As Bills new President and CEO Russ Brandon was answering questions Tuesday following the press conference that mapped out his day-to-day organizational control of the club, he was asked about the impending search for a new head coach. Brandon said he couldn’t wait to get to work as soon as he stepped off the podium. He meant that literally.
Brandon along with GM Buddy Nix, Assistant GM Doug Whaley and Senior VP of Football Aministration Jim Overdorf were all on a private plane headed west to Arizona to begin the process of finding a new head coach for the Bills.
The Bills new Team President made it clear that Nix will lead the search, but it will be a team effort.
“We will all be travelling and sitting down with head coaching candidates,” Brandon told Buffalobills.com. “We’re looking for a strong dynamic leader to come in and run this football operation, run this team moving forward. We think that we have a very appealing opportunity here in Buffalo, based on the strength of our roster and what we’ve built over the last three years—really what Buddy’s done.”
Nix, who in his first coaching search with the organization stipulated that the candidate must have prior head coaching experience, is removing that prerequisite for the current search.
“I think that you don’t want to eliminate anybody,” Nix told Buffalobills.com. “You think about guys that have never been a head coach or a coordinator. Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin. John Harbaugh coached special teams. The league is full of them. So you’ve got to go with a gut feeling sometimes. You do all your work and say this guy has got something about him. He’s the one let’s do it.”
Brandon stated that the search will be exhaustive, but Nix also gave indication that the search will not be lengthy if they believe they’ve got their man.
“Let me say this. I don’t care if it’s the first guy we interview or the 10th one, once we say this guy fits what we want and this is the guy then we’ll sign him,” said Nix. “All I can tell you is we’re going to take them one at a time and evaluate them. We won’t say, ‘Let’s go see if we can find a better one.’ If we’re happy with that guy we’ll pull the trigger.”
Knowing they’re in competition with six other NFL clubs that also have head coaching vacancies the Bills intend to move swiftly, but they’re not going to be pressured into picking a new coach prematurely.
“You think about that, but I don’t think you panic,” said Nix of the competition for coaching talent. “I think you’ve got to be sure you get the right guy. You may not get what everybody perceives as a top quality guy, but there are good coaches out there and all of them want to coach in this league.”
Most important the club has made it known they’re ready to pay top dollar for the right head coach whomever it might be.
“I get tired of listening to we’re not willing to spend money. You can end that right now,” said Brandon. “If there is a coach that we identify that can help this organization and take it to another level we will do that. The fact of the matter is simple, we haven’t won enough games and that’s on us. And we’re going to change it. We need to change it and I will go to the end of the earth to make sure that we change it.”