Johnson gets shot at carrying load [9:39 AM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'Coach Marvin Lewis did not commit to Johnson taking the lead role at Buffalo, saying he would continue to work Bennett into the mix. But if anyone is called on to grind out tough yards, there’s little doubt it will be Johnson.'
Bengals tight ends coming up with big catches [9:38 AM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'Longtime Bengals player and assistant coach Tim Krumrie is in his first season as defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati’s opponent Sunday. As a player, Krumrie was legendary for his toughness and intensity. Apparently, nothing has changed.'
Clements seeks more consistency [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think Nate sets the bar high," Gray said. "I think that's what he's working to get to. Any time you are a top corner in this league, it's called consistency. Either you are getting a lot of interceptions and not giving up plays or you're getting no interceptions and you're not giving up plays. But No. 1, you're not giving up plays."'
McNabb's foes know Limbaugh is wrong [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It sounds like a jealous comment, a racist comment coming from a jealous standpoint," Gash said. "Black people play quarterback, white people play quarterback and it doesn't really matter. I don't think you should single out any position based on race or creed. . . . I don't look at Drew (Bledsoe) and say, "He should be a better white quarterback.' "'
Bills upbeat on sales of premium seats [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Four months into their sales drive for suites and club seats, the Bills have compiled somewhat stronger numbers, selling between half and three-quarters of the different types of premium seats for three- and five-year commitments that begin next fall.'
The game within the game [6:30 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"They've got two real good, respectable cover corners and to me the best run support corner I've ever seen is Antoine Winfield," said Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, never one to miss a chance to talk trash about another player but who became serious when talking about Buffalo's corners. "Most DB's do not want to make tackles, but in this game and this situation we're playing against the whole package -- cover, tackle, the whole nine yards."'
Warrick yin to Johnson's yang [5:47 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Through four games, Peter Warrick and Chad Johnson are just one of three wide receiver duos each with 20-plus receptions.'
Bledsoe must step it up [5:28 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“The only thing I’ll say on that, is that it was a stupid, stupid play,” he said, as if to take out a paddle and spank himself. “I was scrambling, and as I looked to the sidelines, I saw that big ‘4’ (on the down marker). There’s no place to hide. It was just a dumb play.”'
Lewis: Can the ‘trash’ [5:27 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"If guys have to go out and talk about what they are going to do, then they don't have much confidence because they are trying to convince themselves they can do it," Lewis said.'
Bledsoe concerns defense [5:26 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"He's outstanding at throwing the football and he plays with some toughness in there," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. "He's not a guy who shies away from getting hit. Obviously, he's been a big part of the improvement of the Bills over the last two years. He's a fine quarterback."'
Cincinnati (1-3) at Buffalo (2-2) Sunday, 1:00 pm EDT [8:49 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Marvin Lewis had a chance to become coach of the Buffalo Bills following the 2000 season. But the Bills ultimately decided on Gregg Williams. [Lewis rejected the Bills.]
In-season changes do little good [8:29 PM]
ESPN reports: Longtime league assistant Hank Bullough, who went 2-10 after inheriting the Buffalo Bills four games into the 1985 season, once noted: "You're in the middle of the hill, the snowball is coming at you, and they want you to figure out a way to push that thing back up the mountain. Good luck."
Schobel sets double-digit sack goal [5:39 PM]
AP reports: '''Because of how I play, I think I'm always going to get a decent amount of sacks,'' he said. ''But I was more dominating in college. And I want to get that feel back. ... And that's when I'll be satisfied. I ain't saying sacks, I'm just saying where I can beat a guy as consistently as I did in college week to week.'''
Henry continues to improve [4:46 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"I feel better than I did yesterday," said Henry, who was still limited during Thursday's workout. "It feels pretty good."'
Bills-Bengals Game Sold Out [1:26 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'So far, all three home games in 2003 have sold out by the blackout deadline.'
Quarterback Drew Bledsoe Previews Cincinnati [1:26 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I don't think that our confidence has fallen off. I still think that we believe that we can play with anybody when we take the field. We expect to win each time we take the field. We've just got to go out and produce a little bit more. It's been frustrating. You go and watch the film and we'll hit a play and have a penalty. Or we'll come out and have a negative play early and then have to convert a long-yard situation. We've kind of been forcing ourselves to fight some up hill battles with some circumstances that have come up. We need to be a little bit cleaner in our execution across the board. If we do that then we start converting our third downs and we can be a little bit more patient with the running game and get things going."'
Bills Coach Gregg Williams Previews Cincinnati [1:25 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"The doctors are involved everyday and really it came down to the basic part of us and Travis (Henry), what he can withstand and what was pertain to do with the long season left to go. There's some give and take there but we trust our doctors and they basically said he was good to go if he can stand it."'
Running on empty [1:20 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' offensive line has not controlled the line of scrimmage in the running game the past three weeks. They have run 58 times the past three games for 105 yards - a 1.8-yard average.'
Buffalo's Spikes awaits former team [1:09 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Bengals got into the win column in Cleveland, but Buffalo is an entirely different animal. Spikes will be extremely fired up for this contest and he'll likely wreak havoc in the Cincinnati backfield. Expect the Bengals to implode with at least three turnovers in this one. Cincy hasn't won consecutive road games since 1995 and that trend will continue this week.'
Brady, Bledsoe must limit mistakes if Pats, Bills are to keep pace [11:17 AM]
ProFootballWeekly.com reports: Bills QB Drew Bledsoe and Patriots QB Tom Brady absolutely have killed their teams' chances when they've been slightly off the past season and a quarter, and if these teams are to have a realistic shot at the Super Bowl, these two signal-callers will have to become more consistent and reliable, particularly in protecting the ball. Of course, it would help if their supporting casts were better, but that won't change anytime soon, so the pressure is on Brady and Bledsoe to adapt.
Rudi, Rudi, Rudi [9:45 AM]
Bengals.com reports: '“He’s a straight down-hill runner. He’s got great contact balance,” said Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes, a former Bengal who recalled what his fellow Auburn alum did to the Bills in the preseason. “I know what he can do. A lot of the guys here know what he can do. When I was with Cincinnati, we came up here (last year) and nobody could even tackle Rudi. That’s what these guys are still talking about. He’s not as fast as damn Corey. He’s a power runner.”'
Defense moves on [9:44 AM]
Bengals.com reports: 'Even though Spikes is gone, the defense feels good about the future even though such a huge part of their past is blocking them Sunday.'
Spikes looks forward to meeting former mates [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Believe it or not I got a couple phone calls from them on Monday," he said. "I thought they'd be enjoying their win over Cleveland on Monday, but I guess they love Spikes. I got one from Chad Johnson, he left a message, and Tony Williams and Brian Simmons."'
Bills defense sensing a must-win game [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"As a team, we set our standards high the first two weeks," said strong safety Lawyer Milloy. "That's our potential. That's what we expect out of each other. I've only been here a couple of weeks and that's the first thing I got when I walked through that door. These guys expected to be good. You can go to anybody in this locker room and ask if they think we're playing up to our capabilities and they'd say no."'
Finding a long snapper isn't a snap [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Long snapping is like real estate. The key is location, location, location. You have to be accurate 99 percent of the time. Albright, the ex-Bill now with the Redskins, has made about $3.5 million in 10 years doing nothing but snapping. If I were a backup lineman at a major college, I'd spend all my summers snapping a ball between my legs.'
Spikes, Lewis didn’t mesh [8:51 AM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'When the Bills offered him a six-year, $32 million contract with a $9 million signing bonus, Spikes called Lewis and asked him not to match, as was Cincinnati’s right. Lewis obliged. In what remains the signature move of his brief tenure, Lewis allowed Spikes to leave.'
Lewis wants players to exhibit ‘swagger’ [8:50 AM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: '"Too many times, we make plays and our guys turn around and go back to the huddle," he said. "Let’s be happy with things, let’s be excited, because the other team feels that — that you have that. The term is ‘swagger.’ It’s a confidence thing."'
Spikes has no regrets about leaving Bengals [7:11 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"I personally felt like my tank was running low as far as some of the stuff you had to put up with around there, and then week in and week out getting yourself pumped up mentally thinking you have a chance to win and then be disappointed most of the time," said Spikes. "My mind was pretty much made up. I felt like my time was over. I did my time and, like I told (Lewis), he had some personal goals that he wanted to accomplish in life and I had some at the same time. And I felt that me being there with him and him being there with me, I think we would kind of be cutting short each other of our personal goals."'
Krumrie, LeBeau move on [7:10 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"(LeBeau) does a great job on game days acting as an assistant coach. He's in an advisory role to me constantly," said Williams. "When I was a young coach in this league, (Krumrie) was still playing and I loved watching him when he was playing and he coaches the same way, with the same attitude as he played."'
Surviving the game [7:09 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"If it weren't for football," he says solemnly, humbly, "I'd be one of three places. I'd be dead, I'd be in jail, or, what's the third thing? -- selling drugs. I guarantee you I could give you 30 names right now of people I grew up with who are dead. We got 'em dead, we got 'em in jail, we got 'em on the street hustling."'
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