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Buffalo Bills News - November 20, 2003

Marker Ross Tucker: Be Your Best [3:16 PM] reports: Tucker had great experiences in both high school and college but like many he has had his own struggles to get to where he is today. "I'm 24 and I've been fired twice."

Marker Quarterback Drew Bledsoe Previews Indianapolis [10:41 AM] reports: '"Guys are extremely angry and very disappointed. I don't think anybody anticipated that this is where we'd be this point in the season, especially after the first two games. With that, the attitude is still moving forward. Guys are still looking to find that edge that we need to start scoring points offensively. Alex (Van Pelt) and I spent a ton of time (watching film). We watched three or four games already in preparation for this week. We're trying to go forward, that's the only thing that you can do. You look at what you did and try to correct the mistakes and go forward. I think that even though guys are disappointed with what we produced and very frustrated with what we've done, we're moving forward and trying to correct the mistakes and put some points on the board this week."'

Marker Stampede! [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"When you have a big-time quarterback like we have, he can make a lot of things happen and make up for a lot of deficiencies," Colts coach Tony Dungy said.'

Marker Harrison, Henry may not play on Sunday [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We all know Travis is a warrior," said Henry's agent, Greg Johnson. "He wants to play all the time regardless of the situation. But we don't want him to do anything that will jeopardize his career." Johnson would prefer to see Henry sit out this week.'

Marker Pass-happy offense is stalling [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I think the ball should be in Travis Henry's hands as much as possible (as long as he's healthy). Mike Williams is 370 pounds, and while he has disappointed in pass protection, he can be a good run blocker. Play to his strength.'

Marker Manning destroys defenses at will [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In his three playoff games, Manning has completed barely 50 percent of his passes for 558 yards with just 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. He knows he will ultimately be judged on his performances on the biggest stages, and it is his mission to rectify his sorry post-season record. “It’s just a fact, you can’t hide from it,” Manning said of his post-season struggles. “Three out of the past four years we’ve fought and scratched and found a way to get into the playoffs, and we’ve lost and it’s been disappointing, but at the same time it doesn’t mean we’re a bad football team."'

Marker Henry wants to play on Sunday [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Agent Greg Johnson said Henry “desperately” wants to play because he feels the Bills still have a shot at making the playoffs. Johnson said he has been assured by general manager Tom Donahoe that the club won’t jeopardize Henry’s long-term future by playing him unless it was absolutely medically OK. That doesn’t ease Johnson’s worries.'

Marker Dandy Vandy gets his kicks [5:18 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I think he just likes the spotlight, he enjoys the moment of the big kick, the pressure being on him," Colts coach Tony Dungy said of Vanderjagt yesterday in a conference call.'

Marker Bills praise Henry's efforts [5:17 AM]
Toronto Star reports: '"There aren't too many people that would do something like that."'

Marker Line gives Manning edge in security [5:16 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"When a guy doesn't have to worry about getting hit from the blind side all the time . . . his job is a lot easier," center Jeff Saturday said.'

Marker Colts add familiar receiver for Manning [5:15 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I like guys I've had some sort of connection with," Manning said Wednesday afternoon. "(Dawson) is a guy I've worked out with basically every summer for the past six or seven years."'

Marker Inside slant [5:14 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"When Travis puts weight on his ankle, there's not a lot of stress, but we don't know what's going to happen when he starts running and cutting," Johnson said. "He's dying to play but that's the big dilemma. We're afraid of him going back out there and getting hurt, but he's insistent."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Even if RB Travis Henry can play against the Colts with his broken leg, the Bills are likely to take it easy with him and will have to spread the load around. The Colts rank 24th in run defense and Buffalo can't give up on the ground game if Henry is bottled up. That's where distributing the ball to Joe Burns, Sammy Morris and even FB Sam Gash can come into play.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:12 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills kickoff coverage unit, among the worst in the NFL in recent years, ranks No. 2 this season at 19.3 yards per return. LB Dominique Stevenson leads the head hunters with 25 special teams tackles.'

Marker Bills waive injured FB Crosby [5:11 AM]
AP reports: 'Crosby had been on the Bills injured reserve list since he cracked his fibula in Buffalo's 17-7 loss at Miami on Sept. 21. In three seasons with the Bills, he appeared in 35 games -- including three this year -- mostly as a special teams player, and had six receptions for 49 yards.'

Marker NFL reduces Milloy's fine [5:10 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Milloy learned of his successful appeal to the league on Tuesday, four days after his 30th birthday. The NFL's initial ruling said that Milloy made "impermissible physical contact with a game official."'

Marker Moulds, Henry questionable for Sunday [5:09 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Wide receiver Eric Moulds and running back Travis Henry were both listed as questionable for the Bills' game this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.'

Marker Harrison questionable; hopes to practice Friday [5:08 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Colts hope Harrison will be able to practice Friday to determine his status for Sunday's game.'

Marker Gregg Williams Is Optimistic About Travis Henry [5:07 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Henry's cracked fibula is questionable. He did not practice Wednesday, but Gregg Williams says he's "optimistic" that Henry will play. Williams says he continues to see progress from number one pick Willis McGahee, but Henry's status will not dictate whether McGahee is active on Sunday against the Colts.'

Marker Hurting Bills [5:06 AM] reports: 'Henry was a spectator during practice Wednesday. If he doesn't play, Joe Burns will start at running back against Indianapolis, and Willis McGahee could suit up for the first time.'

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November 19, 2003

Marker Bills Coach Gregg Williams Previews Indianapolis [8:15 PM] reports: '"There's a lot of good football being played by so many people even on the offensive side of the ball. We have to do a better job in the red zone. We move the ball up and down the field a ton. We've got to do a better job on capitalizing on the plays we have available there. We've got to finish those plays and we've got to come up with some catches. We've got to come up with some blocks and some runs down there to put it in the end zone. We had our opportunities and we're going to have to do a good job with that. A big part of the game plan this weekend is our red zone efficiency once we get down there, capitalizing and putting points on the board. It's a pretty good team coming in here this week. We're excited about the opportunity to play this team."'

Marker Bills Make Roster Moves [8:15 PM] reports: 'The Bills today announced that the team has signed tight end Rod Trafford to the practice squad and also re-signed practice squad receiver wide receiver Jerel Myers.' In addition, the Bills released fullback Phil Crosby from the Reserve-Injured list.

Marker Changes in Tulsa and Buffalo prove Kragthorpe's value [6:50 PM] reports: 'But now with Kragthorpe in Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane are thriving and the Bills are dying.'

Marker Bills Milloy's Fine Reduced to $2,500 [6:48 PM]
AP reports: 'In its initial finding, the league ruled Milloy made "impermissible physical contact with a game official," during Buffalo's 24-7 win against Washington on Oct. 19.'

Marker Sputtering Bills offense now banged up [6:47 PM]
AP reports: '``I've missed three games but that's not an excuse for other guys not to step up and make plays,'' said Moulds. ``We had opportunities last week to make plays and we just haven't made them.'''

Marker A Quick Look at the Buffalo Bills [3:48 PM] reports: 'The Bills have allowed 20 or fewer points in six of eight games, but the offense has scored more than 13 points just twice in the last eight games.'

Marker ESPN Chat Wrap up [1:54 PM]
ESPN reports: Harvey (Albany, N.Y): Mort, Has the NFL policy regarding interviews of minority candidates for vacant head coaching positions put an end to mid-season firings of head coaches?

Chris Mortensen: (12:43 PM ET) No! The NFL has never had a strong history of firing coaches at midseason because it generally doesn't work. It usually means a coordinator assume the head coach role, and then that specific unit under the coordinator is thrown into chaos. The minority policy has no impact because it does not apply to a mid-season change.

Marker Buffalo's Henry, Moulds questionable for Sunday [1:06 PM]
AP reports: '``He's dying to play,'' said Henry's agent, Greg Johnson. ``And that's the big dilemma. We're afraid of having him go back out there and get hurt, but he's insisting on playing.'''

Marker Sizing up the playoff race [9:15 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Buffalo (4-6): Losers of six of their past eight, the Bills have gone belly up in particularly odorous style. The defense continues to play hard, but on offense it's three games in a row now without a touchdown. All that's really left is to see how Buffalo handles its looming decisions on the head coaching and quarterback fronts.

Playoff projection: Maybe 2004, Bills fans.

Marker Bills Keep Going Backward [5:20 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Offensive coordinator Kevin Gillbride may be part of the problem. The Bills have an excellent running back in Travis Henry (193 carries for 780 yards, 4.0 average), who broke a bone in his leg Sunday. But Gillbride loves to throw and throw deep, and he is trying to use Reed in the role vacated by Price, a role for which Reed seems ill-suited.'

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