Early Monday morning, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports broke the news that the entire coaching staff of the Buffalo Bills was let go.
The Bills countered by saying they were allowing all coaches to pursue other avenues of employment. Either way, most, if not all, coaches will not be with the team at the start of the next season.
So where does that leave the Bills? They have an ever-increasing list of candidates to interview for the head coaching vacancy.
The names range from Super Bowl-winning (Bill Cowher) to never been a head coach (the vast majority of them). It’s a mix of experience, youth, offense, and defense.
Most Bills fans know that the biggest problem this past season (and every season since Drew Bledsoe’s first season as a Bill) has been the offense. So most fans want a coach with an offensive background.
While I think that’s definitely a good idea, I’d rather have a coach who has experience leading a team and building a good staff to run the offense if that isn’t his specialty.
Bill Cowher, former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and currently a member of the CBS NFL team, headlines most fans’ lists for who they want to coach the Bills next season. It’s easy to see why.
He has a proven track record (led the Steelers to 10 postseason berths in 15 years), used to coaching in similar weather as Buffalo (plenty of snow in Pittsburgh over the years) and is one of the best coaches of the past 20 years.
However, in 10 postseason appearances, the Steelers only won one Super Bowl. I find that an interesting statistic. Nine times the team made it to the playoffs in 15 years but didn’t win the Super Bowl. However, it’s hard to deny he would make a great addition to the Bills.
Other names that are coming up are as follows: Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell, New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermitt.
One other name of note is former San Diego Charger head coach Marty Schottenheimer. He has said that he has no interest in returning to coaching, but Adam Schefter of ESPN said that sources report he does want to coach.
If that’s true, the Bills would be high on his list. He’s good friends with new Bills general manager Buddy Nix and also played for the Bills.
There was a report last night that Cowher is supposed to be in Buffalo this morning to meet with Nix and the front office. How likely that is remains to be seen, but the Bills are trying to move quickly in getting a head coach while the openings are slim.
So what all does this mean? It means pay attention but be patient. While we all would love a decision to be made as soon as possible, we still have to be patient. After 10 years of no playoffs, it’s hard (or darn near impossible) for Bills fans to be patient.
However, giving coaches and new front office hires only a year to turn this franchise around will only make things worse. So please, be patient and wait to see how things play out.
Things will be interesting this offseason, but reacting with emotions won’t serve any purpose to elevate blood pressures already stressed to the limit by a decade of futility.