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Buffalo Bills News - November 21, 2003

Marker Thurman Thomas to receive service award [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Many of Henry's friends and family members have advised him against playing, fearing he could make the injury worse. But Henry is determined to be on the field Sunday.'

Marker Bills' Spikes, an ex-Bengal, has no regrets [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“No, not at all,” Spikes said. “If I had to do it 10 times over and even knowing we’d be at this point record-wise, I’d still do it. I had to believe what was best in my heart for Takeo. I love those guys (in Cincinnati) like brothers. I’ve spent more time with them than the guys here. I’m happy for them. But this is where I belong.”'

Marker Scouting the Bills offense [5:14 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Bledsoe. If he's upright, he's a threat, but he has been sacked 30 times, and that has had a huge impact on the Bills' minus-11 takeaway-giveaway ratio, the league's second-worst. Bledsoe is 11-5 as a starter against the Colts, with 25 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.'

Marker Scouting the Bills defense [5:13 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'After getting past their salary cap problems in 2001, the Bills went on a free agent shopping spree the past two years in hopes of building a defense. They added Pro Bowl SS Lawyer Milloy just days before this season. OLB Takeo Spikes arrived last off-season and MLB London Fletcher the year before. DT Sam Adams clogs the middle. It's worked. The Bills are fourth in the NFL at 271.1 yards allowed per game and sixth in points allowed at 17.0 per game.'

Marker Bills' coaches on the hot seat [5:12 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'If Colts players aren't thrilled with hearing occasional boos in the RCA Dome, they should be glad they're not in the Buffalo Bills' shoes.'

Marker Manning's turnaround one of best in NFL history for a QB [5:11 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I know he's had some adverse times as well, but he's playing great football for them right now and the team is playing well around him."'

Marker Manning uses his feet to fool Bills' defense [5:10 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The last time the Colts ventured to Ralph Wilson Stadium, in 2001, they came away with a 30-14 victory -- and one of the most unexpected plays in team history. Quarterback Peyton Manning scored on a 33-yard run, the longest of his career, in the second quarter. The touchdown snapped a 7-7 tie and started a string of 20 unanswered Indy points.'

Marker Quarterbacks' consistency among best in NFL history [5:09 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Sunday's game will feature two of the eight quarterbacks in NFL history who have thrown for 3,000 yards in at least five consecutive seasons. Peyton Manning (left), in his sixth season, has passed for at least 3,000 yards in five consecutive years. Bills QB Drew Bledsoe threw for 3,000 yards for seven seasons in a row (1994-2000) while with New England.'

Marker Bills have backfield woes [5:08 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams remains optimistic Henry will play against the Colts. But Plan B is Burns, a second-year tailback who made the Bills roster as an undrafted rookie in 2002. He has averaged just 2.5 yards on 28 carries this season. In his brief career, Burns has rushed 33 times for 78 yards.'

Marker Road warriors [5:07 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"You could write a book," said Champlin, the Colts' director of player development and travel coordinator, "'Where Are the Expletive-Deleted Buses?' "'

Marker Ex-lineman likes taste of his wine [5:06 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Hinton's career with the Colts encompassed 94 games. He's one of four individuals inducted in the team's Ring of Honor at the RCA Dome.'

Marker Souers sold on idea of new stadium [5:05 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Talk about a new stadium has centered on affordability. Another question has been whether there are enough sponsors to fill more suites.'

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November 20, 2003

Marker Bills RB Henry intent on playing despite hairline fracture [7:57 PM]
AP reports: '"I'm going to get a good chance to go out and do some things I do. And if I feel great and feel like I can go, I'm a go," Henry said. "It's my call."'

Marker Henry To Test Leg Injury Friday [7:54 PM] reports: '"It's been very difficult but it's a part of football," said Henry. "It goes along with the territory, and in my case I've just been getting through it."'

Marker No offense, but Bills got what they deserved [7:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'How can an offense that was so proficient last year become so inept this season? One word: stubbornness.'

Marker Former division rivals meet at Ralph Wilson Stadium [4:14 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"We get the ball inside the red zone, we've got to put some damn points on the board," said defensive tackle Pat Williams. "We were in the red zone three times. C'mon now. We got to come out with some points."'

Marker Bills-Colts Game Sold Out [3:33 PM] reports: 'So far, all six home games in 2003 have sold out by the blackout deadline.'

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.'

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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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