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Bills Begin Coaching Search

Sunday January 8, 2017

Bills Showing Remorse? The Bills season is over but that doesn't stop the normal Sunday morning media leaks from occurring. Adam Schefter is reporting the next Bills head coach will have more power. Ian Rapoport reports that the Bills apologized to Anthony Lynn for making him bench Tyrod Taylor. He also said Lynn is a big fan of Taylor. It sounds like the Bills are hearing some of what is being said out there. If Lynn does get and takes the Bills coach it seems there is a better chance of Taylor staying.

Saturday January 7, 2017

Goodwin Interview: The Bills officially announced that they are interviewing Cardinals Offensive Coordinator Harold Goodwin today. He is the third person to officially interview for the job. The team is also suppose to interview Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard as early as tomorrow. Seattle plays today and even if they win they need to make their assistants available for interviews this week. Anthony Lynn had his interview on Thursday and Panthers DC Sean McDermott interviewed on Wednesday. Mike Garofolo reports by all accounts that interview went very well.

Friday January 6, 2017

Taylor Gone? Adam Schefter is reporting that it is a done deal and that the Bills have decided to move on from Tyrod Taylor if this is true, and Schefter is rarely wrong, that means the Bills have decided on a full rebuild even though they are telling the fans differently. Doug Whaley said on Monday they will wait to see what the new coach wants at QB and that they will let everyone know when a decision is made. Of course we have learned you can't trust a thing the GM says so Schefter is likely telling it like it is. The bottom line is if they move on from him who will play QB next year? This team will win between two and four games without him. I'm not saying Taylor is great but he is pretty good and is average yearly salary will match his production. If the defense was better this team would have made the playoffs with him at quarterback. Why move on from him and create another huge hole when so many other holes need to be addressed? We thought we have been living through the dark days the past 17 years it seems like it will be getting a whole lot darker.

Final Tallies: At the end of every season we go back and tally up the gameballs and goats that we gave out during each week's Bills Blitz. This year our Player of the Year winner LeSean McCoy ran away with the gameball title as he received a whopping eight of them in his 15 games played. Tyrod Taylor led the way with five goats. He was also tied for second with four gameballs. Gameballs Tally | Goats Tally.

Lynn A Wanted Man: Anthony Lynn officially interviewed for the Bills head coaching job yesterday and while he has said this is the job he wants, he isn't hedging his bet. He has also interviewed for the 49ers head coaching job and is expected to interview for the Rams, Chargers, and Jaguars coaching jobs. He will interview with Los Angeles on Saturday. That means the only open job he isn't expected to interview for is the Broncos job and there had been reports that they would talk to him too. While he was labeled a lock or the front runner for the Bills job, he may have soured on the position himself with the way things went down the final week and seeing the interest in him.

Thursday January 5, 2017

Taylor Surgery: Ian Rapoport is reporting that Tyrod Taylor is having surgery for a core muscle injury and will be sidelined six weeks. That brings him within a month of the March 11th date when he has to pass his physical or his contract is guaranteed. Taylor posted pictures of him in the hospital on his snapchat account. The surgery appears to be for a sports hernia. The Bills released an interesting statement that read, "Bills QB Tyrod Taylor had a consultation visit yesterday with Dr. William Meyers and elected to have surgery this morning. The Bills were informed late yesterday of this morning’s procedure." The words elected and informed are not normally used when describing a player's surgery. Injury Page.

Depth Chart: We have updated our depth chart for the 2017 season. You will see it's very short with lots of holes. That is because we took out all the free agents that can be seen on our front office page. We put back all injured players that we believe are still under contract. Depth Chart.

Final Grades: The 2016 season was the 17th straight year that the Bills missed the playoffs and they continue to have the longest playoff drought in any of the four major sports in America. This will be another season of upheaval as what has become a nearly bi-annual tradition of the team starting the offseason looking for a new coach. Check out our gameday homepage which now has our position by position final exam grades as well as individual player grades for key players at each position. We also take a stab at what we think next season's roster will look like. Check out the right side of the gameday page for our yearly awards as well! Final Grades.

Lynn Interview Today: Anthony Lynn is a busy man these days. Yesterday he interviewed for the 49ers head coaching job and the Bills confirmed an AP reort that he is interviewing for the Bills coaching job today. Lynn is also expected to interview for the Rams job and their are conflicting reports on whether or not he's on the Broncos list for an interview. The Buffalo News has reported that Lynn may not be interested in the Bills job anymore based on how things have unfolded since he was named interim head coach. Lynn told the media after the Jets game that Buffalo was his top choice. The Bills confirmed that they interviewed Panthers DC Sean McDermott yesterday and that they have seeked permission to speak to Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin. That interview is reportedly set for Saturday. Keep checking the box on the right side of this page for the latest.

Wednesday January 4, 2017

Is There Hope? Almost all Bills fans are reeling over how the season ended in such turmoil. Tony Bogyo breaks down what has happened and wonders if there is any hope for next season after a 7-9 finish leaves the Bills without a coach and maybe without a quarterback along with many holes to fill. Complete Story.

McDermott Interview Today: The Bills are scheduled to interview Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott today. Anthony Lynn is expected to interview for the 49ers job today as well. Vic Carucci reports he's hearing that Lynn may be thinking of removing himself for consideration for the Bills job. This is big news after he was considered almost a lock or at the least odds on favorite for it. Lynn may be disgruntled but what happened since being named interim coach. He was left twisting in the wind dealing with the media and then he was contradicted during Doug Whaley's news conference. The disfunction at One Bills Drive the last week has to make him think twice about the job. Tom Coughlin is not expected to be interviewed which makes sense considering he would want full control and Whaley wouldn't want that. McDermott's defenses had four straight top 10 finishes before dropping this year. He had previously interviewed for coaching openings in Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Josina Anderson reports that the Bills will introduce Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin on Saturday. Doug Whaley confirmed they would interview him.

Tuesday January 3, 2017

Lots Of Free Agents: Now that Doug Whaley is done with the media grilling he has a lot of work to do. By our accounts there are 24 unrestricted free agents, eight restricted free agents, and two exclusive rights free agents. The reason for the large number of unrestricted free agents is because they signed many players to one year veteran minimum contracts. Those players can't sign until the league year starts. For a complete list check out our newly launched 2017 version of our front office page.

Coaching Search Begins: Doug Whaley said after the debacle of a press conference yesterday that the coaching search begins immediately. Kim Pegula told WGR's Sal Capaccio that the organization will get together today to begin evaluating candidates. Interim head coach Anthony Lynn is considered the front runner but he also is expected to get interviews for the 49ers and Rams job as they reportedly asked the Bills permission to speak to him. The Broncos are a possible spot for him as well. Doug Whaley confirmed that they have requested permission to speak to Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin. The AP has reported that the Bills have asked permission to speak to Panthers DC Sean McDermott. Ian Rapoport reports that the Bills want to interview Dolphins DC Vance Joseph while Vic Carucci reports the team is expected to interview Eagles OC Frank Reich. Kim Pegula told Sal Capaccio that the team will interview 5 or 6 candidates and five have already been listed. Capaccio also reports the team is not expected to interview Kyle Shanahan at this time although that can change depending on how the process goes. We have put a quick coaching search box on the right side of this homepage.

Six Signed: The Bills did some run of the mill future signings that happens every year at this time for the 2017 season. Four of the six players signed to reserve/future contracts were from the team's practice squad. LS Reid Ferguson, CB Charles Gaines, RB Cedric O’Neal, and LB Max Valles ended the season on the practice squad. S Joe Powell was on the practice squad/injured list and QB Josh Woodrum was also reserve/future signings. He spent time on the Bears practice squad.

Monday January 2, 2017

Pegulas Speaks: After local and National outrage dominated twitter following an embarassing press conference by Doug Whaley, the Pegulas finally decided to speak. Terry spoke to John Warrow of the Associated Press where he backed up Whaley's comments saying it was an executive decision to fire Ryan. He confirmed he spoke to Ryan one on one on their weekly conference call when he was asked about his future. Pegula came clean that he was going to go in a different direction and Rex said that Anthony Lynn should coach the last game then. He said the reason for the change was his own observations and the input from the front office including conversations throughout the year with Whaley. He re-iterated Doug wasn't involved in the final decision. Terry said the low point was the Oakland game. He also said Lynn is a candidate but not a lock to take over the job permanently. On Tyrod Taylor's future he said he is being evaluated but admitted it's hard to outscore the opponent when the defense is so bad. He closed the AP interview saying, "there's no dysfunction. Everybody is on the same page, We're busy busting our asses." Kim Pegula meanwhile spoke to Sal Capaccio of WGR and said they would interview 5 to 6 coaching candidates and not a dozen like last time. She also said she likes a lot of qualities Lynn has but he's not a lock for the job. Kim told Sal, "I believe in continuity and really wanted to make that happen. But, we just realized team wasn't going in direction we wanted".

Whaley Presser: Doug Whaley addressed the media for the first time this season in his mandated end of the year press conference. He started by saying 7-9 is not good enough and it starts with him. He admits he has to do a better job. They are wrapping up the 2016 season and will get started on 2017 right away. He then took questions, saying he has belief from ownership that he is the right guy that is why they tabbed him to head the coaching search. He feels they are close but just has to get over the hump. He says he is speaking for ownership and the team president on the football operations. On the firing of Rex Ryan, he finally addressed it by saying he was not privy to the conversation between Ryan and Terry Pegula that ended with him being relieved of his duties. So while he speaks for ownership, he had no answers as to why Ryan was let go. He says this is his first coaching search, not the third. He hid behind being the assistant GM for the Marrone hiring and he was just part of the process on Ryan. He did say the Pegulas will make the final call on the head coach. When peppered on his input in the previous coaching searches, he said Rex was a Buffalo Bills hire not a Doug Whaley hire but he agreed with it. Russ Brandon will not be part of this coaching search due to his responsiblities with PSE. He once again denied issues between him and the last two head coaches he isn't worried the perception of issues will hurt the coaching search. Whaley says it is an open search and that Anthony Lynn is part of the search. He is all about getting the person that gets them to win. The media bombarding Whaley as to why he didn't know Ryan was let go and he didn't ask why. Rex reported directly to the Pegulas and it will still be determined who the next coach reports to. On not speaking earlier, he was asked why Anthony Lynn had to speak on the quarterback decision for the final game when he didn't make it. He felt the owner's statement was good enough and he didn't need to speak to the media about the Ryan firing. He hid behind the one singular voice during the season except for his contracted show on WGR on why he doesn't address the media. He thinks they will have $10 to $30 Million under the cap and are in good shape. He said it was Ryan who recommended Lynn for the interim head coach. He also re-iterated they are close and it isn't a daunting task. Whaley blamed the media for the perception of disfunction since they left Lynn twisting in the wind in last Wednesday's press conference. Russ Brandon continues to be an advisor, more on the administrative side of the football operation. His duties will now make him less involved in the Bills football operations. Brandon is privy on decisions but he is not involved in making football decisions. He knows they can be better at the draft but the reality is they build the roster from the draft, trades, and free agency. Whaley even denied knowing Ryan was in trouble and hasn't even thought about if it was the right move! He wipes his hand of the hiring of Marrone and Ryan, and the firing of Ryan! This team is a complete laughingstock and it starts with this guy! He did confirm they have put in a request to interview Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin

On Tyrod Taylor, he is glad he was upset on not playing in the final game. He's a competitor who had a tremendous year. They sat him down to look at the other two quarterbacks and to evaluate the position going forward. Taylor would have played if they were still alive for the playoffs against the Jets. He has not lost confidence in Tyrod. They will investigate as to why leaks have been coming out to national media the past few weeks and shut them down if they are coming from within the building. The final Taylor decision along with other personnel evaluation will be done by himself, the new coach, and ownership. He would not say Tyrod has shown him enough to remain with the team at this point saying he will be part of the evaluation.

Cleanout Day: The depressing annual event of locker room cleanout day is today at One Bills Drive. Eric Wood said that accountability needs to grow and that Anthony Lynn could "command the franchise". After saying he wouldn't speak to the media, Tyrod Taylor did speak. He said being benched yesterday wasn't fair calling it a lack of confidence in him. He did leave the possiblity of restructuring his extension open but said it isn't his first option. He said he loves the guys on the team and if they keep him, he will continue to play his heart out. He does love playing for Anthony Lynn and would like to play for him next year whether it's in Buffalo or elsewhere. He would love if the Bills pick up his option and kept saying how the starting job was taken from him. Doug Whaley did tell Taylor it was a business decision. He said he's getting a second opinion on the groin injury and will get surgery as soon as possible if needed. He said the injury guarantee is not a factor. LeSean McCoy said he loves Anthony Lynn and he's the type of leader that they could use. He hopes he gets the job. Stephon Gilmore said there has been no talks between his camp and the Bills about a contract since before the season started and he doesn't want the franchise tag. Aaron Williams told the media that his family and mentors like Fred Jackson wants him to stop playing but he hasn't made a decision yet. Robert Woods sounded like a man, by all media accounts, that is ready to test the free agent market.

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