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Gailey focused on Bills' finale, not job status

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Gailey focused on Bills' finale, not job status

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Bills coach Chan Gailey is not discussing job security, either his or that of starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for another week.

He's focused on preparing Buffalo for its season finale against the New York Jets this weekend rather than the uncertain offseason that lies ahead.

``I'm not into that right now,'' Gailey said Monday. ``I'm into let's beat the Jets and finish this thing the way it needs to be finished.''

At 5-10, Buffalo's season is essentially finished except for a game against the Jets (6-9) on Sunday.

Coming off a 24-10 loss at Miami, the Bills have dropped seven of nine, are guaranteed their fourth consecutive year with 10 or more losses, and will miss the playoffs for a 13th straight season. Gailey's record in Buffalo has dropped to 15-32 over a three-year stretch in which he's yet to win more than six games.

Gailey deflected questions regarding his job security, and declined to say whether he's received any assurances from the front office or Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson.

``I wouldn't tell you if they'd given me an indication or not,'' said Gailey, who has at least one year left on his contract.

And yet he's sticking with Fitzpatrick as his starter for at least one more week because, as Gailey put it: ``He gives us the best chance to win.''

Gailey, however, hedged as to whether Fitzpatrick's job is safe going into next season.

``We evaluate all that at the end of the season,'' he said. ``I don't see anything that would change my mind there right now. Something may change my mind as time goes on. But right now, I don't see anything that changes my mind in that.''

That's a bit of a switch from what Gailey had said late last month when discussing Fitzpatrick's status.

``As we continue to get better, I think he is going to be the guy,'' Gailey had said then.

The trouble is neither Fitzpatrick nor the Bills have shown many signs of progress.

After scoring 20 offensive touchdowns in their first seven games, the Bills have managed just 13 (five rushing and eight passing) in their past eight. Over that same stretch, Fitzpatrick has more turnovers (four lost fumbles and seven interceptions) than touchdowns passing (eight).

Injuries have also contributed to the drop in production.

Slot receiver David Nelson has been out since hurting his knee in the season opener. No. 2 receiver Donald Jones missed two of three games before being placed on injured reserve last week. And starting tight end Scott Chandler is out after tearing a ligament in his left knee against Miami.

Gailey said Chandler will require surgery, and the injury could have him miss the start of next season.

Questions about Fitzpatrick have been raised since general manager Buddy Nix said on several occasions this season that he's interested in drafting a quarterback next year.

Fitzpatrick's contract could also be an issue. In March, he's due to make a $3 million bonus, which could be a steep price to pay for a team that could be in the market for a new starter.

Though Bills players were given the day off, Fitzpatrick acknowledged this has been a difficult season for him.

``I'd be lying if I said it didn't wear on me a little bit,'' Fitzpatrick said on his weekly show on Buffalo's WGR-Radio. ``We haven't met (the expectations). And I haven't met them. And so it's been disappointing. But that stuff doesn't affect the way that I play on Sunday.''

Another issue has been the Bills defense, which hasn't played to its high-priced potential.

They're the NFL's eighth team to have allowed 45 or more points four times in one season. They've allowed 150 or more yards rushing seven times after giving up 182 to Miami. And the 426 points allowed is already the third-most given up in team history, and 28 short of matching the record set in 1984.

Gailey accepted the blame for the team's overall struggles this season, while insisting he sees signs of progress.

``The job is production and winning, and we haven't gotten there,'' Gailey said. ``We're getting closer, but we're not over the hump.''

NOTES: Gailey said FB Dorin Dickerson (right ankle), who was hurt on Sunday, is expected to play after tests came back negative. ... S Da'Norris Searcy has been ruled out after he hurt his groin against Miami.

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Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman is a walking bucket. She proved it in the WNBA Finals and is continuing to score in bunches in the EuroLeague. 

Playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, Meesseman went off again. Shooting an incredible 9-for-11 from the field (82%), she posted 20 points in 21 minutes during their win over ZVVZ USK Praha.

Just take a glimpse of Meesseman's highlights from that game. She got her shot to go from every corner of the court. 

The win moved UMMC Ekaterinburg (10-1) to the top of Pool A of the EuroLeague and Meesseman has been a huge part of it. Throughout the season, she's averaged 15 points, shooting 67% from the field and 64% from 3-point range. 

Meesseman just recently won the WNBA Finals MVP award for the Washington Mystics last season. In the WNBA Finals, she posted nearly 18 points a game coming off the bench to lead the team. 

Other WNBA stars Courtney Vandersloot, Brittney Griner and Jonquel Jones also play with Meesseman on the same team. 

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Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

When the Nationals faced the Houston Astros last World Series, they took extra precautions to ensure their opponents couldn’t steal their signs even if they were using illegal means to do it.

Less than two weeks later, news broke that the Astros were being investigated by MLB for using electronic devices to steal signs during the 2017 season—a season in which they went on to win their first World Series in franchise history.

The investigation, which concluded last week and resulted in severe penalties for the Astros and the firings of both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, didn’t find any evidence that Houston used such means against Washington.

But that didn’t stop Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart from taking precautions, instructing each of his pitchers to have their own sets of signs and laminating cards for them to keep in their caps. Washington also reportedly used some nontraditional signs that were harder to decipher even with the help of technology.

Speaking with MLB Network Radio’s Chuck Todd, Nationals manager Davey Martinez admitted that he’s fine with sign stealing being a part of the game. It’s once outside devices get involved where he thinks teams begin to cross a line.

The league has “been doing this for years,” Martinez said. “A guy on second base steals signs. They try to relay it to the hitters. They’re looking for an edge. You’re at first base and you’re taking a lead and then you’re picking up the signs of the catcher ’cause you want to steal the base and you’re hoping that you could see a breaking ball—whatever. I get it.

“For me, I blame—if that’s happening—I blame us for not controlling that…the things that are controllable, we should be able to control. The other things that we can’t see—I think that’s the issue.”

The game of stealing signs is as old as the sport itself. While some critics have said it hurts the integrity of the game, the implementation of cameras and electronic devices gives one side a much more significant advantage than the level playing ground that teams have operated on for decades.

“This goes back a while,” Martinez said. “I remember in 2017 [when I was with the Chicago Cubs], we were in the playoffs and got a memo about Fitbit watches and all that stuff and not being able to wear them—”

“So people were worried about this for a while?” Todd asked.

“Yeah. I mean, this just didn’t happen overnight. There are rules and the game has changed. There’s so many different wats now that you can do things. But you’ve gotta understand there are rules and that’s the bottom line.”

The Nationals and Astros will continue to be intertwined, not only as reigning pennant winners but as co-hosts of their Spring Training Facility in West Palm Beach as well. While Martinez wasn’t willing to comment on the findings of the investigation into the Astros, he left a frank assessment for whether Houston should’ve expected such significant penalties.

“MLB has made it known that they were going to intervene if they thought there was any foul play, and they did,” Martinez said.

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