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Buffalo Bills News - January 7, 2004

Marker Ex-Bill Crafts spared prison in drug case [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'During the brief sentencing, Neil Cuomo, Crafts' lawyer, told the judge Crafts has an offer to try out with the Detroit team in the Arena Football League. Cuomo said that Crafts, a recovering alcoholic he described as "the vagabond of football" after playing in professional leagues in the states, Canada and Europe, knows he is "at the end of the road" athletically. The lawyer said his client, the father of two young children, got involved in the drug ring because he was "looking to get some money" for his family.'

Marker Buffalo's coaching job highly rated in NFL [5:20 AM]
Rochester D & C reports: 'Of the seven teams with head coaching vacancies this off-season, Buffalo ranks with Chicago and Atlanta for greatest potential for greatest turnaround, according to many league insiders. Others believe the new man will suffer the same fate as Williams unless the offensive line is completely rebuilt or the Bills statue for a quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, is replaced. The defense, meanwhile, is good but far from complete.'

Marker Bills will interview Steelers' Mularkey for head coach job [5:19 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: '"We just feel Mike's one of the outstanding coaches in the league," Donahoe said. "He has a very good offensive mind and he's been interviewed by some other teams and been close to a couple jobs. We think he offers a lot and we're eager to sit down and talk to him in detail."'

Marker This one opening is closed [5:18 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'There are whispers around the league that Fassel, who interviewed in Buffalo yesterday, has been offered the Bills job, though his agent, Steve Rosner, denies it. If Fassel lands in Buffalo and Green in Oakland, Johnson would be Crennel's only competition for the Cardinals job. And, for what it's worth, Crennel and Bears general manager Jerry Angelo were colleagues with the Giants. Weis also is believed to be in the running for the Bills job.'

Marker A Giant opening closes [5:17 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'The candidacy of the 47-year-old Weis makes a lot of sense in Buffalo as his expertise (offense) is the Bills' primary area of need. Furthermore, he could potentially inherit close to an entire defensive coaching staff, eliminating one of the primary challenges for a first-time head coach. The Bills would also weaken a division rival.'

Marker UT's Reese steps down [5:16 AM]
San Antonio Express News reports: 'Jerry Gray, a former UT All-American defensive back, is a prime candidate to replace Reese if secondary coach Duane Akina is not promoted. Gray, most recently the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, has expressed interest in returning to college coaching. Gray, who interviewed for the Bills head coaching job on Monday, had not been contacted as of late Tuesday afternoon.'

Marker Ravens' Savage makes pitch for Dolphins GM job [5:15 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins still haven't heard whether Tom Modrak, assistant general manager of the Buffalo Bills, is interested in the job.'

Marker Cottrell to interview with Vikings [5:14 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Former Buffalo coach Gregg Williams, whose defense was ranked second in the NFL last season, remains the frontrunner for the Jets' job.'

Marker Gibbs returns to Redskins; ex-Bill Williams to coach D [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'In addition to his acceptance of a deal, Redskins sources also told SportsLine.com that Gibbs has already met with and signed former Bills head coach Gregg Williams to become his new defensive coordinator. Williams was the hottest defensive coordinator on the open market and was previously set to fly to New York on Friday to interview with Tom Coughlin.'

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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.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
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09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
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