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Buffalo Bills News - January 21, 2004

Marker Bills hire April to coach special teams; retain LB coach Blackmon [5:05 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills retained Don Blackmon as their linebackers coach. Blackmon completed his first season in Buffalo, coaching a revamped corps that featured two new starters -- Pro Bowl selection Takeo Spikes and Jeff Posey.'

Marker April Joins Bills As Special Teams Coach [4:12 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills announced that the team has hired Bobby April as special teams coach and that Don Blackmon will remain as linebackers coach. April spent the last three seasons in the same position with the St. Louis Rams and previously coached in the NFL with the Saints (1996-99), Steelers (1994-95) and Falcons (1991-93). '

Marker Ask Defensive End Aaron Schobel [4:11 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Here's your chance to ask Schobel a question!'

Marker Coaching Staffs Try Not to Go Overboard [4:10 PM]
ESPN reports: 'One of the most effective defensive game plans in championship contest history, the design with which the underdog New York Giants blunted the explosive Buffalo Bills attack for a one-point victory in Super Bowl XXV, was drawn up on the fly. Literally.'

Marker Bobby Shaw, Mike Mularkey Reunited [2:08 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"He's a really good coach that will really get guys going and hopefully we can get that chemistry and get as far as we can next year and it'll be a tribute to a lot of people," Shaw said. "I'm surprised that he's had the success he's had the past three years and not gotten a head coaching job. But he's our coach now."'

Marker Veteran named special-teams coach [2:07 PM]
ESPN reports: Bobby April, essentially fired by the Rams last week when St. Louis elected not to renew his contract after three years, has agreed to become Buffalo's special-teams coach, ESPN.com has learned.

Marker Making a splash [5:16 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"He is a perfect fit for Buffalo," Egelsky said. "He is a blue-collar guy for a blue-collar town. The thing about him that you never forget is his competitiveness. I don't care whether it was football, basketball, cards or pool. He wanted to win, or he wanted to keep playing until he did. That's the mentality a coach has to have."'

Marker Wheelers’ Francis signs with NFL's Bills [5:15 AM]
Quad City Times reports: 'SteamWheelers head coach Rich Ingold introduced the Bills to Francis by calling Tom Donahoe, Ingold’s former high school head coach and now the general manager at Buffalo.'

Marker Byner to coach Redskins' backs [5:14 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'It remained unclear whether defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would be able to reunite with Buffalo Bills defensive line coach Tim Krumrie. The Bills have been blocking Krumrie from speaking to Washington, but there was no official word on whether he would remain on Mike Mularkey's staff.'

Marker Thoughts on recent coaching moves [5:13 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Mularkey also made a key hire in Jim McNally to coach the offensive linemen. The Bills have guys with intriguing tools along the offensive line, but they have been underachievers — most notably Mike Williams. McNally has a reputation of getting a lot from his blockers.'

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January 20, 2004

Marker Bills scouting Senior Bowl this week [9:03 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'The Bills new head coach, Mike Mularkey, got his first job as an NFL coach by going to the Senior Bowl. One of his key assistants, offensive line coach Jim McNally, a graduate of Kenmore West, is spending this week in Mobile before coming to Western New York.'

Marker Opening flop didn't stop run to Super Bowl [9:02 PM]
AP reports: 'Certainly, the setback must have motivated the Patriots. Some good must have come out of such a problem-filled opener. "Good?" coach Bill Belichick said. "No. No. No." In the four months since then, Buffalo faltered and missed the playoffs while the Patriots are 16-1.'

Marker A Look Back At Mularkey's Playing Days [4:40 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I think he’s going to be a great fit for Buffalo. As a guy who has covered the Steelers for the last 10 years, I’ve watched him as a tight ends coach and then as an offensive coordinator and he’s always had the look of a head coach. The way he sees the game, the way he teaches out there, the way he interacts with players and other coaches and with the media, he’s just got that thing. He just looks like a head coach."'

Marker Westside [1:17 PM]
The Learning Channel reports: 'Buffalo Bills star Lawyer Milloy gets the custom treatment as his 2003 Hummer is torn apart and turned into a special-order masterpiece.'

Marker Gibbs Still Trying to Lock In Top-Flight Assistants [10:52 AM]
Washington Post reports: The issue became moot last week when Buffalo's new coach, Mike Mularkey, chose to retain Gray as defensive coordinator. Gray intends to keep his defensive staff intact, meaning the Redskins will also lose out on two other Bills assistants: linebackers coach Don Blackmon and defensive line coach Tim Krumrie.

Marker Bills have ways to go to catch Super teams [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'At any point Sunday, did you look at Weis, or at Carolina's head coach, John Fox and say, "They could have hired that guy?" Did you find yourself wondering if Tom Donahoe, the Bills' president and GM, really got the best man when he picked Mike Mularkey as his coach?'

Marker Bills should follow in Panthers' pawsteps [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In 2003, Carolina continued to improve while Buffalo regressed. The Panthers were 11-5, outgained opponents by 26.0 yards per game and outscored opponents by 21 points. They ranked 16th in offense and eighth on defense. The Bills finished 6-10, outgained opponents by 2.2 yards per game and were outscored by 36 points.'

Marker Bills pick up Wheelers’ Francis [5:15 AM]
Moline Dispatch reports: 'However, the 'Wheelers organization is celebrating that fact, with last season's af2 sackmaster set to sign today with the NFL's Buffalo Bills, and bound for an important pre-training camp in the spring developmental league, NFL Europe. Francis' agent, Martin Prince, confirmed Monday his client was in Buffalo, N.Y., for a physical. If he passes that, it would clear the way for Francis to sign a contract believed to be for the NFL's minimum salary, $230,000, according to the NFL Players Association Web site.'

Marker Big Red attracts big names [5:14 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Gilbride and Trestman are expected to lose their jobs following head coaching changes in Buffalo and Oakland. Noel said he traveled to each coach's home to meet with him before inviting them to Ithaca for a formal interview.'

Marker Message from Mularkey, please hold [5:13 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: '“Hi, this is Mike Mularkey. The new head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Just wanted to take a second and introduce myself, and thank you for this outstanding opportunity. A proud tradition and the history of the Buffalo Bills is recognized around the league, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of it. My goal as your new head coach is to not only put a team on the field that you’ll be excited to watch, but proud to call your Buffalo Bills. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of this community, and looking forward to seeing all of you at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Thank you for your support. And I hope you have a great off-season.”'

Marker Bills Welcome Mularkey's Offensive Knowledge [5:12 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"He comes from an offensive background, looking at last year that is where we had some problems. I'm not saying we were perfect on defense but as a whole I think an offensive minded coach of this caliber is definitely a big positive for our team."'

January 19, 2004

Marker Buffalo's new coach comes to town talking a good game plan, for now [1:45 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Mike Mularkey, the Buffalo Bills' new head coach, and Tom Clements, his offensive coordinator, are going to install the sort of offense missing around these parts for more than two decades -- a Power Running Game...Problem is, we've heard this all before.'

Marker Bills take ticket sales campaign to market [5:16 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'It will be interesting to see how Donahoe's comments resonate with the rank-n-file fans. As the highest executive the team has ever had, Donahoe's stamp is on virtually everything the Bills do. Yet it's those staffers under him, many on board prior to his arrival, who developed and redeveloped much-needed marketing ties and now are faced with defending and/or explaining their boss' words, all the while trying to again get them to commit on long-term business deals.'

Marker Only Buffalo Bills Have Sense of the Direction the Eagles Fly [5:15 AM]
Los Angeles Times reports: 'The Eagles are making the Buffalo Bills look like overachievers.'

January 18, 2004

Marker Former Bears coach accepts three-year deal with Detroit Lions [4:41 PM]
ESPN reports: Jauron also interviewed for the Buffalo Bills head coach opening early this month. He had been contacted by, but did not interview with, at least two other teams who needed to hire a defensive coordinator.

Marker Bills' new head coach has a lengthy to-do list [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Try running on third-and-1. Try running on first down.'

Marker Title game looks familiar [9:05 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``Then about three years ago we evolved into a no-huddle team that went with three wide receivers instead of two tight ends. We knew we needed a good center and Jeff Saturday is another Kent Hull. They're the same guy. Getting Troy Walter last year and Brandon Stokley this year gives us good people in the slot and that let us move Reggie Wayne to the outside where he's better suited.'''

Marker Belichick: Colts are like '91 Bills [9:04 AM]
Toronto Star reports: ''"Buffalo was a very fast-paced offence. A lot of times there were 20 or 18 seconds left on the (play) clock when the ball was snapped, so there was a much higher urgency to get the (defensive play) call in, get lined up and be ready to go. It was a two-minute type of pace. "There is a lot more play-action, a lot more variety in the Colts' offensive system,'' the coach of the year went on. "They do use some substitution and they do use different personnel groups. Looking back at Buffalo, they were more of a one-group, one-formation, hurry-up-and-run-the-plays kind. They put pressure on you defensively that way.'''

Marker Mularkey's relentless intensity, work ethic finally brings top job [5:15 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'He is low-key, gentlemanly and smart, a person who earned dual degrees in kinesiology and sociology. What's more, he is even-tempered, like Noll, rarely losing composure and almost never showing any emotion. That, though, is veneer for what burns inside, a fire that fuels a mental toughness that exemplified his playing career.'

Marker Spurrier in waiting: Just what Mack needs [5:14 AM]
San Antonio Express News reports: 'Jerry Gray certainly saw some urgency. He wanted to go back to the school where he played, and he had some credentials. He was the Bills' defensive coordinator last season, and only the Cowboys' defense ranked higher. There was some irony; a few Aggies propped up the Buffalo defense. But Gray seemed an ideal hire for Texas. Smart, young, experienced, orange-blooded. As for Gray's skin color: If not for social change, why not for recruiting? But Brown showed little interest, and last week it became official. Gray will remain in Buffalo as the Bills' defensive coordinator. Brown likely saw Gray's background as less collegiate than pro. But there are also hints that Brown viewed Gray as a threat, and for a reason. Gray's goal is to someday be the head coach at Texas.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
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