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Buffalo Bills News - December 15, 2004

Marker Injured Palmer expects to miss game against Bills [9:27 PM]
AP reports: 'Jon Kitna ran the offense in practice, getting ready to make his first start of the season against the Buffalo Bills. Kitna was the league's Comeback Player of the Year last season, but hadn't taken a snap until Palmer got hurt last Sunday.'

Marker McGahee's emergence sparks Bills' success [5:11 PM] reports: 'Until McGahee, the offensive line appeared quite overrated and unable to protect immobile quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Travis Henry is a good back, a 1,300-plus rusher the last two years. McGahee looks more like a great back.'

Marker Spikes lives to play do-or-die [4:29 PM] reports: '“No. 1, I’ve never been in a month of December this late, and having something to play for other than pride,” Spikes told the Cincinnati media in Wednesday’s conference call. “No. 2, this is where it all started; when I was greener than the grass and turf at Cincinnati. It kind of goes back to the first day I stepped up on the field.”'

Marker Fear factor applies to Bills; Dolphins discuss Saban [4:28 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 'Buffalo has 38 sacks and 28 takeaways and makes teams earn their yardage. The Bills allow just 4.42 yards per play, second in the NFL to Washington (4.38), and they rank third in the NFL in total yards allowed.'

Marker Cincinnati a Fierce Opponent for Buffalo [11:47 AM] reports: 'The Bills have won four straight games, but only one of those has come against a winning opponent. The Seattle Seahawks currently sit at 7-6, but the Rams (6-7), Dolphins (2-11), and Browns (3-10) all have struggled in the latter part of the season.'

Marker From Joe fan: I believe [11:47 AM]
Rochester City Newspaper reports: When the Bills were 2-5 and coming off an ugly loss in Baltimore, those three words rang a bit hollow for me, so I decided to call Tom. I figured if anyone could help make sense of the 2004 Buffalo Bills, it would be Tom --- as in Tom Donahoe, the president and general manager of the Buffalo Bills. Donahoe explained that the players and coaches were frustrated, but not in the same way that fans were frustrated.

Marker Safety valve [10:16 AM] reports: '"For his first game back, and for as long as he's been out, to play free safety out of the blue and make the plays that he did was outstanding on his part," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said.'

Marker Wyche's comeback comes back [9:27 AM] reports: '“These guys go at it pretty good. We go at it hard. Jimmy McNally is still nuts. I get here in the morning and he’s already broken down three or four games,” said Wyche, who turns 60 next month. “There are a couple days of the month I get pretty tired, but I think for the most part I feel pretty good.”'

Marker Some gifts never go out of style [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills franchise does so much in the way of community outreach that its involvement tends to be taken for granted, kind of like another 100-yard game for Willis McGahee. There's rarely a Tuesday that goes by when at least a handful of players aren't appearing at a school or a community center, shining a light down the path toward a healthy, productive life. Sunday afternoon, as they see it, is only part of the job.'

Marker Spikes set to dig in on familiar ground [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's going to be big," Spikes said. "It's something I'm looking forward to because of all the history that I had there and because they have great fans in the city of Cincinnati. That is where I grew up, from a young baller to an established veteran. This game will have a lot of feelings that come along with it."'

Marker Wednesday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:37 AM] reports:
Anderson up for Man of Year (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Flagging defenses around the NFL (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Lewis changing Bengals' perception and ambition (Dayton Daily News)
Bengals to honor three State champions and other top high school coaches (
Offense could need Kitna again (
Anderson Named Bengals Finalist For Walter Payton Award (

Marker Buffalo places TE Euhus on injured reserve [5:32 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Oregon State product finished the season with 11 catches for 98 yards with two touchdowns as Mark Campbell's backup.'

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December 14, 2004

Marker Euhus Is Done For The Year [5:19 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have signed veteran TE Bradford Banta. Banta was drafted by the Colts in 1994 and spent six years there. In 2000 he was with the Jets and played for Detroit the last three seasons. Over 11 years Banta has 140 games in.'

Marker Bills place TE Euhus on IR [5:15 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills placed rookie Tim Euhus on injured reserve with a right knee injury Tuesday, the second tight end the team has lost this season.'

Marker Bills Sign Banta; Place Euhus on IR [5:14 PM] reports: 'Banta spent the past three seasons with the Detroit Lions after a one year stint with the New York Jets in 2000.'

Marker Believe in the Bills [3:05 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'I say the Bills win the next two and need that Week 17 win to make the big dance.'

Marker Flashback: Bills Fall in AFC Championship [3:03 PM] reports: '"We got beat by a good Cincinnati club. We’re a young team and you should be seeing a lot more of us in the playoffs in the years to come. People haven’t heard the end of the Bills."'

Marker In Vincent, Buffalo finds a free safety for the future [12:19 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'On Wednesday, Bills’ head coach Mike Mularkey, while indicating that Vincent was finally ready, gave the impression he would be eased into the line-up, possibly as a nickel or dime back. Instead, of course, Buffalo went immediately ahead with its plan to switch the aging corner to free safety, a move that will extend his career. AND, after one glittering performance, it appears the wait was worth it.'

Marker Comeback catalyst [11:26 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'McGahee keeps getting excited about his performances and so do the fans. He scored four touchdowns in a win over Seattle. He ran for 105 yards and two scores in a win over Cleveland last week. Overall, McGahee has six 100-yard games since replacing Travis Henry and the Bills have quietly crept back into the fringe of the playoff race at 7-6. Buffalo still needs several breaks to reach the postseason but this season has been successful simply because McGahee has arrived. At least that's how Jannie sees it. "Every time I watch Willis run these days, I think one thing," she says. "That's my boy out there. That's my boy."'

Marker Bills display resilience [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I told them I'm proud of them," Mularkey said. "To battle back with the adversity that they faced . . . it's easy, especially in this day and age with the media, the fans and the pressure from outside, to possibly waver and they never have. It's a credit to them."'

Marker Playoff hopes depend on getting help [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The playoff race started the first game of the season," coach Mike Mularkey said following Sunday's 37-7 rout of Cleveland. "I'm not going to emphasize it, because again, we still have work to do. The players know it, and I'm not going to start now. We have a focus and we're going to stick with it."'

Marker Tuesday's Cincinnati Coverage [8:10 AM] reports:
Tough task this Sunday (Cincinnati Enquirer)
50-50 chance QB Palmer will play (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Offense is on a record run (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Who's quarterback? (Cincinnati Post)
Perry might get chance to play (Cincinnati Post)
Kitna praises Palmer (Dayton Daily News)
Exam reveals no serious harm to Palmer’s knee (Columbus Dispatch)
Dillon makes peace after upbeat return (Columbus Dispatch)
Palmer might play against Buffalo, despite knee injury (AP)
Bengals' Palmer questionable for Sunday (The Sports Network)
Marvin Lewis News Conference (
Palmer questionable for Bills' Homecoming (
Bills sell out PBS (

Marker Tough task this Sunday [5:36 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'And the Bills are an exciting team. They've found the offensive personality that has been missing in the person of running back Willis McGahee.'

Marker Donahoe's job secure [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"He can be here as long as he wants. He's done a good job. I'm happy," Wilson said. "We're friends. He had a very tough job to do coming in here."'

Marker Is this the best defense Buffalo's ever had? [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'For sheer dominance, that group in 1964 and 1965 that won back-to-back AFL championships was pretty tough to beat. The '64 team allowed an average of just 65 rushing yards per game, which is third best in pro football history for a non-strike season. The '65 team gave up only 16 points per game and had a team-record 57 takeaways.'

Marker For Bills, coach seats are first class [4:59 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'Mularkey's biggest worry may be keeping this staff together. Clements was a finalist for the head coaching job at Notre Dame, and is now among the candidates for the top job at the University of Pittsburgh. Gray's name could also surface as a candidate for future coaching vacancies. "I'd love to see Tom and Jerry Gray get a chance, but I am a little spoiled to have the guys I have," Mularkey said. "It makes everybody's jobs easier."'

Marker McGahee for Henry switch overshadows Switch #2 [4:58 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'GM Tom Donahoe deserves credit for many moves over the past couple seasons, but the drafting of McGee may turn out to be the best value pick he ever makes.'

Marker When It Comes To The Bills-D, There's No [4:57 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'The unsung hero on this team is defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. He has quietly gone about his business and produced another of the league’s best defenses. He has shed Gregg Williams and Dick Lebeau, who were given much of the credit during Gray’s tenure. But, now this defense is his. They are producing turnovers, and getting pressure on the quarterback. He is a solid NFL coordinator, and don’t be surprised if a team looking for a new head coach takes a look at Gray during this off-season.'

Marker Vincent's move to safety 'average' by his standard [4:56 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, a former Titans assistant, made aggressive calls that rattled the Browns, including blitzes more than half the time. ''Every time Jerry was sending the pressure, it was getting there,'' Vincent said. ''He realized that there was no need to turn the faucet off.'''

Marker Inside slant [4:55 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'He lobbied Gray to blitz him; the Bills normally don't send the free safety, preferring to use strong safety Lawyer Milloy for that role. "I talked to Jerry about that," Vincent said. "If I'm going to free safety, at least get me the ball. And this week, he put a couple calls in the package and from the opening gate, my number was called. When that opportunity presents itself, I've got to make that play. It was there. And the guys were so productive up front, I think that set the tone."'

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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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