Tuesday's Pittsburgh Coverage [7:12 AM]
Parker another weapon (Beaver County Times)
A Meaningless Game? Not to Steelers Reserves (New York Times)
Steelers' backups weren't about to back into the playoffs (AP)
Steelers report: Strategy and personnel (CBS Sportsline)
Parker was well-rested for his big break (Steelers.com)
What's your take on the Bills' 2004 season? [5:10 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'I keep thinking of that crumpled sign I spotted in the stands on Sunday. "Do you smell the playoffs?" Turns out all we were smelling was a fraud.'
Bledsoe: Bills are my team in '05 [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Not great, but not bad, and being not bad is about the best many Bills observers could have hoped for given the way Bledsoe had played from the middle of 2002 through the middle of 2004. But is playing not bad going to be good enough to get the Bills over the hump and into the playoffs?'
Henry says it's time for Bills to trade him [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It's believed Buffalo will try to recoup the first-round pick (20th overall) that they've shipped to Dallas to consummate the deal last spring for the chance to draft quarterback J.P. Losman. However, with a strong free-agent class of running backs, including Shaun Alexander, Edgerrin James, and Rudi Johnson, along with a strong college class, the market for Henry may be very limited.'
Was Bills 2004 season good, bad or ugly? [5:07 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'After the loss to the Steelers, I framed a question to Mike Mularkey that was a polite way of asking if the Bills basically got a little tight around the collars. The question was if winning is still a learning experience, with the game against the Steelers clearly the most important of the season even though the Bills had six straight wins. Mularkey said no, that all the games were basically the same; they were all important because a loss at any point would all but end the playoff hope. The coach said the game against Pittsburgh only SEEMED bigger because the media and fans made it so. Sorry, but I’m just not buying that.'
Bills Fall Just Short [5:06 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'There will be an entire off-season of finger pointing at Drew Bledsoe for Sunday’s loss. He did not play well. But Drew is Drew. He’s not going to win a game for you. He’s a quarterback with limitations, who functions when all the other parts of the team are working well.'
Henry Says He's Gone [5:05 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He says he has good memories of his time in Buffalo. When asked whether he considered himself as good as gone, Henry said, ''Yeah, most definitely.'' Henry told me personally he was going to tell head coach Mike Mularkey these thoughts in their meeting.'
Bills Can't Win Big Game [5:04 AM]
RNews.com reports: '“This is the first time I've been a free agent,” Jennings said following Sunday’s finale. “I'd love to come back, I'd love to play. I think this team's got something going that we can definitely take into next year. But both parties have to be on the same page.”'
Inside slant [5:03 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Henry, 26, is signed through next season but he said he's confident the Bills can find a team to trade him to. "Most definitely, there are a lot of teams out there I'm confident that would live to have a Travis Henry on their team," he said. "It's just a matter of what the Bills want to do."'
Strategy and personnel [5:02 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Drew Bledsoe left the door open for rookie J.P. Losman to come in and compete for his starting job next season with a horrible performance.'
Notes, quotes [5:01 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'WR Lee Evans, the team's first-round pick from Wisconsin, enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons in club history with 48 catches for 843 yards and a rookie record nine TDs. Evans caught five passes of 55 yards or more (65, 55, 69, 60 and 56). Thirty-eight of his catches resulted in first downs.'
Ask Him Yourself: Mike Mularkey [9:33 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'What did you say to Drew Bledsoe and the team after the heart-breaker Sunday, especially after finding out the Jets lost?
MM: I told them not to let this one game overshadow what they accomplished to get to this point, the insurmountable odds that you had to win every game for seven weeks straight. It will be easy to lose sight of what they did with the one loss, but they shouldn't.'
Ask Him Yourself: Tom Donahoe [9:32 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Since this is the second time this year Rian Lindell missed a chip shot to ice a game (he also missed an easy field goal against Jacksonville), isn't it time to find a more pressure-ready kicker? Especially given the money he is making?
TD: Rian Lindell will be evaluated just like everyone else on our football team. One of the things we try to do in evaluations is look at the total picture and not just one game or one particular kick. All and all, it appears that Rian has had a very good season this year when you look at his field goal percentage and his kickoffs. Rian is not any different than any player on this team. They will all be evaluated and evaluated thoroughly.'
Dud of an ending ruins Bills' season [9:28 PM]
AP reports: '``I'm just a sore loser,'' cornerback Nate Clements said. ``We're going to stick together, no matter what. And hopefully, we can look at this end on a positive note.'''
Steelers' backups weren't about to back into the playoffs [5:13 PM]
AP reports: 'Coach Bill Cowher preached all last week that, even with home-field advantage and a first-round bye clinched, he expected to win in Buffalo.'
Steelers stun oblivious Bills [1:45 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'The Steelers outran the Bills 157-92 and hassled Bledsoe into two crucial turnovers and only two third-down conversions in 12 chances, disabusing the fanciful notion that Buffalo's defense belongs in the same conversation with Pittsburgh's.'
Bills RB Henry wants out of Buffalo [1:12 PM]
AP reports: '''I'm a starter. I've been starting since I've been in this league,'' Henry said. ''I know the role that I was given this year. I didn't like it, but I dealt with it.'' Asked whether he considered himself as good as gone, Henry said: ''Yeah, most definitely.'''
Bills' Travis Henry wants out [1:06 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I want to go somewhere where I can be a starter, and play, and a be a big contributor -- that's where my mind is at,'' Henry said today as the Bills cleaned out their lockers after Sunday's season-ending 29-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Like I said at the beginning of the year, I'm not a backup. Whatever they decide to do, wherever their mind is at, I don't know. I already know where my mind is at.'''
Steelers wrap up impressive regular season with 14th straight win [11:59 AM]
McKeesport Daily News reports: 'The Bills looked nothing like the team that had outscored its previous six opponents 228-89. Buffalo managed just 267 total yards and the defense couldn't get the Steelers off the field, losing the time-of-possession battle by more than 11 minutes.'
Steelers' second team played like starters [11:59 AM]
McKeesport Daily News reports: 'At one point, the Bills were trying to stop Brian St. Pierre, Willie Parker, Lee Mays, Walter Rasby and Sean Morey. And the Bills couldn't do it.'
Curtains for the Bills [11:49 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'And strong safety Lawyer Milloy conceded, “It was obviously the turning point of the game. We were up at that point and we let them get the momentum back.” But he quickly added, “It wasn’t just the missed kick ... every one of us had a hand in this loss."'
Bills see why Steelers are AFC’s best [11:48 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'From the middle of the second period on, the only defensive starters who played an appreciable amount of time were inside linebacker Larry Foote and cornerback Chad Foote. And still the Bills, who had everything to play for, struggled on both sides of the ball.'
It was Parker’s turn to shine for the Steelers [11:48 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I guess (Buffalo) thought we were go to lay down and give it to them,” Colclough said. “We didn’t do that today.”'
Steelers just fourth team to go 15-1 [11:47 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Before Sunday, the Bills were 9-0 in January home games.'
Bills just not-yet-ready [11:04 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The Bills have made some remarkable progress this season but they still have a lot of work left, especially on the offensive side of the ball, if they're going to get back even some of their past glory. You have to wonder if all those points they scored against inferior opponents the past few weeks are not a bit of a smokescreen, masking many of the same ills that have plagued the team the past few years.'
So many chances, so few points [10:11 AM]
Welllsville Daily Reporter reports: 'And as fate would have it, it seemed as though the Bills would get exactly what they needed ... that is until the games ended and the Bills got their help but couldn't complete their own part of the task.'
Look on the bright side [10:10 AM]
Wellsville Daily Reporter reports: 'The coaching staff is in place, most of the players are there, but the most important piece is a new leader. And if the coaches don't have the confidence in Bledsoe, it's time to let Losman help this franchise turn the corner once again.'
Stillers-Bills Postgame Analysis and Grades [9:35 AM]
Stillers.com reports: 'Then Willie Parker got the ball-carrying chores, and shredded the Buff defense for 102 yards on19 carries. Parker hit a hole up LG and bolted 58 yards in the 4Q, and also helped salt the game away on the long, nearly 9-minute march with strong runs of 5, 9, 6, 4, 9, and 6.'
Stillers-Bills Post Game Thoughts [9:33 AM]
Stillers.com reports: 'I guess Bledsoe will never get that ‘QB clock’ that is so important, especially when you are as much of a statue as he is. Anyhow, how about showing some emotion to try and motivate your teammates?! The Bills had just put a great winning streak together, their entire season is on the line, and this guy looked and acted like he was playing a scrimmage game.'
Steel curtains [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"There's no reason we shouldn't be still playing," Teague said. "It's just frustrating. I couldn't have fathomed that today would turn out like it did."'
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