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Buffalo Bills News - February 11, 2004

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Phil Vilapiano [4:34 PM] reports: '"My biggest memory of when I got to Buffalo was the size of the guys," Villapiano recalled. "Joe Devlin, Kenny Jones, Reggie McKenzie, they were all big, but they were all cut. The Raiders were all big, but they were just big. Not cut like these guys. Everybody was lifting weights, trying to make their bodies bigger and stronger. Where in Oakland, nobody lifted weights. It was just a totally different world. It was a different, more modern-type team than the Raiders were. One other thing I noticed besides that was how many really good players were in Buffalo. The only thing they needed was what Chuck Knox did: bring in some old guys to help out the young guys. The young guys were great athletes, they just didn’t know they were. We had a real good blend of people."'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Booker Moore [4:33 PM] reports: 'Moore was waived by the Bills in ‘86 and for the past 15 years, has worked in law enforcement. He’s now a sergeant/detective with the Genesee County (Mich.) Sheriffs Department.'

Marker Bills’ McNally returns home to fix O-line [12:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I know how rabid these fans are. And when I’m coaching, I’m going to be thinking that I’m home and I’m going to do the best that I can for their team,” he maintained.'

Marker Hitting the ground running [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"If you can get the running game going really effectively, that's going to open up the offense and make the play-action passing avenues more open," Clements said. "That's where you can get some big chunks of yards. When defenses are reacting up to the run, you can get big chunks of yards throwing it downfield. If it's not there, take what they give you, get it down to your dump back and get some positive yards and avoid the sack. That's basically the philosophy."'

Marker Hope springs eternal, for now [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But all cynicism aside, there's a lot to like about Mike Mularkey's crew. The offensive assistants are a particularly bright and accomplished bunch. They make Gregg Williams' original "teachers" seem like novices by comparison - which they were, come to think of it.'

Marker Bills' coaches will watch Henson [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I have not seen him on tape yet," Mularkey said. "Tom and Sam will go down with me to do all the evaluating. They're the quarterback . . . gurus. They know it better than I do."'

Marker Bills to turn mike over to Murphy [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We felt Murph was the most qualified to pick up where a legend left off, and we are confident that he will continue that standard in our broadcasts that the Bills, our fans and Citadel Communications have come to know and expect," Berchtold said.'

Marker The Bills' coaching staff at a glance [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He pioneered the use of the no-huddle offense.'

Marker Murphy Takes Over Play-By-Play Duties [8:49 AM] reports: 'No stranger to Bills fans, Murphy recently completed his 16th season alongside Miller in the booth as the radio network’s color analyst. He first held the analyst job from 1984-89 and then again from 1994-2003. A native of Lockport, NY and graduate of Syracuse University, Murphy has also served as the sports director at WKBW-TV (Channel 7) in Buffalo since 1989.'

Marker Mularkey introduces his savvy assistants [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I didn’t think too long to say yes,” said offensive coordinator Tom Clements, who joined his new peers at a get-to-know-you news conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Tuesday. “After I studied this team on film, and people ask me what it looks like, I say, ‘The cupboard isn’t bare, not by any stretch of the imagination.’ There are a lot of talented players here, so hopefully we can get it all going correctly.”'

Marker A tale of two Drews [5:15 AM]
Greenville News reports: '"I love him to death," said Tweito, who will be studying business management at Clemson University this fall and not playing football. "It was awesome playing for an NFL coach. As much as he's done, he's one of the most down-to-earth guys."'

Marker Right Now It's All Mularkey [5:13 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'We have no way of knowing what kind of coach Mike Mularkey will be until we see him on game day. Gregg Williams was meticulous in his preparation, and the players seemed motivated most weeks. But on game day Williams struggled. He struggled with clock management, he struggled with his use of instant know the rap... What I am saying is that ultimately we have no idea what kind of coach Mularkey will be until we see him under fire during a game. In today's NFL with the games so close, wins and losses can be decided on two or three of a coach's decisions.'

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February 10, 2004

Marker Wyche Happy to Coach Again [11:09 PM] reports: '"This is a passion as well as a vocation," Wyche explained Tuesday afternoon. "When you get back into those comfortable environments, you get up in the morning, you've got deadlines to meet and you've got some place to go, your life is a lot more pleasant."'

Marker Defensive Backs Coach Steve Szabo [11:09 PM] reports: '"I think there are several good and solid football players. They did a lot of good things here but the idea is to look at those things to see what we can do better."'

Marker Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville [11:08 PM] reports: '"It's exciting to have quality players and get a chance to work with them. Certainly the more quality players you have the more chance you have to succeed. It's an exciting opportunity to see both of these guys and to get them up and going so I can evaluate them for myself. That's the part I'm interested in. I've seen them on tape but I'm just looking forward to working with them in person and being able to interact with them and find out exactly what they can do and start formulating what we can do to put them in the best position to help us win football games."'

Marker Offensive Line Coach Jim McNally [11:07 PM] reports: '"I've studied Travis Henry on film. Willis McGahee, when he was tested at Miami, he was the fasted man on the squad. I don't know if that's a fact. Hopefully he's recovered. He's got good size and I know he's a terrific back so it's up to us to figure out how to use both of those guys and I'm sure we're going to do that. I'm looking forward to working with those guys."'

Marker Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements [11:06 PM] reports: '"I don't think it's only Drew. As I've said a number of times we're looking at the offense in general. We're trying to take advantage of everyone's abilities and it might be that certain block schemes with the run suite our line or certain pass protection schemes work better. All that factors in on how the running backs are able to run and how the quarterbacks are able to throw and what kind of routes the receivers run. It's not one guy. We're just looking at the offense in general to try and see what they can do and put in a system that takes advantage of their abilities. If you do that then everyone on the offense is going to have a chance to succeed."'

Marker Quarterbacks Coach Sam Wyche [11:00 PM] reports: '"The game evolves, but I did keep up with it but I haven't been out on the field with the guys and in meeting rooms discussing and discarding ideas. Those things will take a little bit of time to get used to, but by the time we enter the season I will be a lot further along and ready to go. Rusty is not the word to describe me, I think that anxious, and missing the guys and the competition are closer to how I am now."'

Marker Asst. Off. Line/Tight Ends Coach Frank Verducci [10:59 PM] reports: '"They're some good players in there, there is no doubt. I had an opportunity to coach one of them in Dallas. I coached a couple of them in college at Iowa so I'm more familiar with those individuals but having evaluated people like Jonas Jennings and Mike Williams coming out of college you know the quality of the individual. It's going to be a nice challenge for us to put five guys together and march them out there and see what they can do."'

Marker Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert [10:57 PM] reports: '"I'm very excited about Eric Moulds. I played at LSU in my playing days. He's a Pro Bowl type receiver. He's a very good player and I'm excited about coaching him. I spoke to him already and told him how excited I am to be here and he's excited about me being here. He's looking forward to sitting down and going over some things."'

Marker Tight End/Off. Quality Control Coach Mike Miller [10:56 PM] reports: '"I have some ideas coming from Pittsburgh, Jim (McNally) has ideas from being all the places he's been, and Tyke (Tolbert) from Arizona, all that Sam (Wyche) has, and Tom (Clements) being with him in Pittsburgh, so we have some of the same ideas, but a lot of those things come together. It's a good process right now that we are able to talk about all those philosophies. In the end it's really going to be beneficial for us."'

Marker Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April [10:54 PM] reports: '"I got the job in the NFL when I was 37 years old. I had been a college coach 14 years, and a high school coach two years and I never coached special teams. Now guys are starting out as special teams coaches. You have the 22 and 23-year old guys starting at University of Missouri as special teams coach."'

Marker Buffalo Bills Head Coach Mike Mularkey [10:53 PM] reports: '"It took a little while to put this staff together, longer than some of these other teams have done. It was important to make sure I surrounded myself and with the personality of this team and it was important that we had the right fit. I'll be honest with you, I am very lucky to get some of these coaches and keep some of the coaches that were here. That was very important that we kept the coaches around here that we did."'

Marker Bills Coaching Staff Introduced [10:51 PM] reports: 'The Bills introduced their new coaching staff to the media at the team's training facility in Orchard Park, NY on Tuesday, February 10. The group is made up of five incumbents from the 2003 staff and 10 first-year Bills coaches.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Free Agency Primer [10:46 PM] reports: 'The 2004 free agent period for the NFL begins on March 3 and the Bills have a total of 12 players that are either categorized as a EFA, RFA or UFA this offseason. Below is a complete list of Buffalo's 2004 free agents, broken down into their respective categories.'

Marker Coy Wire - Making Spirituality Fashionable [8:59 PM] reports: In the Bills locker room, where new fashions don't go unnoticed, Wire drew praises and inquiries from his teammates when he premiered his new lid. "I was wearing that hat around and guys on the team started asking me about it and where I got it," Wire remembered "When I told them, they asked me to start making hats for them and it kind of grew from there. I realized that people understood the purpose behind it and I realized a lot of people could benefit from it."

Marker Wyche returns to NFL, raspy voice and all [8:58 PM]
AP reports: 'Wyche takes medication for his heart and says he's fine. The voice, well, he can work around that. ``If I'm on the field on a real windy day, then I'm going to have to get closer to the guys to communicate,'' Wyche said. ``And coaching is teaching. And you've got to be able to communicate. But we'll handle that.'''

Marker Henry now OK with addition of McGahee [7:16 PM]
AP reports: '"I look at it as they took the best player available, and grabbing him had nothing to do with me,'' said Henry, the NFL's fifth-leading rusher last season. "I can only control what I can control. And everything else will play out.'''

Marker Bills hire Sam Wyche [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' offensive overhaul so far includes an offense-minded head coach in Mike Mularkey, a new coordinator who is a former star quarterback in Tom Clements, one of the most experienced offensive line coaches in the game in Jim McNally, and Wyche.'

Marker Wyche, McNally Buffalo future [6:35 AM] reports: '“The heart is fine. No problem. Physically, I proved that coaching in high school because you’re on the field just like you are in the pros,” Wyche said. “My voice is fine. The volume just isn’t going to get any higher, which is fine indoors. We’ll have to see what happens on the field if it gets windy and there’s other noise, but I think it should be OK and obviously Mike does, too. If one of us wasn’t comfortable with it, this wouldn’t have happened. This has given me so much energy. I can really feel the energy after being here just a week.”'

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