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Bills Lose Sloppy Game In Chicago

AP photo - Willis McGahee

Bills Waive Seven: The Bills didn't wait until Tuesday's cut down day to release seven players. The biggest name on the list was ReShard Lee. He was expected to challenge for the backup running back spot but didn't do much to distinguish himself. He didn't carry the ball at all on Friday night against Chicago. Also released was QB Tory Woodbury, who some thought may stick since he would have fit the slash role that Coach Mularkey covets. It is surprising that he was released before QB Kevin Thompson but the Bills have a roster exemption for Thompson who played in NFL Europe. The other five released are not surprises, they are: K/P Steve Baker, WR Tony Brown, DB Rob Lee, DE Uyi Osunde, and LB Daryl Towns. Osunde and Towns were on the Bills practice squad last year. Depth Chart.

Offense Undisciplined In Loss: Coach Mularkey was disappointed with his offense's showing in the game against the Bears on Friday. He knew the Bears would have eight in the box to stop the run but they had eight blockers and couldn't stop them. It was hard to get into the flow when they couldn't pick up first downs on third and short. They tried to run and didn't do a good job of it. He said the offensive failures were more than J.P. Losman missing a couple of throws it was being undisciplined. He thought they shot themselves in the foot on many occasions with penalties and fumbles. They have to be more consistent as an offense and he expects that it will happen. He would not comment on the position battles until he watches it over and over again during film study.

Losman Needs To Pull Trigger: J.P. Losman said that it wasn't a good performance from his standpoint against the Bears and wouldn't make any excuses. He said there were times receivers were open but he would pump fake instead of pulling the trigger. The pass to George Wilson in the end zone was frustrating since he has hit that play in practice everyday. He threw it not to miss, and he can't do that.

Saturday August 27, 2005

Haddad Stock Rises: Not many players helped themselves in the sloppy loss but one player who did was Drew Haddad. He only caught one pass for four years which won't help him nail down the number three wide receiver spot. He helped his overall chances of making the team with another nice punt return. His only chance was brought back 44 yards and gives Coach Mularkey something to think about as far as his primary punt returner goes. Nate Clements did the majority of punt returning last night but fumbled one away. He helped his cause for a new contract by returning an interception for a score and then almost scoring after a Takeo Spikes interception when he caught the lateral and was pulled down at the 3 yard line. Both backup QBs played well against the Bears backups statistically but neither could lead the Bills to a score. Rian Lindell hit two long range field goals connecting from 38 and 44 yards. He did miss an extra point but the snap was low.

Gates Awful: It was thought that Coach Mularkey would play both Lionel Gates and Shaud Williams extensively with the first unit but that didn't materialize. Willis McGahee ran the ball 21 times, Williams never carried the football for the second week in a row. Gates was the third down back early and the feature back late. He struggled mightily gaining just 10 yards on eight carries. No other running back touched the ball. He was given a huge opportunity to win the backup RB job and he failed. That spot is now still way up in the air. The entire offense struggled somewhat, led by J.P. Losman who was just 9 of 18 for 82 yards and he was sacked twice including a 20 yard sack while the Bills were inside the 5. He also missed an open George Wilson in the end zone.

Mularkey Looks For Right Combination: Coach Mularkey tried some players in different spots looking for the right combination as cutdowns loom. Jason Peters saw a decent amount of time at tight end in short yardage situation. He came to the team last year as a tight end and has moved to tackle twice now, it was thought the tight end position was in his past as he has had a good camp at tackle. It looks like they are trying to utilize his unique combination of size and speed as much as possible. The coach also gave Duke Preston a look as a long snapper possibility. He handled all punts and kicking snaps in the first half. The coach may be hoping he doesn't have to use a spot on someone that can only snap. If Preston succeeded he would be able to release Jon Dorenbos. Preston snapped ok, but did have one low one that aided in a missed extra point. One more interesting move by Mularkey was that he used Shane Matthews as the second quarterback in the game. He only played for a short time in the third quarter before Kelly Holcomb finished the game.

Williams Banged Up: The one piece of good news out of yesterday's sloppy game was that the team seemed to come out fairly injury free. Mike Williams gave the team a scare when he limped off without putting weight on his leg. It appeared to be an achilles injury but he returned later in the game. Other than that no injuries were noted during the game. Injury Page.

Friday August 26, 2005

Bills Lose Sloppy Game: The Bills lost their first preseason game of the year in Chicago tonight 16-12. It was a very sloppy game that saw the Bills score their lone touchdown on a 31 yard interception return for a score by Nate Clements. Rian Lindell added two field goals but missed an extra point in the loss. Takeo Spikes also had a pick that led to one of the field goals as the first team defense was dominant once again. The Bills led 12-3 while the starters were in the game. The Bears scored two second half touchdowns including the winning score with 1:32 left in the game on a three yard run by Adrian Peterson. The offense was awful against their toughest defensive foe of the summer. J.P. Losman couldn't muster much as he finished 9 of 18 for 82 yards and he was sacked twice. Willis McGahee ran for 61 yards but it took him 21 carries to get them, he also lost a fumble while he was going in for a possible touchdown.

Bills, Bears Set To Battle: The Bills and Bears are set to kickoff tonight at 8pm for the third preseason game. This is the one exhibition game more important than the others as the starters traditionally play longer in this came than any other. This is also the last chance for some players to impress before the first cutdown day on Tuesday. The Bills starters are expected to play into the third quarter with some exceptions as Coach Mularkey wants to get a look at some backups with the first string unit.

Thursday August 25 2005

Bills Head To Chicago: The Bills will leave for Chicago this afternoon a day before their preseason game tomorrow night a 8pm. As we reported yesterday, this will be a game to get a handle on the position battles. Most interesting to watch will be the battle for the third wideout spot and the second running back spot. Shaud Williams and Lionel Gates will get some work with the first team as they are the leaders in the battle for that job.

Parrish Improving: Roscoe Parrish seems to be improving, he was seen yesterday with his arm out of a sling. He still has a cast on his injured wrist. The Bills have given no timetable on his return but he is expected to miss at least the first month of the season. Injury Page.

Wednesday August 24, 2005

Losman Getting Ready: J.P. Losman said they have game planned a little bit for the Bears and he expects them to be a little bit better than the previous two defenses they have faced. He thinks the Bears won't throw too much at him but just enough to get a taste for the regular season. They will have a basic offensive scheme but they expect to execute. So far in the preseason teams have not allowed him to go deep but he hopes to have a chance against a run stuffing team like Chicago.

Bills Return Home: The Bills were back on the practice field today but it was at their home base at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Coach Mularkey confirmed today that the starters will play at least a half on Friday night and into the third quarter. They will plug some individuals in as early as the second quarter to get work in with the first team so they can get a fair evaluation of some players. He is watching the third wide receiver spot, the offensive line, young secondary players, and the second running back spot to name a few positions that they want to get a better look at. He mentioned Shaud Williams as one player that may get some playing time earlier. He feels the Bears are a fast, physical, good football team and it will be a good test for his team after breaking camp and having a shorter week to prepare for the game. The Bills always want to win and they will compete to win without the game planning of the regular season. He said he will consider carrying six receivers because of the injury to Roscoe Parrish. They have two weeks before they have to make that decision but if it was today the coach admitted he'd carry six. He thinks the cuts will be tough and he dreads the final cutdown to 53. He felt today's practice wasn't as crisp as he wanted but that was to be expected after re-locating the camp back to Orchard Park yesterday.

Camp Battles Continue: Training camp may be over but the battles continue for position on the depth chart. The Bills are still figuring out who will be the number two running back and the number three wide receiver along with the number four defensive end. There have been many surprises in camp, certain rookies and young vets have really shined making the coaches decisions harder. Who do you think has been the biggest surprise in camp? Take our poll on the homepage and let us know!

Ward To Bears: A day after being released by the Bills, DB Marvin Ward has found a new home. He has signed with the Chicago Bears in time to face his former team on Friday night. The Bills made six early cuts in part to help the players get a jump start on finding another team. Ward is the first of the six released on Monday to sign elsewhere.

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Training Camp Ends: The Bills finished the St. John Fisher College portion of training camp with an afternoon practice session today. The team is now back in Buffalo and will finish preparing for the season at the complex at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Coach Mularkey said after the final workout that he is pleased with the progress J.P. Losman has shown in the camp, he is pleased but Losman still needs to work some. He called every snap in camp a learning experience for his young quarterback. He thinks Losman got around 70% of the reps in camp. They've addressed things that have come out of the two preseason games and they need to continue to get better starting with the Bears game on Friday. Mularkey said the team had as many practices this year as they did last year but the speed of the practice allowed them to get more done and get more reps in. Lionel Gates will get some work with the first team this week since he's been productive when he's had the chance. As is usually the case in the third preseason game the starters will play more. Most of them will play into the third quarter except when they want to get a look at some backups against first teamers like Gates. He said they will continue to work hard but will miss the environment of having the fans at the practices.

Losman Makes Progress In Camp: J.P. Losman addressed the media after last night's practice and said he's looking forward to going home and sleeping in his own bed. He feels he made a lot of progress in camp and got a lot out of it. He likes that he corrected all the mistakes he made and is pleased with how the camp turned out. He feels last night's practice was better than previous night sessions. Losman praised his offensive line. He called them "stellar" and he's very happy and pleased with the time he has had to throw, calling it an awesome feeling. He said he never really got hit hard during the game against the Packers even though it looked like it. He said he has no bumps and bruises. He is ready for the real games to start and hopes to sharpen up some things in the final two preseason games. Anytime he gets a chance to go to Eric Moulds he will go to him. He was double teamed in the first two preseason games but anytime he's one on one he'll look his way. He feels he still needs to work on some conditioning and wants to come out sharper in games. He said he will continue to work to improve and is not satisfied.

Cuts Made To Get More Reps: Coach Mularkey told the media after last night's practice and said the reason for cutting six players early was to get more reps for players that are on the bubble. He also said that it gives the players more time to catch on with other teams. The coach called it a sad moment for the NFL when Thomas Herrion died, he called the league one big family and everyone feels the pain. His condolences go out to the family. Jason Peters and Duke Preston both played well with the first team according to the coach. He said Peters is a lot farther along than anyone expected but said he's not ready to start a game yet but he can hold his own. Mike Gandy seems locked in as the starting right tackle. The coach said he's been solid, doing what they have asked him to do and not trying to do more. He has done some good work against quality competition and he expects him to be up for this week's game against his former team. Preston has been impressive playing guard since he hasn't played the position since high school. He said J.P. Losman is feeling good despite taking some hits against Green Bay. The main reason for the extra night practices this year was to give them a few more hours of rest after preseason games. This made them more productive than they would have been if the practice after a game was earlier in the day.

Euhus Out: Coach Mularkey said after last night's practice that Tim Euhus has been ruled out of Friday night's game against Chicago. He said Euhus does have a strained pectoral muscle as it was diagnosed on Saturday. He is expected to miss a couple of weeks but would not put a timeframe on it. He will likely be held out of the preseason finale as well. He will hopefully be ready for opening day. Ross Tucker also missed practice last night. He did not play against Green Bay despite dressing. He is expected back on the field for the final practice today. Eric Moulds practiced and showed no ill effects from his bruised ribs except dropping a bomb from J.P. Losman. He had just got the wind knocked out of him in the hit he took against Green Bay. He was given the choice to miss last night's practice but decided to participate. Injury Page.

Monday August 22, 2005

Bills Waive Six: The Bills got an early start on their roster cuts today by releasing six players. Gone are DT LaWaylon Brown, OL Geir Gudmundsen and David Pruce, DBs Marvin Ward and Daniel Leger, and WR Will Peoples. None of the six had a chance to make the team and it isn't a surprise that they are gone. Pruce was the only one of the six that was with the team last year, he was on the practice squad. Rosters need to be down to 65 by August 30th. The Bills traditionally start their cuts early, these players likely wouldn't have seen action in Friday's preseason game anyway. Depth Chart.

Camp Gets Set To Wrap: The Bills are back at St. John Fisher College today but it is a short stay. They have a night practice tonight at 7pm. Tickets are required for the workout. They will then close training camp with a workout tomorrow afternoon at unusual time of 1:30pm. After that practice they pack up their things and finish preparing for the season at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Fast Start Rare: The Bills are off to a fantastic start in the preseason and that is very rare. This is the first time since 1966 that the team has started 2-0 in the preseason. It is also only the second time in club history that has happened. They have never stressed winning games in the preseason. In fact, in the glory years of the early 90's, they almost never had a winning record in the meaningless games.

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