TAMPA, JAN. 23 -- Buffalo Bills Coach Marv Levy, tired and hoarse, apologized today for skipping a Tuesday news conference. He said it was important to finish work on the game plan so his players could stick to their routine as much as possible.
He became the first Super Bowl coach to skip a mandatory news conference, and NFL officials indicated he'd be fined.
Emotion crept into his voice as he said: "I've been coaching for 40 years, this is the game I've been preparing for all my life and I'm not going to cut a corner on it.
"And that had some impact on the decision I made. I apologize to you. I didn't realize it was that much of an issue since all of our players were here. But I'm finding out it was."
Asked if he was uptight, he said: "Do I think I'm uptight? I'm uptight before every game. I'm uptight before our scrimmage at Edinboro against the Browns' rookies in July. But I don't think I'm uptight otherwise, no."
Giants Coach Bill Parcells was asked about the difficulty of installing a game plan, especially since he had even less time, having played Sunday's late game on the West Coast. "We had already done a tremendous volume of work on both teams," he said. "We had our films, cut-ups and scouting and personnel reports done. The reports on the Bills were handed out on the plane, and when we arrived here all the other information was already in the coaches' office. We began work at 7 a.m. Monday and worked straight through. We're going to have ample time to prepare." . . .
Giants tight end Mark Bavaro was in uniform, but didn't participate in the two-hour practice at the University of Tampa.
"It was just precautionary, really, Parcells said. "He could have done something today, but I'm just holding him another day. We've done this throughout the course of the year, so this is nothing new. We kind of go by how he thinks. He knows what he's doing. He's a veteran player." . . .
Tight end Butch Rolle (sprained ankle) was the only Bill not to practice during a 90-minute session at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' facility. He's questionable for Sunday. . . .
Levy said linebacker Matt Monger practiced and might be activated from injured reserve. The Bills had an opening created when rookie linebacker Marvcus Patton broke a leg in the Miami playoff game.
"We definitely will be activating someone," Levy said. "And he is a prime candidate." . . .
Bills linebacker Darryl Talley was added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster as a "need" player by Coach Art Shell of the Raiders. That brings to 10 the number of Bills on the 42-man roster. Pro Bowl coaches are allowed to add one "need" player to their rosters to fill in at positions at which they need help. Rain Possible
The National Weather Service's forecast calls for "a good chance of rain" Sunday afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be in the low seventies. . . . Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs arrived here tonight and will participate in a Thursday morning prayer breakfast before returning to Washington. . . . Jerry Seeman, an NFL official for 16 years, was named referee of Super Bowl XXV. It'll be his final last game before he replaces retiring Art McNally as supervisor of officials.