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Buffalo Bills News - January 14, 2004

Marker Bills Name Mularkey As Head Coach [3:10 PM] reports: "The Bills have agreed to terms on a contract that will make Mike Mularkey the 13th head coach in team history.'

Marker Elway, Sanders among 15 Hall finalists; Modell not on list [2:11 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Team owners Art Modell and Ralph Wilson Jr. did not make the list.

Neither did Steve Tasker, Bills special teams star.

Marker Mularkey met with Bills owner [1:07 PM]
AP reports: '"There is no deal that is done," Bills' spokesman Scott Berchtold told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He would not say if Mularkey was the favorite to replace Gregg Williams.'

Marker LeBeau meets with Cowher about coordinator job [11:03 AM] reports: 'He spent the 2003 season as the assistant head coach for the Buffalo Bills, and while he was involved with the defense, it wasn't at the level he wanted it to be. "I coordinated last year, but not completely," said LeBeau. "I think this would be a better situation. I didn't call the game. I had input but didn't really call the game. That's the part of the game that I missed."'

Marker LeBeau would love another shot to coach Steelers 'D' [9:39 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: 'LeBeau, a former Ohio State star who's been in the NFL 31 years as player or coach, wants the chance to call his own plays as a coordinator. Ironically, LeBeau may be a candidate in Buffalo if the Bills hire Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their new head coach. Or LeBeau may return to Pittsburgh, where the job is apparently his if he wants it. "I had input but I really didn't call the game," LeBeau said of his duties in Buffalo. "That's the part I missed the most. So I think this would be a better situation (in Pittsburgh)."'

Marker Bills zero in on Mularkey for coach [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Is he just what the Buffalo Bills need? It looks like Bills fans may get to find out, because Mike Mularkey is close to a deal that would make him the Bills' new head coach.'

Marker Bills make an offer to Mularkey [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's believed Mularkey will try to retain Bills assistant head coach Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator. LeBeau interviewed for the defensive coordinator post in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. If LeBeau stays in Buffalo as defensive coordinator, that would leave no room for Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. However, if Gray were not retained by Buffalo, he may be a candidate for another defensive coordinator job in the NFL.'

Marker Mularkey looks good on paper [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This does not mean Mularkey is another Gregg Williams - a great interview who went bust, a strong assistant who rose to his level of incompetence. But fans in this town have every right to be wary of the man who appears to be Tom Donahoe's latest hire. Having suffered through three years of Williams, they're not about to give knee-jerk approval to an unproven coach.'

Marker The Mike Mularkey File [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Attended the University of Florida and finished Gators career with 55 receptions. Has dual bachelor of science degree in kinesiology/sociology from University of Minnesota.'

Marker Securing the Bills [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'People close to Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. say he has no interest in moving the team under his ownership, and Bills officials suggest they're looking at a long-term partnership with Western New York.'

Marker The way we hear it [7:45 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Other than working on their strategy with their own free agents, the Bills will have a few holes that need to be addressed, most specifically finding a credible pass rusher to strike some fear into the hearts of opposing offenses. The team’s LB corps and secondary are quite solid, but the cornerbacks could be better if the front four would generate more of a pass rush. DE Aaron Schobel has averaged 8.8 sacks in his first three seasons (including a career-high 11 ˝ in 2003), but team observers believe that Schobel is a tad overrated and shouldn’t be the primary pass rusher the team relies on. Of course, Schobel has steadily improved, but he’s not a down-in, down-out dominant threat. His run defense also leaves a bit to be desired. Meanwhile, the Bills have had a gaping hole on the other side, and the team must focus on fixing that problem.

Marker Reports say Bills set to hire Mularkey [7:28 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Mularkey started coaching in Tampa Bay after a nine-year career as a tight end. The Atlanta Falcons interviewed Mularkey last week before hiring Jim Mora Jr.'

Marker Bills hire Mularkey, report says [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It’s close, but there’s nothing I can talk about now,” said Mularkey, reached at his Pittsburgh-area home Tuesday night. “I feel I’d like to keep my word to the people who have entrusted me. I will talk at the right time."'

Marker Redskins pressuring Bills on assistants [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Ex-Bills coach Gregg Williams, now the defensive coordinator in Washington, would like to hire most of his old assistants, but Buffalo president and general manager Tom Donahoe wants his new coach to have the opportunity to pick who stays.'

Marker Buffalo may hire Mularkey today; LeBeau being courted by Bills and Steelers [5:16 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Mularkey wants LeBeau to stay in Buffalo as his defensive coordinator and would like to hire Steelers tight ends coach Ken Whisenhunt or quarterbacks coach Tom Clements as his offensive coordinator.'

Marker Mularkey to be named Bills' coach [5:15 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'The ripple effect of Mularkey's hiring by the Bills will be felt in Pittsburgh where Steelers coach Bill Cowher already must replace fired defensive coordinator Tim Lewis and wide receivers coach Kenny Jackson. Mularkey may fill his coordinator positions with Steelers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements (offense) and Bills assistant head coach Dick LeBeau (defense). LeBeau, who was the Steelers' defensive coordinator when they went to Super Bowl XXX after the 1995 season, met with Cowher yesterday about replacing Lewis.'

Marker Redskins Let Go Of Four Assistants [5:14 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'The NFL Coaches Association recently sent a letter to Bills owner Ralph Wilson and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue asking the club to release coaches or guarantee their return. The Bills are apparently waiting to see if Williams's replacement wants to retain his former staff members. Tagliabue doesn't intend to get involved, according to Greg Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations. "The coaches are under contract to the club," Aiello said yesterday. "It's not a league issue."'

Marker Gibbs can move forward in search [5:13 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'A published report mentioned the NFL Coaches Association sending a letter to the Bills regarding their blocked assistants. NFLCA executive director Larry Kennan said the letter is standard operating procedure; this year it also was sent to the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders, two other teams waiting for head coaches and not allowing assistants to interview elsewhere. The NFLCA's primary goal, Kennan said, is to alter current rules regarding benefits for coaches. If a coach is fired, he receives his salary for the remainder of his contract but does not receive medical benefits or accrue years toward his pension.'

Marker LeBeau offered Pittsburgh post as coordinator [5:12 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"I coordinated last year, but not completely. I think this would be a better situation," LeBeau told reporters at Steelers headquarters Tuesday. "I didn't call the game. I had input but didn't really call the game. That's the part of the game that I missed."'

Marker Report: Bills to name Mularkey coach [5:11 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Mularkey emerged from an all-day meeting with owner Ralph Wilson and started calling Bills assistant coaches to let them know that he had taken the job.'

Marker Report: Bills close to naming Mularkey as coach [5:10 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Mularkey traveled to Detroit on Tuesday to meet with Bills owner Ralph Wilson one final time to discuss the job vacancy. He met with the Bills last Wednesday to first discuss the coaching vacancy.'

Marker Mularkey In As Head Coach [5:09 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Clayton also told WGR Sports Radio 55 that Mularkey is expected to offer the defensive coordinator job to current Bills assistant coach Dick LeBeau. He may also pursue current Steelers quarterback coach Tom Clements to be his offensive coordinator. Western New York native and New York Giants offensive line coach Jim McNally is also quite possibly on his way to work on Mularkey's staff.'

Marker Bills expected to name Mularkey head coach [5:08 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Much of the credit for the revival of Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox' career in Pittsburgh goes to Mularkey, along with Steelers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. There is already speculation Mularkey will bring Clements with him to Buffalo as his offensive coordinator, which would have to be considered a positive for Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker Bills Hire Mularkey [5:07 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'Mularkey was likely able to sell himself with his ideas on how to fix the Bills 30th ranked offense. He is not expected to completely blow up the Bills coaching staff, in fact he may keep Dick Lebeau as his Defensive Coordinator.'

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January 13, 2004

Marker Bills expected to hire Mularkey on Wednesday [11:43 PM]
CNN/SI reports: "All indications coming out of Buffalo continue to point in the direction of the Bills hiring Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their head coach, and an official announcement of the move is expected Wednesday, league sources close to the situation said Tuesday."

Marker Bills Hire Steelers Offensive Coordinator [10:35 PM]
ESPN reports: "The 42-year-old Mularkey won the job because of his past relationship with general manager Tom Donahoe and his bright offensive mind. Mularkey was a candidate for the Falcons' job and has been considered a hot assistant coach for the past couple of years."

Marker No Coach Yet And Lindell Faces Minor Surgery [8:47 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Still quiet on the coaching front as the Bills continue to speak with Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey over the phone.'

Marker Bills have Mularkey in sights as next head coach [4:16 PM]
CNN/SI reports: 'All indications coming out of Buffalo continue to point in the direction of the Bills hiring Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their head coach, as soon as Wednesday, league sources close to the situation said Tuesday.'

Marker Lindell views season with Bills as mulligan [1:43 PM]
Vancouver Columbian reports: '"I wasn't the reason we didn't make the playoffs, but I didn't help, either," Lindell said. "Not that I had many chances to help. I didn't get to kick any game-winners, but I had the one (29-yarder) against Cincinnati to go in overtime. I just didn't do anything, really."'

Marker How did Bills fare? Let's paint by numbers [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills weren't good on first downs. They weren't good in short-yardage situations. They weren't good in the red zone. They were awful on third downs. They threw too much in a lot of key situations.'

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