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Buffalo Bills News - January 6, 2004

Marker Bills Interview Former Giants Coach Jim Fassel [8:39 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Labeled a "quarterback guru", Fassel was credited with recruiting and coaching Broncos quarterback John Elway at Stanford. He later coached Elway to his finest season as a pro in 1993, when the Broncos quarterback earned the AFC Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors. That year, Denver's offense ranked third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL and scored 373 points to rank first in the conference and third in the league. Fassel also tutored Kent Graham into a solid player and helped rejuvenate veteran Boomer Esiason and Kerry Collins.'

Marker Fassel interviews with Bills, talks exclusively with Channel 2 [8:13 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'As for a time frame, Fassel backed away from earlier reports that said he wanted to have something finalized by the end of the week. "I thought that that might happen, but like everything else, a lot of guys go through different processes. But I would imagine it would be sometime over the weekend or something like that, I'd have a pretty good idea."'

Marker Bills have one candidate left after meeting with Fassel [8:09 PM]
AP reports: 'Fassel, fired last month by the Giants, who fell to 4-12, flew home to New Jersey after the meeting. He described it ``as a good day'' in a brief interview with Buffalo's WGRZ-TV. But Fassel declined to say whether the Bills had made him an offer, adding he hoped to have a better idea of where he stood by this weekend.'

Marker The Bills Continue Head Coaching Interviews With Fassel [3:06 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Tom Donahoe has spoken with Lovie Smith, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Jerry Gray and Dick Jauron. One man he will not talk to his Tom Coughlin. He was hired to replace Fassel with the Giants.'

Marker Ex-Bills Crafts gets 100-day sentence for cocaine charge [2:53 PM]
AP reports: 'Crafts, who played for Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal in the CFL and the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, is expected to be released from prison later this week, having already served 71 days in jail. Erie County Judge Michael Pietruszka also sentenced Crafts to 200 hours of community service.'

Marker Sentencing Day for Former Buffalo Bill [1:14 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Jerry Crafts faced a 15 year jail term, but instead Erie County Judge Michael Pietruszka sentenced the 35 year old athlete Tuesday to 100 days behind bars, five years probation in a drug case.'

Marker Fassel next in hunt for Bills coach [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Contrary to various reports, Donahoe has no immediate plans to name a new head coach. It appears he will interview as many viable candidates as possible.'

Marker Levy says he's interested in coaching again [5:19 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Buffalo is a wonderful place. It’s a great spot, a great job,” said Levy on Monday when contacted at his Chicago home. “And I feel re-energized, more energized in fact than when I stepped away. I had a bit of the Dick Vermeil syndrome, but I’m in even better shape now than I was.”'

Marker Fassel, Bills will talk today [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Finding a person with NFL head coaching experience and experience on the offensive side of the football are high on Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe’s list of criteria after the team regressed offensively last season under Gregg Williams, who was fired last week. Fassel meets both prerequisites.'

Marker Coughlin Interviewed Once Again by Giants [5:17 AM]
New York Times reports: 'The only other team that has indicated interest in Coughlin this season has been the Buffalo Bills, who appear to be leaning toward the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator, Charlie Weis, although they also have an interview scheduled with Fassel today.'

Marker Big Blue on verge of hiring Coughlin [5:16 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'There were indications the Bills were scheduled to interview Coughlin in Buffalo today, the same day they are scheduled to talk with Fassel. It's not clear how the Giants' heavy interest in Coughlin will affect those plans.'

Marker Jets interview Jints' Lynn [5:15 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Williams, who recently was fired as the Bills' head coach, is believed to have moved to the head of the list as the favorite, because Tampa Bay assistant head coach/defensive line coach Rod Marinelli might be untouchable. Williams' attacking style of defense, which had the Bills ranked second in the NFL this season, seems to be a good fit for the way Edwards wants to play.'

Marker Coughlin-to-Jints may happen today [5:14 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Fassel today interviews with the Bills in Buffalo, where he's considered a serious candidate. Fassel also is likely atop the lists at both Washington and Arizona after interviews with those teams last week. Fassel will not, as previously scheduled, interview this week with the Bears. A source said Fassel was angered by erroneous reports that the Bills had already put together an offer and that he was using the Chicago job as leverage.'

Marker A Second Chance [5:13 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Fassel is to interview with the Bills today after talking with the Redskins and Cardinals last week.'

Marker Coughlin gets second interview [5:12 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: 'Fassel has an interview today with the Buffalo Bills and could have a job by tomorrow or Thursday. He has not received any offers yet, but the Cardinals said yesterday that their new coach will come from a list of four candidates that includes Fassel, Crennel, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and former Vikings coach Dennis Green.'

Marker Jets keeping flexible Hackett [5:11 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'With the Bucs dragging their feet, former Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams is the front-runner to replace Ted Cottrell as defensive coordinator.'

Marker Coughlin meets Mara; deal imminent? [5:10 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'With six other head-coaching jobs open around the league, the Giants seem to have reached a point where they believe waiting is no longer an option. The Bills expect Coughlin to arrive in Buffalo late today to interview for their head-coaching vacancy if talks with the Giants don't culinate in a contract agreement.'

Marker Search heats up as Mueller visits [5:09 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Jones also said the team has spoken with Tom Modrak, but the Buffalo assistant GM hasn't decided whether he would like to interview. Although Jones would not confirm it, a source said Modrak's lack of enthusiasm has damaged his standing.'

Marker Baltimore's Savage to meet with Dolphins today [5:08 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Jones admitted Modrak hasn't shown great enthusiasm toward scheduling an interview, but that doesn't mean the Dolphins have lost interest. Jones believes the highly regarded Modrak could have hesitations about vying for a new job at this point in his 27-year career. "He's a little older than the other candidates, so I'm sure that enters into this process," Jones said. "He probably is very happy with what he's doing in Buffalo and, a little like Ron Wolf, isn't ready to jump out there and make a new commitment."'

Marker Mueller, Savage top list for GM 'with power' [5:07 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'As Bills Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak considers an offer to meet with the Dolphins, Jones stressed that this franchise will not have a weak general manager. "We have talked to Tom and the decision is in his court now," Jones said. "We've told him we're interested in talking to him. He asked what the job entails and we told him clearly it's a job with a lot of power."'

Marker Mora the same [5:06 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: 'Meanwhile, former Bears coach Dick Jauron interviewed in Buffalo on Monday but is not thought to be a front-runner for the Bills' job. Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel will interview in Buffalo today and is thought to be the top candidate.'

Marker Saban still No. 1 [5:05 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'In Buffalo on Monday, the Bills interviewed former Bears coach Dick Jauron, fired by the Bears after a 7-9 season. But the Bills are said to prefer someone with an offensive background, which is why they are most interested in Fassel.'

Marker Tice, ex-Bills coach talk [5:04 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Vikings coach Mike Tice spoke by phone with recently fired Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams about the Vikings' vacant defensive coordinator position.'

Marker UT's def. coordinator to resign Tuesday [5:03 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'Former Texas defensive back Jerry Gray, who was the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator before head coach Gregg Williams was fired recently, is considered a leading candidate to replace Reese. Gray, a native of Lubbock and a two-time All-American at Texas as a safety in 1983 and 1984, was scheduled to interview for the Bills' head coaching job Monday, according to one source.'

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January 5, 2004

Marker Gray Has Back-Up Plans [8:38 PM]
RNews.com reports: 'If Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray does not get the vacant head coaching job, he is apparently making back-up plans. In Austin, Texas, Gray is being mentioned as a possible candidate to be the new defensive coordinator at the University of Texas.'

Marker Bills interview Jauron, Gray; Fassel next [8:29 PM]
AP reports: 'Jauron, who did not make himself available for comment afterward, was the fifth candidate considered by the Bills to replace Gregg Williams, who was dismissed last week. Earlier in the day, team president Tom Donahoe interviewed Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, team spokesman Scott Berchtold said.'

Marker Dolphins interview Mueller for GM job [8:28 PM]
AP reports: 'And the team is still awaiting word whether Tom Modrak, assistant GM of the Buffalo Bills, will accept an invitation to interview. ``The decision is in his court now,'' Jones said. ``We told him we're interested in talking to him. He asked what the job entails. We told him very clearly it's a job with a lot of power. And he wants to think about it.'''

Marker Bills latest to bring in Fassel for interview [5:05 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'SportsLine.com has learned ex-Giants coach Jim Fassel is scheduled to interview for the Bills opening Tuesday. Fassel is the strongest name yet to be linked with the vacancy and marks the third team he will have interviewed for a job since being dismissed from the Giants.'

Marker A little advice for Tom : You've got to give us some love [3:06 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: Odds are the Buffalo Bills won't name their next head coach until next month, after the National Football League playoffs are completed and there's a full list of assistant coaches available to complement the ex-head coaches already on the market. Which leaves us plenty of time for speculation. First, let's put the kibosh on one of the more popular names floating around. Not Jim Haslett -- he's not even worth discussing, as both he and New Orleans Saints management confirmed last week that there's no out clause in his contract that would allow him to return to the team he played for in the 1970s and '80s. The subject here is Jim Fassel, recently dispatched after six years at the helm of the New York Giants. He's already interviewed with the Washington Redskins, and is reportedly being wooed by the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders as well. Which raises one question. Did the management of any of those teams watch the Giants play during the second half of the season?'

Marker The Bills Speak To Coaching Candidate # 5 [3:05 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Former Giants coach Jim Fassel will meet with the Bills on Tuesday.'

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