Here's the Bills news of note for Jan. 16th.
1 - Closing in on an OCThe Buffalo Bills have narrowed their search for offensive coordinator down to two choices, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Kansas City Chiefs co-offensive coordinator Brad Childress and former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson are the favorites to land the job.
Olson has been out of a job since being fired by the Jaguars in October, after spending just over a year as their offensive coordinator. He had previously served as an offensive coordinator with Detroit, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Oakland.
He has coached and developed quarterbacks such as Kordell Stewart, Josh Freeman, Derek Carr and Blake Bortles. His best season as a coordinator came in 2009 with the Buccaneers, when he led the Bucs to the fourth-most points scored in the NFL and third-most yards of total offense.
Childress compiled a 39-35 record as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2006-2010 and has held various coaching roles around the NFL since 1999. He coached alongside Sean McDermott with the Eagles for six seasons and was the offensive coordinator when Philadelphia went to the Super Bowl in 2004.
He has been with the Chiefs for the last four seasons, the first three as a spread game analyst, and the 2016 season as co-offensive coordinator with Matt Nagy. Childress led the Chiefs to the 13th-most points in the league this year despite injuries to Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles.
**2 - Rivera: Sean made a very smart move
**Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has applauded two of Buffalo's confirmed coaching hires so far this offseason.
Rivera discussed McDermott and his staff in an appearance on The John Murphy Show on Friday.
Juan Castillo agreed in principle to become the offensive line coach and run game coordinator, while Leslie Frazier agreed to become the defensive coordinator.
Rivera worked with Castillo and Frazier for four seasons in Philadelphia and is familiar with their coaching styles.
"A couple of veteran coaches; guys that know Sean, know exactly what Sean's going to want and how he wants things done – I think that's going to create some real good synergy there for the team going forward," Rivera said.
Rivera said that even more importantly for McDermott will be the experience that the two bring to a first-year head coach on the sidelines—especially from Frazier.
"I told Sean this and I think that's partly why he hired Leslie Frazier, and that is when I was a first-time head coach, my first year my biggest mistake I made was that I didn't bring a guy with me that had NFL head coaching experience and I didn't have a guy to sit there and tell me 'Ron, you screwed that up.' Or 'Ron, you missed this,' or 'Hey, nice job.' I didn't have that guy," Rivera said. "I think Sean made a very smart move in bringing in Leslie Frazier because here's a guy that's been there, that understands what it takes to be that sounding board, and can ask questions too. I think that was a smart move."
The Bills have also agreed in principle with Mike Waufle as their defensive line coach and Bob Babich as linebackers coach.
3 - Bills D-line coach a NYS native
McDermott continued his trend of hiring experienced assistants when the team announced that Mike Waufle had agreed in principle to become the Bills defensive line coach over the weekend.
Waufle, 62, has his roots in Western New York. He was born in Hornell, NY and began his coaching career at Alfred University. He has been coaching defensive line since 1983, starting at the college ranks and eventually transitioning to the NFL in the Oakland Raiders in 1998.
Waufle has spent the last five seasons coaching the Rams defensive line, with the team being near the top of the NFL in sacks every season since he took over in 2012. He has coached Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald to a combined 77 sacks. Quinn doubled his sack total in Waufle's first season in charge of the line.
In New York, he coached Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora to record numbers. In Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots, that unit combined for five sacks and a forced fumble en route to the win.
More than his coaching accolades, Waufle is most proud of the time he spent in the Marine Corps.
Waufle left home and joined the Marines as a 17-year-old and was in the service for four years until he decided to focus on his college education and start playing football again. He was stationed in South Carolina twice during his service.
The Marines did a profile of Waufle when he was defensive line coach of the Raiders and he talked about the Marines giving him the discipline he needed to become a successful coach in the NFL.
"I consistently refer to it (Marines), and I strongly believe in the principles outlined in it," said Waufle. "I know how important it is to lead by example through work ethic and consistency. I believe in treating people with respect, and I'm not afraid to challenge my players."