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Buffalo Bills News - December 26, 2004

Marker Ex-Alabama player has chance to shine for Bills [5:03 AM]
Dothan Eagle reports: '"The thought (of starting) never crossed my mind," Williams said. "I figured things would work out the way they were supposed. I'm excited."'

Marker What to Look for vs. 49ers [5:02 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Williams, Burns, and Brown will most likely split the carries and develop a running back by committee philosophy. If one gets hot during the course of the game, Head Coach Mike Mularkey will most likely stick with that runner to build some momentum for the offense.'

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December 25, 2004

Marker As 49ers sink, Bills rise in AFC playoff race [2:22 PM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'If the Bills make the playoffs one season after finishing 6-10, it will come as a surprise to many but not first-year coach Mike Mularkey. "There was never anybody showing signs of waver when we were down," said Mularkey, 43, who came to the Bills after three years as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. "I think these guys realized that we had to overcome ourselves before we could overcome our opponent. They saw it and recognized it and there was no panic."'

Marker Problems mount for once-proud 49ers [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The reason behind the Niners' demise is long and complicated: A cost-cutting owner, salary-cap agony, draft-day blunders and injuries just to name a few. Montana to Rice? A warm, but fading memory. A one-way ticket out of town might do wonders, but there's no place to hide.'

Marker Mularkey is borrowing from Walsh's playbook [6:11 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Mularkey balks at saying he strictly adheres to Walsh's West Coast offense, but he does abide by some of its principles -- throw quick, short passes, run the ball and eat up the clock. Mularkey spent the previous three years as the Steelers offensive coordinator. "He is a players' coach," said 49ers running back Ken Simonton, who played for the Bills last season and was cut by them after this year's training camp. "He hasn't lost connection with what it's like to be a player and guys respond to that." "He knows a lot about football," Bills running back Willis McGahee said in a conference call this week. "He knows we can be a dominant run team and pass team."'

Marker Saturday's San Francisco Coverage [6:10 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Young wins fifth Eshmont award and first Walsh (San Francisco Chronicle)
Mularkey is borrowing from Walsh's playbook (Contra Costa Times)
Peers, coaches heap honor on 49ers' Young (San Jose Mercury News)
After delay, injury ends Adams' season (San Jose Mercury News)
Young given 2 awards by team (Sacramento Bee)
As 49ers sink, Bills rise in AFC playoff race (Oakland Tribune)
Young Adds Fifth Eshmont Honor (SF49ers.com)
B.Y. Wins Inaugural Walsh Award (SF49ers.com)
Kosier Wins McKittrick Award (SF49ers.com)
49ers Join With S.F. Firefighters (SF49ers.com)

Marker Adams plays big part in Bills' remarkable surge [6:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I’m not proud of what happened that day, but it wound up being a good thing,” Adams said during a recent break from preparations for Sunday’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco. “I learned that Jerry’s door and mind are always open, and all I had to do was walk in and talk to him. I wanted to play more and I wanted some opportunities to go after the quarterback because that’s one of my strengths, and Jerry was willing to compromise with me. I put myself out there, and then it was up to me to respond accordingly.”'

December 24, 2004

Marker McGahee status remains uncertain for Sunday [7:00 PM]
AP reports: 'McGahee is listed as questionable after bruising and hyperextending his right knee in Buffalo's win over Cincinnati last Sunday. Coach Mike Mularkey said after Friday's workout that McGahee's availability will be a game-time decision.'

Marker Pathetic 49ers will prove accommodating hosts [6:59 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Bills, 34-14.'

Marker Five Keys to the game [6:58 PM]
San Francisco Examiner reports: 'The 49ers, who have allowed 23 passing TDs, must tighten up the secondary. The Bills can be expected to emphasize the passing game this week.'

Marker Fitting the Bill [6:57 PM]
Washington Times reports: 'With a game at 2-12 San Francisco on Sunday before a finale against 13-1 Pittsburgh, Buffalo's first winning season since 1999 is almost certain. With only defensive tackle Pat Williams and offensive tackle Jonas Jennings heading for free agency, a decent amount of salary cap room available and just six starters in their 30s, the Bills' future is much brighter than it appeared two months ago even if they don't make the playoffs.'

Marker McGahee Practices "sparingly" [6:56 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'McGahee is still questionable and will be a game time decision. Jason Peters took part in individual drills, but missed team practice. He's questionable with his hamstring problem.'

Marker Tops Game Ball Winner: Takeo Spikes [6:55 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Last year the Bills D was also highly ranked, but did not have as many turnovers as it does this Year. What was done in the off season to create a more ball hungry mentality in this year's D?
TS: I think just more emphasis on it day-in and day-out as far as practice situations made it able to transcend over to game days.'

Marker A Christmas Miracle For The Bills? [6:54 PM]
BillsDaily.com reports: It’s that wonderful time of year again – you can feel it in the air. For most people this means the sounds of sleigh bells, people singing Christmas carols, a meal of Christmas goose and sharing gift with friends and loved ones. For Bills fans it means the sound of cheering football crowds, people singing the Bills Shout! Song, a meal of wings and weck and sharing Sunday afternoons with friends rooting for the Bills.

Marker Bills, Ravens Taking it to the house [6:53 PM]
ESPN reports: '"More and more, I think players have come to realize the significance of a non-offensive touchdown, how much effect it can have on a game," acknowledged Pro Bowl weak-side linebacker Takeo Spikes of the Buffalo Bills, after last Sunday's victory at Cincinnati, a game in which his club scored just one offensive touchdown but won by 16 points. "It's such a boost to your own team, and a comedown for the (opposition), maybe because of the instant nature of the (non-offensive) score. You don't expect the defense or special teams to score. But we expect them to, man, and it's a big part of what we're doing."'

Marker Bills shook off 1-5 start [9:25 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Both teams entered the season among the youngest squads in the league. One of the differences is the Bills have been able to squeeze productivity out of their inexperienced players. The 49ers have not.'

Marker Bills embrace rush orders [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Breaking the team record won't be easy. The Bills need to average six sacks in the last two games.'

Marker Bills choose terrible time to be petty [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' gift to the public, left in the media room before their public-relations staff arrived, was a blurb from Pro Football Weekly ripping Minnesota Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie. Each copy had yellow highlighter outlining how "McKinnie, 25, had surrendered 191/2 sacks in the 28 games since his rookie season" and "even when he has played well, McKinnie has performed below expectations." Hey, we get it.'

Marker Bills refuse to take a holiday from game preparation [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The players and coaches would rather spend Christmas with their families, but they accept this as a part of life in the NFL. "It's just another day, same as anniversaries or birthdays," free safety Troy Vincent said. "Coach is not going to give you any time off, practice isn't going to end early. Holidays are just another day to us."'

Marker Just asking: Daimon Shelton [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The best part is when you have a chance to go head-to-head with a guy and blast him out of the hole and allow your running back to score. The worst part is the morning after a game. Sometimes my body is so sore it's hard to get out of bed.'

Marker Lines long at book signing [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He's not the only one bowled over by the response his book has received. The first three printings of "Where Else Would You Rather Be?" have already sold out, shocking his publisher. A larger fourth printing of 15,000 copies also is expected to sell out shortly. "My publisher couldn't believe it," Levy recalled. "I said, "You don't know people in Buffalo.' "'

Marker 49ers Ready For Sizzling Bills [6:58 AM]
SF49ers.com reports: '“They’ll mix it up. They are very similar to a lot of the things we do. They will get in two tights. But they want to run the football. They want to get the ball to McGahee and then set up play action with Drew (Bledsoe) and they have some talented receivers outside,” Erickson said. “But they would like to run the football, that’s what they want to do. They are very good on defense. They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They create turnovers, like I said. If you watch them play the last month, if you turn on the offensive tape, they are getting the ball inside the 50 a lot because of turnovers. They are playing with a short field a lot.”'

Marker Friday's San Francisco Coverage [6:57 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Donahue's path started same but veered from predecessor's (San Francisco Chronicle)
Rattay's surgery Tuesday (San Francisco Chronicle)
Five Keys to the game (San Francisco Examiner)
49ers' draft choice a snap (Contra Costa Times)
Rattay set for surgery to fix forearm problem (Contra Costa Times)
A coach who cares (San Jose Mercury News)
Rattay to have forearm surgery (San Jose Mercury News)
Linemen show promise for SF (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Bills shook off 1-5 start (Sacramento Bee)
Rattay decides on surgery (Oakland Tribune)
Quarterback Tim Rattay to have surgery on throwing arm (AP)
49ers QB Rattay to undergo surgery Tuesday (Sportsticker)
49ers' Rattay to have surgery (The Sports Network)
49ers Ready For Sizzling Bills (SF49ers.com)
49ers Host S.F. Boys And Girls Clubs (SF49ers.com)
Back In The Day With Maurice Hicks (SF49ers.com)

Marker Bills receiving gift TDs [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Buffalo's defensive and special teams point barrage is historic. In 674 regular-season games, the Bills have scored a defensive and special teams touchdown in the same game just 12 times — and two have occurred this year, twice in the last three weeks. The Bills also pulled off the feat at Miami.'

Marker With Moorman, consider the intangibles [5:00 AM]
Corning Leader reports: 'OK, so maybe Takeo Spikes was the Bills' most deserving selection once again and Terrence McGee is having arguably the best season for a kick returner in team history. But why do the voters continue to snub punter Brian Moorman?'

Marker Jaguars' Season Opener Was More Than a Victory [4:59 AM]
New York Times reports: '"The way you look at it is, hey, all we have to do is continue to win," Leftwich said in a conference call with Houston reporters. "If you continue to win, everything will work in our favor." Of course, none of it would matter if the Jaguars had lost the season opener.'

Marker Former Demon McGee named to Pro Bowl [4:58 AM]
DeRidder Beauregard Daily News reports: 'The 5-10, 201-pounder becomes the sixth NSU product to make the Pro Bowl, and the first since quarterback Bobby Hebert took part in the 1993 game after a stellar season with the New Orleans Saints.'

December 23, 2004

Marker Peters Is Questionable For The 49ers [9:31 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have added Jason Peters to the injury report as questionable with a hamstring injury.'

Marker Bills still have playoffs in sight against lowly 49ers [9:09 PM]
AP reports: 'Still, everything seems stacked in Buffalo's favor. The Bills have won three straight road games with a pounding rushing attack, while the 49ers have lost four straight at home. Buffalo's highly ranked defense has been increasingly dominant, while San Francisco lost defensive starters Andre Carter and Jamie Winborn to season-ending injuries last week.'

Marker Bills' RB McGahee misses second straight practice [4:30 PM]
AP reports: 'Injured with a bruised and hyperextended right knee, McGahee wore a wrap on his leg, but walked without a limp. Will he play against the 49ers? ''I don't have no answer for you,'' he said.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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