The Buffalo Bills won't be too concerned with wins or losses as they prepare to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in preseason action Saturday (4:30 p.m.). But they will be concerned with finally scoring a first-team touchdown.
The Bills (1-2) have yet to see their starters score a touchdown this preseason. Quarterback EJ Manuel, for one, feels the pressure that's created but feels that streak will end Saturday:
"It's very important because that's going to help us win, period. The more we find the end zone, the more we'll win games."
The Bills' starting unit is 0-for-5 this preseason in the red zone, which has stalled a starting unit that's moved the fall fairly well overall. Wide receiver Mike Williams, who's fighting for a spot with that starting unit, said it was a point of emphasis all week:
"We've been working on it. We know that's a point of emphasis. We weren't ranked high in the red zone last year."
The Bills' starters figure to play into the third quarter Saturday before basically sitting out the preseason finale next week. Coach Doug Marrone would not commit to a firm timetable for how long they will play, but he said the coaching staff won't be afraid to keep them in as long as necessary so that they can get work in.
Marrone said the team's training camp, which wrapped up Thursday, was productive overall, with joint practices with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a fifth preseason game giving the team extra practice. That practice is needed if the team will end its 14-year playoff drought, he said:
"We are close. What is it going to be to get over the top? It's a matter of either you get over the top or you don't, and we've got to find a way to push ourselves over the top."
The starters' extended stay on the field means the coaching staff put together at least a partial game plan for the Buccaneers, who are debuting a new coach this season in Lovie Smith. They also have a new starting quarterback in Josh McCown, who's taken the job from last year's starter Mike Glennon. Tampa is coming off a 4-12 season and hasn't been in the playoffs since 2007.
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams, cornerback Leodis McKelvin and receiver Sammy Watkins are all questionable with injuries.
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