Buffalo Bills interview Chip Kelly
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Bills interviewed Oregon's Chip Kelly, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone on a busy Friday in their coaching search.
Kelly also interviewed with Cleveland, with a person familiar with the negotiations saying the Browns are nearing a deal with Oregon's offensive mastermind.
The Bills, stationed in Arizona for much of this week, didn't provide any details regarding where the interviews took place or how long they lasted.
Next up is a trip to Denver, where the Bills are scheduled to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Saturday, according to a person familiar with the team's search. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills haven't revealed who they've lined up to meet.
The Bills fired Chan Gailey on Monday.
Story from earlier on Friday
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills are taking their coaching search to Denver to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy after spending much of the past week meeting candidates in Arizona.
A person familiar with the Bills search said Friday that the team is still scheduled to interview McCoy in Denver on Saturday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not revealed who they've lined up to meet.
The Bills had tentatively scheduled the meeting with McCoy earlier in the week, though a day and time had not been determined.
As the AFC's top seed, the Broncos are off until opening the playoffs on Jan. 12. They've allotted time for interested teams to interview McCoy in Denver this weekend. McCoy has also been linked as a candidate for coaching vacancies in Arizona, Philadelphia and Chicago.
The Bills search committee, headed by newly promoted team president Russ Brandon, has spent the past four days in Arizona interviewing several candidates to replace Chan Gailey, who was fired on Monday.
They were scheduled to interview Oregon's Chip Kelly on Friday, a day after the coach led the fifth-ranked Ducks (12-1) to a 35-17 victory over No. 7 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.
The Bills have not yet confirmed whether the meeting took place, and a person familiar with Kelly's interests said the Cleveland Browns are close to a deal with him anyway. The Browns interviewed Kelly on Friday and the Ducks coach was supposed to also meet with Philadelphia. However, a person familiar with the interviews says the Eagles are "heading in another direction."
That person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team isn't discussing its negotiations publicly, said the Eagles planned to interview several other candidates regardless of any conversations with Kelly.
The Eagles were granted permission Friday to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and are scheduled to meet with McCoy Sunday, as well.
Following Oregon's win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night, the 49-year-old Kelly said he wanted to get the interview process over "quickly."
Meanwhile, Buffalo has announced that it has already interviewed former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired on Monday, as well as Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
McCoy has become a hot prospect in his fourth season with the Broncos. He's played a key role in helping speed Peyton Manning's transition after the star quarterback signed with the team in free agency last offseason. McCoy has 13 years of NFL experience as an assistant, and previously spent eight seasons working under Broncos coach John Fox in Carolina.
Over his career, McCoy had quarterbacks reach 3,000 yards passing seven times. That includes Manning, who finished sixth in the NFL this season with 4,659 yards.
The Bills are in the midst of their fifth coaching search since 2001. Buffalo is coming off its second consecutive 6-10 season and has not enjoyed a winning record since a 9-7 finish in 2004. They own the NFL's longest active playoff drought that's now at 13 consecutive seasons.