Ex-Bill Wire gives scouting report on his old team

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons linebacker Coy Wire started his career with the Buffalo Bills, played there six seasons (2002-07) and still has several friends on the team.

"I'm sure it's been tough for them with the coaching change and the injuries that they've had," Wire said Wednesday as the Falcons prepare to face the Bills (5-9) at the Georgia Dome on Sunday. "It's been a difficult year for them."

The Bills were a fashionable preseason pick to make the playoffs after they signed wide receiver Terrell Owens. But injuries have decimated their roster. They lead the NFL with 18 players on injured reserve. Coach Dick Jauron was fired after the ninth game.

"They have a lot of good athletes, some first-round picks on defense" Wire said. "I think they are opportunistic. They have a guy who can really rush the passer in (Aaron) Schobel."

The Bills have excelled with their special teams.

"Any game that they were in this year -- and they've had a lot of close games -- I'm sure it's been because of special teams," Wire said. "They have the ability to establish good field position for their football team. They have a punter (Brian Moorman) who can punt that ball 80 yards in the air. They have a lot of guys who can run, cover and tackle well."

Injury report

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan did not practice on Wednesday, resting his turf toe injury, though it won't restrict him playing Sunday. He did take part in the team's walk-through.

Running back Michael Turner did not practice or take part in the walk-through.

Brock gets call

Safety Eric Brock wasn't sure what his Tuesday morning meeting with Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff was about.

"They gave me the good news," said Brock, who was informed he was being promoted from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday's game. "I was excited about getting a chance to play and contribute on team."

Brock, a graduate of Auburn, has been on the Falcons practice squad for most of the last two seasons.

Brohm may start

Buffalo may start Brian Brohm at quarterback.  They picked up the former University of Louisville QB from Green Bay's practice squad on Nov. 19.

When Bobby Petrino was the Falcons coach in 2007, there was speculation that Brohm, who played for Petrino at UL, would be drafted by the Falcons. He has yet to play in an NFL game.

"I can't say that he will be the starter," Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell said in a conference call with Atlanta media. "He took most of the snaps in practice today, but we have not ruled out Ryan Fitzpatrick. He felt much better today in practice."

Fitzpatrick (ankle) and Trent Edwards (right knee), the Bills' first two quarterbacks, are both injured.

The Brohm factor has made preparation a challenge for the Falcons defense.

"It's kind of difficult, but it would be like playing against any other rookie quarterback," safety Thomas DeCoud said. "We might not have too much tape on him in the league so we'll have to scheme for whatever the offense has been doing."


The Falcons (7-7) are rallying around the goal of a winning season. "We have to find a way to get that done," wide receiver Roddy White said. ...  Tight end Tony Gonzalez needs six receptions to reach 1,000 for his career. ... Ryan's 6-yard touchdown pass to Gonzalez last Sunday that gave the Falcons the victory over the Jets was Ryan's 17th of the season. Last season, he had 16 touchdown passes.

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