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Buffalo Bills News - January 6, 2004

Marker Jets keeping flexible Hackett [5:11 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'With the Bucs dragging their feet, former Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams is the front-runner to replace Ted Cottrell as defensive coordinator.'

Marker Coughlin meets Mara; deal imminent? [5:10 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'With six other head-coaching jobs open around the league, the Giants seem to have reached a point where they believe waiting is no longer an option. The Bills expect Coughlin to arrive in Buffalo late today to interview for their head-coaching vacancy if talks with the Giants don't culinate in a contract agreement.'

Marker Search heats up as Mueller visits [5:09 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Jones also said the team has spoken with Tom Modrak, but the Buffalo assistant GM hasn't decided whether he would like to interview. Although Jones would not confirm it, a source said Modrak's lack of enthusiasm has damaged his standing.'

Marker Baltimore's Savage to meet with Dolphins today [5:08 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Jones admitted Modrak hasn't shown great enthusiasm toward scheduling an interview, but that doesn't mean the Dolphins have lost interest. Jones believes the highly regarded Modrak could have hesitations about vying for a new job at this point in his 27-year career. "He's a little older than the other candidates, so I'm sure that enters into this process," Jones said. "He probably is very happy with what he's doing in Buffalo and, a little like Ron Wolf, isn't ready to jump out there and make a new commitment."'

Marker Mueller, Savage top list for GM 'with power' [5:07 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'As Bills Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak considers an offer to meet with the Dolphins, Jones stressed that this franchise will not have a weak general manager. "We have talked to Tom and the decision is in his court now," Jones said. "We've told him we're interested in talking to him. He asked what the job entails and we told him clearly it's a job with a lot of power."'

Marker Mora the same [5:06 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'Meanwhile, former Bears coach Dick Jauron interviewed in Buffalo on Monday but is not thought to be a front-runner for the Bills' job. Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel will interview in Buffalo today and is thought to be the top candidate.'

Marker Saban still No. 1 [5:05 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'In Buffalo on Monday, the Bills interviewed former Bears coach Dick Jauron, fired by the Bears after a 7-9 season. But the Bills are said to prefer someone with an offensive background, which is why they are most interested in Fassel.'

Marker Tice, ex-Bills coach talk [5:04 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Vikings coach Mike Tice spoke by phone with recently fired Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams about the Vikings' vacant defensive coordinator position.'

Marker UT's def. coordinator to resign Tuesday [5:03 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'Former Texas defensive back Jerry Gray, who was the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator before head coach Gregg Williams was fired recently, is considered a leading candidate to replace Reese. Gray, a native of Lubbock and a two-time All-American at Texas as a safety in 1983 and 1984, was scheduled to interview for the Bills' head coaching job Monday, according to one source.'

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January 5, 2004

Marker Gray Has Back-Up Plans [8:38 PM]
RNews.com reports: 'If Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray does not get the vacant head coaching job, he is apparently making back-up plans. In Austin, Texas, Gray is being mentioned as a possible candidate to be the new defensive coordinator at the University of Texas.'

Marker Bills interview Jauron, Gray; Fassel next [8:29 PM]
AP reports: 'Jauron, who did not make himself available for comment afterward, was the fifth candidate considered by the Bills to replace Gregg Williams, who was dismissed last week. Earlier in the day, team president Tom Donahoe interviewed Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, team spokesman Scott Berchtold said.'

Marker Dolphins interview Mueller for GM job [8:28 PM]
AP reports: 'And the team is still awaiting word whether Tom Modrak, assistant GM of the Buffalo Bills, will accept an invitation to interview. ``The decision is in his court now,'' Jones said. ``We told him we're interested in talking to him. He asked what the job entails. We told him very clearly it's a job with a lot of power. And he wants to think about it.'''

Marker Bills latest to bring in Fassel for interview [5:05 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'SportsLine.com has learned ex-Giants coach Jim Fassel is scheduled to interview for the Bills opening Tuesday. Fassel is the strongest name yet to be linked with the vacancy and marks the third team he will have interviewed for a job since being dismissed from the Giants.'

Marker A little advice for Tom : You've got to give us some love [3:06 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: Odds are the Buffalo Bills won't name their next head coach until next month, after the National Football League playoffs are completed and there's a full list of assistant coaches available to complement the ex-head coaches already on the market. Which leaves us plenty of time for speculation. First, let's put the kibosh on one of the more popular names floating around. Not Jim Haslett -- he's not even worth discussing, as both he and New Orleans Saints management confirmed last week that there's no out clause in his contract that would allow him to return to the team he played for in the 1970s and '80s. The subject here is Jim Fassel, recently dispatched after six years at the helm of the New York Giants. He's already interviewed with the Washington Redskins, and is reportedly being wooed by the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders as well. Which raises one question. Did the management of any of those teams watch the Giants play during the second half of the season?'

Marker The Bills Speak To Coaching Candidate # 5 [3:05 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Former Giants coach Jim Fassel will meet with the Bills on Tuesday.'

Marker Bills Interview Former Bears Coach Dick Jauron [1:38 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Jauron has previous ties to Buffalo, having coached the Bills' secondary in his first pro job in 1985 under Hank Bullough.'

Marker Following interview, Weis may fit the Bills [5:20 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'According to a source familiar with the talks, Weis's interview with Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe in the Boston area was a smashing success. Weis was described as "very impressive" and "well-prepared." Weis obviously has knowledge of Donahoe's biggest problem: how to fix the offense and quarterback Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker Fassel not in Bears' plans [5:19 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'The possibilities: Reports say Dick Jauron, Tom Coughlin and Fassel are scheduled to be interviewed [by the Bills] this week. They made contact with Fassel on Saturday. The Bills, seeking an offensive rejuvenation, also talked to Crennel, Smith and Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. GM Tom Donahoe has identified head-coaching experience as a big factor. The favorite: Coughlin. He may have his choice between the Giants and the Bills. The sleeper: Jauron. Nobody should downplay his stellar reputation outside Chicago.'

Marker Popular Fassel falls off Bears' wish list [5:18 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: Fassel, believed to top the wish lists of the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals, also will meet with the Buffalo Bills, who are rumored to be making a big push for his services. A league source said the Bills already were discussing an offer and Fassel was close to a deal.

Marker Mueller interviews today for GM job [5:17 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins have also spoken with Buffalo Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak and remain optimistic about scheduling an interview this week. An NFL source said Sunday that Modrak was mulling over whether he wanted to pursue the job after his conversation with management.'

Marker Is Jim Fassel Getting Closer To The Bills? [5:16 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'If you believe the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bills know who they want as their next head coach.'

January 4, 2004

Marker The Bills are due [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Only three of the Bills' head coaches can be considered great. Eight were failures. One - Wade Phillips - was somewhere in the middle.'

Marker For Bills fans, let the guessing games begin [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Incidentally, I'm expecting ex-Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin to be the man. Why? Because Len Pasquarelli wrote it in ESPN.com. Besides being one of the most knowledgeable football writers in the business, Pasquarelli has been Donahoe's pal since their high school days in Pittsburgh.'

Marker Bills coaching history [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '1986-97 Marv Levy 123-78-0.'

Marker A Bills box-office repeat will be difficult [5:30 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Season-ticket sales are unlikely to increase significantly coming off a bitterly disappointing year, and there are two potential dogs on the home schedule.'

Marker Jets set sights on ex-Bill to coach [5:29 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Williams would be a terrific fallback option for Edwards, a fan of his aggressive defensive style. Speaking of aggressive, Edwards didn't waste any time on Williams. Although it was widely reported the interview wouldn't occur until tomorrow, the two men actually met for several hours Friday at Weeb Ewbank Hall, according to an NFL source.'

Marker Williams 1st Interview For Jets' Defensive Job [5:28 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Williams, 45, would be a good fit with his blitzing "46" defense that mixes coverages and disguises pass-rush schemes. Hiring him, however, might mean a departure from the zone-oriented "cover-2" system that Edwards espoused with Tampa Bay.'

Marker Candidates line up to work the sidelines [5:27 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Although Buffalo will interview several coordinators, club president Tom Donahoe went bust hiring Gregg Williams with no head coaching experience last time, so look for him to go with a proven commodity. That could be Jauron, who did a better job in Chicago than he got credit for, Coughlin or Jim Fassel.'

Marker Bills still believe in Drew [5:26 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'While Bledsoe is expected back, Ruben Brown's days at Ralph Wilson Stadium are at an end, despite having been selected to the Pro Bowl for eight straight years. At odds with the coaching staff all year, Brown was told not to accompany the team to Foxboro for the final regular season game. Even though the staff is gone, Brown's approach to the game this year is expected to result in his being let go before the start of the 2004 season.'

Marker Modrak not high on job [5:25 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Buffalo assistant general manager Tom Modrak is unlikely to interview for the Dolphins general manager position because he views the move as a lateral move, according to sources close to him.'

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