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Buffalo Bills News - January 2, 2005

Marker Buffalo thrills, Pittsburgh chills [7:29 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: '"It sounds as if the Steelers will come in here and do everything that they can to win the game," Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. "But to us, it doesn't matter. We win, or we're done. We have to beat the team they put on the field."'

Marker The jackpot for Buffalo is clearly in sight [7:25 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'Put aside the subplots of how this is rookie Bills coach Mike Mularkey's first game against his former team; or how Bills president Tom Donahoe, another ex-Steeler, has built what could be considered a "Pittsburgh North" in Buffalo during his four-year tenure. All that matters is the playoffs.'

Marker Panthers, Bills in playoffs would be rewarding [7:07 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'If there's a football god, then the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills surely will make the NFL playoffs today when the regular season concludes.'

Marker Odds are Steelers will have trouble [6:01 AM]
Washington Observer Reporter reports: 'Because their game is at 1 p.m. and the other two games are later in the day, the Bills won't immediately know if they are in the playoffs. But the Steelers certainly wouldn't mind ending the Bills' season. "They are a hot team that we might have to face down the road," said quarterback Tommy Maddox, who will start for Roethlisberger. "They've won six in a row and something like nine out of 11, so if we can beat them and keep them out of the playoffs that wouldn't be a bad thing. Plus, we want to keep our own streak going."'

Marker Still no clear winner in Cowher-Donahoe split [5:59 AM]
Washington Observer Reporter reports: 'How much responsibility did Donahoe and Cowher share in acquiring those players? Who knows? We do know this: Donahoe and Cowher collaborated to create quite a few winning teams. Neither has produced a big winner without the other. Donahoe's successor, Kevin Colbert, has brought in Pro Bowlers as free agents and the Steelers drafts have been productive on his watch. Until Cowher and Colbert produce a strong Super Bowl contender with only players that they have acquired and developed, Donahoe will have to get some credit for their success.'

Marker Veteran Bills QB still going strong [5:13 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: '"He has been around the league for so long and seen so many different things, he never got flustered," Mularkey said. "That would have been easy to do here with the media pressure and the fan pressure. I just never once saw it. He is very much like this team. He exemplifies this team. He stayed the course and you've seen the results."'

Marker Surging Bills will provide stiff test for Steelers [5:12 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: '"They are not just beating teams," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "These games have been over in the third quarter."'

Marker Sunday's Pittsburgh Coverage [5:11 AM] reports:
Steelers after a Super Bowl, not a 15-1 record (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Nine teams fight for last four spots (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Cowher sticking to QB plan (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Steelers fans can rock to band's fight song (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Haynes remains patient, thriving in reserve role (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Surging Bills will provide stiff test for Steelers (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Breaking into the game (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Veteran Bills QB still going strong (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Q & A with Chris Gardocki (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Grudge Match (Beaver County Times)
Buffalo thrills, Pittsburgh chills (Beaver County Times)
Weather is fine in Buffalo (Beaver County Times)
Odds are Steelers will have trouble (Washington Observer Reporter)
Still no clear winner in Cowher-Donahoe split (Washington Observer Reporter)
Teams needing help shouldn't complain (Washington Observer Reporter)
Backups will get not against desperate Bills (Uniontown Herald Standard)

Marker One-game season [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"Really, it is no different," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "People will say it's because the implications are so important, win and we've got a shot at getting into the playoffs. But had we lost once in the last six weeks we pretty much would've been out of it. Every week has been pressure, so we know how to deal with it. We'll just go out and play and see what happens."'

Marker Mularkey proves patience is a virtue [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"A lot of coaches, especially rookie head coaches, might have scrapped their plans at that point to appease their boss, but Mike remained calm during the storm," says Bills quarterbacks coach Sam Wyche, who learned how lonely it can be at the top during head coaching stints with Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. "Mike believed what he was doing was our best bet to become winners, so he stuck with it. That took a lot of guts to do, especially when you are in your first year on the job and your boss says he isn't happy with the way things are going."'

Marker Tom Donahoe's rebuilding job goes on display [5:07 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In Donahoe's case, he built one franchise into a power, then stole from it to build another. As that beer commercial says, "Brilliant!"'

Marker Q&A: Mario Haggan [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"The people up here are very different. In Mississippi, it's known for a lot of different things in history as being a bad state, but it's a hospitable state. There's a lot of friendly people there, it's a nice home environment where everyone knows each other and you can walk down the road and know someone. It's different here. To me it's kind of segregated up here, different styles of people live in certain areas, and that's much different than in Mississippi."'

Marker Bills first must win, then watch [4:53 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The oddity is, though, Bills fans might get more effort from both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis than they expect.'

Marker Maddox will be fired up in Buffalo [4:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“Any time you put on the uniform and go out there, you play with a lot of pride,” he said. “It comes down to whoever’s out on the field is going to play as good as they can for a lot of reasons ... but mostly for pride and yourself. You look at the way we’ve played all year and there’s guys who have gotten hurt and other guys have stepped in and played very well. So whoever’s on the field will be trying to win.”'

Marker All on the line for Bills [4:50 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'First-year coach Mike Mularkey never promised his team would be contenders overnight. Rather, he has methodically built an offence to complement the once-struggling quarterback Drew Bledsoe and the Bills defence has clearly established itself as one of the best in the league.'

Marker Believing in Buffalo [4:10 AM]
Yahoo Sports reports: 'All this after an atrocious start that saw Bledsoe struggle and get hammered behind a porous offensive line, and Mularkey come under fire from owner Ralph Wilson, who criticized the offense as too conservative. As Bledsoe put it, "When the guy whose name is on the checks says he's not happy, you're going to stand up and take notice."'

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January 1, 2005

Marker The Bills Find Their Footing [11:58 PM]
New York Times reports: '"We got real fans here," Williams said. "They're rough."'

Marker Reborn QBs [11:58 PM]
Tonawanda News reports: '“What we’ve done shows how we feel,” Bledsoe said. “We were 0-4 and 1-5 and got beat up pretty good in New England. I think everybody probably, at different times, had written us off and cast us to the side. But the guys on the team, the guys in the locker room and the guys on the coaching staff stuck to our guns, and we kept working. We’ve dug ourselves out of a hole to a place where we have a chance to continue on if we can win.”'

Marker Mularkey could join rare company with playoff berth [11:57 PM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'How much would Mike Mularkey like to win Sunday’s game against his former team? “When we talked this morning, you could see it. Not to downplay it, but anytime you face your former employer, you want to get at them,” cornerback Troy Vincent said.'

Marker Bills' hopes hanging on a win and a prayer [11:39 PM]
AP reports: '"They're very good, they're swarming," said Bills coach Mike Mularkey. "There's 11 guys just constantly around the football. It's impressive the way they play."'

Marker Villarrial practices, might play Sunday [11:38 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Coach Mike Mularkey said Villarrial didn't work the entire practice and he's still listed as questionable on the injury report. But Villarrial did enough to leave open the possibility of playing Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.'

Marker Saturday's Pittsburgh Coverage [5:01 AM] reports:
Cowher sticking to QB plan (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Staley to give it a go vs. Bills (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Veteran corner proves critic wrong (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers activate St. Pierre, release Doering (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Season not what Scott was expecting (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Line hopes to continue domination (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers' Bettis out for Bills game (AP)
Maddox, Scott back in Steelers' lineup -- but possibly not for long (AP)
Steelers-Bills matchups ( voters select Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger as Week 16 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the week (
Steelers Promote St. Pierre to Active Roster, Release Veteran Receiver (

Marker Bills haven't got time for the pain [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I think anybody who has a lot of playing time has two or three things bothering him at this point," said Bills guard Ross Tucker, who wouldn't disclose his injury list for fear an opponent would find an edge. "If you feel great now, what have you really been doing? Everybody has aches and pains bothering them. It's part of the mental toughness of the game, to get through it. But you have to know your opponent has the same things and you have to force them to yield before you do."'

Marker From a friend in need [4:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The Colts do have some minor incentive beyond "staying sharp." They might want to take at least the first half to see how that well-oiled offence works outdoors in cold weather. It's possible Indy could be forced to win tough playoff games in both Pittsburgh and New England to advance to the Super Bowl.'

December 31, 2004

Marker Drew wants Buffalo thrills [9:09 PM]
London Sun reports: 'Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes warned: “No one had better take us lightly. We have put our troubles behind us and proved we are a play-off calibre team. It is not totally in our own hands but if we get there we will have a lot of confidence.”'

Marker Season finale against Steelers is Super Bowl for Buffalo Bills [8:59 PM]
Welland Tribune reports: 'Barring a playoff berth, which is anything but a sure thing heading into this final weekend of the regular season, Buffalo’s game against Pittsburgh is the closest these Bills will get to vying for a championship. The bragging rights from a victory and the glow from a 10-6 record should be warm enough to last until training camp kicks off next summer.'

Marker Bills take care of own business [8:36 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Bills, 27-13.'

Marker Steelers' Bettis out for Bills game [7:37 PM]
AP reports: 'The injury means that Bettis will finish 59 yards short of his ninth 1,000-yard season since breaking in with the Rams in 1993. Bettis has started only six games this season as a backup to Duce Staley, but gained at least 100 yards in all six.'

Marker Villarrial And Vincent Return To Practice [5:52 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Chris Villarrial returned to team practice on Friday. Coach Mike Mularkey said the guard didn't do everything, but "he did enough."'

Marker Tops Game Ball Winner - Lee Evans [3:55 PM] reports: What does having a WR like Eric line up on the other side mean to you? How does it make your life easier? LE: It's tremendous because he's somebody I can talk to about the game and it I'm unsure about something and you don't want to go to the coaches, he's somebody that has been there and done that. He's like a coach on the field so it makes things a lot easier.'

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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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