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Bills Today: Former Bills weigh in on coach search


1 - Former Bills weigh in on coach searchThey both played for the Bills under Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy. Ruben Brown and Steve Tasker have also each been around the NFL game for more than 20 years. So what in their mind is the top priority for what the Bills have to find in a new head coach?

"A leader," said Ruben Brown in his weekly appearance on the John Murphy Show. "Our best example is Marv Levy. Was he offense, defense? No, he was special teams. How many pro teams will take that shot these days? Not many. A lot of us lean toward an offensive mind or a defensive mind. You just need a guy who can lead a group of men."

Not surprisingly, Tasker agreed. In an interview on the John Murphy Show, Tasker echoed Brown's sentiments. He doesn't want a head coach calling plays either.

"I don't care if he's a defensive mastermind or an offensive mastermind because he's not going to do either one of those jobs," said Tasker. "He's going to be the head coach. There are guys who have done well with that like Andy Reid, Gary Kubiak. Sometimes it gets in their blood and they want to call plays and that's what they want to do.

"But you don't see Bill Belichick calling plays. He's just taking notes after things happen. That's what a head coach does. He manages the staff. He points them in the right direction, maybe some specific instructions about what he likes and doesn't like. A head coach does very little football coaching. He coaches people. He's a life coach both for his staff and for his players. His job is to get more out of people than they think they've got to give."

In his job as a CBS analyst for NFL games, Tasker gets the chance to interview a lot of coaches and owners. Knowing the Steelers have had just three head coaches the last 47 years, Tasker asked Pittsburgh chairman Dan Rooney about what their criteria is for finding head coaches.

"He said, 'You just hire the smartest guy you can find and you support him until he figures it out,'" said Tasker. "A head coach once he's on the job learns what has to change within the organization. That's where the ownership comes in and fixes it and then you move forward together."

2 - Ragland glad to get some TV timeLast week at the College Football National Semifinal between Washington and Alabama, Bills LB Reggie Ragland was asked to be an honorary captain for his Crimson Tide at the coin toss for the Peach Bowl.

"It was a good experience. Just for them to call me and say they wanted me to be an honorary captain was cool," said Ragland in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. "They called me the night before and I was half asleep when they called me. I didn't know if I had to flip the coin or not."

What Ragland liked best about going out for the coin toss was he was back under the bright lights again after missing his whole rookie season with a torn ACL.

"I was telling my brother that nobody has seen my face," said Ragland. "I needed some of that TV time. It's been a while."

As for how he thinks the national championship game will go with his Alabama team in a rematch with Clemson, Ragland, who will be in attendance, is understandably confident.

"I'm going to the game," he said. "I feel like if we do what we're supposed to do on both sides of the ball, the defense goes and hits and the offense jumps on them and Jalin Hicks plays the way he's been playing I think we have a good shot of beating them.

"Coach Saban is one of the greatest motivators I've ever been around. He's going to make sure they're going to be ready to go. I know that for a fact."

3 - Cardale is like Big Ben?Bills Wall of Famer Steve Tasker is an admitted admirer of Cardale Jones physical skill set. His size, his instincts, his athletic ability and his rocket arm. He likes it all.

Tasker was part of the CBS broadcast team that was at the Bills forgettable season finale against the Jets last week, and saw Jones get his first taste of NFL action in the fourth quarter of that game.

Although Jones was understandably skittish in his first NFL game, it didn't change Tasker's opinion of him.

"I'd still love to see more of him," said Tasker. "I saw the Pittsburgh Steelers win a Super Bowl with Ben Roethlisberger as a rookie. They won 13 straight games. He couldn't read a defense. If the ball wasn't out after a three step drop he broke contain and ran around and made something happen.

"Cardale Jones looks identical to that. He's got a strong arm he can make all the throws. When the ball is on a quick release he can let it fly and he see all the throws all over the field. Cardale is big enough. Not only can he make all the throws he can make them on one foot. He's got a freakish arm.

"I think it's worth it to me to see him go out there. And he may struggle and do things off the page, but if you teach Sammy Watkins and the other receivers what to do when he breaks contain, that's where you make the play. Just get open and let him fire the ball at you and make something happen.

"Games are won and lost in the NFL on three to five plays. That's why the Steelers won that Super Bowl. They'd get three game changing plays like that from Ben's arm off the page. And it's impossible to defend or prepare for."

When and if the Bills are ready to give that any kind of consideration will likely hinge on who the team's new head coach will be.

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