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Buffalo Bills News - January 2, 2004

Marker Fassel interviews are concluded [8:54 PM]
AP reports: Fassel's interview schedule includes Arizona on Saturday, Chicago on Monday and possibly Buffalo on Tuesday. Rosner (Fassel's agent) said Fassel heard from the Bills for the first time Friday.

Marker The Interviewing Is Underway [3:43 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Tom Donahoe spent his New Years traveling the country looking for a head coach. Today he's in Foxbourgh to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Donahoe spent New Years Day in St.Louis interviewing Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.'

Marker Donahoe meets with Smith; Pats next [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Smith already has interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. Chicago is scheduled to meet him today. There is speculation in Atlanta that he may be the Falcons' top choice.'

Marker Ex-coaches have time on their side [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A year away from the game did wonders for Coughlin's persona. He no longer is viewed as a tyrant. Instead, his image is that of a shrewd disciplinarian perfectly fit to a franchise in need of a swift and emphatic kick in the pants. He was a finalist for the Bengals job last season and is being heralded as a solution waiting to be tapped. Whether he'd be right for Buffalo is part of the quandary facing Tom Donahoe, president and general manager of the Bills, who has the unenviable task of sifting through a wealth of candidates, tested and untested, and then rendering the most important decision of his tenure.'

Marker Winfield is a priority for Bills [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'ďAll around I think this has been my best year since Iíve been in the league,Ē said Winfield, whose tackle total was a career high. ďI would have liked to have had a lot more interceptions and changed a few games around, but I didnít do that.Ē'

Marker Bills legend signs off [5:15 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'What set him apart, in addition to his smooth voice, was his objectivity. ``He's a consumate pro among home team broadcasters who reacted without emotion when Buffalo lost those four Super Bowls," says broadcasting veteran Don Chevrier. ``All too many others would have whined and moaned when `their' team lost."'

Marker Crennel, Weis begin process [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Arizona and Buffalo also have been granted permission to sit down with Crennel. The Cardinals and Bills likely will do so today, the last day teams with head coaching vacancies can interview assistants on playoff teams with first-round byes until their seasons have ended.'

Marker Head2Head: Which Coaching Vacancy is Most Enticing? [5:13 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'This team (Buffalo) is close. Very close. Which is why this is the best job out there.'

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January 1, 2004

Marker Donahoe dug himself a deep hole [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo will forgive him if he gets this organization turned around. I'm not sure how long Donahoe will be here, but I'm positive he'll be elsewhere if the Bills keep piling up losses and missing the playoffs.'

Marker What escape clause? Bills won't get Haslett [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'So what about that escape clause? Well, it seems it never existed, and many people close to the Saints and Haslett think itís quite possible that Haslett started the rumor himself.'

Marker Jets contact Williams in coordinator search [5:15 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: 'Williams, fired by the Bills earlier this week, is free to do as he pleases. He was defensive coordinator for Tennessee for four years before the Bills hired him as their head coach two years ago. He has an aggressive, pressure-style defensive philosophy, a trait Edwards is looking for in the new defensive coordinator.'

Marker Jauron on Bills' candidates list [5:14 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. is said to respect Jauron, who has a reputation throughout the league as a level-headed coach with a sharp mind. He also has NFL roots in Buffalo, having coached the Bills' secondary in his first pro job in 1985. Jauron's close friend Dick LeBeau, who coached Jauron in Cincinnati, spent last season in Buffalo as assistant head coach and remains a possibility to stay on the staff.'

Marker Inside slant [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"We need to get the right head coach and I need to do a better job of doing that this time around."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:12 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Aside from QB, finding immediate help at WR, offensive center or guard, TE and defensive end would help nicely. Buffalo needs speed at wideout to stretch the field, take the heat off Eric Moulds, and make the running game work.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:11 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Bills assistant GM Tom Modrak will interview with the Miami Dolphins, perhaps as soon as Friday, for a newly created GM-like position. Modrak, a 27-year veteran of the NFL personnel wars, is a leading candidate each year at this time for any top personnel job but he's not eager to make a move. He has often said he's content staying in Buffalo and assisting long-time friend Tom Donahoe and this season's disappointing 6-10 record has left a taste of unfinished business in Modrak's mouth.'

December 31, 2003

Marker They Are Starting Over [3:23 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'All I say is that no one expected Tom Donohoe to hire Gregg Williams. So we canít assume anything about his choice this time. Heíll talk with Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis of the Patriots, Lovie Smith of the Rams, maybe Dick Jauron, formerly of the Bears. In the end heíll pick his own guy. But that guy doesnít have to be anything other than a coach who wins football games.'

Marker Breaking down the coaching openings [3:22 PM]
ESPN reports: Who they will hire: Former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin.

Marker Search Begins To Fill Vacant Head Coach Job [3:20 PM] reports: '"I don't want to say we need 'A, B, C, D' to have a head coach. I think we need to have the right head coach. I've got to do a better job of doing that this time around. We have to do it objectively. We have to do it with an open mind. I don't think we can necessarily put x amount of criteria on it and say, 'this is what we have to have.'"'

Marker Bills' search guided by edict on minorities [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Among the guidelines: Invitations to interview should be documented in a letter to the candidate; team owners should be directly involved in the search; teams should identify a "deep and diverse" pool of candidates. Teams also are required to prepare a job description that clearly and fully defines the role of its head coach and the qualities it is looking for in its head coach. The guidelines state that telephone interviews are never preferable and seldom adequate. They also strongly suggest that minority candidates for head-coaching positions not turn down interviews. That's an attempt to avoid a repeat of the Lions' situation last year.'

Marker For auld acquaintance, a year to forget [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The Bills alone are enough to put me over the edge."'

Marker Bills list has 2 Pats coaches [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills confirmed on Tuesday that Weis and Crennel are on their early short list of head coaching candidates to replace Gregg Williams, who was not retained after compiling a 17-31 record in three seasons. The others are St. Louis Rams assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Lovie Smith and Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.'

Marker Modrak focused on improving Bills' record [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In the past, Modrak has interviewed for openings with Atlanta and Chicago. But he has often said heís content staying in Buffalo and assisting longtime friend Tom Donahoe. This seasonís disappointing 6-10 record that culminated with the firing of coach Gregg Williams on Monday has left a taste of unfinished business in Modrakís mouth. ďAbsolutely. Itís my only focus, really, as itís been said a hundred times,Ē he said.'

Marker A long, diverse list could fit the Bill in Buffalo [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Wade Phillips: 29-19 sure beats 17-31.'

Marker Fans agree, Gregg's gotta go [5:17 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: '"The decision is three months too late," he said. "He couldn't figure out what his program should have been early in the season and fix it. Thank God he's on his way out."'

Marker Making a Weis choice [5:16 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Charlie Weis as head coach of the New York Giants or Buffalo Bills? With LaMonte in his corner, it just might happen.'

Marker Wolf says no to GM position [5:15 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'According to those close to Modrak, he is considered the quintessential scout, able to pick good players with great consistency. He has little experience, however, at decision-making and isn't considered a strong administrator.'

Marker Dolphins GM candidates [5:14 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'A 27-year veteran of the NFL, including 21 with Pittsburgh. Is considered a strong and consistent talent evaluator. Was with Philadelphia when the Eagles drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb despite public pressure to take running back Ricky Williams. Also has been part of drafts that included players such as Corey Simon, Jeremiah Trotter, Hines Ward and Rod Woodson.'

Marker Dolphins have 3 GM hopefuls as Wolf declines interview [5:13 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'While Jones plans to keep in touch with Wolf to gauge whether his interest changes, the Dolphins have received permission to interview Buffalo Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak and Tampa Bay executive Tim Ruskell for the general manager spot.'

Marker Dolphins' GM Candidates [5:12 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Modrak helped produce eight Pro Bowl players while heading Pittsburgh's college scouting department from 1989 to 1998. Modrak also helped rebuild the Eagles while working in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2001.'

Marker Dolphins' GM search begins [5:11 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Modrak, Buffalo's assistant general manager, has been recommended by Bills President Tom Donahoe. Modrak has 27 years of NFL experience with the Steelers, Eagles and Bills. During his nine seasons as Pittsburgh's college scouting director, the Steelers' draft produced eight Pro Bowl players.'

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