105.5 The Team – The Bills are one of six teams in the market for a new head coach after firing Rex Ryan short of two seasons at the helm. While it’s been reported that the job is interim head coach Anthony Lynn’s to lose, general manager Doug Whaley and the Pegula’s have referred to the process as an open search. Outside of Lynn, a handful of candidates have been linked to the Bills. Here’s the full list of candidates equipped with a source for their link to Buffalo, other teams that are interested and an overview of their coaching background.
1) Sean McDermott – Panthers Defensive Coordinator
Interview completed by Bills on Jan. 4
Others Interested: Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers (second interview Jan.7, per team)
Bio: McDermott received his first NFL job in 1999, joining the Philadelphia Eagles as a scouting administrative coordinator. He’d go on to spend 11 years in the City of Brotherly Love in various defensive coaching roles – most notably defensive coordinator from 2009-2010 – before accepting a job as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator in 2011. He’s spent the last 6 seasons there, overseeing a Panthers defense that finished in the top 10 in total defense between 2012-2015. In that 2015 season, McDermott’s unit led the league in takeaways (39) and was sixth in points allowed (19.3) and total defense (5,167), during the Panthers run to the Super Bowl. McDermott deploys a 4-3 defensive scheme.
2) Anthony Lynn – Buffalo Bills interim head coach/offensive coordinator
Interview completed by Bills on Jan. 5
Others Interested: San Francisco 49ers (interviewed Jan. 4, per team), Los Angeles Rams (interviewed Jan. 8, per Ian Rapoport) Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers (interview scheduled for Jan. 9, per Josina Anderson), Jacksonville Jaguars
Bio: Lynn began his coaching career in Denver in 2000 after retirng from the franchise as a player due to repeated neck surgeries. He stuck around for three seasons as a special teams assistant, before accepting a job as running backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003. He spent the next 13 years in that role, jumping from the Jaguars to the Dallas Cowboys, then the Cleveland Browns, before settling in on Rex Ryan’s New York Jets staff from 2009-2014. When Ryan was fired from the Jets at the conclusion of the 2014 season, Lynn followed Ryan to his next post in Buffalo. This most recent season has been quite the whirlwind for Lynn who was still in his role as running backs coach when it began but was quickly promoted to offensive coordinator when former Bills OC Greg Roman was fired after Week 2. Then when Buffalo decided to part ways with Ryan ahead of Week 17, Lynn was promoted to interim head coach by Ryan’s recommendation. Lynn oversaw a Bills offense that finished 10th in points per game (24.9) and led the league in rushing yards per game (164.4).
3) Harold Goodwin – Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator
Interview completed by Bills on Jan. 7
Others Interested: Jacksonville Jaguars (interviewed Jan. 5, per Ian Rapoport), Los Angeles Rams (interviewed Jan. 5, per team)
Bio: After having spent six years as the offensive line coach at Eastern Michigan (1998-1999) and Central Michigan (2000-2003), the Chicago Bears hired him as an assistant offensive line coach in 2004. The assistant part of that job title was dropped when he linked up with Bruce Arians and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007, where he also took on the role of quality control coach. He remained in Pittsburgh for five seasons until Arians contract as the team’s offensive coordinator expired in 2011, then followed him to Indianapolis, still as the offensive line coach. In 2013 Arians received his first head coaching gig with the Cardinals and brought Goodwin with him to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator. He’s had a hand in taking an Arizona offense that ranked 32nd in the NFL in his first year there all the way to first in 2015. During that season the Cardinals set single-season records for points (489), TDs (59), TD passes (35) and total net yards (6,533), among various other statistics. Despite a 7-8-1 record in 2016, Arizona’s offense still finished eighth in total yards.
4) Vance Joseph – Miami Dolphins Defensive Coordinator
Interview request reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport
Others Interested: Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers
Bio: After spending three season as a defensive backs coach, bouncing bwtween the University of Wyoming, his Alma Mater the University of Colorado and Bowling Green, Joseph made the jump from college to the NFL in 2005, as an assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers. One year later he was promoted to defensive backs coach – a job title that he would hold through stops with the Houston Texans (2011-2013) and the Cincinnati Bengals (2014-2015), before joining Adam Gase in Miami last offseason as defensive coordinator. Miami’s defense hasn’t exactly excelled on the stat sheet this season in large part because of an unfortunate amount of injuries. Nonetheless, Joseph has done a tremendous job in keeping the unit afloat, resulting in a 10-6 record and trip to the postseason. Joseph runs a 4-3 defensive scheme.
5) Frank Reich – Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator
Interest confirmed by Vic Carucci on Jan. 2, but no official interview request has been made according to NJ.com
Others Interested: None reported
Bio: It’s hard to forget Reich in Buffalo after he famously quarterback the Bills to victory over the Houston Oilers for “The Comeback” in the wild card round of the January 1993 playoffs. After calling it quits as a player in 1998, Reich has since returned to the NFL in various coaching roles. His first opportunity to coach came in 2008, when he accepted a position as an offensive coaching staff assistant with the Indianapolis Colts. When Jim Caldwell took over as the team’s head coach in 2009, Reich absorbed Caldwell’s old job as quarterbacks coach for the next two seasons, before becoming the wide receivers coach in 2011. The entire coaching staff was dismissed following that campaign, but Reich would take his last job title with him to Arizona, in 2012. It was a short lived stint in the desert as he and several other offensive coaches were once again fired after the season, and Reich then found himself in San Diego as a QB coach in 2013. One year later he was promoted to offensive coordinator following Ken Wisenhunt’s departure, but was fired after two seasons. He joined the Philadelphia Eagles in the same role this past year. In 2016 the Eagles offense averaged 22.9 point per game and finished 22 in total offense.
6) Kris Richard – Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator
Interview completed by Bills on Jan. 8
Others interested: None reported
Bio: A USC alum, Richard has been linked to Seahawks head coach Pet Carroll for quite some time, having played under him for two seasons from 2001-2002, then serving on his staff as a graduate assistant from 2008-2009. As Carroll transitioned from USC to the NFL in 2010, accepting his current job with the Seahawks, he brought Richard with him as an assistant defensive backs coach. One year later Richard became the cornerbacks coach, then spent the next three seasons as the defensive backs coach, overseeing the NFL’s best secondary in 2013 and 2014. Both those season’s culminated in trips to the Super Bowl. Richard was thrust into the defensive coordinator role in 2015 after Dan Quinn left the post to take the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job and the defense hasn’t missed a beat. Under Richard’s guidance the Seahawks finished in the top 10 in most major statistical categories, including third in points per game (18.3).
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