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Buffalo Bills News - February 12, 2004

Marker 2003 Draft review and All-Rookie team [10:49 AM] reports: Buffalo Bills: Seven of eight picks made the roster. The class produced only two starts. The key to this draft is what McGahee and Chris Kelsay do in the future.

Marker Job carousel spins wildly for league's defensive coordinators [8:50 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Included in the high-profile mix are five former NFL head coaches, the most recent being Gregg Williams (Washington) and Dick Jauron (Detroit), who were let go this season by the Bills and Bears, respectively. Others include Gunther Cunningham, the former Chiefs head coach who has returned to become Kansas City’s DC; Wade Phillips, a former head coach in Denver and Buffalo who will be in charge of the Chargers’ defense; and Dick LeBeau, a former head coach in Cincinnati who is returning to Pittsburgh, where he spent 1992 through ’96 as an assistant coach and then defensive coordinator.

Marker Bills head for Henson's workout [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Texans will shop Henson to the highest bidder, but whether Buffalo would be involved in bidding for him so soon after giving up a No. 1 pick to New England for Bledsoe in 2002 is highly speculative. Many personnel directors feel Henson is a long-term project.'

Marker Murphy to succeed Miller as Bills' radio announcer [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I’m just succeeding him. I mean, who can replace Van?” said Murphy, 46, who worked alongside the legendary Miller for 16 years. “If you grew up around here, he’s the voice of the Bills, and I just feel I’m succeeding him. These are huge shoes to fill. I’m going to try not to think about it.”'

Marker Return to the sideline is the best medicine for Wyche [5:15 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: '"I'm the luckiest guy going," he said. "How many times can you call up and say,"I'm looking for a job. Oh, by the way, I have a heart disease, I can't talk very well, you got a job for me?"''

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February 11, 2004

Marker The Bills New Staff Is Already At Work [8:23 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Moving to the offense, former Notre Dame quarterback Tom Clements is in his first season as an offensive coordinator. Clements has coached quarterbacks with the Steelers, Chiefs and Saints. He says his philosophy will fit the talents of the players he has. He did mention he likes to run the football and develop a solid running game. He also feels Drew Bledsoe is not washed up and he will have plays that get the ball out of his hand quicker. Clements is a huge fan of Travis Henry. He loves the power Henry packs in such a small package.'

Marker Clements to View Another Drew [8:21 PM] reports: '"I expect he'll be fairly impressive," said Bills offensive coordinator Tom Clements. "We're just going to go down there and see how rusty he may be, see what kind of athletic ability he displays, see how he's throwing the ball, whether he's accurate, whether he still has the same zip on it, things like that."'

Marker Mularkey bringing assistants with him to scout Henson [8:21 PM]
AP reports: '''All I know is what I've heard about him,'' Mularkey said. ''That's why I'm probably going to ask Tom and Sam to go down there with me and do all the evaluating on him. They're the quarterback, I don't want to say gurus but they know it better than I do.'''

Marker Bills hire Murphy to succeed Miller [8:20 PM]
AP reports: 'Murphy had served 16 years as Miller's partner. He is a Buffalo-area native and Syracuse University graduate, who will retain his job as sports director at Buffalo's WKBW-TV.'

Marker Bills buckle Murphy into play-by-play job [5:09 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Murphy recently completed his 16th season alongside Miller in the booth. He first held the analyst job from 1984-89 when working as sports director at WBEN-AM and then again from 1994-2003.'

Marker Bills Alumni Relations [5:07 PM] reports: 'We are fortunate to have an owner and general manager who realize that the legacy of a team is as important as its future is, because the future is built on the heart of it’s past.'

Marker After Eight-Year Hiatus Wyche Returns to NFL [4:35 PM] reports: '"I have always missed the game of football, but there was a period in my life where I was very sick. I was awake for an hour a day and couldn't do much at all. For a while there, I was in real trouble. Luckily, the medication has corrected that part of it and I have a pacemaker now. In fact, I have the same pacemaker that Vice President Cheney has. He gets it during the week, and I get it on weekends. We are saving a lot of money," Wyche quipped.'

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.'

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."'

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