Inside The Bills

Multiple reports say Marrone next Bills coach

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2013 – 6:21 am

Multiple reports early Sunday morning say that Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone will become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported it first at 5:30 am on his Twitter account.

That report was followed by’s Ian Rapaport.

CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora, reported the same a short time later.


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Why Kelly choosing to meet with all 3 clubs

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 11:44 pm

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that despite meeting with the Browns for a total of seven hours and agreeing to re-connect with Cleveland’s top brass again Saturday night, Chip Kelly decided to also interview with the Bills and Eagles as scheduled.

Per Mortensen’s report, Kelly wants to go through the full interview process, something he did not do last offseason when he agreed to only interview with Tampa Bay, a job he subsequently turned down.

Mortensen also reported that there is a $3 million buyout for Kelly’s contract with Oregon.

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Report: Kelly meeting with Bills tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 11:08 pm

While reports swirl that the Browns have the inside track on landing Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, the Bills are reportedly getting their chance to woo the innovative sideline boss.

That according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen whose report was subsequently tweeted by his co-worker Adam Schefter. Schefter did mention that Cleveland is favored in what is a three team race.

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Report: Browns trying to close with Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 9:34 pm

According to multiple reports the Cleveland Browns are trying to make Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s first NFL head coaching interview his last.

Multiple reports indicate that the Browns got first crack at interviewing Chip Kelly out in Arizona Friday, and were convincing enough to have the Oregon coach leaning their way.

No word at this point as to whether the Bills or the Eagles, also interested in meeting with Kelly, will get the opportunity to interview the Ducks coach. is reporting that the Bills were scheduled to meet with Kelly Saturday. Initial reports indicated the meeting was to take place Friday.

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Fan Friday 1-4

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 3:03 pm

It’s been a heck of a week here at One Bills Drive, with more big news to come once the Bills find their new head coach. Stay tuned to all offseason for updates. Also keep sending your questions to and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
What do you think of the idea of drafting two of the best QBs available in this year’s draft?  Last year the Redskins did and I think it’s working for them, don’t you?  What do we have to lose?  It’s quite evident we’re lacking in even (1) good QB on this team, right? As long as we have the right people making the calls on the draft, this could work. If we land one good QB, the best man would win out in training camp and then we have out second stringer in place.


CB: I thought it interesting that GM Buddy Nix this week reiterated how they intend to draft a quarterback and then added in that they might acquire another in free agency. Last year I think the opportunity to draft two quarterbacks was more realistic. The pool was much deeper. This year the pool of talent at QB is much thinner by all indications. So I think making use of two draft picks on quarterbacks might not provide the desired results this time around.
2 – Hi Chris,

I appreciate all the work you and your colleagues do to bring us inside Bills videos, statistics, and interviews that provide some insight into OBD.

What’s my hope as Joe Ticket Buyer for next season?  We’re going to have the AFC North and NFC South on the schedule, which are both very difficult divisions. What will be different? Can you give me any hope as a 29-year old that hasn’t seen his team in the playoffs since he was a sophomore in high school?

Finally, would you agree that finding a young quarterback to groom (or play) has to be priority #1 in the offseason?  Sure, more linebackers and a wide receiver would be nice, but without a quarterback that can make all of the throws in the NFL accurately and often, aren’t we still just spinning our wheels?

Thanks again, and please keep up the great work.
Jeff Locke

CB: First, thanks for the compliments. Our staff appreciates it. With a new head coach coming in with a new staff and undoubtedly new ideas for the roster I think it’s safe to say a lot will be different for the 2013 Bills. No question those divisions on Buffalo’s slate won’t be easy, but let’s see what unfolds this offseason as far as the Bills are concerned before we make our assessments.

I agree quarterback is a big issue for this team. As I mentioned in the above response it is a position that the personnel department plans to address this offseason.
3 – Hey Chris,
After Urbik re-signed, do think that helps the chances of Levitre re-signing?  He has been our most durable lineman and I would view him to be our top priority?  Also what do think the chances are that the franchise tag is put on Byrd? I believe the tag amount on safeties is just above kicker and punter?  Also, since D Jones and Nelson were undrafted can’t the bills give them 1st or 2nd rd tender offers as opposed to the low qualifying tender offers? (2nd making the most sense)  Also what do think about a trade to the Jets? Brad Smith for Tebow and a draft pick?

Grosse Ile, MI

CB: I don’t believe that one re-signing necessarily impacts another. The re-signing of Urbik is certainly good news for the Bills. Re-signing Levitre figures to be a bit more complicated. Levitre has been the most durable lineman on the roster having never missed a game in four years and is a heck of an interior lineman. I believe negotiations once they begin will take some time. Levitre has stated an interest in returning.

As for Byrd I get the sense in my conversations with him that he wants to test the free agent market. I worry that the Bills may have to make use of the franchise tag to keep him. The projected tag amount for safeties in 2013 is $6.4M.

Yes, you’re right with both Jones and Nelson undrafted there is not compensation due the Bills should they be tendered at the low level by Buffalo and another club signs them to an offer sheet and the Bills choose not to match. It’s likely that one, possibly both will be tendered at a middle tender, which would offer compensation to the Bills in the form of a second-round pick. I’d expect the new head coach would have a good deal of input on that.

Finally, no on your trade suggestion.
4 – Chris,

Thanks for your time and great work covering the Bills.  Question is about the defense in light of the coaching change and it not being a setback.  I agree, only if they stay in the 4-3.  If it were a switch to the 3-4 then an overhaul of personal will be a setback.  I don’t want to hear Mario as a OLB.  He likes putting his hand down, rushing the blocker.  So head coach that does whatever with our offense weapons and defense that stays a 4-3 and we can still compete for the playoffs next year.  Do you agree?   Switch to the 3-4 a setback?  

Bills fan in Raleigh,

CB: I think it’s safe to say that moving to a 3-4 defensively would be a major challenge moving forward if the defense is to improve on their substandard rankings this past year. The new defensive scheme can’t be a major change schematically. If it is a whole new learning curve will ensue and that will keep the players vets and young players alike from playing fast. I’d imagine the coach search committee is making it clear the 4-3 is something they’d prefer to keep intact.
5 – Chris,
I’m not interested in recycling a recently-fired head coach as Bills’ head man, but I am interested in putting pieces in place that can help the franchise.  Many fired head coaches return to action as a coordinator (Del Rio in Denver, for example).  Guys that don’t have a job right now are prime candidates for those jobs. 
I like the idea of getting a young, innovative head coach (Doug Marrone, Mike McCoy, etc.) but surround him with experienced coordinators.  My selections would be Ken Whisenhunt as OC and Lovie Smith – he says he wants to come to Buffalo! – as my DC.  Above all, we need a guy at the top who can evaluate and develop a young QB.  (The knock on Whisenhunt is that he failed to develop Kolb, Skelton, Lindley (?) in AZ.)
What do you think about that? 
Interesting comment on WGR yesterday about looking at Special Teams coaches (Harbaugh, Levy) as Head Coaches because they use the entire roster in putting teams together, thus they have a knack for working with – and getting the most out of – the entire roster. 
Intriguing thought, but I think it still comes down to getting the guy with the “right stuff”.  Can he manage the game day decisions, delegate the game plan development to his coordinators, motivate the team to play, get the most out of his talent?  Then sign him up!
Your thoughts?
Thanks for your time.  Let’s hope the Bills get it right this time.

CB: The Bills have made it clear that they’re not discriminating and exploring all options. I think the candidate pool which reportedly varies from Doug Marrone to Lovie Smith reflects that. As for your proposed HC, OC, DC combination that trio would cost upwards of $15M a year just for those three. Don’t know that it’s realistic.

That being said I do agree with your coaching point on developing a young QB knowing Buddy Nix intends to draft a signal caller. I also agree with a head coach being a head coach on Sundays and delegating all play calling to the coordinators. I’m a big fan of that approach. We’ll see what happens.


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Report: Marrone to interview w/Bills today

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 1:59 pm

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that an interview between Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone and the Bills could take place today.

Plain Dealer Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot is reporting that the Cleveland Browns have already wrapped up their interview with Marrone with the Bills up next.

That interview figures to take place in Arizona, where the Bills head coach search committee headed by team President and CEO Russ Brandon and GM Buddy Nix has been stationed since Tuesday this week.

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Kelly plays coy after Fiesta Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 7:07 am

There was a horde of reporters eager to map out Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s next move following his team’s 35-17 victory in the Fiesta Bowl last night. The only problem was Kelly wasn’t going to give up any information in his postgame press conference.

“I’ve said I’ll always listen and that’s what I’ll do,” Kelly said when asked about NFL teams interested in interviewing him for their head coaching jobs. “I’ll listen and we’ll see.”

Kelly is reportedly scheduled to interview with the Bills and Browns today (Friday) in Arizona.

Kelly said he’s not looking to go in with a set of prerequisites to determine what the right fit might or could be. It sounds as if he’s just going to keep an open mind and listen to what the Bills, Browns and Eagles have to offer.

“That’s part of what this whole thing is. It’s more of a fact-finding mission than finding out if it fits or doesn’t fit,” Kelly said. “I’ve been in one interview in my life for the National Football League and that was a year ago so I don’t really have any preconceived notions about it. I think that’s what this deal is all about for me.”

Kelly interviewed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was offered the job, but turned it down.

One thing Kelly did make clear is he wants to wrap up the courting of his coaching services in short order.

“I want to get it wrapped up quickly and figure out where I’m going to be,” he said.

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Report: Smith to meet Bills in Arizona

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2013 – 5:50 pm

It was reported earlier today that former Bears head coach Lovie Smith will interview for Buffalo’s head coaching job this weekend. Now it appears that meeting will take place where Buffalo’s coaching search committee has been conducting head coaching interviews from the start.


Smith expressed interest in the Bills job. He’s also reportedly drawing interest from San Diego.

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McCoy won’t jump at any NFL head coach job

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2013 – 4:57 pm

Broncos offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, who will reportedly interview for the Bills head coaching job on Saturday in addition to a couple of other NFL head coaching vacancies, is not going to just jump and take any head coaching job he’s offered.

McCoy, who interviewed for the vacant Dolphins head coaching post last offseason, told the Denver Post that he’s going to carefully consider any head coaching offers that are presented to him after a round of interviews this weekend.

“You’ve got to make sure it’s the right one,” McCoy told the Denver Post. “It’s not about just taking any job, that’s not my goal, you’ve got to make sure when you take the next step, or any job you take, that it’s the right one.”

McCoy also said he’s going to make it clear to the teams interviewing him this weekend that his number one priority at the moment is to help the Denver Broncos win football games.

Arizona and Chicago have also scheduled weekend interviews with McCoy in Denver. Philadelphia has also expressed interest.

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Report: McCoy interview to be on Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2013 – 1:18 pm

It’s been reported by multiple sources that the Bills will interview Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in Denver this weekend. There is now a report as to exactly what day that interview will take place.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McCoy will interview with the Bills on Saturday. He’ll also interview with the Cardinals on the same day.

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Report: Smith to interview on weekend

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2013 – 10:39 am

There have been some conflicting reports on when and where Lovie Smith will interview for the Bills vacant head coaching job, so take it for what it’s worth. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bills will conduct their interview with Smith over the weekend, which really makes for a tight schedule for team President and CEO Russ Brandon and his search committee.

The Bills coaching search team, which includes GM Buddy Nix, Assistant GM Doug Whaley and Sr. VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf, is scheduled to also interview Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this weekend. It’s been reported that Smith will interview in Buffalo, and Schefter is saying that interview will happen this weekend. Whether it’s realistic logistically remains to be seen knowing these interviews can sometimes last 4-6 hours.

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Report: Bills to interview Smith

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2013 – 9:42 am

According to Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, the Bills have former Bears head coach Lovie Smith on their list of candidates to interview for their vacant head coaching job.

Per the report the interview will take place some time this weekend.

Buffalo is also reportedly scheduled to interview Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this weekend in Denver.

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Report: Kelly to meet with Bills Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2013 – 7:12 am

USA Today first reported that the Bills along with the Eagles and Browns all have interviews lined up with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly after tonight’s Fiesta Bowl between Oregon and Kansas State. If a subsequent Associated Press report is correct, the Bills will have first crack at the innovative offensive coach.

According to the AP, Kelly will interview with the Bills on Friday, a day after the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. Kelly is considered on of the hotter NFL coaching candidates in the college ranks.

Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon, GM Buddy Nix, Assistant GM Doug Whaley and Sr. VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf have all been in Arizona since Tuesday interviewing potential coaching candidates. The search committee has already interviewed former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Buffalo’s search committee is then expected to travel to Denver this weekend for a reported weekend interview with Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. That report also came from the Associated Press.

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Report: Chip Kelly to meet with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2013 – 7:01 pm

Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has reportedly set up a head coaching interview with the Bills, but they’ve got competition.

According to USA Today, Kelly has set up interviews with the Bills, Browns and Eagles some time after the Fiesta Bowl. Kelly’s Oregon Ducks will face Kansas State tomorrow night.

The Bills head coach search committee headed by CEO and President Russ Brandon and GM Buddy Nix have been in Arizona conducting head coach interviews since Tuesday.

Kelly is in Glendale, Arizona with his Oregon team, but will not reportedly interview with any NFL clubs until after the Fiesta Bowl.

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Report: Bills to interview McCoy on weekend

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2013 – 5:40 pm

The Bills coaching search team is going to be busy out west and their travels will stretch beyond Arizona. A day after reports came out that Buffalo had requested permission to interview Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, the Associated Press is reporting that an interview with McCoy has been scheduled.

Per the AP report, McCoy will interview with the Bills this weekend in Denver. McCoy reportedly also has interviews lined up with Chicago and Arizona for this weekend, the only window of time granted by the Broncos for McCoy to be interviewed.

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Horton says he’ll interview with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2013 – 4:12 pm

Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who is still under contract, is a serious consideration for the head coaching post of the club and completed his second interview with his current employer today. He also interviewed with Cleveland executives on Tuesday. He just spoke to the media out in Arizona about his coaching prospects. Here are some of the highlights, courtesy of the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, including Horton’s admission that he’s meeting with the Bills later today.

When asked if he had an idea as to when the Cardinals would decide who their next head coach would be, this was Horton’s answer.

“Michael (Bidwill) going to do his due diligence and talk to whoever he does,” said Horton. “It’s a process. When I met with Cleveland, they have a process and after I meet with Buffalo today I’m sure they will have a process and they want to talk and evaluate. I’m sure when each team feels it’s the right time they’ll pull the trigger. I’m not in a hurry.”

Q. What’s your schedule?

A. “I’ve got an interview with Buffalo this afternoon (Wednesday). And that’s the last one on the book. I’ve heard rumors, not substantiated by me, that Kansas City and San Diego are interested. I don’t know that because I haven’t talked to my agent today.

“I was very impressed with what went on here today, how things were presented going forward with what we want to do here.”

Q. Would Arizona be your No.1 choice?

A. “Oh, easy. For a number of reasons. I like the organizational structure and then I love the fan base. For me, it’s been an amazing fan acceptance of me, whether at the game or on the street. That plays a lot, where the community appreciates what you do.”

Q. If they bring someone else in for the job, and you don’t get another head coaching job, can you be content being the defensive coordinator?

A. “I’ve never thought that way. I don’t think that way. I’ve never posed the question to myself.”

Q. I just did.

A. “Yea, you did. What’s your answer? I don’t think that way. Those things come around the corner and I’m always ‘the glass is overflowing-full.’ I’m excited about the opportunity here and the fantastic interview I had with Cleveland last night and going to try to knock Buffalo’s socks off.”

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Report: Whisenhunt tonight, Horton Wed.

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2013 – 9:00 pm

According to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora, the Bills trip to Arizona was done to interview former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt this evening with one of his assistants up next.

Per LaCanfora’s report Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon, GM Buddy Nix, Assistant GM Doug Whaley and Sr. VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf met with Whisenhunt. They’re reportedly scheduled to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton Wednesday.

Horton already interviewed for the Cardinals head coaching job today as he’s still under contract to Arizona.

It’s been also speculated that the Bills may catch up with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly as his team gets set to play in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ on Jan. 3rd.

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Report: Bills to interview ‘Cuse HC Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2012 – 11:50 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Bills are one of two NFL clubs searching for a new head coach that will interview Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone this week.


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