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Buffalo Bills News - January 15, 2004

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:10 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Antoine Winfield (URFA. Pound-for-pound among best tacklers in the NFL and can cover, but lack of interceptions hurts his chances of signing top deal, particularly with players like Charles Woodson also hitting the market. Bills will make attempt to re-sign Winfield, but won't go overboard and he has sent off plenty of signals that he's ready for a change).'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:09 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The length of Mularkey's deal was not immediately known, but it's believed to be four to five seasons for slightly less than the $1.5-million per year average San Francisco defensive coordinator Jim Mora, Jr. received from Atlanta.'

Marker Donahoe banking on Mularkey [5:08 AM]
AP reports: 'Mularkey rescued struggling quarterback Kordell Stewart in 2001, when he threw 14 touchdown passes and led the Steelers to the AFC championship. He also rejuvenated journeyman quarterback Tommy Maddox's career the following year, when he tossed a career-high 20 touchdown passes as the Steelers advanced to the AFC divisional playoffs.'

Marker Is Mularkey The Right Man? [5:07 AM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'It’s easy to say the Bills should have hired a guy with head coaching experience. It depends on what “experience” you get. Do you get the Dick Jauron that won 13 games for the Bears, or the one that couldn’t get over 500 the last 2 years ? Do you get the Jim Fassel that went to a Super Bowl, or the one that lost his last 8 games in New York ? One man’s “experienced” coach is another man’s retread.'

Marker Former Bills Head Coach Marv Levy talks to 2 on your side [5:06 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: '“What do think his (Mularkey) challenges might be in the next year? Marv Levy: “Well, Stefan, number one, put together a good coaching staff. That is number one. That is the most important thing a coach does. Every successful coach has an outstanding coaching staff."'

Marker Campbell Excited About the Hiring of Mularkey [5:05 AM] reports: '"I'm excited to have a guy like that who has proven to have a great offense the last few years. He is an intelligent offensive minded football guy. He does a lot of different things to trick the defense and that's exciting to me. It makes it a lot of fun."'

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January 14, 2004

Marker Mularkey's the Man [9:22 PM] reports: 'Mularkey began his coaching career as a tight ends coach and graduated to the position of offensive coordinator, a position he held for three years. A year ago he was a finalist for the head coaching job in Cincinnati. That position eventually went to Marvin Lewis.'

Marker Bills hope Mularkey resurrects stalled offense [8:53 PM]
AP reports: '''With all the experience that Mr. Donahoe and Mr. Wilson have, they certainly know what they are doing better than anybody in the NFL,'' Bills' receiver Eric Moulds said. ''I feel real good about the decision.'''

Marker We've seen it before... [5:05 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 'On other levels, though, it just doesn't seem to be a truly good fit. The Bills needed a veteran coach who would come in and establish things right away. There will be little time for learning on the job, which is exactly what Mularkey is going to have to do. The Bills are a team of talented, even playoff-caliber veterans who simply, honestly need to be pointed in the right direction. A coach such as Fassel or Jauron would have been more capable of pointing the team in the right direction than Mularkey.'

Marker Bills officially name Mularkey Head Coach [5:01 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'The hiring of Mularkey could also have an impact on the Bills defense, as it's expected Bills Assistant Head Coach Dick LeBeau would remain on the Bills staff. LeBeau was in Pittsburgh Tuesday talking with Steelers coach Bill Cowher about the Steelers defensive coordinators position. Currently, Jerry Gray remains the Bills defensive coordinator, although there is speculation he'll join former Bills coach Gregg Williams in Washington once it's official Gray didn't land the Bills head coaching job.'

Marker Bills Give Mularkey First Head Coaching Job [4:59 PM]
Reuters reports: 'In 2001, Mularkey's first as coordinator, Pittsburgh had the league's top rushing attack and the third-ranked overall offense. That year the Steelers posted a 13-3 regular season record, won the AFC Central title and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. The next year, Pittsburgh had the league's fifth-ranked overall offense and again won the division crown.'

Marker Bills name Mularkey coach [4:57 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Mularkey was named Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator on January 5, 2001 after five seasons as Pittsburgh's tight ends coach. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.'

Marker It's official: Bills name Mularkey as coach [4:56 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The 42-year-old traveled to Detroit on Tuesday to meet with Bills owner Ralph Wilson one final time to discuss the job vacancy. He met with the Bills last Wednesday to first discuss the opportunity.'

Marker Bills hire Mularkey to be new coach [4:49 PM]
AP reports: Mularkey becomes the 13th coach in the team's history.

Marker The Bills Confirm Mularkey As 13th Head Coach [3:16 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He will be introduced tomorrow at 4:00 in Orchard Park.'

Marker No malarky, it's Mularkey [3:12 PM]
Empire reports: The Buffalo Bills have a new head coach..Mike Mularkey. 7 Sports has confirmed that Mularkey, the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator was offered the job after meeting with Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson earlier tonight.

Marker Bills Name Mularkey As Head Coach [3:10 PM] reports: "The Bills have agreed to terms on a contract that will make Mike Mularkey the 13th head coach in team history.'

Marker Elway, Sanders among 15 Hall finalists; Modell not on list [2:11 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Team owners Art Modell and Ralph Wilson Jr. did not make the list.

Neither did Steve Tasker, Bills special teams star.

Marker Mularkey met with Bills owner [1:07 PM]
AP reports: '"There is no deal that is done," Bills' spokesman Scott Berchtold told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He would not say if Mularkey was the favorite to replace Gregg Williams.'

Marker LeBeau meets with Cowher about coordinator job [11:03 AM] reports: 'He spent the 2003 season as the assistant head coach for the Buffalo Bills, and while he was involved with the defense, it wasn't at the level he wanted it to be. "I coordinated last year, but not completely," said LeBeau. "I think this would be a better situation. I didn't call the game. I had input but didn't really call the game. That's the part of the game that I missed."'

Marker LeBeau would love another shot to coach Steelers 'D' [9:39 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: 'LeBeau, a former Ohio State star who's been in the NFL 31 years as player or coach, wants the chance to call his own plays as a coordinator. Ironically, LeBeau may be a candidate in Buffalo if the Bills hire Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their new head coach. Or LeBeau may return to Pittsburgh, where the job is apparently his if he wants it. "I had input but I really didn't call the game," LeBeau said of his duties in Buffalo. "That's the part I missed the most. So I think this would be a better situation (in Pittsburgh)."'

Marker Bills zero in on Mularkey for coach [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Is he just what the Buffalo Bills need? It looks like Bills fans may get to find out, because Mike Mularkey is close to a deal that would make him the Bills' new head coach.'

Marker Bills make an offer to Mularkey [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's believed Mularkey will try to retain Bills assistant head coach Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator. LeBeau interviewed for the defensive coordinator post in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. If LeBeau stays in Buffalo as defensive coordinator, that would leave no room for Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. However, if Gray were not retained by Buffalo, he may be a candidate for another defensive coordinator job in the NFL.'

Marker Mularkey looks good on paper [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This does not mean Mularkey is another Gregg Williams - a great interview who went bust, a strong assistant who rose to his level of incompetence. But fans in this town have every right to be wary of the man who appears to be Tom Donahoe's latest hire. Having suffered through three years of Williams, they're not about to give knee-jerk approval to an unproven coach.'

Marker The Mike Mularkey File [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Attended the University of Florida and finished Gators career with 55 receptions. Has dual bachelor of science degree in kinesiology/sociology from University of Minnesota.'

Marker Securing the Bills [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'People close to Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. say he has no interest in moving the team under his ownership, and Bills officials suggest they're looking at a long-term partnership with Western New York.'

Marker The way we hear it [7:45 AM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Other than working on their strategy with their own free agents, the Bills will have a few holes that need to be addressed, most specifically finding a credible pass rusher to strike some fear into the hearts of opposing offenses. The team’s LB corps and secondary are quite solid, but the cornerbacks could be better if the front four would generate more of a pass rush. DE Aaron Schobel has averaged 8.8 sacks in his first three seasons (including a career-high 11 ½ in 2003), but team observers believe that Schobel is a tad overrated and shouldn’t be the primary pass rusher the team relies on. Of course, Schobel has steadily improved, but he’s not a down-in, down-out dominant threat. His run defense also leaves a bit to be desired. Meanwhile, the Bills have had a gaping hole on the other side, and the team must focus on fixing that problem.

Marker Reports say Bills set to hire Mularkey [7:28 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Mularkey started coaching in Tampa Bay after a nine-year career as a tight end. The Atlanta Falcons interviewed Mularkey last week before hiring Jim Mora Jr.'

Marker Bills hire Mularkey, report says [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It’s close, but there’s nothing I can talk about now,” said Mularkey, reached at his Pittsburgh-area home Tuesday night. “I feel I’d like to keep my word to the people who have entrusted me. I will talk at the right time."'

Marker Redskins pressuring Bills on assistants [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Ex-Bills coach Gregg Williams, now the defensive coordinator in Washington, would like to hire most of his old assistants, but Buffalo president and general manager Tom Donahoe wants his new coach to have the opportunity to pick who stays.'

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