It’s back to Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday for former Bills Head Coach Mike Mularkey. He brings his 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars to Orchard Park to play the Bills. Mularkey, who has been back while an assistant with the Dolphins, is now the Head Coach of the Jaguars. He was a guest on The John Murphy Show Wednesday night.
Mularkey says the fans make the atmosphere in Ralph Wilson Stadium “one of the best” in the league.
“I think the environment there is one of the best in the NFL,” he told John Murphy.
“ You’ve seen all the new stadiums and everything over the last dozen years. That stadium and those fans are just true blue, how they show up during the week with the Winnebagos and they’re ready for the game on Sunday. It’s a great environment, if you’ve never been a part of it. And we’ve got some guys on our team who’ve never been a part of something like that. They’re going to see what I’m talking about.”
Mularkey’s first game as Head Coach of the Bills came in Ralph Wilson Stadium. And his first Bills team suffered a bitter defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars in that game.
After leading most of the way, Jacksonville moved the ball 80-yards on the final drive, scoring the go-ahead points on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Byron Leftwich to Ernest Wilford as time expired. The Bills finished the year out of the playoffs, despite winning 9 and losing 7 games. And Mularkey says he’s talked about that game, the season opener in 2004, when he talks to his players about taking plays off.
“I’ve used that game and that season, even here, with the way things started out here,” Mularkey said. “What’s really unique about that 2004 season, you talk about how one play changes games. Really, one play changed that entire season. The first game of the year, we really had Jacksonville on the ropes. I don’t think they had 80-yards of offense the whole day. And then they went 80 in the last two minutes, converting three fourth downs to win on the last play of the game. If you stop any of those third downs you do something different for one play and you win that game, then the last game of the year against Pittsburgh would not have been a must win situation for us. We would have been in the playoffs.”
“It is important to explain to people that the one play that you may take off may be the play that not only changes this game, it changes your season when it’s all said and done,” he continued.
The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.
Tags: Mike Mularkey, The John Murphy Show
Posted in Inside the Bills