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Buffalo Bills News - December 31, 2003

Marker Breaking down the coaching openings [3:22 PM]
ESPN reports: Who they will hire: Former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin.

Marker Search Begins To Fill Vacant Head Coach Job [3:20 PM] reports: '"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.'"'

Marker Bills' search guided by edict on minorities [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Among the guidelines: Invitations to interview should be documented in a letter to the candidate; team owners should be directly involved in the search; teams should identify a "deep and diverse" pool of candidates. Teams also are required to prepare a job description that clearly and fully defines the role of its head coach and the qualities it is looking for in its head coach. The guidelines state that telephone interviews are never preferable and seldom adequate. They also strongly suggest that minority candidates for head-coaching positions not turn down interviews. That's an attempt to avoid a repeat of the Lions' situation last year.'

Marker For auld acquaintance, a year to forget [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The Bills alone are enough to put me over the edge."'

Marker Bills list has 2 Pats coaches [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills confirmed on Tuesday that Weis and Crennel are on their early short list of head coaching candidates to replace Gregg Williams, who was not retained after compiling a 17-31 record in three seasons. The others are St. Louis Rams assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Lovie Smith and Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.'

Marker Modrak focused on improving Bills' record [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In the past, Modrak has interviewed for openings with Atlanta and Chicago. But he has often said he’s content staying in Buffalo and assisting longtime friend Tom Donahoe. This season’s disappointing 6-10 record that culminated with the firing of coach Gregg Williams on Monday has left a taste of unfinished business in Modrak’s mouth. “Absolutely. It’s my only focus, really, as it’s been said a hundred times,” he said.'

Marker A long, diverse list could fit the Bill in Buffalo [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Wade Phillips: 29-19 sure beats 17-31.'

Marker Fans agree, Gregg's gotta go [5:17 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: '"The decision is three months too late," he said. "He couldn't figure out what his program should have been early in the season and fix it. Thank God he's on his way out."'

Marker Making a Weis choice [5:16 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Charlie Weis as head coach of the New York Giants or Buffalo Bills? With LaMonte in his corner, it just might happen.'

Marker Wolf says no to GM position [5:15 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'According to those close to Modrak, he is considered the quintessential scout, able to pick good players with great consistency. He has little experience, however, at decision-making and isn't considered a strong administrator.'

Marker Dolphins GM candidates [5:14 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'A 27-year veteran of the NFL, including 21 with Pittsburgh. Is considered a strong and consistent talent evaluator. Was with Philadelphia when the Eagles drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb despite public pressure to take running back Ricky Williams. Also has been part of drafts that included players such as Corey Simon, Jeremiah Trotter, Hines Ward and Rod Woodson.'

Marker Dolphins have 3 GM hopefuls as Wolf declines interview [5:13 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'While Jones plans to keep in touch with Wolf to gauge whether his interest changes, the Dolphins have received permission to interview Buffalo Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak and Tampa Bay executive Tim Ruskell for the general manager spot.'

Marker Dolphins' GM Candidates [5:12 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Modrak helped produce eight Pro Bowl players while heading Pittsburgh's college scouting department from 1989 to 1998. Modrak also helped rebuild the Eagles while working in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2001.'

Marker Dolphins' GM search begins [5:11 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Modrak, Buffalo's assistant general manager, has been recommended by Bills President Tom Donahoe. Modrak has 27 years of NFL experience with the Steelers, Eagles and Bills. During his nine seasons as Pittsburgh's college scouting director, the Steelers' draft produced eight Pro Bowl players.'

Marker Jets' Makeover Begins With Firing of Cottrell [5:10 AM]
New York Times reports: 'Another potential candidate is the former Buffalo coach Gregg Williams, who was fired on Monday. The Jets' linebackers coach, Bob Sutton, was not fired yesterday and will be given an opportunity to interview for his job with the new coordinator, but he is not a candidate to replace Cottrell. Edwards would not comment on candidates, but said he would announce a list of those he interviews in the coming days.'

Marker Giants, Smith Lovie-dovie [5:09 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'He interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons Monday night and will talk with the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills sometime before Friday.'

Marker Cleaning 'D' house [5:08 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Gregg Williams, who was fired as the Bills' head coach on Monday, is another candidate with a strong defensive background and is a possible fallback option.'

Marker Coordinated Firing [5:07 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Williams, fired Monday by the Bills, has Edwards' respect. In his fourth and final season as Tennessee's defensive coordinator in 2000, the Titans led the league in total defense, allowed only 17 touchdowns, set a franchise record with 55 sacks, and allowed only 191 points - the third-fewest in a 16-game season in NFL history.'

Marker Giants interview Smith; two more teams await [5:06 AM]
St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith interviewed Tuesday with the New York Giants, and he's only halfway home. The Buffalo Bills requested and received permission Tuesday to interview Smith for their vacant head-coaching position.'

Marker Bills coaching search raises questions about Bledsoe's status [5:05 AM]
AP reports: 'His season-long struggles have led some to wonder whether Bledsoe, who turns 32 in February, has lost his edge. That's not encouraging for a player who is due a hefty raise if he remains on the Bills roster in November.'

Marker Four Coaching Candidates To Be Interviewed This Week [5:04 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Donahoe says he will interview three head coaching candidates this week before the playoffs start. He's received permission to speak with New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and St.Louis defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. Donahoe says he will also interview Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.'

Marker Bills Part Ways With Gregg Williams [4:15 AM] reports: '"Gregg, through the entire season, has been in a difficult spot," said quarterback Drew Bledsoe. "His strength of character and his leadership that he has demonstrated for this team has been tremendous. I have great respect for him because of that."'

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December 30, 2003

Marker Bills express interest in contacting Patriots assistant coaches [2:46 PM]
AP reports: 'Tom Donahoe's initial list for Buffalo Bills coaching candidates includes New England assistants Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis, and St. Louis assistant Lovie Smith.'

Marker More interest in Crennel, Weis [2:45 PM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Bills could take a major step toward closing the gap between themselves and the Patriots by luring one of the coordinators. Buffalo's major weakness this season was offense, and Weis worked with Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe as New England's offensive coordinator in 2000.'

Marker Bills sack Williams, begin search for new head coach [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He was a pleasure to work with from beginning to end," Donahoe said. "I have no complaints. I can't say anything publicly bad about the guy except we didn't win enough football games."'

Marker Williams era over for Bills [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The front office thinks highly of New England's offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Both he and Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel are considered head-coaching candidates this winter. However, if the Bills want to interview either of them, they must do it by Friday or wait until after the Pats are knocked out of the playoffs. Neither Weis or Crennel have major head-coaching experience. Other highly regarded assistants include St. Louis defensive chief Lovie Smith and Pittsburgh offensive chief Mike Mularkey. Neither has been a head coach.'

Marker Players expected coaching change [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He came in being a hard guy, so I was a little suspect of him," Pat Williams said. "But slowly but surely he became a guy we felt good about. I think the rest of the guys liked him, too."'

Marker Donahoe must stop insults, start progress [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I screwed up," he said. Fine, now stop talking down to the customers and get to work on the product.'

Marker Williams era started on arrogant note [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams' 5-15 record against AFC East teams did not help his cause. His teams were able to beat the Miami Dolphins twice last season, but the Bills' most hated rival swept the season series this year and in 2001. Williams was also 2-4 against the New York Jets.'

Marker Williams: Three and out [5:21 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“There isn’t any one thing, other than we didn’t win enough games,” Donahoe said. “But obviously we had our problems on offense. We ended up 30th in offense, so there was a tremendous drop-off on the offense this year, and that contributed to some of our problems.”'

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