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Buffalo Bills News - December 30, 2003

Marker Bills won't rush search process for coach [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It will take as much time as we feel it takes to get the right coach. It could be a week; it could be a month. There’s no real timetable.”'

Marker 13th draft pick can be a lucky draw [5:17 AM]
Rochester D & C reports: 'Gregg Williams is through as coach of the Bills, but Drew Bledsoe remains and the top priority of Williams’ successor should be rejuvenating the career of the shell-shocked quarterback. Bledsoe isn’t as bad as his most severe critics contend, but he clearly no longer is as good as team owner Ralph Wilson and general manager Tom Donahoe are trying to tell us. The truth is somewhere in between and Bledsoe probably isn’t good enough to take the Bills deep into the playoffs unless a top-notch running attack becomes the top offensive priority. He should be a complement and not the centerpiece.'

Marker Coach pays for Bills' fold [5:16 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'While he was supportive of Williams personally, Donahoe admitted that he has to "do a better job" with his next hiring and said all logical candidates will be considered.'

Marker Bills assistant GM modrak on list [5:15 AM]
ESPN reports: 'The Dolphins are expected to seek permission Tuesday to interview current Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Tom Modrak. It is all but a given that Bills general manager Tom Donahoe will grant permission.'

Marker Bills launch coaching search to replace Williams [5:14 AM]
AP reports: 'Donahoe cited his coaches' inability to adjust as part of the problem. ``Players change, circumstances change, and you have to be adjusting all the time to that,'' Donahoe said. ``We could've done a better job in some areas of making these adjustments.'''

Marker Inside slant [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"We were getting so much pressure we started throwing shorter, getting rid of it quicker," Bledsoe said, a reference to Gilbride's protection schemes which usually failed. "If that's what we're going to do, what the hell do they need me here for?"'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:12 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The offensive staff was totally baffled by New England's array of blitzes and could not find a solution to give Drew Bledsoe more time to throw. On defense, the Bills had one of their worst games of the season, especially on pass defense. New England came out in a shotgun no-huddle and the Bills weren't able to get the proper matchups, plus they reacted far too slowly to New England's quick passing game.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:11 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"It's always nice if you can get (a coach with NFL experience). But 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.'" -- GM Tom Donahoe on what he will be looking for in the team's next coach.'

Marker Donahoe misfire still hits target [5:09 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Please understand, Williams deserved a lot of criticism, and most the blame, for the Bills 6-10 season, and it was quite disappointing to me that Williams whiffed on the chance to shoulder at least some of the blame at his ‘thank-you I’m outa here’ news conference. But Williams is more than a bright football guy, good husband and father. He impressed Donahoe enough to be named an NFL Head Coach after a successful stint as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, and there are literally thousands of coaches at all levels who can only dream of reaching such heights at the age of 42. There was nothing to be happy about at Monday’s Williams farewell, because nobody “won”.'

Marker Gregg Fired, Donahoe Under Fire [5:08 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'It's not Tom Donahoe's job to reprimand the media or anyone in the Western New York community. It's his job to put a competitive football team on the field. If he's embarrassed by certain members of the Western New York media, think about how embarrassed the media and fans were to see the performance we saw Saturday in New England.'

Marker Williams finished as Bills' coach [5:07 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: '"Somebody's going to come into a pretty good situation," said Donahoe, who said the search will begin immediately as he, along with owner Wilson and Tom Modrak, head of personnel, compile a list of candidates.'

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December 29, 2003

Marker Tom Donahoe Discusses Coaching Change [7:05 PM] reports: '"(The things) we do, people are going to criticize, that's fine as long as it stays on the level of criticizing the job that people do. I think what is inexcusable is personal attacks, name-calling and some of the things that I've heard, not just directed toward Gregg, but directed toward Lindy Ruff and directed toward other people in Western New York. I don't think there is any place for it."'

Marker Gregg Williams' Closing Remarks In Buffalo [7:04 PM] reports: '"I'd also like to thank the community. This is a special place to be. I say that now. My family and I have really enjoyed the time we've been here in Western New York. It's a beautiful area of the state and it's a beautiful area of the country and it's a great place to raise a family. I can see why the rich tradition of the Buffalo Bills is what it is. The Buffalo Bill fans are tremendous fans and are well known throughout the country. It has been special times and I've enjoyed my time in the community."'

Marker Winfield headlines Bills free agents [7:03 PM]
AP reports: 'Though the Bills certainly would like to see the cornerback return, he may become too expensive for the Bills. Winfield's value on the open market could put him in line for a hefty raise after making a $530,000 base salary in the fifth and final year of his contract this season.'

Marker Williams Not To Return [6:08 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Tom Donahoe said there wasn't any timetable for the hiring of Williams' replacement, although he did say the process would be intense.'

Marker Bills fire coach Gregg Williams [5:28 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"We weren't able to do as well as I thought we would this season, but I believe this club has a good strong nucleus and can take the next step," Williams said at an afternoon news conference. "I'm just sorry I wasn't able to get us to the next level."'

Marker Williams not coming back to Bills [4:57 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Williams' status with the team was further damaged by a suspected loss of the locker room. Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ruben Brown was asked to 'stay home' for Saturday's embarrassing 31-0 loss to New England.'

Marker Brown wants to stay with Bills [4:56 PM]
AP reports: '``I feel he is a part of this team,'' Donahoe said of Brown. ``What happened last week and how we go forward doesn't serve any purpose to air it out publicly. It's better served, once things settle down, to be settled internally.'''

Marker Williams out as Bills' coach [4:54 PM]
AP reports: '``I regret that it didn't work out,'' Donahoe said. ``I can't say anything publicly bad about the guy except we didn't win enough football games.'''

Marker Press Conference Scheduled for today at 4:15pm [4:22 PM] reports: The Bills have called a 4:15 PM press conference today in the media room of the team’s training facility in Orchard Park.

Marker Firing follws disappointing 6-10 year [4:22 PM] reports: 'But Williams' inability to develop an improved roster into a playoff contender played a part in the team's decision. The Bills played below Donahoe's expectations this season, after bolstering the defense with free-agent additions such as linebacker Takeo Spikes, tackle Sam Adams and safety Lawyer Milloy. "We have regressed, and I didn't have confidence we could turn that around," Donahoe said.'

Marker Stick a fork in Williams [2:17 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'He’ll be fired, in part, because he wasn’t a good sideline coach. On game day, Williams, 17-31 in his three seasons, was undermined by fundamentally flawed decisions, ill-considered challenges and poor clock management. But the area most responsible for his pink slip ultimately will be in selecting offensive assistants.'

Marker Donahoe makes it clear it's Drew [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He took more bullets than a '30 Packard in one of those Al Capone movies, and I don't think it was fair," Donahoe said. "I think some other people on our team should have stood up (for him), some of our coaches should have stood up."'

Marker Coach Williams failed, but players failed him too [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'What's the lasting impression of this season? "Underachieving, underachievers, period."'

Marker Brown was asked to skip finale [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I wanted to play. They asked me not to play, and I respected that," Brown told The Buffalo News. "I never quit. I'm sure everyone who comes to the games, knows me or played with me knows I never quit. . . . Even when things that weren't that good for me, I've never quit. I'm pretty sure the fans of Buffalo know that. I've always been willing to stand up if I didn't have a good game or play as well as I thought . . . I remember Jim Kelly telling me, "Hey, you don't have to tell everybody when you have a bad game.' "'

Marker 2004 Bills schedule [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Home: New England, Miami, New York Jets, Cleveland, Pittburgh, Houston, Arizona, St. Louis.'

Marker Bills' Brown punished for being late [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Still, Brown’s long-term future in Buffalo is tenuous. He’s due a $1.8 million roster bonus in March and the club may elect to part ways with Brown, one of the club’s most popular and civic-minded players who recently was named to a team-record eighth consecutive Pro Bowl. Metz said much is to be decided, particularly if a new head coach is hired, as expected.'

Marker Scores of changes in store for Bills [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Hey, when you don’t make the playoffs, when you underachieve, you know there’s going to be changes,” he said. “How many changes, that’s not for me to decide. That’s upper management, Mr. Donahoe and his staff. I know one thing, whatever changes are made, we will be a good football team next season and we will compete for a Super Bowl.”'

Marker Bills' new year should be quite busy [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It’s hard to believe three years of upheaval and hard work have not panned out for Donahoe. Williams’ record is his record and his most difficult decisions have only just begun. Pass the champagne; it’s going to be a long new year.'

Marker The Last Word [5:17 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'This season was supposed to pay the first dividend on Donahoe's campaign to get the Bills out of salary-cap hell. He has accomplished that, but the team is nowhere near ready for prime time. However it plays out, the Bills are once again on that treadmill of losers everywhere: The rebuilding program. See you in three more years.'

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