Bucs quick hits [6:18 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: 'Johnson is healthy and took over from Doug Flutie. His team seemed to rally around him in a comeback win over Kansas City on the road.'
QB no quandary for Buffalo coach [6:17 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'Clearly the people`s choice is Flutie, the gutty, diminutive and aging former Heisman Trophy winner who has orchestrated some magical victories during three seasons in Buffalo. But the coach`s choice -- and the only choice that matters -- is Johnson...'.
Bucs' Sapp lambastes offensive coordinator [6:16 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp ripped offensive coordinator Les Steckel in Saturday`s editions of The St. Petersburg Times, blasting Steckel`s play-calling, formations and the unit`s lack of identity.'
Things are not super with Bucs [6:14 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'The Bucs` run to the playoff compulsories very likely begins or ends today at home against the Buffalo Bills, who are hoping Warren Sapp doesn`t revive their quarterback controversy by splitting hairs -- Rob Johnson`s hairs, for starters.'
Bills are keeping CNY in the dark [1:38 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Channel 5 general manager Gary Wordlaw said these Syracuse blackouts violate the league's 75-mile rule, but the station is powerless to stop the Bills from imposing them here.'
Sack-happy Sapp makes his mark terrorizing quarterbacks [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The sixth-year veteran has 11 1/2 sacks this season, third best in the NFL and just one shy of his total for last season, when he was named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.'
No repeat for Rome [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Fox Sports Net called an audible on the Empire Sports Network and refused to allow it to repeat "The Last Word with Jim Rome" program dealing with the Rob Johnson-Doug Flutie controversy for a second time on Monday.'
Bills need Smith's running [7:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'Antowain Smith isn't kidding himself. Sure, if he were to have a big game against the rugged Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense tomorrow at Raymond James Stadium, the Buffalo Bills veteran running back might just salvage his once-promising career.'
Bucs have safety net in Jackson [7:26 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: 'Contrary to what some may be thinking, the wheels haven't completely fallen off the Buccaneer bandwagon. A few big wheels definitely have come off, though, and that's where players such as Dexter Jackson come in.'
Lynch returns to practice in limited role [7:25 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: '"He wanted to try it," Coach Tony Dungy said, "but I still doubt right now that he'll play. He's doing better now than he was."'
Glazer ties his charity to tickets [7:23 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: 'Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer is making Super Bowl XXXV tickets available to Raymond James Stadium suite holders, but the cost includes a minimum $1,000 donation to his charitable foundation.'
Sapp on Steckel: I miss Shula [7:22 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: '...defensive lineman Warren Sapp, frustrated by Tampa Bay's 6-5 record, placed much of the blame for the team's inconsistency on the new offense of first-year coordinator Les Steckel.'
Lynch: slim chance to play against Bills [7:21 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: 'Lynch, who dislocated his left shoulder against Chicago on Sunday, is listed as doubtful with a shoulder sprain, though he did practice Friday with the scout team.'
Bills' Morris to miss second straight game [8:56 PM]
AP reports: 'Running back Sammy Morris, who leads the Buffalo Bills with five touchdowns, will miss his second straight game with a sprained ankle.'
Hobbled secondary is Bills' primary concern [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Winfield's injury puts two men on hot corners: Donovan Greer and Chris Watson.'
Dungy says Cottrell deserves a top job [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's had one of the top defenses in the league for the last few years at Buffalo. I think he has the respect of his players and the respect of people all over the league."'
Bills to have hands full up front [8:03 AM]
D and C reports: 'When the Bills play the Buccaneers in a game that both teams need to win to keep their playoff runs on track, the key matchup of the day will be Buffalo's average offensive line against Tampa Bay's outstanding defensive line.'
Dunn keeps giving during holiday season [8:02 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: 'Dunn's "Homes for the Holidays" program, now in its fourth year, is an act of love and caring. It provides people with homes. People who wouldn't normally be able to afford them on their own.'
Word's getting out [8:01 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: '"[Cowart] plays the run, the pass, he's outstanding," Phillips said. "He's around the ball every play. He's a great tackler. He's consistent. He's a great player."'
Ahanotu added to injury list [7:58 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: 'The Bills' new 4,500-square-foot training facility is getting a workout this week as heavy snow blankets upstate New York. Phillips said he believes the team actually gets better as it is forced indoors because the quality of the facility is so high.'
Moulds is not easy to break [7:56 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: '"What he does well is adjust to the ball. When the ball is in the air, he adjusts to it no matter which way it's thrown. Usually, the way they like to throw to him depends on what the defense gives."'
Carpenter thinking less and doing more in Bills defensive backfield [7:55 AM]
AP reports: '"I was playing like a robot," Carpenter said, recalling his first few games as the Buffalo Bills' new starting free safety. "I was trying to play mistake-free. And the plays weren't happening."'
Buccaneer defense poses sackful of problems [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Tampa Bay's defense has made life miserable for opposing quarterbacks this season. The Buccaneers have recorded 43 sacks, second in the NFL and only one off the franchise record set in 1997. The Bills have given up 33 sacks, the ninth-highest total in the league, while Johnson has been sacked 29 times. Uh, oh.'
Surgery ends Winfield's season [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cornerback Antoine Winfield's season is officially over as the Buffalo Bills placed him on the injured reserve list. He had successful surgery Wednesday to repair torn cartilage on his right shoulder.'
Buccaneers to test depleted Bills secondary [7:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buccaneers rank 25th in the NFL in passing offense and Shaun King is far from a polished quarterback, but when he takes on the Bills Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, his mouth will be watering in anticipation. The Buffalo secondary is in disarray with the season-ending injury to starting cornerback Antoine Winfield and the nagging sprained ankle that might keep nickel cornerback Donovan Greer on the sidelines again.'
Newman making an impact with Buffalo [7:27 AM]
Tampa Tribune reports: 'In addition to the five sacks, which ties him for the second-most on the team, Newman is tied with fellow Tampa native Ted Washington for fifth on the team with 65 tackles. Through 11 games, he already has 17 more tackles and 1 1/2 more sacks than Northern had all of last season.'
Bills bolster defensive backfield [9:08 PM]
AP reports: 'Ray Hill, who broke into the NFL with Buffalo in 1998, was signed by the Bills on Wednesday in an attempt to bolster their injured defensive backfield.'
Johnson will be challenged by sack-happy Buccaneers [9:05 PM]
AP reports: '"I think pressure on the quarterback is going to be critical because (the Bills) seem to get into a rhythm," Bucs' coach Tony Dungy said. "When you don't pressure him, he throws very well."'
Busting loose [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Whether double-teamed or single covered, Moulds has been very hard to stop this season. The fifth-year veteran is having an All-Pro year, leading the NFL with 76 catches. His 1,019 receiving yards are sixth in the NFL and third in the AFC.'
Mediocrities punch holes in playoff picture [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Frankly, I thought the Bills had too many holes - soggy running game, inexperience in too many places, ghastly work on the return and coverage special teams - to qualify for the playoffs. I'm starting to change my mind and only part of the reason has to do with Rob Johnson's big game in the road victory at Kansas City.'
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