“Cleanup on aisle 3!”
Now that Jauron is out, and Perry Fewell has been appointed interim head coach, it begs the question: “Who will coach the Bills in 2010?”
The Bills have a sordid history of promoting internally from their coordinator corps; Greg Williams, Wade Phillips, most recently. With Fewell in the driver’s seat and the Bills still coughing up $6 million over the next two years to fulfill Dick Jauron’s contract money clearly becomes an issue here. If the Bills think frugal, it is likely that Fewell will keep the job if he is able to keep the ship from sinking the rest of the way out.
If I know most Bills fans like I think I do, they are hoping for a big-name signing. While I am unsure that it’s in the cards, here are the names atop Buffalo’s Christmas list – and the scenarios that likely accompany them.
The Stretches (read: understatement):
- Bill Cowher – In order to see the former Steeler’s coach in Buffalo, Ralph Wilson will have to demonstrate a clear organizational shift. One from cheap coaches who don’t demand a lot of organizational control, to one who does expect control and wants to get paid to do it. More importantly, Cower will be able to choose any available position should he decide to come back.
- Jon Gruden – No chance. He just signed that huge contract with ESPN to continue doing Monday Night Football. And he has nothing to prove.
- Mike & Mike (Shanahan and Holmgren not Greenberg and Golic – though they might do a better job than Jauron) – Same story here as Cowher. The only plus? They LOVE the cold.
- Tony Dungy – Keep Dreaming. Clearly loving retirement and not coming out to coach one of the league’s biggest disasters.
Within the Realm of Possible:
- Marty Schottenheimer – The former coach of the Browns, Chiefs, and Chargers, Marty is known for playoff teams that can’t make it to the big dance. Hey, that’s a good start.
- Brian Billick – The former coach of the Ravens, maybe we someone could finally get the anemic Bills offense going which has ranked at the bottom of the league the past 3-plus seasons.
- Jim Haslett – Previously heading the Saints and Rams, some see Haslett as the ideal candidate. He has history with the team having played 6 seasons in Buffalo at linebacker in the early 80’s and has a fiery persona. The Bills could certainly use some of that after the “Weekend at Bernie’s-esque” Dick Jauron.
- Jim Fassell – Should be relatively reasonably priced and hungry to get back into coaching. Fassell was fired as offensive coordinator for the Ravens two years ago and has led the Giants to an NFC Title.
More than Likely (the internal candidates):
- Perry Fewell – The current interim head coach and former defensive coordinator, Fewell has zero experience as a head coach. The Bills are notorious for promoting head coaches from the coordinator rank and seeing as Alex Van Pelt was just promoted – and hasn’t been stunning yet – he is the obvious choice. Frankly, this draws some concern as it is more of the same.
- Bobby April – The Bills’ special teams coordinator has great respect throughout the league as one of the best in this category. In fact, special teams have been the only hallmark of the Bills in the past few seasons. This year, however, they seem to have slipped a bit. That, plus the fact that Wilson passed on him for Fewell doesn’t make this choice likely.