Thursday, January 7, 2010
Bills coaching search marches on
Any speculation of the Buffalo Bills' timetable in pinpointing a new head coach would be a guesstimate.
But nothing will happen until owner Ralph Wilson gives his blessing.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix on Thursday interviewed Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, their second known interview of the week in addition to Bills interim coach Perry Fewell.
John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which advocates minority hiring in the NFL, spoke with Nix after Frazier's interview. While Nix offered glowing reports on both interviews, he also conveyed the process wasn't nearing completion.
"I think Buddy has a couple more candidates he wants to interview," Wooten said. "He'll decide on one or two guys he feels good about, and then those guys will have an opportunity to meet with Mr. Wilson and go from there."
When the Bills essentially dismissed their entire coaching staff Monday, many NFL insiders believed that was a harbinger for a quick hire.
The Bills haven't disclosed any details about their list of candidates or their agenda.
They have until the end of the week to interview assistants of teams that have first-round playoff byes.
One supposed aspirant, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, told Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ on Thursday he hadn't been contacted. Free agent Brian Billick, the former Baltimore Ravens head coach, also told the station he hadn't been approached.
ProFootballTalk.com reported Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh is a possible candidate for the Bills and Oakland Raiders.
If the Bills have their eye on an assistant who's involved in the first round of the playoffs, then they will have to wait until that team is eliminated to interview him.
Wooten spoke with Nix because as part of the protocol for Rooney Rule interviews. The Rooney Rule mandates at least one minority be interviewed for every head coach or top personnel opening.
"We got some real good reports from the Bills on Perry and Leslie," Wooten said. "Both of them felt good about their interviews.
"Buddy Nix was extremely generous with his compliments, and they had great interviews and felt things were moving forward. We feel good about it."
But nobody expects Fewell to be back in Buffalo. Wooten confirmed Fewell interviewed Thursday with the New York Giants to be their defensive coordinator and will meet with the Chicago Bears next about the same position.