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Buffalo Bills News - January 29, 2004

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.'

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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 Wiliams’ 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 team’s 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."'

Marker Coughlin to hold court [5:13 AM]
White Plains Journal News reports: 'The hiring of Gilbride could make for an interesting mix with Kerry Collins. Gilbride was formerly a major proponent of the old “Run and Shoot” offense, a trend that emphasized quarterback mobility. Collins is a stationary pocket-passer who has proven mostly ineffective when on the run.'

Marker All Football Coach Finalists Withdraw [5:12 AM]
Cornell Daily Sun reports: 'The third finalist, former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, was offered the job by athletic director Andy Noel late Friday night. Gilbride, however, declined the job after being offered the position of quarterbacks coach of the New York Giants. "Kevin was offered a job by Coach [Tom] Coughlin with the Giants," Noel said. "He wasn't able to tell me that yet on Saturday because it wasn't official, but to say I was surprised is a big understatement. We had fully expected that he would be on campus for our football banquet on Saturday night."'

Marker Team that is all business could have the edge [5:11 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Some players — and teams — don't understand that until it's too late. When he returned to the Super Bowl with the Falcons in 1999, former Bills linebacker Cornelius Bennett said excessive partying was a key reason Buffalo went 0-4 in the big game. ''Let's just say we thought we were THE party team of the 1990s,'' Bennett said. ''What we did was cheat ourselves and get caught up with the Super Bowl hype. ... It's the biggest party in world, and we were world-class party people. Everyone tried to outdo everyone. I look back now and think of it as wasted opportunities.'''

January 26, 2004

Marker Tolbert The Latest To Join Bills' Staff [4:34 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Tolbert comes to Buffalo with just one year of NFL experience under his belt. It came last year, where he coached receivers with the Arizona Cardinals.'

Marker Bills hire Tolbert as receivers coach [4:22 PM]
AP reports: 'Tolbert replaces Fred Graves, who was hired by Cleveland last week.'

Marker Tolbert Joins Bills As Receivers Coach [3:48 PM] reports: 'Tolbert comes to Buffalo after spending last season coaching the same position with the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to that, he coached for nine seasons at the college level including stops at Louisiana-Monroe (1994-97), Auburn (1998), Louisiana-Lafayette (1999-01) and Florida (2002). A native of Conroe, TX, Tolbert was a three-year letter-winner as a receiver at LSU from 1988-90.'

Marker Gilbride rejoins his mentor [12:31 PM]
Houston Chronicle reports: Kevin Gilbride has landed on his feet again. Fired as Buffalo's offensive coordinator in the Gregg Williams purge, Gilbride has been reunited with Tom Coughlin with the Giants. Gilbride accepted Coughlin's offer rather than become the head coach at Cornell. When Coughlin was Jacksonville's coach, he hired Gilbride as OC after the Oilers fired him. Coughlin and Gilbride did so well with the Jaguars, helping them reach the AFC Championship Game in 1996, their second season, that Gilbride was hired as San Diego's head coach.

Marker Norwood's miss in '91 was Super costly for Bills [5:15 AM]
Washington Times reports: 'After making 18 of 29 attempts the following season, Norwood left the Bills — run out of town, some said. No other NFL team picked him up despite his impressive lifetime record. Rightly or wrongly, his association with failure made him a pariah.'

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