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Buffalo Bills News - December 9, 2003

Marker MRI shows bone spur crack [4:03 PM]
ESPN reports: 'An MRI on the Titans quarterback's ankle Monday revealed an old bone spur as well as a slight crack in the spur, ESPN's John Clayton reports Tuesday. McNair is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. He will not practice at all this week, and his status will be determined closer to game time.'

Marker St. Francis High's Jerry Smith Honored As Bills HS Football [3:58 PM] reports: Smith’s club finished the season with a 9-2 record and captured the Monsignor Martin Association AA Championship. He was also honored at the Monday Quarterback Club’s luncheon meeting held on Monday, December 8 at HSBC Arena.

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Mike Montler [11:14 AM] reports: '"Since he was an old center and I was about 33 years old at that time, I thought he would understand my concern. We weren’t even talking money, I just wanted another two years. I’d never been hurt, never missed any games, never caused any trouble. I told Ringo I was concerned if it didn’t go well and he got fired, I would be a 34-year-old center and a new coach would come in and the first thing he’d say is ‘we’ve got to get rid of these old guys.’ I just wanted a little assurance. I thought Ringo would say, ‘Sure, Mike. I understand. I’ve been there before.’ Instead he said, ‘You’re playing here or you aren’t playing anywhere.’ So I just told him ‘I retire.’ Then later in training camp, he ended up trading me to Denver. I never figured that would happen, and then Denver winds up going to the Super Bowl. Outside of getting caught up in politics, I loved playing in Buffalo. The fans, the people. You just couldn’t get a better atmosphere for football than what they have in Buffalo."'

Marker Henry Up For Ground NFL Player of the Week [11:13 AM] reports: 'Buffalo Bills running back Travis Henry is among the finalists for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week honors.'

Marker Bills' four-fold mission [11:12 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'If Steve McNair's mobility is limited Sunday, the Bills would be wise to test him and see just how well he can function on the move. Bills head coach Gregg Williams, as Titans fans know, isn't afraid to bring the pressure from anywhere in order to chase a quarterback, and McNair will be no exception.'

Marker Titans' four-fold mission [11:11 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'The Titans have lost two in a row and haven't really played well in a month. They'll need a strong effort this week against a much-improved Buffalo defense in order to get back on track and build some momentum heading into the playoffs.'

Marker This Is What I Think...... [11:10 AM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'I think Gregg Williams has handled himself with more class than any coach on the hot seat in the NFL.'

Marker Bills 'D' standing very tall [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This is obviously good to see our hard work pay off," he said. "It's nice to see the defensive pride be what it is and play with the effort and contact that you have to play to be a big-time defense. . . . Our defense doesn't hesitate whenever they have to take over on the field to go out and play and turn the offense away. That's their mentality right now and it's fun to go out and watch them play."'

Marker Playoffs are faint but possible goal [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If the Bills do finish 9-7, it is mathematically possible for them to finish ahead of the other four contenders - Tennessee, Miami, Denver and Cincinnati - for one of the two wild-card berths.'

Marker Sullivan shows he has a future [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I never lost confidence in myself,” Sullivan said. “I still prepared every week and tried to hone in on my skills. I’m a mentally tough person and whatever was thrown my way I felt I could overcome it.”'

Marker Why didn't they play like this all year? [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'This season boils down to the Bills’ Texas mis-step, that 10-6 loss to Dallas and the 12-10 loss to Houston.'

Marker Buffalo Bills replay [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'They believe they can sweep the last three games, get some help from other teams, and squeeze into the postseason party. More power to them.'

Marker Don't be fooled by rank of Bills defense [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Buffalo is allowing only 15.4 points per game, second only to Tampa Bay’s 15.2 points per game. That’s impressive and proof that the Bills have a talented defensive unit in terms of stopping opponents and forcing punts. But it has not been an opportunistic defense and that’s a huge part of the game.'

Marker McNair MRI to determine injury severity [5:14 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''He has significant swelling in his ankle and is having difficulty walking,'' Fisher said. ''You guys know Steve like I like I know Steve. I am going to say he is doubtful. He is probably not going to practice (this week). If he can play, he'll play. ... But it's way too early in the week to be able to determine how he is going to be.'''

Marker Fisher's focus on playoffs, not loss [5:13 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'The Titans (9-4) can clinch a playoff spot Sunday with a victory over the Buffalo Bills, as well as a Cincinnati loss to San Francisco and a Miami loss to Philadelphia. As a Wild Card team the Titans would have to travel in the first round, most likely to Baltimore.'

Marker Titans to dwell on foes, not fumbles [5:12 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: '“On my way in this morning, I stopped to get a cup of coffee really early and when I was walking to my car, an individual said, ‘Hang in there. We’re still behind you,’” Fisher said. “When I got in the car, I thought, ‘We’re not 4-9, we’re 9-4.’ … We were 8-5 last year and were tired at this point last year, just scratching and clawing to get back to 8-5. We’re 9-4, and we’re going to be OK.”'

Marker Quite a letdown [5:11 AM]
New York Post reports: 'DEFENSIVE LINE - F
NT Jason Ferguson had a sack, but said he played his "worst" game. DT Chester McGlockton had two penalties on one play. Tackling was atrocious across the board.'

Marker How Jets Let It All Slip Away [5:10 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The turning point came when the Jets failed to score after cornerback Ray Mickens' interception on the second play of the third quarter, when the Bills led 7-3.'

Marker Inside slant [5:09 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"It got to a point where the Jets wanted nothing more to do with you," Wilson said to Henry.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:08 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The joke going around Ralph Wilson Stadium is that someone must have kidnapped Kevin Gilbride on his way to the game. The embattled Buffalo offensive coordinator has been on the hot seat all year for his suspect play-calling that put too much emphasis on the passing game, but he wisely stuck to the ground against a weak New York rush defense and the results were dazzling.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:07 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'CB Terrence McGee is making a strong case to become a starter in 2004 if the Bills are unable to re-sign Antoine Winfield. McGee made the first interception of his career against the Jets and has been a solid cover man in nickel and dime packages.'

Marker Three Buffalo Franchises [5:06 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'They can talk all they want about circumstances, and execution, but the bottom line, IF Travis Henry had carried the ball more, earlier this season, the Bills would be in the middle of the playoff race.'

Marker The Bills Earn Another Monday Off [5:05 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Williams said Drew Bledsoe called the quarterback sneak on third and five on his own. Bledsoe had noticed a lot of alignment confusion during the game and thought he could take advantage of it. The QB was wrong and Buffalo had to punt.'

Marker Two-game losing skid hasn't hurt Titans' optimism [5:04 AM]
AP reports: '``I got in the car and thought, 'We're not 4-9. We're 9-4. It's OK,''' Fisher said. Maybe so, but what a difference a week makes.'

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December 8, 2003

Marker McNair has MRI on sprained left ankle [10:39 PM]
AP reports: 'Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher said his quarterback won't practice this week.'

Marker Tempo Adjustment [10:30 PM] reports: '“The thing that I noticed as you watch the film is that they picked up the tempo a little bit and we didn't match that tempo,” Edwards said this afternoon. “We didn't match their tempo.”'

Marker The Day After: Gregg Williams Comments [10:27 PM] reports: '"A lot of people think this is a video game. It isn't. Every week there is a matchup and there are human elements into every single game. Sometimes guys are just better at certain techniques and certain schemes. There aren't any magic schemes in the league anymore with certain teams playing more of a certain front or more teams in the box. Our guys (vs. the Jets) were not losing very much on the line of scrimmage in the run front. I think it was our top performance this year as far as knockdowns in the run game. I think we had 40 plus times where we got our guys on the ground. As a defense you don't want to be on the ground very often and our offensive line took them to the ground."'

Marker Bills Players To Host "Shop With A Jock" [10:26 PM] reports: 'Dick’s Sporting Goods will give youngsters from the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Seneca Nation $100 to spend at their store. Each will be paired up with a Bills player who will help them shop.'

Marker Bills defense emerging among NFL's best this season [8:16 PM]
AP reports: '''Not a drawback. This is the hand that we were dealt,'' Adams said, referring to a season that might be over too soon. ''As men, we accept it and go out and do something about it. We don't have to say, 'We could've been.' We have to say, 'Look, these next three games, this is what we're going to be.''''

Marker Buffalo maintains faint playoff pulse [2:55 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Buffalo's 17-6 stifling of the New York Jets may not have thrilled the casual fan who needs a long pass every other series and a minimum of two touchdowns per hour to enjoy the game. But for anyone who likes to see a team execute the basic fundamentals of winning football, it was a thing of beauty.'

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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
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12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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