Bills’ coaching search to come into focus this week

Posted on January 17, 2010 by Patrick Moran

Following a string of embarrassing rebuffs by candidates of all stature and variety, the Buffalo Bills head coaching search should ultimately come to fruition this week.

To this point the Bills have only officially interviewed two candidates, though an interview and/or job offer was allegedly extended, and rejected by Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

Interim coach Perry Fewell discussed the job but ended up the new defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.  He’s officially out.

Leslie Frazier was also interviewed and his prospects may have jumped through the roof after his Minnesota Vikings dismantled Dallas on Sunday.

There’s three other candidates the Bills are reportedly wanting to speak with and with the way things played out this weekend, they’re now available for listening.

The Bills have been interested in speaking to Russ Grimm, Ron Rivera and Jason Garrett and if the feeling is mutual; will interview this week.

But are they willing?

The Bills contacted Arizona about speaking with Grimm last week, but according to multiple reports was lukewarm towards the prospects.  Some said his focus was on the playoffs while others think he’s simply not attracted.

Grimm has been considered by many as the co-favorite alongside Frazier for the job.  He’s been the Arizona offensive line/assistant head coach since 2007 and previously spent seven years working under Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh.

Rivera was also reportedly contacted by Buffalo two weeks ago and elected to not speak while the playoffs were ongoing.  That ended Sunday when the Jets upset San Diego.

He’s been the Chargers defensive coordinator since the mid-point of the 2008 season.  He’s also familiar with Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix and could be a strong dark horse candidate.

While the Bills haven’t publicly declared interest in Garrett, a former player still close to the team told me this weekend Buffalo has been keeping very close tabs on him.

“If he wants the job and things can work out I think he’ll end up being the guy,” the player told me. “He’s that young, bright offensive mind in the mold of a Sean Payton they’ve been looking for.  He hasn’t been a head coach but he’s worked under the bright lights of Dallas. He’s ready.”

Even if he’s interested, landing Garrett won’t be easy, or cheap.  At around $3-million per year Garrett is the highest paid assistant in the NFL.  He’s also been groomed as the replacement for Wade Phillips, though Phillips probably saved his job with a division title and playoff victory this month.

Though he’s stated money wouldn’t be an issue with his next coaching hire, Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson still owes former coach Dick Jauron $6-million over the next two years.  That can’t be disregarded.

Another possible though unlikely target could be Baltimore offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.  His Ravens were eliminated by Indianapolis this weekend and like Rivera, Cameron also has strong ties to Nix from San Diego.

If the Bills truly are impressed with Frazier, and all reports indicate they are, his stock surged after Minnesota’s defensive drubbing of Dallas Sunday.  Equally important from a marketing standpoint, his stock may have ascended among a justifiably skeptical fan base.

With 11 years of NFL coaching experience, a strong endorsement from Tony Dungy and a desire for a head coaching job that could lower his asking price, Frazier is clearly the front runner.

It seems near certain we’ll know by the end of the week which direction the Bills go in.  If Grimm, Rivera or Garrett interview and Buffalo is impressed, they can now offer the post on the spot.

If Frazier goes into next Sunday’s conference championship at New Orleans still a candidate, you can pretty much count on him getting the job.

For the time being Frazier refuses to discuss Buffalo.  When asked at his post-game press conference Sunday on if he’s heard from the Bills, Frazier put the spotlight on his current team.

“The only thing I’m really focused on right now is the NFC Championship game,” Frazier said.  “In the meantime, enjoy this for a little bit then on Monday we got to get ready for that NFC Championship game.”

This promises to (finally) be an interesting week.

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8 Comments on Bills’ coaching search to come into focus this week

  1. Tweets that mention Bills’ coaching search to come into focus this week : Buffalo Sports Daily -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Buffalo Bills, Patrick Moran. Patrick Moran said: Bills’ search to come into focus this week http://bit.ly/6dGFW2 [...]

  2. rob

    Garrett or Grimm are fine with me. Just get this done and over with. There is too much time getting wasted here for a team that needs so much work

  3. John

    As the search continues it amazes me that any Coach still in the Playoffs would publicly give any Indication of his future outside their team. So Bills fans should Just be a little patient until that Coach has been able to take care of his first Obligation. That said we are getting closer and all of us Bills Fans want to find out the direction of the team.

  4. Web Rumblings: Buffalo Bills Links, 1/18 | Buffalo Bills Blog

    [...] Bills’ coaching search to come into focus this week : Buffalo Sports Daily“The Bills have been interested in speaking to Russ Grimm, Ron Rivera and Jason Garrett and if the feeling is mutual; will interview this week.” [...]

  5. GUY

    If Cowher POWER is REALLY OUT, then Jason Garrett should be the guy.
    That ALSO means the Bills will draft a QB in the first round, which also means they’ll trade UP into the top 5 or so like the Jets did to get their QB.
    ALL GOOD THINGS.

  6. Michael

    Who is your alleged ex-player source? Why bother quoting and not just paraphrase if you aren’t going to reveal the source? Cool site/concept, but Bush-League journalism.

  7. Miller

    hey Mike….not trying to defend the writer but really….what journalist today sites their sources…..the moment you start revealing your sources they dont give you info anymore….so naive.

  8. Michael

    No, Miller, its not naïve one bit. All I’m saying is its garbage content to put up a literal quote without a source. A good journalist would understand what it takes to get a source’s approval to site them. Otherwise, who’s to say the “quote” from “ex-player” is not completely fabricated. And its not like the alleged ex-player had anything earth-shattering to say, like there was a bounty out on Ralph’s life or something. Does my comment still look naïve, Miller?

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