Dismissal a relief for Butler [8:07 AM]
D and C reports: 'But daily contact with Wilson, who didn't necessarily tell him what to do, but who wanted to know every detail of what he was doing, wore Butler down.'
Bills/ Seahawks scouting report [8:07 AM]
D and C reports: 'It's hard to predict what might happen tonight in this meaningless season finale for the Bills and Seahawks. With both teams out of the playoffs, they're playing for pride and the chance to make one last final impression on their respective coaching staffs. Is that enough to warrant a well-played game?'
Bills' future uncertain [8:06 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'To say there was an air of uneasiness in the Bills' locker room this week, especially after Butler's firing, is a huge understatement. The fact team owner Ralph Wilson Jr. decided to accompany the team west - he said it was to show his support for the team in Butler's absence, others say it's so he can fire coach Wade Phillips in person immediately after the game - hasn't helped ease tensions.'
Meaningless game? Tell that to the Bills hoping to keep jobs [8:05 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'However, Phillips denies his job is on his mind. "I'm focused on this game, I'm coaching, I'm not even thinking (about my job)," he maintained. "(Owner) Ralph Wilson makes decisions based on what's best for the Buffalo Bills. I'm sure he'll make the right decision (on coaches)."'
Holmgren learns lesson in meaningless games [8:03 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Mike Holmgren isn't used to playing meaningless football games. The Seattle Seahawks' head coach has worked 15 seasons in the National Football League and not until this year had he ever had a team involved in a losing season.'
More than a game at stake [8:02 AM]
Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: 'Seahawks, 23-17.'
Seattle will pull out all the stops to contain Flutie [8:01 AM]
Seattle Times reports: '"I think, probably, Flutie is one of the best scrambling, creating quarterbacks who has ever played the game," said Seahawk defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell, acknowledging the headaches Flutie can cause an opposing coach.'
Capsule preview: Seahawks vs. Bills [8:00 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'Guard Ruben Brown was selected to his fifth straight Pro Bowl. Only Bill legends Bruce Smith (11), Andre Reed (7) and Steve Tasker (6) have earned more total Pro Bowl selections than Brown, a team captain this season.'
Holmgren plans another overhaul [7:57 AM]
Olympia Olympian reports: 'There is a very real possibility that the Seahawks' leading passer (Jon Kitna), receiver (Sean Dawkins) and rusher (Ricky Watters) could be gone after the season. Kitna is a free agent whom Holmgren is not expected to re-sign, while Dawkins and Watters might be let go in cost-cutting moves.'
Seahawks game preview [7:56 AM]
Olympia Olympian reports: 'Pick: Bills, 27-20.'
Bills at Seahawks [7:55 AM]
Spokane Spokesman Review reports: 'Buffalo has lost four straight. Make it five. Seattle 27, Bills 20.'
Butler move is good for Bills [7:54 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Bills are a club that is stagnating right now. They finally made it back to the playoffs last season, but fell short of that mark this season, although injuries on defense can be argued as their downfall. But when you look closer, this is a franchise that needs to move in a positive direction.'
The Seahawks' opponent this week: Buffalo Bills [5:29 PM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'After defeating Tennessee in the opener, the highlight was a midseason stretch that saw the Bills go 4-0, winning three on the road. ... The lowlight was a 33-6 defeat to the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 3, the second game in the Bills' current four-game skid.'
Salary cap could lead to Flutie's farewell [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are about $10 million over the projected cap for next season, according to News estimates. They will need to clear that much salary room and then more in order to try to sign soon-to-be free agents Eric Moulds and Marcellus Wiley.'
Flutie says he'd like to stay [8:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'It would cost the Bills a $4.5 million salary cap hit to dump Flutie, and that figure rises to $6.5 million to dump Johnson. It's financial suicide, and Flutie doesn't see it happening.'
GM Butler spurns Bills' lucrative bids [8:27 AM]
USA Today reports: 'During the last year of his contract, Butler kept hearing from other general managers and agents that he was grossly underpaid.'
Wasting time? [8:25 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The defense rests. So should Spanos. He should stop his search for a general manager before it begins. He should do what's best for his team and what's right for his organization. He should hire John Butler. Now.'
Wiley's season has gone from tears to joy [8:33 PM]
AP reports: 'While his back is still not fully healed, his mind is at ease. In his last seven games, Wiley has been in on 57 tackles, including a career-high 17 against New England, and recorded 7 1/2 sacks.'
Courting Mr. Butler [8:29 PM]
Fox Sports reports: '"It's been said I was looking to get out," said Butler, "but that's totally incorrect. My contract expired Feb. 28; two days later free agency starts. Most clubs have to have people in place and prepared the minute free agency opens. There wasn't going to be any type of advantage for me."'
The secret diaries of Doug Flutie: I'm short and I'm good [1:52 PM]
St. Catharines Standard reports: 'Arrogant. Can you believe that? I know I'm good. I know I'm pretty. And, OK, maybe I shouldn't have told all that stuff to that Sports Illustrated guy about Mushhead (Mushhead -- heh, heh, heh, I kinda like that one), but that doesn't mean I'm arrogant.'
Wilson ups the ante on performance [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's always been my practice just to go out and play no matter what," linebacker John Holecek said. "But, obviously, when you have something like this, you have the added pressure, people are going to be looking over their shoulders. And damn right they should be playing hard."'
Wilson's ax just might swing again [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'One thing Wade is advised not to do on the flight to Seattle or the return trip to Buffalo is make a goal-line stand to keep his coaching staff intact.'
Phillips says strong finish still the goal [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We play to win. That's what we've done all along, and that's what we're going to do this week."'
Sacking the general manager [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With a San Diego job reportedly his for the asking and his stock extremely high in football circles, who can blame Butler for wanting to test the post-season market to see what he's worth? It's not a good idea, though, to ignore the boss.'
One more song for Flutie [7:47 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'With the John Butler era in Buffalo officially over, the final chapter of the Doug Flutie saga might soon be written as well.'
Phillips dances the soft shoe [7:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: '"My focus this week is on this ballgame," said Phillips, who is rumoured to be next in line for owner Ralph Wilson Jr.'s axe after Buffalo wraps up the regular season in Seattle on Saturday night at Husky Stadium.'
Bills have tough road to victory [6:41 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'They are traveling cross country to play the Seahawks in a game that has none of the meaning Phillips had hoped it would have. But jobs for 2001, including his, are at risk.'
'If I can't hire you, I'll fire you' [6:36 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'But the facts are these: Wilson's contract offers weren't competitive.'
'Tis the season to be jittery [6:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Now that he's going [to Seattle this weekend], rumors are running rampant that Wilson may decide -- based on what happens in Seattle -- Phillips' future this weekend.'
A Levy-Butler reunion not far-fetched [6:31 AM]
D and C reports: '"I had an excellent working relationship with John, just as I had a great working relationship with his predecessor, Bill Polian," Levy said when asked about that scenario. "I have great regard for John. Yes, that would be a desirable situation, but I don't even want to speculate about that."'
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