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Inside The Bills

Interview rules for candidates in playoffs

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2010 – 5:06 pm

There have been a handful of potential names mentioned in national reports concerning the Bills head coaching position. Defensive coordinators Sean McDermott (Phil.) and Leslie Frazier (Minn.), offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (NYJ) and asst. head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm (Ariz) have all been mentioned. All four are also coaching for playoff teams. Here are the league rules concerning interviewing candidates still coaching for teams in the postseason.

Bills CEO Russ Brandon would have to contact the candidate’s current employer and ask for written permission to discuss Buffalo’s head coaching position with said assistant.

If permission is granted the interview must be conducted at any location deemed acceptable by the team for which the candidate works, which likely means the Bills would have to go to them.

For playoff teams with coaching candidates that have byes in Wild Card weekend (e.g. Minnesota – Frazier) interviews of those coaches must be completed before this weekend. So if Frazier is a candidate it would have to take place this week.

For candidates working for a team participating in Wild Card weekend (e.g. Schottenheimer, Grimm, McDermott) that win and advance to the Divisional Round interviews must be conducted after the Wild Card games and prior to the Divisional round games. In other words some time next week.

So if in fact assistants like Grimm, McDermott and Schottenheimer are on Buffalo’s list to be interviewed, the Bills need to first get written permission and then interview them after this weekend’s games, especially if their teams win and advance.

No initial interviews may be requested or granted after the Divisional Playoff weekend for any team’s assistant that is still participating in the postseason.

One other note is that the Bills are permitted just one interview with a candidate while his team is still competing in the postseason. And no direct or indirect contact by the Bills can be made with the candidate or his representatives during that time following the initial interview. The only exception is if  a candidate’s team makes it all the way to the Super Bowl and there’s a two week time frame between the conference championship game and the Super Bowl, which there is this year. Then a second interview can take place.


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