Buffalo Bills: Updated 2017 Head Coach Candidates

2 of 5
buffalo bills
Jul 31, 2015; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running backs coach Anthony Lynn instructs Karlos Williams (40) during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /

Buffalo Bills’ Interim Head Coach Anthony Lynn

The presumed leader in the clubhouse is current interim head coach Anthony Lynn.

Lynn has 17 years of NFL coaching experience, as well a successful career as a player with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos — which included a Super Bowl. He has coached Special Teams and more notably Running Backs.

The last two seasons in Buffalo, the Bills’ rushing attack has finished 1st in the NFL. Lynn has lead successful running attacks in Jacksonville, Cleveland and New York prior to his current stint with the Bills.

What We Know

We know that he has the support of the current Bills locker room. He is portrayed as a detail oriented, disciplinarian.

It has been reported that hiring Lynn as your Head Coach means he will bring aboard former Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley to become the defensive coordinator. That hire means another defensive transition from 3-4 back to a 4-3 defense.

We also know that Lynn prefers to run a West Coast style offense. The trademark of that offense is a short and quick passing game. The impact of that philosophy means you shouldn’t exercise Tyrod Taylor’s contract, who has struggled throwing short and over the middle of the field.

We also know he may have wanted to start Tyrod Taylor in week 17, leading to a desire to fully see what’s out there prior to agreeing to lead Buffalo.


He is labeled as a ‘players coach,’ but also a disciplinarian. Having a relationship with Gus Bradley has to be a huge strength.

He has coached under Bill Parcells, Mike Shanahan, Romeo Crennell, Rex Ryan and Jack Del Rio.

His running backs have been highly successful, names that include LeSean McCoy, Fred Taylor, Jamal Lewis and Shonn Greene.

Related Story: Unanimous Player Rips Rob Ryan's Defensive Schemes


See how short the strengths paragraph is?

Fact is we don’t know a lot about what exactly Lynn wants his team to look like if he was in charge.  He is one of the least experienced play callers up for the job. How he fills out his staff and runs a group of coaches will determine his success, maybe more than others we will preview.

Best Fit for Him

Buffalo or Denver would be ideal for Lynn.

Buffalo would provide Lynn a head start that most first time Head Coaches wouldn’t have in terms of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel. Denver is possibly the top job for any of these candidates.

For Lynn, he would love to work for John Elway — whom he has a relationship from his playing days — and has the choice to bring back Wade Phillips who has one of the best defenses in the NFL.

My Take

Lynn knows more than any other candidate what the situation in Buffalo truly is. He knows the locker room, he knows management and he has seen the game film of every Bills game the last two years — prior to getting the job.

Gus Bradley would be an immense hire and one that could make a similar impact to Jim Schwartz. Who Lynn chooses as his offensive coordinator may be the X-Factor of his candidacy because he shouldn’t be calling plays like Mike McCarthy, but more a manager like John Harbaugh.

I would love the hire of Lynn who can keep some offensive continuity and maybe use defensive improvements to get a playoff berth before our window with Incognito, McCoy, Watkins (on his rookie deal) and Jerry Hughes disappear.

On to the next one.