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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: New sheriff in town

     January 14, 2004 -- When Gregg Williams didn't work out as the Bills coach, the team's front office looked elsewhere around the league for a replacement. They came up with Mike Mularkey.

      The start of his two-year tenure began on this date, when he was picked as the 13th head coach of the team.

     The idea was for Mularkey to fix an offense, which was one of the worst in the league in 2003. It was near the bottom in both points and yards.

     He said his philospohy was simple: "Try to control the football. I like to think your offense can be your best defense if you can keep your defense off the field."

     Mularkey was an NFL tight end for nine seasons and had been a coach in the NFL for 10 years. He had directed the Steelers' offense in 2001-03, and worked with quarterbacks Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox.

     The idea was to revive quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who had his problems during a 6-10 season in 2003. But that was more than Mularkey could handle, and he eventually resigned his position. Mularkey has worked as an offensive coordinator since then.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.