Gailey says Bills looking to improve

540568.jpg

Gailey says Bills looking to improve

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
FOXBORO -- Though their 2-0 records are identical, coach Chan Gailey says his Bills and the Patriots are very different teams. No kidding. It wasn't expressed as a statement -- there's no need, with New England holding a 15-0 series advantage since 2003. It was in the way he described each, independently of one another.

"They do a great job," Gailey said of the Patriots Wednesday. "And it looks like it doesn't matter who they plug in where, they do a great job. Everybody's on the same page. That's almost the highest compliment you can give to an offense is when everybody's on the same page.

"Obviously, that has a lot to do with Tom Brady and the way he runs the offense. He's a great quarterback when you look at physical talent. But he's even better when you see the way he manages the game and controls the tempo and does all the little things to help his team be successful."

Gailey's 2010 arrival in Buffalo was nothing like the dramatic entrance of, say, Rex Ryan in New York. There were no booming promises of Super Bowl trips, no delusions of -- or even allusions to -- grandeur. With just one season over .500 since 2004, the Bills' coaching search was long and it was painful; the team swung and missed on interviews more than once before landing Gailey.

You can see how, where the Patriots strive for dominance, Buffalo hopes for . . . improvement.

"I know one thing: If you lose you don't stay in this business very long," Gailey said. "If you win, sometimes people think you're better than you really are. The key is to try to do your best each week and help your team improve. We've gotten better personnel, our guys understand our systems better and we've been fortunate to win two games."

Here he sounds a bit modest.

The Bills actually look like a better team this season. They didn't just squeak through the first two weeks, they put up the numbers to lead the NFL in average rushing yards (190.0 per game), points per game (39.5), and touchdowns (10).

It makes more sense that Gailey is being cautious. Vanquished Week 1 opponent, Kansas City, isn't exactly the same kind of competitor as New England.

"I think everybody's excited and looking forward to it, but we're in a society of 'What have you done for me lately?' And it's been good the first two weeks and you've got to keept p it going or things turn in a hurry. We have to concentrate each and every week to win ourselves a ballgame. We're not a dominant team yet and we hope to be there one day. But we're blue collar, going to work everyday and we're just trying to get better," he said.

"I think our guys understand about hard work, they understand about going out and getting better each day and they also have learned the systems better. Like I said earlier, too, we've picked up some good players that have helped us on both sides of the ball. When everybody gets closer to the same page you give yourself a chance to be more successful."

A win on Sunday would be a huge step in the right direction. But Gailey isn't looking for the Bills to define themselves by Week 3, no matter what the outcome.

There's a long way yet to go.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

new-england-patriots-helmets-121215_0.jpg

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)