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Buffalo Bills News - December 25, 2003

Marker Healthy holidays [5:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The latest injury report was released yesterday and only two names were on it - backup safety Chris Akins (leg) and guard Joe Andruzzi (foot). Both are listed as questionable for Saturday's game against Buffalo. Andruzzi was the only player to sit out practice, with Akins returning to action for the first time in three weeks.'

Marker Season has taken toll on Milloy [5:10 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Even as he says he's moved on, one can sense lingering bitterness over the way he feels he was used last season and the way his release went down.'

Marker Prepare for takeoff [5:09 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Milloy swears this isnít about revenge against his former teammates. He just wants to win. "I am going to go out there and I am going to fly around and it is not going to be a vengeful range," Milloy said. "It is going to be because I respect all of my teammates over there and anybody that gains my respect on any opposing team, they can expect my best."'

Marker Patriots buy into Belichickís system [5:08 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Belichick also pointed out that, in the past, heís had players who donít buy into that concept. They usually donít last long in his system. "I have seen both. Some players just canít understand it," he said. "They just canít buy into it: ĎItís okay for me to do my job and for you to make the tackle.í Some players canít understand that. They only feel like they have done their job if they make the tackle and therefore if they try to make it and miss it, then they are better off than if they just do their job and let the play go to somebody else.There are other players that have trouble understanding the concept that, ĎItís not my job to make every play. It is my job to take care of my responsibility.í"'

Marker These gifts made an impression on Patriots players [5:07 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Even quarterback Tom Brady isn't playing along. Hey Tom, what are you hoping to get for Christmas this year? "I just want a win," he responds.'

Marker Milloy's happy [5:06 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: '"Right now, we feel like we can line up and play against anybody. It is just sad that we are not in the playoff hunt because I know teams don't want to face us right now."'

Marker Inside slant [5:05 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Even if as many as 10 head coaching jobs open up, Williams won't be high on anybody's list of candidates. Donahoe, whose style is to take his time and not react emotionally, believes in top-down management and won't lay all the blame for this season's struggles solely on Williams. He also likes stability. So while it would be easy to assume Williams is a goner, it's also possible Donahoe will choose to stay the course, allowing Williams to keep intact a rising No. 2 defense and staff of assistants, while the focus shifts to revamping the offense.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:04 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills and Winfield talked before the season began about a new deal but didn't come to terms and Winfield now hopes to test the market, especially after his fourth straight season of not tasting the playoffs after getting there his rookie year. "I don't want to cheat myself," Winfield said. "I mean, I would love to be back. We have a very talented team. But I want to win and I'm tired of losing. It seems like that has been the thing around here the last three years. I need to go to a contender, or hopefully, we can step up here and do something. I'll have to weigh my options."'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:03 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Bills fans booed from start to finish in the Miami loss, but one person got a little more creative. He blew up a white balloon, wrote the words "Bye, Bye Gregg" on it in black marker, and released it to be bounced around the stands like a beach ball. Talk about your balloon-o-grams.'

Marker Super Mario hoping to catch on with Buffalo full time [5:02 AM]
Clarksdale Press Register reports: '"It's not that hard for me because I'm still learning how to play in the NFL," he said. "It's harder on other players who are used to playing every week."'

Marker Van Pelt Says He's Out For Saturday [5:01 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '...he told me on Tuesday that he can't even grab a football and there's no way he could throw this week.'

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December 24, 2003

Marker McGahee resigned to sitting out Bills season finale [5:43 PM]
AP reports: '``Something bad might happen, carry over to next year, so I'm going to stay healthy,'' McGahee said. ``I'm looking forward to next year. You never look back in the past, always look forward.'''

Marker 10 million reason$ make Milloy a winner [5:13 PM]
Lawrence Eagle Tribune reports: 'At 30 years old, the Washington product had to take steps to secure a quality life. With two trips to the Super Bowl under his belts and one championship ring could he blamed for looking out for No. 1? Of course not. And surely, the New England players will one day accept that. Just not this Saturday.'

Marker Rematch brings schedule full circle [5:12 PM] reports: '"We want to go out and redeem ourselves."'

Marker Always unscripted, Miller ready to call last game for Bills [3:11 PM]
AP reports: '''It's familiar, it's quite intimate. It invites you in. He is the neighbor next door,'' Smith said. ''You never tired of Van Miller. He could go on for another 50 years and people would still be saying, 'More.''''

Marker Bills OG Brown misses second straight practice [3:10 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills guard Ruben Brown missed his second straight practice on Wednesday, excused for what coach Gregg Williams called personal reasons. Brown is not on the team's injury report and the team would not provide further details. The Bills are preparing for their season finale at New England on Saturday.'

Marker New England shoots for AFC's top seed versus Buffalo [3:09 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"I don't have any prediction with that, really," Williams said of the chances of being back in Buffalo for the 2004 season. "Next week is next week. We'll sit down as soon as possible. We'll talk. We do that every year. We'll start two days after the season, tearing everything down. We'll go through every phase of it. [GM Tom Donahoe] and I have done that every year."'

Marker Patriots have something to prove to Bills [3:08 PM] reports: '"It's very ironic," Patriots strong safety Rodney Harrison said, "but it's the perfect setting. We're at home for the last game and it's a climactic game. There will be a lot of physical play and emotion."'

Marker Tops Game Ball Winner: Van Miller [3:07 PM] reports: 'Here's your chance to ask the long-time voice of the Bills a question!'

Marker Injured Patriot Colvin still thinking positively [3:06 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Colvin was supposed to inject life into the Pats' pass rush. Yet without him, Mike Vrabel (9.5 sacks), Richard Seymour (8) and Willie McGinest (5.5) have thrived. Colvin was supposed to shore up the run defense that had sagged in 2002. Yet without him the Patriots rank fourth in the league and have allowed only one 100-yard back all season. If this defense is that good without him, logic says it would be downright scary with him.'

Marker Klecko's fan appeal hasn't waned [3:05 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Saturday will be ĎĎMilitary Appreciation Day'' at Gillette Stadium, honoring personnel representing the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, plus Massachusetts Army National Guard and Air Guard. Four military A-10 jets will conduct a pregame fly-over, and Army Sergeant First Class David Ainslie, a Purple Heart recipient from the war in Iraq, will participate in the coin toss.'

Marker Colvin, Milloy back in town [3:04 PM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: 'ďI feel good. Itís not going to be a game of revenge. You guys know Iím going to fly around, and any eventual rage is going to be because I respect all of my (former) teammates over there. Anybody who gains my respect on any opposing team, they know they can expect my best. And hopefully, the way I approach this week, especially with the situation here, my teammates (in Buffalo) can see this is still football, we have a chance to be the No. 1 defense.Ē'

Marker Patriots stick to their story: winning [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You've got to give the players credit for making the plays that they've made," New England coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday. "We've had a lot of different people step up and make big plays at key times in the game on offense, defense and special teams."'

Marker Williams, Van Pelt nursing injuries [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams has a sprained right knee and Van Pelt has a sprained wrist. Both did not practice Tuesday, although Bills coach Gregg Williams said he is hopeful that Mike Williams will return to practice today. "He's done better," Gregg Williams said. "We hope that he will be able to progress throughout the course of the week."'

Marker Brady, Belichick defend Bledsoe [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'ďHe played pretty well in our game. Thatís what Iím going on,Ē he said. ďHe played very well against us, the entire team played well. Drew certainly had an outstanding day. We have a lot of respect for Drew. I have a lot of respect for him personally. When you get beat 31-0 you better respect the team that beat you, I can tell you that.Ē'

Marker Williams' fate waits a week [5:14 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Itís believed that Williams was offered three-, four- and five-year deals when he signed with Buffalo in 2001 and elected to take three. When the Bills offered an extension with an option last off-season, Williams declined, believing ó it now appears ó that if he had coached a playoff team heíd have more leverage and options open to him.'

Marker Wire makes big impact off field, too [5:13 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The impact he has had away from the field has been much more profound than those helmet-rattling hits he delivers while covering kicks and receivers on Sunday afternoons at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Defense a fun group activity [5:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Patriots play exceptional "team" defense. The term is redundant, but realize that it isn't easy to get 11 to think and play as one.'

Marker Colvin won't play what-if game [5:11 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'In a year in which the team is 13-2, won the AFC East, and is jockeying for prime playoff position, Colvin's season ended after he fractured his left hip in Game 2 against Philadelphia while trying to scoop up a loose ball and run.'

Marker Teaming up to carry the load [5:10 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Patriots are averaging 3.4 yards per carry, second-worst in the league. In the offseason Belichick probably will look for a front-line running back. But for now, at least, he's not looking at next week as the start of his team's offseason.'

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