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Buffalo Bills News - December 18, 2002

Marker TU Narrows Coaching Search [5:15 AM]
KTUL-TV reports: 'There appears to be a front runner for a football coach at the University of Tulsa. Hurricane officials are zeroing in Steve Kragthorpe. Steve is currently the Quarterback coach for the Buffalo Bills...An announcement will be made on Thursday.'

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December 17, 2002

Marker Chargers Report Card [9:37 PM] reports: 'COACHING- Marty Schottenheimer decided to put in Flutie with a little over 8 minutes to go. Flutie did not respond. Brees was simply the victim of dropped passes and the decision to go away from the running game in the fourth quarter is baffling. The coach also decided not to kick a field goal in two situations where any other team in the league would have. The sorry state of the Chargers special teams and lack of confidence hurt them on this day. Grade: F'

Marker Playoffs start now for Bolts [11:49 AM]
North County Times reports: 'The Chargers find themselves back in the playoff pack after letting a winnable game slip away in upstate New York, where on late Sunday and early Monday morning 7 inches of snow fell to go with 21-degree weather. Buffalo fans take the weather in stride. More than 61,000 hearty souls stood in the misty rain to watch the Bills sneak past the Chargers on Sunday. Doug Flutie is right when he says, "They love their Bills." I can't imagine 61,000 Chargers fans coming out to Qualcomm Stadium if the weather was the least bit nasty.'

Marker Ask Running Back Travis Henry [11:46 AM] reports: visitors selected Bills running back Travis Henry as the Tops Game Ball of the Week winner for his performance against the San Diego Charges on Sunday, December 15.

Marker On Any Given Tuesday: Dec. 17, 2002 [11:45 AM] reports: All players will attend the annual Bills Holiday Party for Kids at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Eighty children from the Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo, Salvation Army and Courage House at Gateway-Longview sent in their holiday wishes. They will be granted on Tuesday night when the kids and the players celebrate together.

Marker Kicking the Odds [11:43 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'It was a 47 yard punt, into a stiff wind in a light rain, with no return because Tim Dwight had to fair catch it. Unbelievable.'

Marker Williams talks about Packers, not his future [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Obviously, winning the final two games to finish with three straight victories would work wonders for his immediate future. Losing the last two could place him in jeopardy.'

Marker To make a run Bills don't have to pass [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills have advanced past the stage of regaining respectability. They should be seething that a playoff spot appears destined to elude them when it was there waiting to be grasped.'

Marker Bills' owner supportive of coach [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'With losses in four of the past five games heading into the Chargers game, there was growing speculation that Williams’ job was in jeopardy. But Wilson quieted the talk with his strong comments in support of his 44-year-old coach, who enters the final year of his contract next season.'

Marker Should Travis Henry be the focal point for the Bills? [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'Yeah he fumbles, but those 1,300 yards and 13 TDs have made up for it.'

Marker Week 15: Green Bay in December is tough [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'WHAT does Gregg Williams’ future hold? A job in Buffalo, that’s what. Only in Buffalo can a head coach’s job be considered in jeopardy even though he has more than doubled the win total from the previous year.'

Marker Bills face huge odds vs. Favre in December [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'Favre is 22-2 in home games in December for his Hall of Fame career, with 47 touchdown passes and only 16 interceptions. The Packers are 20-1 in their last 21 December home games.'

Marker Henry rushes to elite status [5:21 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Bledsoe says he does not believe Henry's statistics, lofty as they are, accurately reflect his ability. "If we did not have to play from behind in a few games," Bledsoe said of the 7-7 Bills, "he would be right up there at the very top."'

December 16, 2002

Marker TBD / Shout chat rescheduled for Tues. night, 8 p.m. EST [11:39 PM]
StadiumWall reports: Mike Doser and Lary Bump should be there.

Marker Mike Doser: Bills, Henry stop Flutie-led Chargers [11:32 PM]
Shout! reports: The crowd greeted Flutie with cheers and boos. The people who were booing were probably just nervous that the QB would come back and haunt his old team the way he did in San Diego last season, running for the game-winning score with one minute, 10 seconds remaining.

Unfortunately, Flutie couldn't rally his team this time. Of course, next week it's back to the bench; fun while it lasted.

"Let's set the record straight," Flutie said. "Drew is the starter of this team and he is the guy."

Marker Bills Win Important for Variety of Reasons [11:30 PM]
Empire Sports reports: It’s important because it gives Buffalo a chance to finish the season by winning two of its last three games, which would be a nice bounce going into next season.

It’s important because the defense, the anchor which was pulling back the entire team for most of the season, had a large part in this victory. There may be hope for some of these guys, yet.

It’s important since it gives Gregg Williams some breathing room in his quest to stay a head coach for at least another year.

Marker Donahoe to evaluate Williams, Bills progress at end of season [8:46 PM]
AP reports: 'Except for offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who each have at least a year left on their respective contracts, the contracts of the remaining position coaches are up at the end of the season. That includes defensive line coach John Levra, who already has announced he is retiring at the end of the year.'

Marker Bills CB Bostic to have knee surgery [4:42 PM]
AP reports: 'Jason Bostic, who has emerged as the Buffalo Bills' third cornerback, tore ligaments in his right knee and will likely miss the rest of the season.'

Marker "Fan Friendliest Team" [4:16 PM] reports: The Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based Sports Fans of America Association, Inc. has awarded its 2002 NFL Sports Fan’s Quality Award to the Buffalo Bills as the league’s “Fan Friendliest” team.

Marker 5th Down: Video Killed the Quarterback Star [3:30 PM] reports: But I'm here to say that video has killed a lot more than just the radio star. It's killed quarterbacks. Take Sunday, for instance. With eight minutes remaining and his Chargers tied at 13 with the Buffalo Bills, Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer pulled aside his second-year quarterback, Drew Brees, and told him to take a break.

Marker No Flutie magic in Buffalo’s victory [3:08 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'On a day when Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe endured one of his worst passing days as a pro, Travis Henry reaffirmed his position among the NFL’s elite running backs and the Bills’ maligned defense stepped up.'

Marker Flutie added some life to a dull game [3:07 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“It was fun, it really was. It was fun to hear it from the crowd a little bit and to step into the situation where we’re behind and we have the opportunity to go win the ball game and make a couple of plays. We didn’t follow through on it, but it felt good.”'

Marker Bledsoe continues assault on record books [3:06 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Fletcher was credited with a game-high 13 tackles, including nine solos. Seau topped the Chargers with 10 stops.'

Marker Buffalo survives late Flutie scare [1:28 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: '...Buffalo's defense deserves the credit for this one. They didn't force any turnovers, but forced eight San Diego punts and stopped six drives without allowing a first down.'

Marker Bills garner award from fans advocacy group [1:26 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The award is based on responses to questions regarding entertainment and fan activities, improvements on and off the field, fan issues involving tickets, concessions, parking and tailgating, fan loyalty issues and community relations.'

Marker Bills To Host Holiday Party For Kids [12:38 PM] reports: On Tuesday, December 17, from 5:00-6:30 PM, the Bills and the Tops Rookie Club rookie club will celebrate the holiday season with 80 kids from the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo and Gateway-Longview.

Marker Game Photos [12:13 PM] reports: Action photos from Sunday's 20-13 Bills victory.

Marker Buffalo Jills Photos [12:12 PM] reports: Action photos of the Jills.

Marker Game Notebook vs. San Diego Chargers [12:11 PM] reports: With two games to play the Bills already have four more wins than they did a year ago. That four-win increase is the second-greatest one season turnaround in team history and is one shy of the all-time best one season turnaround of +5 accomplished in 1964, ’73 and ’88.

Marker Bills 20, Chargers 13 (Video Highlights) [10:50 AM] reports: Watch video highlights of Sunday's game.

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