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Buffalo Bills News - January 30, 2004

Marker Inside slant [5:18 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills interviewed seven candidates, including offensive and defensive coordinators and some with previous NFL head coaching experience. But in the end, Donahoe felt most comfortable tapping his roots. It only made sense. With a hire this important to the Bills, who haven't made the playoffs in four seasons, and to Donahoe, whose three-year master plan to rebuild the Bills has produced a 17-31 record and put his own career in jeopardy, why gamble on somebody he didn't know? He did that with Williams and whiffed big time.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:17 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"I feel great about it," said Gray, whose Bills' units have steadily improved from 21st to 14th to No. 2 in the league. "This is a great situation. I'm excited about what we can accomplish. He knows I'm going to support him 100 percent and do everything I can to help him win."'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:16 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'A possible addition to Mularkey's staff in a yet-to-be-determined capacity is Tom Cross, the offensive coordinator at Macalester College. When Cross was the head coach at Concordia-St. Paul in Minnesota, he befriended Mularkey, who played for the Vikings, and hired him as an assistant coach. Mularkey would like to repay the favor if Cross were interested in making the leap to the NFL.'

Marker Bills Sign Five More [5:15 AM] reports: 'Mike Shafer was a place kicker/punter at Syracuse. He holds the school records in for punts and punting yardage. Shafer had previous tryouts with the Texans and Rams.'

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January 29, 2004

Marker Bills Add Five To The Roster [5:26 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Two of Buffalo's latest signings have Arena League experience. Linebacker Asa Francis played with the New Jersey Gladiators in 2001. Carter was named Arena League Defensive Player of the Year after picking off 14 passes for the Arkansas Twisters.'

Marker QB Zolman among five free agents signed by Bills [2:01 PM]
AP reports: 'Zolman was a four-year starter at Vanderbilt, finishing with a school-record 596 completions for 7,981 yards.'

Marker Bills Sign Five Free Agents [1:01 PM] reports: 'The Bills today announced that the team has signed defensive back Kahlil Carter, offensive lineman Jasen Esposito, linebacker Asa Francis, kicker/punter Mike Shafer, and quarterback Greg Zolman. All five players have been allocated to participate in NFL Europe.'

Marker Bills sign pair [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Shelton played four seasons with Jacksonville after being selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round of the 1997 draft (184th overall) out of Sacramento State. He played for Chicago in 2001 and 2002, joining the Bears as an unrestricted free agent. He sat out 2003 after being released by Chicago in the preseason.'

Marker Henning keeps the Panthers grounded [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I loved Marv," Henning said. "Marv is a great motivator and the most intelligent guy you ever want to meet. We had an average season up there. It was a changeover after Jim Kelly had left. But I loved the people of Buffalo. They are the greatest - except when they go to the stadium. When they go to the stadium, they're out of control."'

Marker Calling the shots [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"To tell you the truth, I think I nailed both those interviews," Weis said. "I think I went in prepared. I think I presented myself well. . . . I really liked Tom Donahoe (the Bills' president and general manager). But things didn't work out. They hired Mike (Mularkey), and I wish them well - just not against us."'

Marker Wilson smart to hold line on ticket prices [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The average Bills ticket cost $41 in 2003 ($30 to $39 for season tickets and $30 to $48 for individual game tickets). It was the third-cheapest ticket in the 32-team NFL this season.'

Marker Habitat for Humanity, NFL among groups doing heavy lifting for house [5:15 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Jack Kemp didn't do any heavy lifting Wednesday as well-muscled football players hefted the Vidaurri family's furniture into their new home -- the first of 38 that will be built by Habitat for Humanity volunteers in conjunction with Sunday's Super Bowl.'

Marker Bills Sign Two [5:14 AM] reports: 'Shelton was Jacksonville's sixth round draft pick in 1997. He played four seasons with the Jaguars. Shelton then signed as a free agent with Chicago, where he played the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He was out of football last year.'

January 28, 2004

Marker Bills sign free agents FB Shelton, OL Smith [6:54 PM]
AP reports: 'For his career, Shelton has 104 yards rushing and one touchdown, and 324 yards receiving and one touchdown. He also missed four games in the 2001 and 2002 seasons after the NFL suspended him for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.'

Marker Bills Sign Two Free Agents [5:06 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Smith had spent the past two years with the Baltimore Ravens, mostly on the practice squad. Hicks has also played in NFL Europe, spending the 2003 season with the Amsterdam Admirals.'

Marker Bills Sign Two Free Agent [4:10 PM] reports: 'The Bills announced that the team has signed fullback Daimon Shelton and offensive lineman Lawrence Smith.'

Marker Aaron Schobel Takes Next Big Step [2:23 PM] reports: 'Q: How important was it to the defensive players that Jerry Gray was kept on board as defensive coordinator? AS: I'm glad that I know him and that he understands what I can do and vise versa with me and him. I'm glad they kept him because that's the most important for me because I deal with him everyday. I understand his scheme and that's the most important part, and we get along.'

Marker Bills ticket prices to stay at 2003 level [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Meanwhile, the Bills may try to lure former Cincinnati and Tampa Bay coach Sam Wyche out of retirement to work with quarterbacks. Wyche gave Mularkey his break into coaching in Tampa.'

Marker No hike in Bills ticket prizes [5:20 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Overall, Mularkey has retained five of former coach Gregg Wiliamsí 15 assistants but none on offense.'

Marker Steelers have to keep Bettis [5:19 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Buffalo Bills general manager Tom Donahoe gets the Salesman of the Year award hands down for selling Mike Mularkey to Bills owner Ralph Wilson after the lousy year Mularkey and the Steelers' offense had. Donahoe had better get it right with Mularkey. He already has blown one coaching hire, firing Gregg Williams after just three seasons. Wilson should fire Donahoe before he get the chance to hire a third head coach.'

Marker Bills Continue Hiring [5:18 AM] reports: 'New to the Buffalo Bills are tight ends coach Frank Verducci, offensive assistant Mike Miller and strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll. Verducci comes to Buffalo from Dallas in 2002, he didn't coach last year; Millar arrives from Pittsburgh and Roll from Miami.'

January 27, 2004

Marker Giants add Gilbride as QB coach [9:52 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Giants have made several additions to their coaching staff under new head coach Tom Coughlin, most notably former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride as their quarterbacks coach.'

Marker Bills ticket prices stay steady in '04 [4:23 PM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'That maintains the Bills' average ticket price at approximately $41. According to figures published in 2003 by Team Marketing Report, that is the third lowest in the National Football League, behind Atlanta and Arizona. The TMR report said the average NFL ticket price in 2003 was $52.95.'

Marker Bills hire three assistants, promote one [4:22 PM]
AP reports: 'New head coach Mike Mularkey also added tight ends coach Frank Verducci, offensive assistant Mike Miller, and strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll.'

Marker Bills Promote Jones; Add Three To Coaching Staff [3:03 PM] reports: 'The Bills announced that the team has promoted strength and conditioning coordinator Rusty Jones and added three more assistants to the staff of head coach Mike Mularkey. Jones will have his duties and responsibilities expanded in the newly created position of Director of Physical Development.'

Marker No Increase For Bills Tickets [3:03 PM] reports: 'The Bills announced that the teamís ticket prices will not increase for the 2004 season.'

Marker Bills hire Tolbert [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills also are expected to add Brad Roll to their strength and conditioning staff, joining Rusty Jones. Roll has been assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins.'

Marker Bills hire assistant coach [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Tolbert spent last season coaching receivers for the Arizona Cardinals, his first NFL job after nine seasons at the college level.'

Marker Giants name Gilbride QB coach [5:15 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Gilbride, 53, was Coughlin's first offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. "He works extremely well with quarterbacks," Coughlin said in a statement.'

Marker Jints ink coaches [5:14 AM]
New York Post reports: '"Before I hired Kevin in Jacksonville," Coughlin said, "I talked to Warren Moon about him and Warren was emphatic about how much Kevin meant to his career and development. He is a determined, strong personality who really excels in game planning and on game day."'

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