2 reasons why Williams won't be back

Two-point conversion plays don't seem to rank high in fans' perception of pivotal plays in a football game. Some coaches don't treat them as very important either. <P> There were two of those little plays in the Bills' game at Tennessee. And they illustrated graphically why Jeff Fisher will be the Titans' head coach for the foreseeable future and Gregg Williams will be the defensive coordinator at some college next fall.

Tennessee didn't have to have its two-point conversion when it trailed 17-12. But the Titans ran a nifty little counter play with Robert Holcombe carrying to pull them within three points of the lead.

Late in the fourth quarter, however, Buffalo had to have its two-point conversion to tie the game - or to recover an onside kick. The Bills did neither, largely because the two-point play was a lost cause from the beginning.

You didn't have to watch the Bills throwing the ball on most of their third-and-short plays this year to know they would be passing for two points. For one thing, Travis Henry wasn't in the game, so that reduced the running threat right there.

But since Alex Van Pelt threw to Eric Moulds for two points back on Nov. 11, 2001, and even before that, every Buffalo two-point attempt has been a pass. And not a one of them has been successful. Seven misses in a row, and during Williams' tenure, the Bills are 1-for-11 when going for two.

No doubt the Titans were aware that Drew Bledsoe would be throwing. Even though Bobby Shaw nearly made, or possibly did make a difficult catch, that play was just the latest in a series of predictable wrong calls at the wrong time by Williams and his staff.

Speaking of the staff, if you saw that Steve Kragthorpe finished fourth in a vote for college coach of the year, did you stop to think that perhaps the Bills would have been better off this year with him still coaching Drew Bledsoe? Kragthorpe led Tulsa to an 8-4 record and the Humanitarian Bowl.

Anyway, in a close NFL game that could have gone either way, Tennessee scouted and coached better. Remember the two pass plays when Derrick Mason beat Antoine Winfield down the sideline? The Titans certainly did, because they had seen Billy Volek beat Winfield deep in a game that didn't count, back on Aug. 16. Winfield was embarrassed then to have a backup quarterback burn him. Imagine how he must have felt Sunday.

Before the game even was played, it became apparent that Williams wouldn't be back. That morning, Chris Mortensen was telling the ESPN audience Williams had been told early in the season that he had to reach the playoffs to keep his job. The man who had told Williams was the same man who told Mortensen - Tom Donahoe, as usual leaking to ESPN the news and the spin he wanted to get out.

A couple of days later, Donahoe's direct pipeline, Pittsburgh homeboy Len Pasquarelli, was writing at espn.com that Williams wouldn't be back in 2004.

The Bills will go through the motions Sunday when they take on Miami. Because they'll be playing the Fish, there will be a much bigger crowd than the home team deserves to end the home portion of a disappointing season. A week later, when the team cleans out its lockers, Gregg Williams will be looking for extra boxes so he can take everything home.


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