AP source: Bills interview Mike Shanahan for coaching job
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Add Mike Shanahan to the list of Buffalo Bills coaching candidates.
Team officials, including owners Terry and Kim Pegula, interviewed the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach in San Francisco on Sunday, a person familiar with the search process told The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not released details of their search to replace Doug Marrone, who abruptly stepped down last week.
Shanahan has a 170-138 record over a 20-year coaching career, which included back-to-back championships with the Denver Broncos in 1998 and `99. He has been out of the NFL since being fired by Washington following the 2013 season.
This marks the second time Shanahan has landed on the Bills’ coaching radar. The Bills interviewed Shanahan in November 2009 after Dick Jauron was fired in the middle of the season. Shanahan instead was hired by Washington.
A second person told the AP the Bills also interviewed Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich in San Diego on Sunday. A third person said the Bills interviewed Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase in Denver on Saturday. Those people also insisted on anonymity because the team hasn’t released details of its search.
The Broncos and Seahawks had last weekend off before preparing to play in their respective conference divisional playoff games this weekend. Though their assistants were available to be interviewed, they cannot be hired until their teams are finished playing.
No timetable has been set by the Bills to hire a coach. And it’s unclear how many candidates they intend to interview.
The Bills are in the midst of their sixth coaching search since Wade Phillips was fired following the 2000 season. And it’s the first search for the Pegulas, who bought the team in October following the death of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson.
Buffalo is coming off a 9-7 finish, which matched the team’s best record in a decade. The Bills, however, missed the playoffs to extend the NFL’s longest active postseason drought to 15 years.
Marrone’s departure caught the team off guard after he exercised his contract’s opt-out clause, which came into effect when the Bills were sold. The second-year coach chose to step down and collect a $4 million guaranteed salary in part because he was unsure whether the Pegulas were going to restructure their front office.
Marrone has already interviewed with Buffalo’s AFC East rival New York Jets for their coaching vacancy.
Gase has spent the past two years overseeing a Peyton Manning-led offense that has been among the NFL’s most potent attacks.
Reich is very familiar to Buffalo. The former quarterback spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Bills, and served as a dependable backup to Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
As a coach, Reich completed his second season with San Diego, and first as a coordinator. He oversaw a Philip Rivers-led attack that finished 18th in the NFL in yards gained and 17th in points.
Reich previously spent four seasons as an offensive assistant in Indianapolis, where he also worked with Manning. In 2012, Reich was a receivers coach with the Arizona Cardinals.
Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is also considered a candidate. He joined the Bills a year ago after spending five seasons as the Detroit Lions head coach.
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver contributed to this report.
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