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BILLS DOWNPLAYING SMITH-MCKELLER SCUFFLE

Buffalo Bills players and officials Sunday downplayed or refused to address a fight between defensive end Bruce Smith and tight end Keith McKeller.

The incident, which took place during Friday's practice, was reported by NBC-TV during its coverage of the Bills' victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Neither Smith nor McKeller would comment on it after the game.

But McKeller did stress there were no problems with the Bills' unity and that they were a "focused" team.

"We're playing together and we're going to keep playing together until we have reached our destination, and that's the Super Bowl," McKeller said. "And our goal isn't just to get there; it's to win it."

Neither player appeared to have any injury related to the fight. NBC first reported, then denied a rumor that Smith suffered a broken hand. When the report of the injury was mentioned to the defensive end afterward, he shook his head, smiled and said, "Whatever."

According to sources within the team, the skirmish was no worse than others that sometimes occur during the workouts of all NFL teams.

However, players and club officials were especially sensitive about discussing it with reporters because of the internal strife the Bills experienced in 1989.

The fight apparently was triggered by an exchange of words unrelated to the practice session, sources said.

After subsiding on the field, it resumed in the tunnel and, according to at least one account, injured quarterback Jim Kelly and General Manager Bill Polian helped pull Smith and McKeller apart.

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