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Buffalo Bills News - December 18, 2004

Marker Bengals vs. Bills [8:32 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'Field position will be important and Buffalo's special teams are among the best in the NFL. Whichever team gets better play, or a big play, from its special teams will have the advantage.'

Marker Saturday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:14 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Getting finer with time (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Palmer is all but ruled out (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Bengals staying focused (Cincinnati Post)
Barring miracle, Kitna's the starter (Cincinnati Post)
Spikes happy with move to Bills (Cincinnati Post)
Bengals vs. Bills (Cincinnati Post)
Kitna gets chance to prove his merit (Dayton Daily News)
Lewis notes McGahee comeback (Columbus Dispatch)
Kitna gets nod (Bengals.com)
The Cell Phone Game (Bengals.com)
Bengals practice squad move (Bengals.com)
Injury report (Bengals.com)
Key matchups (Bengals.com)

Marker Tricks of Bills a real treat [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We'd run 'em in practice and I say, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Villarrial says. "And then we'd go out there on Sundays, and our opponents would wind up being completely fooled. I'm a believer now. Mike Mularkey and Tom Clements are like mad scientists. Anything goes with them. I can't wait to see what they pull out of the hat next."'

Marker Spikes will finally play big game [5:00 AM]
AP reports: '“This is what I wanted to do, to be part of something special,” Spikes said. “The emotions are going to run wild, man. The biggest reason is I’ve never been in the month of December, this late, and still had something to play for other than pride.”'

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December 17, 2004

Marker Clements Returns To The Field [5:19 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Mularkey said that Clements told him he was able to go full out and it went well. The Bills head coach said he'll see how the cornerback feels on Sunday. He's listed as probable with a sore shoulder.'

Marker Bengals Have Balanced Attack [3:58 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Takeo Spikes is going back to Cincinnati this week and we'll see how he handles the situation during the week. We don't want him to get so tight that he doesn't play well. I want to make sure he goes out and does his job, cutting it loose, just as he has done for the last year and a half with the Buffalo Bills. As a coach, I don't want to build any pressure on him going back home where he got drafted. I think it's just another game for Takeo and there isn't any animosity toward the Bengals. He has to out and play like that because a player can get so wound up that he doesn't play well.'

Marker Rookies Celebrate Holidays with Kids [3:56 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The rookies hosted a Holiday party for 80 kids from the Salvation Army, Big Brother Big Sisters of Erie County, Gerard Place, Seneca Nation and Northwest Buffalo Community Center. The event was held in the Paul Maguire Club at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Over a dozen players from the Buffalo Bills attended the party, including quarterback J.P. Losman, wide receiver Lee Evans, and running back Shaud Williams. Even offensive lineman Ross Tucker stopped by along with newly acquired tight end, Rod Trafford.'

Marker Give-a-ways Build Creativity and School Unity [3:56 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'This idea of promoting the Bills with the community benefiting is carried through in the Buffalo Bills Student Leaders program. Every month, students are given a promotional item to distribute at their school. Thus far, the students have taken full advantage of a great opportunity to give back. The schools have been extremely responsive and the Student Leaders have truly made a difference.'

Marker Tops Game Ball Winner: Troy Vincent [3:37 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'How was the transition to FS? Are you comfortable back there, and how are you adjusting to playing a position you never played before? Are you willing to make this a long term move, and make it a permanent position? Great game and thanks for your thoughts.
TV: The transition has been a tremendous challenge. It's rejuvenated my body and my mind. I have to prepare as if I never taken a snap before at this level. Last week I had the rookie jitters, that first time of being on the field and not knowing the speed of the game at that position. The biggest transition is the speed of the game. At cornerback you could basically take yourself to the game and create a game yourself. At the free safety position the game has to come to you. You have to be patient because you're not just looking at one guy. It's a tremendous challenge for me but it's a position that I do believe I can excel at.'

Marker No More Doubters across the League [2:49 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'I've been saying from day one that in this league you are one play away from being a good team, and one play away from being a bad team. The Bills have been getting some breaks over their four-game winning streak, but for the most part, they've made their own breaks by playing aggressively. The defense has been hungry and is making opponents pay with its physical style of football. They are punishing backs and receivers and that has led to a bunch of turnovers. You have to take the ball away to win in this league.'

Marker Buffalo (7-6) at Cincinnati (6-7) [2:40 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Bills 24, Bengals 21.'

Marker Lewis delivers attitude adjustment [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm not here to be close," he said. "We're here to win a championship. Close doesn't get you anything. We work too hard to settle for anything but winning the football game. We're going to keep working to find a way all the time to win the football game."'

Marker 'Odd Couple' of friends turn foes when Bills visit Bengals [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We talk about the same time every week," Bratkowski said. "Tuesday night around 11 when things are starting to wind down and we're going off to do our individual stuff. We talk once a week. Maybe twice.'

Marker Playoff tiebreakers have never resorted to a tossup [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Q: Since Terrence McGee is so fast and has so much range, why not put him at free safety and Vincent back at cornerback?
A: No question, McGee would give the Bills great range at free safety. Experience, however, is probably more important at free safety than at any position on the field, other than quarterback.'

Marker The Cell Phone Game [6:28 AM]
Bengals.com reports: 'This is the Cell Phone Game. Bills-Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Can you hear me now?'

Marker Another tough foe for Bengals [5:33 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"They are really the rock of the defense," Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said of Adams and Williams. "They can let the linebackers roam free. Your line pays so much attention to those two guys inside. They are so explosive. They create a problem."'

Marker Focused Spikes back in Cincinnati [5:32 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"When you get a new coach coming in, players don't know what to expect of the coaches and coaches don't know what to expect of the players," Spikes said. "It took a lot of time for (Mularkey) to understand who's going to be role players and who's going to be the sole-called key studs. It was a work in progress."'

Marker Friday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:31 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Palmer not yet counting self out (Cincinnati Enquirer)
SS Beckett doubtful to play against Bills (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Another tough foe for Bengals (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Rudi's battled the best (Cincinnati Post)
Rudi Johnson, game by game (Cincinnati Post)
Backup Kitna ranks as 1st-stringer in life (Cincinnati Post)
Palmer's down to 1 crutch (Cincinnati Post)
Focused Spikes back in Cincinnati (Dayton Daily News)
Kitna defends arm, Rudi earns praise (Dayton Daily News)
Kitna at peace with role (Columbus Dispatch)
Kitna & Palmer close friends despite differences (AP)

Marker Bills defense the grinch that steals offense [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We want three a game, not to get greedy, but to finish on a positive note," said Gray, whose unit has 28 takeaways, already 10 more than all of last season. "If you can get a positive number, the offense will have the ball on short fields and you have a great chance to win games."'

Marker Wannstedt pulls self from Pitt's list [4:55 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'One other former Pitt quarterback is clearly interested in a job once a new coach is hired. Alex Van Pelt, who is the Panthers' all-time leading passer and played for the Buffalo Bills for nine years, has contacted Long to let him know he's very interested in being a part of the new coach's staff.'

Marker Vincent's new job [4:50 AM]
AP reports: 'As a favor, Vincent asked Gray to design some plays in which the free safety would blitz, something the Bills didn't do with rookie starter Rashad Baker. Gray obliged and called Vincent's number on the first play against Cleveland. Vincent responded with a sack. "I didn't think he was going to start the game with it. At least let me get my feet wet and put me back deep," Vincent said, laughing.'

December 16, 2004

Marker Clements Misses Another Day Of Practice [4:38 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'You have to wonder if it's worse than Mike Mularkey is letting on.'

Marker Bills offense suddenly clicking at prolific pace [4:37 PM]
AP reports: 'The old knock against the Bills offense was that its ineptitude was placing too much of a burden on the defense to keep the game close. Now, it doesn't seem to matter how many points opponents score. The Bills offense is suddenly believing it can keep up with anyone.'

Marker Bills OT Williams upgraded to probable [4:36 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams practiced for the second straight day Thursday, and his status was upgraded from questionable to probable. He was hurt in Buffalo's 42-32 win at Miami on Dec. 5, and missed last weekend's game against Cleveland.'

Marker Playoff Atmosphere Expected this Week [2:34 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills have scored a record amount of points in the past four games. The offense is just rolling and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Drew Bledsoe is going to have a big challenge against the Bengals corners. The defense may be ranked in the mid-20s in the league, but they can make big plays and cause a lot of turnovers. Drew needs to be aware of where those guys are and how they break on the ball. Eric Moulds and Lee Evans are going to have to get open and beat the corners. If Eric and Lee get open early, it may cause the Bengals to commit more defenders to the pass which should open lanes for Willis McGahee. Buffalo should be able to keep a balance on offense and should be able to score some points.'

Marker Stayin' Alive [2:33 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'Bills 27 Bengals 20.'

Marker Spikes set for Queen City return [12:59 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"He is everything people talk about," head coach Mike Mularkey said. "He's a disruptive player. He's a smart player. A physical and aggressive guy. I'm just glad he's on our side."'

Marker North Kentucky Backers Ready for Bengals [11:51 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Vezina and the rest of the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati Bills Backers meet every week at Barleycorn's in Lakeside Park, KY. The restaurant makes sure that the club is comfortable for every game. "We have a loft area reserved just for the Bills Backers," Vezina said. "And there's also a big screen TV downstairs that usually has the Bengals game on, we'll be cheering if Buffalo does something great and half of the group tries to watch the Bengals game too. That place is probably going to be wild Sunday."'

Marker Big game hunting [10:36 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We know we're going to be tested," said Bills defensive backs coach Steve Szabo on Wednesday. "This is one of the better offenses we've faced."'

Marker Lewis has restored Bengals [10:08 AM]
Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports: '“We’re going to work our tails off in the rooms and practice field,” he said. “If we don’t win it, run out of time I should say, then we’ll come back we’ll find a way to do a little better next week, work a little harder, do it a little smarter and get after the next opponent."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
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09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
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