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Buffalo Bills News - February 7, 2001

Marker Bills Hire Sheppard [1:53 PM]
Seahawks Insider reports: 'Each of Holmgren's three previous quarterbacks coaches has secured a head coaching position: Steve Mariucci from San Francisco, Marty Mornhinweg with the Lions and Andy Reid, who coaches the Eagles.'

Marker Williams fills the Bills' needs with his gung-ho coaching attitude [1:38 PM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Williams leaves no rocks unturned. Self conscious about his teeth, Williams had braces put on when he was 40. "It was a two-year program, but I had him crank it up to 11 months," Williams said.'

Marker Bills hire Gray as defensive coordinator; Vinklarek for offensive line [1:28 PM]
AP reports: 'Jerry Gray, the defensive backs coach for the Tennessee Titans, has been hired as the new defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo also hired Ronnie Vinklarek from the Titans as the offensive line coach.'

Marker Bills agree to terms with Gray and Vinklarek [1:17 PM] reports: 'Vinklarek spent the 1998 and '99 seasons as offensive line coach at Oklahoma State. In 1997, he worked at Valdosta (Ga.) State as the offensive line coach. Took over as offensive line coach at the University of Houston in 1988. Vinklarek broke into the professional coaching ranks in 1995 as both offensive line coach for the Birmingham Barracudas of the Canadian Football League.'

Marker Williams, Bills impressed each other [12:21 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'There are reports of me being a detail and organized person, but (Donahoe's) approach was extremely detailed and of the most impressive I've even been through. There have been some times I've been interviewed when I've thought, 'How could they hire me with the things they just asked?'"'.

Marker DIVISION-BY-DIVISION CAP ANALYSIS: AFC EAST [12:18 PM] reports: Terry O'Neil's astute analysis of the salary cap situation for each team in the AFC East. "New GM Tom Donahoe did little deal-making in Pittsburgh, so his early moves will bear watching. The guess is that he'll sign WR Eric Moulds to the richest receiver deal ever, franchise tag DE Marcellus Wiley, then allow a dozen others to leave. "

Marker Expect a slow day on the Stadium Wall [11:08 AM]
reports: If you are a reader of the Stadium Wall message board (and you should be!), today will be slow as is expecting record site traffic for today's college football national letter of intent day. overall traffic is heavily weighted towards college sports, but it affects the Pro Football network too.

Marker Racism not a factor in Bills' call on coach [9:22 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Note to Mr. Donahoe: If Williams has kept thick files on every assistant in football and if his burning ambition for many, many years was to be a head coach, how thick do you think his file on you was? No wonder you were on the same page.'

Marker Sheppard will plot Bills' attack [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sheppard was non-committal about the Bills' quarterback situation. "I think Gregg's on record as saying when we get everybody together, we'll evaluate it, then we'll call the quarterbacks in and make a good decision for the Bills," he said.'

Marker Sheppard shuffles off to Buffalo job [6:19 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'When asked if he could envision a scenario where both quarterbacks remain, Sheppard seemed pessimistic. "The organization has come out and (General Manager) Tom Donahoe stated that we have to make a decision," he said.'

Marker QBs coach Sheppard leaves Seahawks for Bills [6:16 AM]
Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: '"Just the chance to coordinate and run it and do it yourself is always something that appeals to you," Sheppard said. "Once you learn this offense from Mike (Holmgren, Seahawks coach), you can't wait to get out and dabble in it yourself."'

Marker Sheppard to coordinate Bills' offense [6:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Mike Sheppard knows about quarterback controversies. So he should feel right at home with the Buffalo Bills.'

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February 6, 2001

Marker Miles Aldridge next linebacker's coach? [10:22 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Middle Tennessee State defensive coordinator Miles Aldridge could be the Bills' next linebackers coach. Aldridge is hopeful and is waiting to hear from Bills coach Gregg Williams. He has not formally met with Williams, but he has spent time with him while Williams was the defensive coordinator for the Titans the past four seasons.'

Marker Talented assistants are head coaches' survival guides [9:41 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Len Pasquarelli's analysis of Williams' hiring skills. 'In this age of free agency, and at a time when league head coaches are being stretched in several directions and must master the art of delegating to ensure success, a solid staff is more essential than ever before. No matter the lineage of the man on the coaching throne, he had better surround himself with loyal and committed courtiers or his reign will be a short one.'

Marker Bills pull Sheppard into flock as offensive coordinator [7:55 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Sheppard was the offensive coordinator under Kevin Gilbride in San Diego before joining the Seahawks, and has also worked on the Baltimore and Cleveland coaching staffs.'

Marker Bills agree to terms with Mike Sheppard for offensive coordinator [7:48 PM]
AP reports: 'Sheppard, 49, has spent eight years as an NFL assistant. Before joining Seattle two years ago, he was offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers in 1997 and 1998. He also was an assistant with Baltimore and Cleveland.'

Marker Bills agree to terms with Mike Sheppard as OC [6:17 PM] reports: 'New Bills head coach Gregg Williams wasted no time beginning to piece together his coaching staff, as he has agreed to terms with former Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard as Buffalo's new offensive coordinator Tuesday.'

Marker Players restructure contracts [5:24 PM]
reports: As posted on the Stadium Wall message board: 'WGR55 has just reported that John Fina, Ruben Brown, and Ken Irvin have all agreed to restructure their contracts, freeing up over 3 Million in Cap $ money.'

Marker Mike Sheppard is the new offensive coordinator [5:15 PM]
reports: 'I was just listening to 107.7 Sports Authority. Mike Sheppard is the Buffalo Bills new Offensive Coordinator. He was Seattle's QB coach.'

Marker A plan for Patriots: Divide and conquer [3:18 PM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Boston Globe columnist Ron Borges salivates at the prospect of getting stronger by scavenging the carcasses of AFC East rivals - signing their UFAs.'

Marker Possible linebacker's coach [3:14 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Shout! has caught whiff of a rumor on Gregg Williams' LBs coach choice: Miles Aldridge, defensive coordinator for Middle Tennessee State.'

Marker Bills Salary Cap woes [3:12 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe never imagined the Bills' salary cap problems could be this bad. Some U.S. government officials are even comparing Buffalo's cap to the gross mismanagement of Social Security.'

Marker Mike Sheppard/Joe Ferguson almost in [2:26 PM]
reports: 'According to a TBD-friendly source, Mike Sheppard and Joe Ferguson are almost in as new coaches at One Bills Drive. While anything can happen to torpedo any candidate, this selection process is very close to be being over. (This same source reported that Gregg Williams was our leading candidate and that the announcement would come on Friday, many hours before the national and local media reports were even suggesting that Williams had emerged as our lead candidate.)'

Marker Sheppard could end up calling plays for Buffalo [2:20 PM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Mike Sheppard has surfaced as a leading candidate to become offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. The Bills received permission Monday to speak with Sheppard about their top offensive job under new coach Gregg Williams. The process could gain speed beginning today.'

Marker Ravens' Lewis Didn't Really Want Bills' Job [11:33 AM]
The Sporting News reports: Mike Fondacaro was kind enough to pass this article along. Thanks Mike! Keep them coming... This piece reads like major damage control for Marvin Lewis. The more days that pass, the less outraged his entourage is and the more they claim it was was Lewis who turned down the Bills. Whatever Marvin...

Marker Williams wants to speak to Seahawks coach [6:54 AM]
reports: Our friends at posted this tidbit early this morning: 'ESPN reports Gregg Williams called the Seattle Seahawks to request permission to speak to their QBs coach Mike Sheppard about the offensive coordinator job. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren is due back from vacation Tuesday and he is expected to grant that permission.'

Marker Moulds' salary could hurt defense [5:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'In order to find salary- cap room to keep Moulds from becoming a free agent, the Bills have asked veteran stalwart defensive linemen Ted Washington and Phil Hansen to take pay cuts, said Angelo Wright, Washington's agent. Both players have refused, which may factor into their possible release.'

Marker Bills' choice was based solely on ability [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'Ted Cottrell, who had even more reason to be disappointed about not becoming Buffalo's head coach than Lewis, said he felt he was treated fairly. That should carry more weight than what Lewis and his agent think.'

Marker Lions hire 3 more assistants; Selcer back [4:59 AM]
Detroit Free Press reports: 'Carl Mauck, 53, a 17-year NFL assistant, will coach the offensive linemen.'

Marker Batch begins off-season preparations [4:55 AM]
Detroit News reports: 'Three Lions assistant coaches from last year have been told they will not be brought back -- Jim Zorn (quarterbacks)...Two offensive assistants have agreed to terms -- Carl Mauck (offensive line) and Maurice Carthon (running backs).'

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