Mularkey defends offense after Bills owner rips it

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Mularkey defends offense after Bills owner rips it

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson is unhappy with his team's troubled start, and rookie coach Mike Mularkey can't blame him.

    Mularkey doesn't agree with Wilson's suggestion the Bills open up their offense after managing just five touchdowns in losing their first four games.

    "When you say open up the offense, I'm not sure what open up is. Are we going to be an Indianapolis? No," Mularkey said Monday, referring to the Peyton Manning-led Colts, who lead the NFL in scoring. "I don't think we're going to change our whole offensive philosophy, because when we've done it right, it's worked."

    Mularkey was responding to comments Wilson made following the Bills' 16-14 loss at the New York Jets on Sunday.

    "I thought we played lackluster," Wilson told The Buffalo News. "I was hoping we'd come down here and really open it up. ... I've had enough of this smashmouth football."

    Believing the offense is leaving Bills fans bored, Wilson said quarterback Drew Bledsoe should throw deep more often, even if it means risking interceptions.

    Mularkey said he had not read Wilson's comments, but added that they were likely made out of frustration.

    "I think we're all frustrated," Mularkey said. "And he has every right to be, being where we are right now."

    Right now, the Bills are going nowhere. The Bledsoe-led offense's best outing was 247 yards passing in a 31-17 loss to New England on Oct. 3. Bledsoe has failed to surpass 200 yards passing in Buffalo's three other games, and the Bills have yet to score more than 17 points in a contest.

    The running game hasn't been any better. The Bills are averaging only 95 yards per game, and have yet to score a TD rushing.

    Mularkey is against a deep-passing attack because of the Bills' protection troubles. Bledsoe, who's immobile, has already been sacked a league-leading 19 times - once for every seven times he drops back.

    "Throw it a little more, maybe deeper? We did. We tried and we got sacked," Mularkey said. "We're going to keep doing whatever we can to protect him and take some shots when the shots are there."

    Buffalo is now one of only two NFL teams yet to win a game this season. The other is Miami (0-5), who the Bills host Sunday.

    Unlike the injury-riddled Dolphins, the Bills are relatively healthy, but proving incapable of winning in the clutch. Three of the Bills' four losses have been by three points or less. On three occasions they've squandered fourth-quarter leads.

    And the blame can't be pinned on the offense alone.

    The defense has had its share of letdowns, twice allowing teams to take the lead in the final minute. That includes Sunday's game, in which Doug Brien hit the winning field goal with 58 seconds left, capping a 5-minute, 60-yard drive.

    "If we realize how to win games in the clutch, we could be 4-0 or at least 2-2," offensive lineman Ross Tucker said. "You just learn to do it by doing it. And we will."

    Safety Izell Reese called it a matter of the whole team playing consistently.

    "We've just got to keep fighting and stay together," Reese said. "It's easy for a team to get divided when things are going this way. But that's one thing I'm not seeing. ... We're going to get through this."
  2. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Another article on the owner dissatisfaction. If this doesn't spell i-m-p-l-o-s-i-o-n, what does? :D

    Bills feel heat in October chill

    Despite criticism, Mularkey will stick with his offense

    Leo Roth
    Staff writer

    (October 12, 2004) — Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson has seen and heard all that he can stomach.

    After Sunday's failed comeback against the New York Jets resulted in another close defeat, this one 16-14 to drop his Bills to 0-4, Wilson called his team listless, labeled his offense boring and said he was tired of the "smash-mouth" style of play the new coaching staff has elected to run.

    While the comments were blistering and an indictment of the job he's done so far as a rookie NFL head coach, Mike Mularkey took them in stride when he addressed the media on Monday.

    He dismissed Wilson's remarks as frustration boiling over and said he has no plans of opening up the offense for entertainment's sake, even if his owner is among those displeased with the product.

    "My guess is, that's frustration immediately after the game," said Mularkey when asked if he had a reaction to Wilson's reaction.

    "Not being able to sit back and look at the tape like we have today ... I think we're all frustrated and he has every right to be being where we are right now, but I think that had a little bit to do with that."

    The Bills and Miami Dolphins (0-5) are the NFL's only winless teams but something has to give on Sunday when Buffalo hosts its chief rival. That's unless the two offensively challenged teams play to a scoreless tie.

    While players and coaches spoke of a ray of sunshine given by Buffalo's two-touchdown explosion during a 3:01 span of the fourth quarter that gave it a brief 14-13 lead against the Jets, Wilson sugar-coated nothing. His team is riding a seven-game losing streak dating to last season and has won just two of its last 13 games overall.

    The Bills' offense is averaging 11 points per game, which is worse than last season when it averaged 13.9 and the team finished 6-10.

    That's not exactly the production Wilson hoped for when he took general manager Tom Donahoe's recommendation to fire Gregg Williams and hire Mularkey, the former offensive coordinator of Donahoe's old team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    "I thought we played lackluster," Wilson told reporters at Giants Stadium. "It was very, very tough to watch this offense. I mean, I've watched this game for 60 years. I've heard all the cliches about how we fought back hard. Baloney. The Jets were flat ... If you think I'm going to be smiling that we came back and we fought back, baloney. The fans have to be bored."

    Wilson said he was hoping to see the coaches come into Sunday's game ready "to really open it up." Instead, the Bills punted the first seven times they had the ball and never attacked down the field until they trailed 13-0 in the fourth quarter. By then, the Jets held a 292-118 edge in yards.

    Bledsoe hit tight end Mark Campbell with a 16-yard touchdown pass then came back the very next series with a 46-yard scoring toss to rookie wide receiver Lee Evans, who up to that point hadn't caught a pass.

    Wilson wasn't moved.

    "I've had enough of this smash-mouth football," he said. "Hey, where we are is 0-3. If Drew throws an interception and it's run back for a touchdown, OK. Then we're 0-4. But I don't like to go 0-4 the way we did."

    Despite his winless start, Mularkey said he's committed to staying the course, believing a ball-control attack is still the best way to maximize the skills of the players he has been given.

    His implication was clear: An offense that attacked more vertically would open up the statue-like Bledsoe to even more hits (he's been sacked 19 times already after being sacked an NFL-high 49 times last season). That would lead to even more errors and put more pressure on the defense that has already blown two fourth-quarter leads.

    Bills fans saw the act described above last season under offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. This year's team was re-designed to keep games close, and they have been. The problem is that the Bills can't finish. But it's better than being blown out.

    "When you say opening up the offense I'm not sure what open up (means). Are we going to be Indianapolis? No. I can tell you no," said Mularkey, who has initiated some no-huddle to change the pace and some gadget plays but without much success.

    "Throw it a little more, maybe deeper? We tried that (vs. the Jets) and we got sacked. We're going to keep doing what we can to protect (Drew) and take some shots when the shots are there. But I don't think we're going to change our whole offensive philosophy because when we've done it right, it's worked. It's something we believe in as a staff and I know this team does because you would know when there was doubt and there's not."

    Wilson was asked whom he holds accountable for the Bills predicament — they are 0-4 for the second time in four years.

    "Me," Wilson said.

    Where does he go? Do the Bills need better players?

    "We've got some players," Wilson said. "I can sum it up very easily. I'm disappointed the team doesn't show more spark, offensively particularly. We don't show any spark."

    Mularkey, whose team is averaging eight penalties per game, agreed with that part of Wilson's assessment, reading his offense the riot act on the bench early in the fourth quarter on Sunday. His unit responded. Now he wants his players to carry that effort into the Miami Draft Pick Bowl.

    "The way I addressed them (Monday) was, 'Let's start the way we finished up,'" Mularkey said. "'There were a lot of positive things in there and it showed again that if you don't make some of the mistakes or have any negative plays, you guys drove right down (and scored).' Those are good examples to carry us instead of looking at the negative all of the time."

    And it sure beats listening to what the owner thinks.
  3. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    who's bright idea was it to not Sign Peerless Price, Jay Rieserma and blow #1 ON McGahee and the two #1's on QB?
  4. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    uhh, let me guess.

    the guy who "recommended" his own choice of Williams get canned, thereby saving his own skin?

    the guy who brought in his yes-man Malarkey, and who doesn't seem to be willing to stand up for Mike?

    the genius who "built" the Steelers?

    the genius who will be passing a top five, maybe top three pick over to Jerry Jones next April? :D
  5. Tricked

    Tricked Fascinated

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    maybe the coach will strike back next week VS miami and cost them the game "accidentally" :D
  6. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    this is good news for Cowboy fans...

    "With the first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft... the Dallas Cowboys chose"...

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