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Buffalo Bills News - August 18, 2004

Marker Buffalo Bills 2004 Season Preview [5:27 AM] reports: 'Last year was discouraging but this year brings new hope. The offense has more weapons, and the defense has remained virtually intact. I really think Bills football will be exciting again. However, this is Mularkey’s first year at the helm and the AFC East is, arguably, the toughest division in which to play offense.'

Marker Bills OL Price out with toe injury [5:26 AM]
AP reports: 'Bills offensive lineman Marcus Price missed practice Tuesday and will be out for at least a week with an injured toe on his left foot.'

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August 17, 2004

Marker Transcript: Coach Mike Mularkey [9:06 PM] reports: 'On Lawrence Smith playing with the first unit:
We just tried to get another combination in there. Lawrence has played well, and I've given him an opportunity to compete for that spot. I still feel like there's ample time to get a feel, and a clear evaluation of him.'

Marker Bills O-line shuffle continues [9:00 PM]
AP reports: 'And Smith was promoted to the starting unit, taking over for Mike Pucillo. ''We're trying another combination,'' coach Mike Mularkey said of elevating Smith. ''Lawrence has played well and we're giving him an opportunity to compete for that spot.'''

Marker Nice problem to have [5:06 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 'But I would be shocked if Buffalo traded Henry this season.'

Marker Losman debut surprisingly strong [3:29 PM] reports: 'But in the context of a preseason game, it didn't matter. What mattered was how Losman threw the ball, how he saw the field, how he reacted to what the Broncos' defense showed him, and how he carried himself.'

Marker Calling All Youth Athletes – Free Mouthguards [3:29 PM] reports: 'Dentists from the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, a Kaleida Health facility, will be providing free mouthguards and proper fittings for amateur athletes that will be attending Buffalo Bills training camp in Rochester.'

Marker Bills’ problem remains offensive line [12:51 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Eric Moulds took the blame for the interception, telling Bledsoe, “I’ll make that play during the regular season,” but the Bills’ malfunctioning starting offense wasn’t the fault of its QB, wideouts or Travis Henry. This was totally on the offensive line.'

Marker Dolphins should show interest in Bills' Henry [12:50 PM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: Henry, a Frostproof native, would be highly motivated for a return to his home state, given all the attention and adulation being showered on second-year pro Willis McGahee and his phenomenal comeback from a devastating knee injury.

Marker J.P.'s a two-way threat in debut [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He got tattooed pretty good by the defenders," Mularkey said. "I think it was a wake-up call that this is a different level and a big deal of hits are at a greater speed with more velocity and strength."'

Marker Start Time for Detroit Game Changed [7:12 AM] reports: 'Please be advised that the start time of the Bills final preseason game on Thursday, Sept. 2 at Detroit has been changed from 8:00 PM (ET) to 7:00 PM (ET).'

Marker After that first hit, Losman shows he has what it takes [5:30 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'There was a method to Mularkey's madness in calling a quarterback draw for the first play of the NFL career of the young man who could end up being Buffalo's quarterback for a very long time. “He got tattooed pretty good by the defenders, and I think it was a wakeup call that it is a different level and they do hit at a greater speed with more velocity and strength,” Mularkey said.'

Marker Coach liked win but seeks to improve [5:29 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“We stayed persistent with the run game, and I think our defense held up pretty well. I can tell there are things we need to work on, just from the naked eye, and there may be more after the film. But for the most part, it's a good win all the way around.”'

Marker Bills may have a top-notch tandem [5:28 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The only thing Henry lacks is the explosiveness to make him a threat to score every time his number is called. A dozen or so NFL running backs have that talent, and a healthy McGahee might be in that select fraternity.'

Marker Inside slant [5:27 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Coach Mike Mularkey is unable - or willing - to put a timetable on when Williams will return to full strength, but it's clear that he's missing valuable work. At some point, it could become impossible for him to start, meaning the Bills would open the year with a backup costing them $38 million.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:26 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Incumbent FS Izelle Reese has responded to the presence of Coy Wire competing for his starting job and remains No. 1 on the depth chart.'

Marker Notes, quotes [5:25 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills have been rained off of their grass practice fields at St. John Fisher College twice so far yet have still managed to practice outside thanks to an arrangement with a nearby high school. East Rochester High School, located just a mile down the street, has the same artificial synthetic playing surface on its football field as used at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "It (sheds) the water very well," coach Mike Mularkey said. "The players like it because their joints and knees feel better working on it."'

Marker McGahee & Losman show promise and then some [5:24 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Can they keep both backs happy all season long? No. Does that matter? Not really.'

August 16, 2004

Marker Starters Satisfied [9:16 PM] reports: 'There is an area where the starters feel they must improve and that's senseless penalties. "We got two illegal formation penalties and that's something that Coach emphasised to us this week," wide receiver Josh Reed said. "Especially the receivers knowing who's on the ball and who's off the ball. That's something I'm sure we're going to have to hear about when we get back."'

Marker Quarterback Losman Shines in Debut [1:42 PM] reports: '"The only thing he (Mularkey) told me was, 'this play we're about to call J.P., you'll remember for the rest of your life,'" Losman said. "I didn't know what they were going to call, and they ended up calling quarterback draw. We started laughing because I kind of knew it was going to be that play."'

Marker McGahee, reserves give Bills edge over Broncos [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think that we showed what our mentality is going to be," Bledsoe said. "We showed that we are going to be hard-headed in the running game and that we are going to continue to pound it on people. . . . Eventually, we will get plays to open up because of that."'

Marker Bills' same weaknesses linger [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It starts, of course, with the woeful offensive line, which looks even worse than last year's unit. Ruben Brown might have been overrated, but he's a lot better than Mike Pucillo, the turnstile at left guard. Some experts regard Chris Villarrial, the new right guard, as the best lineman on the squad. He didn't show me anything against the Broncos.'

Marker McGahee gets empathy [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Although Davis thought McGahee did some good things, Davis doesn't believe McGahee is back to where he was before the knee injury. "Just watching him, he looks good, but right now he's not 100 percent," said Davis, who was a color commentator on the NFL Network's broadcast. "You can tell everybody that you're 100 percent, but you're not 100 percent, especially after you tore up a knee as bad as he did. It's going to take awhile for him to really get a feel for whether he's back all the way or not."'

Marker Dandy debut for McGahee and the Bills [5:31 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“He was making some good runs,” coach Mike Mularkey said. “He's a hard and physical runner. Right down there (on the goal line) is when you need it, and he put it in there.”'

Marker McGahee makes an early run at No. 1 job [5:30 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'OK, it was against the Broncos' second team. Think anybody cared?'

Marker Pittsford now accepts Bills [5:29 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It's been fine,” said Murray Brandes, an Alpine Drive resident for 36 years. “There hasn't been any excessive congestion or noise for me. I think a lot of people in the neighborhood were quite apprehensive. It didn't turn out that way at all.”'

Marker Wait's over for McGahee [5:27 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: '"It's getting better all of the time, and I'm just waiting for the time when it all starts clicking," -McGahee said. "It was really good to hear all those cheers (Sunday night). It means a lot."'

Marker Buffalo 16, Denver 6 [5:26 AM]
AP reports: 'The cheers went up when McGahee first took the field, lining up beside Henry late in the first quarter. And the crowd was already on its feet in anticipation before McGahee followed two blockers into the end zone, putting the Bills ahead 10-3 with 4:37 left in the second quarter.'

Marker Bills waive DT Gibson [5:25 AM]
AP reports: 'Gibson, a nine-year NFL veteran, was competing for a backup job. He spent the last five seasons with Cincinnati, where he was a four-year starter.'

Marker Buffalo 16, Denver 6 [5:24 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Bills wide receiver Lee Evans, the 13th overall pick, did not catch a pass.'

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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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