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Quality control coach does advanced film study

>Question: How many films of previous Bills games do opponents get to see, and vice versa?

-- Bill Austin, Buffalo

A: All of them. The NFL playing field is level when it comes to access to game film. As soon as a game is completed, the home team sends copies of the video via overnight mail to its next opponent and to the league office. Then on Monday, it sends copies via Federal Express to the following two opponents. The league then makes copies and sends all of that week's games to all 32 teams. Every team has every game from the previous weekend Wednesday.

When the Bills' coaches came into the office Monday morning, they had each of the Jets' first six games of this season broken down to analyze New York's tendencies in all situations, by down and distance, personnel groupings and formations. As soon as the video of the Jets-Chiefs game came in the mail Monday morning, the assistants broke that final game down to add it to the data already assembled.

Nate Hackett is the Bills' offensive quality control coach. He breaks down the video of each opponent's defense. This week he already was well into analyzing the first seven games of the Cleveland Browns, whom the Bills play Nov. 17. He even was going to get started on San Francisco, the Bills' opponent Nov. 30.

"You get as far ahead as you can go," Hackett said. "It takes a long time to break down a game. It varies, but you can plan on three hours to break down a game."

Things can get frantic when a team makes the playoffs. Hackett did the same job for Tampa Bay the past two seasons.

"Last year when I was in Tampa you go to the playoffs and all of a sudden you've got three teams to do in a week," he said. "It was brutal."

If one of those teams is from your own division, it's not hard. Most of their games already are broken down. But if it's a team you have not played, that could mean breaking down 16 game films at three hours apiece in one week.


>Q: Is Coy Wire still in football? If so what team and how is he performing? -- Paul Miller, Clarence.

A: Wire is playing backup linebacker for Atlanta. He started at strong-side 'backer against Kansas City in Week Three due to an injury to Michael Boley and did well. The Falcons like the fact they can use him at all three linebacker spots. Wire also is a regular on special teams, as he was in Buffalo.


>Q: Uniforms: They always look brand new for every game. Are they? -- Daniel Moreau, Washington, D.C.

A: No they are not, reports Woody Ribbeck, Bills assistant equipment manager. If a jersey gets torn or beat up it is replaced. Some players also occasionally get new jerseys because the NFL regularly puts game jerseys and other items up for auction on its Web site. (The proceeds from that go to charity.)


>Q: I was under the impression that the Jets were one of seven NFL teams that do not have cheerleaders. But, at the Jets' home game against the Cardinals I believe I saw cheerleaders on the sidelines. When were they added?

-- Ron Martin, Rushford

A: The Jets added cheerleaders in 2007. The teams without cheerleaders are: Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, the New York Giants and Detroit.

Send your e-mails to or mail to Question Mark, The Buffalo News Sports Department, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240. Please include name and hometown.

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