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Bills find a GM, now they need a coach

Nix hiring is just a first step. There’s still plenty of work to do. Matt Bowen

Print This December 31, 2009, 04:45 PM EST
13 Comments

Now that the Bills have hired Buddy Nix as their new general manager, something we reported on earlier here at the National Football Post, the obvious next step is to hire a head coach.

Yes, we can speculate all we want about Nix and the Bills’ decision to hire from within the organization — which, if anything, was melodramatic — but moving on and finding the next coach is a monumental step for a franchise that has a great fan base but is stuck in a terrible stage of mediocrity.

Names. There are plenty when it comes to the coaching rumor mill and Buffalo. Owner Ralph Wilson first reached out to Mike Shanahan, who politely took his name out of the hat and will most likely land in Washington with Dan Snyder. Then it was Bill Cowher over the weekend, another power coach who’s been linked to just about every team with a question mark on the sidelines.

But are there any “real” candidates?

At the NFP, we’ve heard that Wilson is looking to go the offensive route, with names like Charlie Weis (who would come cheaply thanks to his Notre Dame money), former Ravens coach Brian Billick and former Rams head coach and Lions and Niners offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

Big names, for sure, but names that would come into town and take control of a team — and, more important, an offense -- that needs some work.

There’s no answer at the quarterback position right now in Buffalo. None. Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and yes, Brian Brohm aren’t going to win the Bills an AFC East title any time soon.

Terrell Owens, the big name who actually came to Buffalo last season, was a bust as a product of this system. And a defense that has Tampa 2 personnel will have to be changed with a new coaching staff. Nix, and whoever is the new coach, will have a lot of decisions to make, starting with free agency and then the draft, because this Bills team will have to be built from the ground up once again.

Yes, hiring Nix as GM is a first step, and an “average” move based on the people I’ve talked to. But there is still so much more to do along the shores of Lake Erie before this team can compete with and beat New England.

Because to win the East, the Buffalo Bills are going to have to build a team that can beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

Comments

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Da Coach
Dec 31, 2009
04:57 PM

Man, has this franchise just fallen off the map or what?

CCass
Dec 31, 2009
05:01 PM

Somewhere in Foxboro, Bill Belichick is smiling....Meanwhile, in South Florida, Parcellls just chuckled and went home for the day. Rex Ryan sat at his desk at Jets headquarters, eating cookies, and toasted Ralph Wilson for a well-made decision. After all, the Bills owner, by promoting Buddy Nix, just ensured another ten years of mediocre Bills football....

Tom
Dec 31, 2009
05:44 PM

Beat the Pats? This roster can't even get by the Dolphins or the Jets. The old man has lost it up there.

Mr.Murder
Dec 31, 2009
06:28 PM

Small cap teams should always hire from within and look to develop their own talent, then retain it. He's trying to shape an outcome based on market necessities, while still trying to expand the fan base and arguably aim at relocation to nearby Canada.

Everyone loves a winner, fix that problem! The team does need to think offense, it sells tickets, keeps up with teams like the Pats, and the K Gun days got them plenty of wins. Ironically, their premiere player from their greatest ever era was a defensive end who became their difference maker. Most of that team's offensive pieces were interchangable.

That means you coach up a great system, build a strong offensive line, and do not pass upon the best player available.

dave in annapolis
Dec 31, 2009
08:00 PM

There is a big misnomer here. This was not really a hire from within. Nix was not with the team until this past year. He was part of the building process for the Bills during the Super Bowl run and left when John Butler went to San Diego and raided the scouting dept. Nix was instrumental in the recent building of the Chargers. From everything I have read, this was a very good hire. Do not discount that none of the name coaches will not get hired. It may not be Marty, but a Shottenhiemer may get the job. Then lets see how many antacids Rex Ryan will be washing down with his cookies.

Mr.Murder
Dec 31, 2009
10:21 PM

Thanks for the comment, Dave. On another thread here I asked if Nix was any part of Butler's legacy. That would be someone who will help them return to a model that produced their greatest success.

The downward spiral for the Bills in recent years was a result of a PR driven front office. Get it back to being people driven, and the team can compete at a level needed to win East games.

timm0
Jan 01, 2010
09:44 AM

Why do the same "proven" coaches names always come up when it's time to hire? I think history shows that these guys are no sure thing. Who were the coaches in last year's Super Bowl? Ken Wisenhunt vs. Mike Tomlin. Neither had "experience" yet made it to the big dance ahead of all the "proven" coaches.

My suggestion would be to find someone to build with... someone who's grown along with a team that's started poorly and improved. I've got no names, but seriously, the only good candidates are Bill "12 years till Super Bowl Ring" Cower and the others?

moum
Jan 01, 2010
10:51 AM

Matt et al, if an overhaul is coming, then what talent within the Bills might be used as bait for draft choices. GB , needing help in the "O" line might be the right kind of trading partners the Bills need. What players on the Bills current roster can be effective trade bait to other teams. Do you think the Bills will look at building for the future thru the draft, or trading players forplayers ?

Go Pack............

aud thoughts
Jan 01, 2010
12:41 PM

Ron Rivera will be the next coach of the Bills. Cold weatyher experience in Chicago. Attacking defense and San Diego connections. Then build offense with coordinator and give the reigns to OC that can teach.

Guest Star
Jan 01, 2010
01:53 PM

Nix an averge pick Cmon now! There is noone in the NFL, except Dick LeBleau, who has equiavalent football experience. 33 years of collegec oaching plus 17 years of a successful track record in Pro and College Scouting... including 7 as the assitant GM for Dan Diego. What other GM has this kind of experience? There is little doubt based on his success of drafting that he can run a scouting department and can keenly evaluate talent. Hey you know he is probably a hell of a lot better, if you thought about it, at his job vs you at yours.

So why don't you look at his track record before you declare in your publication through some unamed third party that he is average. This is journalism?

Yes lets give him more than 24 hours on the job. Let him at least put an organization in place over the next two years.

john
Jan 01, 2010
06:55 PM

to Dave in annapolis,
There are a lot of Jets fans who would be overjoyed to see B Schottenheimer become the coach of the Bills......Ryan might even be on that list.

Frank
Jan 03, 2010
10:16 AM

Hey "Guest Star" - did your uncle Buddy help you draft that response?

Five words for you: "you've got to be kidding"

Only in the Nix family would Buddy be so highly touted.

Only in Buffalo would there be an owner deluded enough to imagine that a 70 year old rookie GM would inspire the fan base.

And bringing in a 70 year old coach like Schottenheimer would complete this, the latest slap in the face to us Bills fans.

Has Wilson no conception of what is going on in the NFL?

He probably refers to coaches like Bellichick as "kids" and wonders why Joe Ferguson isn't dressing for the season finale.

I have a dollar that says the next Bills head coach is NOT Ron Rivera, for the sole reason that he'll probably be in demand elsewhere and Ralph Wilson NEVER gets into a bidding war.

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