinnati.

August 22, 1999

No Containers In The Ralph: The Bills are planning to curtail some of the rowdiness at the stadium this year by beefing up security and banning any containers inside the stadium. Fans were allowed in the past to bring in one thermos per person, which was admittedly filled with beer by some people. The ruling isn't a popular one, since a lot of fans would bring in hot chocolate during colder games.

Redskins 20, Bills 19: One QB question was answered and another one arose Friday night in the nation's capital. Doug Flutie cemented his position as the number one QB with a better showing with the second team than Rob Johnson had with the first unit. Johnson had three straight three and outs before getting hot on a field goal drive. Flutie came in and showed off his athlectic ability by constantly rolling out and throwin on the run with some good results. The new question is who will be the #3 QB. Alex Van Pelt led the club to a touchdown in his only possession and Mike Cawley led them to a touchdown during the two minute drill. He also made a great throw for the two pointer that would have won it, but Jeremy McDaniel could not keep his feet inbounds.

Mixed Debut for Winfield: In his first NFL game Antoine Winfield played fairly well breaking up a pass but he didn't make any tackles. Winfield had a costly holding penalty during the winning touchdown drive by Washington.

No Running Game: Antowain Smith had his first game action of the preseason and gained only 9 yards on 5 carries and he fumbled once. Last week's star Anthony Gray also was stopped cold by Washington gaining only 15 yards in 7 carries. Flutie was actually the club's leading rusher in the game. The offensive line didn't open up any holes for the ground game and their pass protection wasn't that good either.

August 19, 1999

Bills Leave for Washington: The club left this afternoon for tomorrow night's preseason game in Washington. Rob Johnson will get the start tomorrow night and he is expected to split the first three quarters with Doug Flutie. Most of the players who were held out of last week's games will play tomorrow.

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