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Buffalo Bills News - December 16, 2003

Marker Inside slant [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Even worse than Henry's exclusion from the final drive was his absence on the game's biggest play, the two-point conversion attempt with 24 seconds remaining that could have sent the game into overtime and possibly prolonged Buffalo's playoff hopes another week. Henry was on the bench for that one, too.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:12 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Before that final possession Bledsoe looked helpless trying to throw against a Tennessee pass defense that entered the game ranked 32nd in the league. However, his receivers didn't give him much help, either.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:11 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'RT Mike Williams is playing better as his second season winds to a close. The former No. 4 overall draft pick has fared well in recent weeks pass blocking as he contained New York's Michael Strahan and didn't allow Tennessee's Jevon Kearse to register a sack when lined up against him.'

Marker Bills' Reese likely out for year [5:10 AM]
The Sports Network reports: '"I don't know whether he'll be able to make it either week," head coach Gregg Williams said Monday.'

Marker Gregg: Going, going... [5:09 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Players also like Williams swagger and self confidence, even though that’s been dented in the past few months, and they even like the fact he had the guts to do the unexpected at times, even though the unexpected usually turned into an expected disaster. But he made some promises he couldn’t keep, and he made some poor hiring choices, and he often didn’t appear to manage the clock or the game well from the sidelines. He also never seemed to “get it” that sometimes, the head coach has to take the hit even when he knows it wasn’t his fault.'

Marker Fitting End To The Season [5:08 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'It was a fitting end to the Bills season. They complained about a few calls that they believe would have made the difference, their quarterback had another costly fumble, and the offensive coordinator made a questionable choice with the game on the line. I thought that last play of the game was inexcusable.'

Marker The Bills Try To Regroup With Two Games Left [5:07 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Things were kind of down and out Monday as players gathered for the first time knowing they're out of the playoff race. All guaranteed they'd play hard for themselves and the fans in the final two games against Miami and New England.'

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December 15, 2003

Marker No catch for Shaw; No playoffs for Bills [8:19 PM]
AP reports: '''We could've done things earlier in the game and not been in that situation,'' Teague said. ''You can't dwell on one play.'''

Marker Bills Reese has torn left calf [8:18 PM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo Bills safety Izell Reese tore his left calf and is likely to miss the rest of the season.'

Marker Bills have more questions than ever [8:17 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Presumably he decided head coach Gregg Williams was history a month ago. Ditto offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and possibly one or two of the other offensive aides. But there are also personnel issues that must be addressed. Since the Bills are playing for nothing — including, it would seem, Williams’ job — why not thank Eric Moulds for the effort and tell him to take the last two games off to rest his nagging groin injury to be fully healthy next season? He’s not going to the Pro Bowl and is playing at a fraction if his ability. And what about running back? Travis Henry has gone over 1,200 yards and played the last 4 1/2 games with a broken leg. He’s earned the right to play if he desires, but with two cold weather games coming up — Miami at “The Ralph” and at New England — why not at least have him split time with Willis McGahee?'

Marker Titans trim Buffalo [3:23 PM]
Elizabethton Star reports: 'Shaw complained after the game that the catch was complete; however, referee Tom White differed. "He threw the pass and the receiver went down to catch the ball. It went into him (his hands)," White said. "As he rolled over, his arm came up in the air, but the ball was already loose. So he never really had possession of it under the definition of a completed pass. Therefore, it's incomplete and the try is no good."'

Marker Volek's leadership no surprise to teammates [1:18 PM]
Knoxville News Sentinel reports: '"You could tell he was in control from the beginning of the game," Titans wide receiver Justin McCareins said. "Billy throws a little bit different ball, a harder ball. He has a strong arm and likes to utilize it, so you have to be ready. I commend him for his effort because he showed what kind of player he is."'

Marker Len Pasquarelli: The search is on [12:36 PM]
ESPN reports: It's not official and, Bills GM Donahoe will continue to toe the party line, which is that coach Williams won't be evaluated until after the last game of the season. But start the search in Buffalo, folks, because Williams, a good guy who had to make the playoffs to survive, is a goner.

Marker Final drive is Bills' last gasp [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You get tired of saying, "A play here, a play there,' " said linebacker Takeo Spikes. "When is it going to stop?"'

Marker Dispatched Bills flunk one last meaningful test [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills won't forget Volek's name anytime soon. It'll be all over the highlight shows, and it'll haunt them during the long offseason. The vaunted Buffalo defense had a chance to upset the Titans and keep the Bills' faint playoff hopes alive. Instead, they blew an 11-point lead and turned an obscure backup into a star.'

Marker Curse of the Coliseum continues to haunt Bills [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I caught the ball," Shaw said. "But what I think and what the officials called were different, so there isn't much we can do about it."'

Marker 'Beast' has beauty of a game [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's all garbage now," Williams said of his performance in the Bills' 28-26 loss. "I played good and I made plays, but I throw it away because we lost."'

Marker Volek takes a step toward NFL reputation [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I had anticipated Steve playing based on his reputation in the past," Bills linebacker London Fletcher said. "But obviously Volek played one hell of a football game."'

Marker Monday Billboard [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There were three former residents of Walla Walla, Wash., in the game. Both starting quarterbacks, Bledsoe and Volek, grew up there. So did Titans linebacker Peter Sirmon. In fact, Bledsoe used to baby-sit him.'

Marker Bills miss playoffs -- again [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“We have no one to blame but ourselves. It’s a dejected feeling when you have a team with this much talent and knowing that you didn’t get it done.”'

Marker Bills' Music City encore sour [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'That it was referee Tom White at the center of the storm somehow seemed fitting in this 6-8 season when the Bills dug a hole too deep and left too much to chance. Think about it. Their season is on the line and they draw the man in stripes who has become the poster child for controversy, recently being docked half a paycheck by the NFL for botching the clock that cost Seattle a win.'

Marker Henry's absence felt in last drive [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In fact, Henry wasn’t on the field for the entire drive in the final two minutes as the Bills desperately tried to save their season with a stirring comeback victory. How can this be? The explanation from coach Gregg Williams is that Henry isn’t part of the third-down or two-minute passing packages. That role belongs to Sammy Morris. Oh.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:14 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Quarterbacks: Drew Bledsoe made it close with a big fourth quarter, but his 2-point conversion pass to Bobby Shaw was way too low and ruled incomplete. Was outplayed by backup Billy Volek overall, and game turned on his sack/fumble in the third quarter that sparked Titans from a 17-6 deficit. Bledsoe is now 2-9 in last 11 road games.'

Marker McNair stays on sideline as Volek pulls out victory [4:54 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''Billy's my MVP right now,'' McNair said. It was the first time he didn't play since Sept. 23, 2001, a streak of 45 starts.'

Marker V for Volek, W for Titans [4:53 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''They probably don't want to come back here anytime soon,'' Titans tight end Frank Wycheck said.'

Marker Volek makes most of first NFL start [4:52 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''He was wonderful and outstanding,'' said wide receiver Derrick Mason, who caught nine of Volek's passes for 137 yards, including a 37-yarder that set up a late touchdown. ''(The Bills) threw everything at him … to confuse him. But Billy kept his poise.'''

Marker Bills unable to exploit porous Titans secondary [4:51 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''The Titans did a good job of mixing up coverages,'' Bledsoe said. ''You are never, in this league, going to have guys running around wide open. Sometimes you have to make a tight throw and have to make a good catch in tight coverage.'''

Marker Williams, Gray fuming, not celebrating this time [4:50 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''You try to show him that you have it because it's low to the ground. As far as I am concerned, it's a very bad call. How long do I have to have it before they rule it complete?'''

Marker Turnaround begins with Bulluck burst [4:49 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''I had blitzed earlier, and I told (defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz I could beat 'em, I could get there,'' Bulluck said. ''So then he came back to it, and like I told him, I got there and the rest is history.'''

Marker Like previous Miracle, call goes Tennessee's way [4:48 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'For the Bills, however, visions of the Music City Miracle appeared again. Another wind-swept winter day in Nashville. Another referee's face flush against the replay monitor. Another long flight home from a game they believe was taken away from them.'

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