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Mularkey a Bills rarity

---When Mike Mularkey officially became the coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he joined scarce group of ex-Bills coaches.

Mularkey became only the fourth coach to land a head coaching job with another NFL team after leaving (resigning/fired) Buffalo, joining Lou Saban, Chuck Knox and Wade Phillips.

Saban was first the Bills coach from 1962-65 then coached Denver from 1967-71 before returning to Buffalo from 1972-76. Knox took over from 1978-82 then went to Seattle in 1983 and lasted until the 1991 season. Knox then coached the Los Angeles Rams for three seasons (1992-94).

Wade Phillips had a three year record of 29-19 with the Bills from 1998-00. He was the interim coach in Atlanta in 2003 (2-1) before leading Dallas from 2007 through the first eight games of 2010.

The Bills finished 11-5 under Phillips in 1999 and have finished above .500 only once since: In 2004 with Mularkey (9-7).

---Rookie Marcell Dareus was selected to the National Football Post’s All-Rookie Team. Dareus finished sixth among rookie defensive linemen with 43 tackles (32 solo) and registered 5.5 sacks, the most by a Bills rookie since Aaron Schobel (6.5) in 2001.

---Corner Leodis McKelvin tweets his picture just before shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Congrats to Mularkey

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---The night before Mike Mularkey resigned as Buffalo Bills head coach he told his wife words to the effect: "If we walk away from this job, we'll probably never get another head coaching chance again."

Today Mularkey's coaching rehabilitation is complete, as he gets introduced as the Jacksonville Jaguars' new head coach. Of course, Mularkey did walk away from the Bills' job after only two seasons in charge. His reason boiled down to this: It wasn't the same job he signed up for. The Bills had just fired Mularkey's benefactor, team president Tom Donahoe. Marv Levy was put in charge as the new general manager. Levy had no ties to Mularkey. The obvious and logical thing to do was to let Levy bring in his own head coach. The overwhelming likelihood was that was going to happen anyway in another year. But Levy and Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who liked Mularkey, refused to acknowledge that. (Levy, in his heart, wanted to be the head coach himself, but Wilson nipped that in the bud right after Levy was introduced as GM.)

With Levy above him instead of Donahoe, Mularkey, pictured above, didn't have as much say in personnel and staffing as he had under Donahoe. So Mularkey saw the writing on the wall and quit. The Bills did not have to pay him the remainder of his contract. Not many people do that in any business - walk away from a sure paycheck. But Mularkey did, and he deserves a lot of respect for it.

Here's hoping Mularkey succeeds in Jacksonville. He's a smart guy. He's creative. He has done a good job running the offense in Atlanta with franchise QB Matt Ryan. And as he proved in January 2006, he is a high-character, principled man. Rest assured he learned one lesson from his Buffalo gig. He will pick his entire staff. He didn't get to do that in Buffalo. He assumed some of Gregg Williams' staff with the Bills. Mularkey and defensive chief Jerry Gray had philosophical differences.

Mularkey also needs to be a little more comfortable in his own skin in public. Be himself. He was a bit too trepidatious in Buffalo. But with Donahoe looking over his shoulder that was understandable.
Jacksonville is a pretty good situation for Mularkey. He has a new owner who will want to give him a lot of support the next few years. He has a good, young defense, which ranked sixth this season. Blaine Gabbert isn't the answer at quarterback. But with Maurice Jones-Drew and a power game like Mularkey ran early in his tenure in Atlanta, the Jags could be competitive right away.

---Mark Gaughan

Bills hire UB's Inge

Inge
---The Buffalo Bills have tabbed University at Buffalo defensive coordinator William Inge as their new assistant defensive line coach. Inge was the defensive coordinator under Jeff Quinn the last two seasons where the Bulls ranked 63rd nationally in total defense in 2011 and 32nd in 2010, his first season as a defensive coordinator.

Inge, pictured above left, and the Bulls associate head coach Ernest Jones participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program with the Bills last summer where Inge assisted Dave Wannstedt, now the team’s defensive coordinator in coaching the inside linebackers. This is Inge’s first NFL coaching job.

“We are excited to have William join our staff.’’ Bills coach Chan Gailey said in a statement released by the team. “We were impressed with his abilities during last year’s training camp and feel he will make an excellent addition to our defensive staff.’’

Prior to joining the UB, Inge coached linebackers for two seasons at the University of Cincinnati where he helped the school win back-to-back Big East titles in 2008 and 2009. This past season, sophomore linebacker Khalil Mack earned Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American honors.

“Coach Inge was contacted by the Buffalo Bills about joining their staff and has accepted the opportunity presented to him, which I completely understand,’’ Quinn said in a statement released by the school. “He set the example of loyalty in this profession, he was loyal to this staff, the players and the program and did a tremendous job for us.’’

Prior to Cincinnati, Inge spent two seasons as the linebackers coach at San Diego State. While with the Aztecs, Inge coached leading tackler Russell Allen, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In 2005, Inge was the defensive line coach at Colorado where he helped lead the Buffaloes to the Big 12 North Division championship and advance to the Big 12 title game.

“I’d like to thank Coach Inge for everything he has done for the University at Buffalo and wish him and his family all the best,” Quinn said.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Report: Jaguars set to name Mularkey as coach

---Former Bills coach Mike Mularkey will be the third coach in Jacksonville Jaguars history, sources told the Florida Times-Union on Tuesday night.

Mularkey, 50, was previously coach with the Bills, and went 9-7 in 2004 and 5-11 in 2005. He interviewed for the job Tuesday.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

McKelvin tweets about shoulder surgery (update)

--- LMckelvin21 just tweeted that the surgery went good and he's going home.

***

---Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin had surgery today on his shoulder according to his Twitter page:

LMckelvin21 Bout to have surgery.

LMckelvin21 Shoulder.

McKelvin didn't indicate which shoulder or the extent of the injury. The veteran played in all 16 games this season and started six.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Colts interview St. Francis grad for GM

The Indianapolis Colts have held an interview with St. Francis High School product David Caldwell for their open general manager job. Caldwell has been the Atlanta Falcons' director of college scouting the past four years. Before that he spent 10 years as a college scout with the Colts.

Caldwell is a Buffalo native, and he was a two-year letterman as a linebacker at John Carroll University. He was an all-league receiver for St. Francis. John Carroll, a Division III school in suburban Cleveland, has long made an impact on the NFL. Chris Polian, son of Bill Polian and recently fired from the Colts with his dad, graduated from there in 1993. Other Blue Streak products: Colts player personnel chief Tom Telesco (1995), Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman ('94), Pats player personnel chief Nick Caserio ('98) and Pats offensive aide and former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels ('99). Don Shula and London Fletcher are JCU products, too. Telesco and Chris Polian are St. Francis products, too.

---Mark Gaughan

Whitner: Gailey routinely assigned blame

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---Former Bills safety Donte Whitner voiced his displeasure once again with his former team and coach Chan Gailey.

Whitner, pictured above, said playing for San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh is a welcome change after playing for Gailey last year. Gailey, he said, routinely assigned blame to the Bills during their 4-12 season.

Jets coach Rex Ryan, Whitner said, "will never throw his players under the bus, and he puts all the pressure on himself. Coach Harbaugh does the same thing."

"A lot of coaches, when they don't want the pressure on them, don't want the hands pointed at them or the media to turn on them, they put things out to the media that really shouldn't be out there. 'Oh, this guy should have made this play or he should have done this.' That stuff never works, and players really understand that and locker rooms understand that."

Back in November, Whitner said in an interview with Pro Football Talk that the Bills didn't show they wanted to win. Whitner played from 2006-10 with the Bills, who made him a first-round pick in the '06 draft.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Saban d. Miles

Former Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga had to be wistful watching Alabama's Nick Saban outcoach Louisiana State's Les Miles in the BCS National Championship Game last night. Huizenga did the right thing when paid big money to lure Saban to the Dolphins in 2005. It was a great hire. What more can an owner do than get the best coach available and hand over control to him? Only it didn't work. Saban went 9-7 and 6-10. He (and Miami's staff) picked Daunte Culpepper as QB over Drew Brees. And then Saban bolted for Tuscaloosa, Ala.

In last night's 21-0 victory, Saban threw out the game plan from the November loss to LSU. Midway through the third quarter QB A.J. McCarron had dropped back to pass 34 times and Heisman Trophy finalist RB Trent Richardson had run only 13 times. Miles, meanwhile, showed up with roughly the same game plan he used in the November win, and got similar results. In hindsight, with a month to prepare, LSU should have at least had a specific, small package of plays ready for backup QB Jarrett Lee, the better passer, to unleash on the 'Bama defense. It's a good thing for the AFC East that circumstances and his own misjudgments prevented Saban from succeeding and prompted him to bolt. He coulda, woulda, shoulda been a dominant coach for the Dolphins.

---Mark Gaughan

All Buddy, all the time: Nix transcript

Here is the full transcript of Buddy Nix's news conference today at Bills headquarters:

On how WR Stevie Johnson fits into his future plans with the organization:
He fits in. We do want him back and I know that you think about the antics, penalties and obviously we’re not happy about that. I don’t think Stevie is either, but we are around him a lot. I know the things he does in practice, he practices hurt – I think he’s a team guy. Yea, we want him back.
 
On if the ‘stipulations’ of wanting him back may affect him:
No, I’m not concerned about that. I think our stipulations were what we put on him after the first time. He knew what the consequences were. He did it. I’m convinced that he thought he’d have to pay a fine but I don’t think he’d get a penalty. I don’t think he would intentionally do something to hurt our team. I really don’t. I know him. He tries to do the right thing when he’s playing and he tries to do the right thing in practice and in the locker room. He’s not a criminal. He made a mistake. It cost us. And he paid the price.
 
On if he will use the franchise tag on Johnson if necessary:
Now I wouldn’t get into that.

Continue reading "All Buddy, all the time: Nix transcript" »

Gailey to need WR coach

Bills head coach Chan Gailey will be in the market for a new receivers coach. Bills aide Stan Hixon has an agreement to become an aide on the staff at Penn State, under new head coach Bill O'Brien, a source close to the school told The News. Hixon coached receivers for the Bills for the past two seasons. He and O'Brien worked together at Georgia Tech from 1995 to 1999. Hixon did a good job helping develop young receivers for the Bills under Gailey. Stevie Johnson had his best two years, while David Nelson and Donald Jones both produced as undrafted players.

---Mark Gaughan

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