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Buffalo Bills News - January 4, 2004

Marker Candidates line up to work the sidelines [5:27 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Although Buffalo will interview several coordinators, club president Tom Donahoe went bust hiring Gregg Williams with no head coaching experience last time, so look for him to go with a proven commodity. That could be Jauron, who did a better job in Chicago than he got credit for, Coughlin or Jim Fassel.'

Marker Bills still believe in Drew [5:26 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'While Bledsoe is expected back, Ruben Brown's days at Ralph Wilson Stadium are at an end, despite having been selected to the Pro Bowl for eight straight years. At odds with the coaching staff all year, Brown was told not to accompany the team to Foxboro for the final regular season game. Even though the staff is gone, Brown's approach to the game this year is expected to result in his being let go before the start of the 2004 season.'

Marker Modrak not high on job [5:25 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Buffalo assistant general manager Tom Modrak is unlikely to interview for the Dolphins general manager position because he views the move as a lateral move, according to sources close to him.'

Marker Bills' Spikes chosen as starter for Pro Bowl [5:24 AM]
AP reports: 'Spikes, who signed with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent last off-season, was selected Saturday to start at linebacker for the AFC along with Ray Lewis and Peter Boulware of the Baltimore Ravens.'

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January 3, 2004

Marker Bills' early draft grade: Incomplete [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"They didn't get a lot of playing time, but hopefully we have a little bit of depth now that we haven't had," Donahoe said. "With another good draft, we can add even more to our depth. But we like all the rookies in this class. Next year will be the telltale sign for these guys whether they are good enough or not."'

Marker How the Bills' 2003 draft class grades out [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Willis McGahee RB Bills hope he's worth the wait.'

Marker Jets talking to Williams [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's believed the interview will take place Monday.'

Marker Coordinators get back to business [5:20 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Yesterday, the Patriots coordinators wrapped up a hectic three-day interview period, during which representatives from five organizations were in town to discuss head coaching vacancies. Each met yesterday with Buffalo Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe.'

Marker Skins high on Fassel [5:19 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'The former Giants coach will fly to Arizona this morning, where he will interview with the Cardinals today and tomorrow. He is scheduling an interview with the Bears in Chicago on Monday. And then he will be in Buffalo on Tuesday to interview with the Bills.'

Marker Williams may fill Jets' Bill [5:18 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'The Jets' search for a new defensive coordinator will heat up next week. They have scheduled an interview with former Bills coach Gregg Williams, an NFL source said yesterday. The meeting is expected to occur Monday.'

Marker Williams likely to visit Jets [5:17 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams is expected to become the first person to interview for the Jets' defensive-coordinator job when he visits Weeb Ewbank Hall early next week.'

Marker Buccaneers personnel director visits Dolphins; GM hire sought within week [5:16 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins have received permission to interview Modrak but haven't been able to reach him by phone since Monday, Jones said. He said they remain interested in Modrak, Buffalo's assistant general manager for two seasons.'

January 2, 2004

Marker Fassel interviews are concluded [8:54 PM]
AP reports: Fassel's interview schedule includes Arizona on Saturday, Chicago on Monday and possibly Buffalo on Tuesday. Rosner (Fassel's agent) said Fassel heard from the Bills for the first time Friday.

Marker The Interviewing Is Underway [3:43 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Tom Donahoe spent his New Years traveling the country looking for a head coach. Today he's in Foxbourgh to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Donahoe spent New Years Day in St.Louis interviewing Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.'

Marker Donahoe meets with Smith; Pats next [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Smith already has interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. Chicago is scheduled to meet him today. There is speculation in Atlanta that he may be the Falcons' top choice.'

Marker Ex-coaches have time on their side [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A year away from the game did wonders for Coughlin's persona. He no longer is viewed as a tyrant. Instead, his image is that of a shrewd disciplinarian perfectly fit to a franchise in need of a swift and emphatic kick in the pants. He was a finalist for the Bengals job last season and is being heralded as a solution waiting to be tapped. Whether he'd be right for Buffalo is part of the quandary facing Tom Donahoe, president and general manager of the Bills, who has the unenviable task of sifting through a wealth of candidates, tested and untested, and then rendering the most important decision of his tenure.'

Marker Winfield is a priority for Bills [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'ďAll around I think this has been my best year since Iíve been in the league,Ē said Winfield, whose tackle total was a career high. ďI would have liked to have had a lot more interceptions and changed a few games around, but I didnít do that.Ē'

Marker Bills legend signs off [5:15 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'What set him apart, in addition to his smooth voice, was his objectivity. ``He's a consumate pro among home team broadcasters who reacted without emotion when Buffalo lost those four Super Bowls," says broadcasting veteran Don Chevrier. ``All too many others would have whined and moaned when `their' team lost."'

Marker Crennel, Weis begin process [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Arizona and Buffalo also have been granted permission to sit down with Crennel. The Cardinals and Bills likely will do so today, the last day teams with head coaching vacancies can interview assistants on playoff teams with first-round byes until their seasons have ended.'

Marker Head2Head: Which Coaching Vacancy is Most Enticing? [5:13 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'This team (Buffalo) is close. Very close. Which is why this is the best job out there.'

January 1, 2004

Marker Donahoe dug himself a deep hole [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo will forgive him if he gets this organization turned around. I'm not sure how long Donahoe will be here, but I'm positive he'll be elsewhere if the Bills keep piling up losses and missing the playoffs.'

Marker What escape clause? Bills won't get Haslett [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'So what about that escape clause? Well, it seems it never existed, and many people close to the Saints and Haslett think itís quite possible that Haslett started the rumor himself.'

Marker Jets contact Williams in coordinator search [5:15 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: 'Williams, fired by the Bills earlier this week, is free to do as he pleases. He was defensive coordinator for Tennessee for four years before the Bills hired him as their head coach two years ago. He has an aggressive, pressure-style defensive philosophy, a trait Edwards is looking for in the new defensive coordinator.'

Marker Jauron on Bills' candidates list [5:14 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. is said to respect Jauron, who has a reputation throughout the league as a level-headed coach with a sharp mind. He also has NFL roots in Buffalo, having coached the Bills' secondary in his first pro job in 1985. Jauron's close friend Dick LeBeau, who coached Jauron in Cincinnati, spent last season in Buffalo as assistant head coach and remains a possibility to stay on the staff.'

Marker Inside slant [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"We need to get the right head coach and I need to do a better job of doing that this time around."'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:12 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Aside from QB, finding immediate help at WR, offensive center or guard, TE and defensive end would help nicely. Buffalo needs speed at wideout to stretch the field, take the heat off Eric Moulds, and make the running game work.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:11 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Bills assistant GM Tom Modrak will interview with the Miami Dolphins, perhaps as soon as Friday, for a newly created GM-like position. Modrak, a 27-year veteran of the NFL personnel wars, is a leading candidate each year at this time for any top personnel job but he's not eager to make a move. He has often said he's content staying in Buffalo and assisting long-time friend Tom Donahoe and this season's disappointing 6-10 record has left a taste of unfinished business in Modrak's mouth.'

December 31, 2003

Marker They Are Starting Over [3:23 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'All I say is that no one expected Tom Donohoe to hire Gregg Williams. So we canít assume anything about his choice this time. Heíll talk with Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis of the Patriots, Lovie Smith of the Rams, maybe Dick Jauron, formerly of the Bears. In the end heíll pick his own guy. But that guy doesnít have to be anything other than a coach who wins football games.'

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.'"'

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