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In a surprise announcement Thursday, head coach Mike Mularkey announced his resignation from the position he has held for two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Mularkey had three years left on his contract which would have paid him several million dollars. Apparently he has voluntarily forefeited that with this resignation.
Bills’ owner, Ralph Wilson, expressed his shock at the quick turn around from the organization’s affirmation of Mularkey as well as the coach’s own apparent commitment to the team. Just last week, Mularkey was reaffirmed by Wilson and new GM Marv Levy as the team’s head coach. Reporters and Wilson alike seemed baffled by the very quick change in thinking.
“He seemed very firm in his decision,” Wilson told the press, regarding Mularkey’s decision and their subsequent attempts to talk him out of such a decision.
There are a few names being tossed around to replace Mularkey such as former Bills’ LB Jim Haslett, who was fired this season as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Wilson reported that he and Levy have not spent much time discussing the specifics yet of who might be likely candidates for the vacant post.
Reporters asked Levy how he felt about this first week of being the new general manager for the Bills, and Marv’s response was, “When I took the position, Mr Wilson said it would be exciting…” He continued by saying that this is just a normal part of life in the NFL.
Both Levy and Wilson reported that many of the current assistant coaches will remain in their posts with the Bills. They were not specific about who would stay or go, but assured the press that many coaches would continue to coach for the Bills next season. Levy and Wilson also said quite firmly that he (Levy) would not be returning to the sideline to coach the team. (Though, with a bit of badgering from the reporters in the room, Marv did allow a little room for that option.)
To many Bills fans, this resignation is a late Christmas present. Many fans have been calling for Mularkey’s head after the very disssapointing 5-11 season his team put together in 2005. The verdict is still out on whether this will be good for the Bills football team, or not. Change is good, but there has been nearly wholesale change at One Bills Drive in the first few weeks of this off-season.