Share this article

print logo

MCGEE TURNS INTO TOASTED SUB
CORNERBACK SAYS HE'LL REBOUND

Word is the Buffalo Bills are thinking about making cornerback Troy Vincent a free safety.

But after cornerback Terrence McGee got toasted by the New York Jets' wide receivers Sunday, maybe the Bills should hold off on making any position changes.

McGee's performance was the low point of an otherwise outstanding performance during the Bills' 22-17 win over the Jets.

The Jets completed just nine passes, but they went for 207 yards. Six of the receptions and 163 yards were by receivers guarded by McGee.

McGee was victimized by Santana Moss, who had a breakout game with a season-high 157 yards on six catches.

Moss scored easily on a 51-yard touchdown catch when McGee slipped and fell on the Ralph Wilson Stadium turf late in the fourth quarter.

"That just showed what type of day I was having," McGee said.

The day wasn't a total loss for McGee. His 38-yard fumble return helped set up the Bills' first touchdown.

But despite the Bills' win, McGee's struggles in pass coverage left him in a less than celebratory mood.

"It's nice to get the win," he said. "But at the same time, it's a hurting feeling knowing that you really hurt the team, and it could have been a loss. That's one of those days I never want to see again. It's a good learning thing, but I didn't want to learn like that."

McGee, a second-year pro, has been a target of opposing teams since he became a starter while Vincent recovers from knee surgery.

McGee has made his share of plays, but he's been burned several times as well. The Jets picked on him successfully in the earlier meeting as many of Wayne Chrebet's eight catches and 90 yards came at McGee's expense.

McGee generally plays inside against the slot receiver when the Bills use their nickel defense (five defensive backs), but he stayed out Sunday. The results were even worse than the last time he faced the Jets.

As expected, McGee's teammates rallied around the young cornerback, offering him words of encouragement and support.

When told that McGee was taking his poor performance hard, linebacker Takeo Spikes said he wouldn't expect anything different.

"That's the competitor in him," Spikes said. "I would be disappointed in him if he didn't feel bad. I'm going to let him deal with it how he's going to deal with it. He'll be fine."

McGee can expect more attention from offenses in the future if he continues to struggle. You can bet next week's opponent, the New England Patriots, will take note and try to exploit him.

But Spikes said McGee should relish the opportunity to redeem himself.

"I think the biggest thing now for Terrence is he's got a chance to be one of the best DBs in the nation now," Spikes said. "It's a copycat league. (The Patriots) are going to go ahead and try him next week, so he's going to have a great opportunity to present himself next week in New England on prime-time TV. That's a great opportunity. He should challenge that, and I know he will."

The life of a cornerback is not easy. When a mistake is made on the field, you can't hide from it.

That's why cornerbacks always talk about having a short memory when they give up a big completion.

But McGee is taking the opposite approach. He plans to remember everything about a Sunday most defensive backs would rather forget.

"This isn't a game I want to put out of my mind," he said. "I want to take this game as a learning experience. I want to come back and make sure that as long as I am in the NFL this day won't ever happen again. I don't want to have to be answering these types of questions ever again. I don't want to forget this game. I want this game to stick in my memory as long as I play football."

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment