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Report: Bills to interview Syracuse coach Doug Marrone

By Tim Graham

And here's another country heard from ...

ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone will interview for the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns vacancies.

Syracuse went 8-5 this season, including Saturday's victory over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

Marrone has been Syracuse's head coach since 2009, going 25-25 in his four seasons.

Before he took over at Syracuse, he was New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008 and New York Jets offensive line coach from 2002 to 2005.

Report: Cardinals DC Ray Horton will interview with Bills

By Tim Graham

HortonMugReports will fly until the Buffalo Bills are settled at head coach and general manager.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton will interview for the Bills', Cardinals' and Cleveland Browns' coaching vacancies.

The Cardinals this year ranked 12th in total defense, 28th in rushing defense and fifth in passing defense. They were first in percentage of pass attempts intercepted, fifth in sacks per pass play and second on third down.

Prior to joining the Cardinals last year, Horton spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he won two Super Bowl rings. He also has coached with the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins.

Lovie Smith already generating buzz as Bills' next coach

By Tim Graham

LovieSmithAPThere's no mourning period when it comes to coaching vacancies.

Mere hours after the Buffalo Bills fired Chan Gailey, the vacancy was said to be coveted by Lovie Smith, himself fired by the Chicago Bears this morning.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported tonight Smith is most interested in pursuing Bills and Arizona Cardinals openings.

Before that report, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah predicted Smith -- almost in a mock draft spirit -- forecasted the coaches who would fill the NFL's seven Black Sunday vacancies. Jeremiah guessed Smith would be Buffalo's next coach.

Jeremiah wrote:

"The Bills spent all that money on defense during the offseason, but the unit proved highly disappointing, ranking 22nd in total defense and 26th in scoring D. Smith can get the most out of those pricey defensive pieces. Ideally, you'd pair Smith with a strong offensive coordinator to get more consistency on that side of the ball as well."

If the Bills have mutual interest, then they could close the deal with Smith sooner than other candidates. The NFL requires clubs to interview at least one minority candidate under the Rooney Rule. The Bills would need to interview only one person if they wanted to hire Smith.

Russ Brandon visited Ralph Wilson without Buddy Nix

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have confirmed CEO Russ Brandon met with owner Ralph Wilson today and has returned to Orchard Park, presumably with a plan in place on how to handle the team moving forward.

The Bills also confirmed General Manager Buddy Nix did not make the trip, an ominous sign for his future. The Bills fired head coach Chan Gailey and the entire coaching staff this morning.

A Bills spokesman declined to comment on Nix's status tonight and said no announcement would be forthcoming tonight.

The Bills are expected to address reporters Tuesday at One Bills Drive.

Chan Gailey had respect to the end among his players

By Jay Skurski

Several players in the Buffalo Bills' locker room spoke today of the debt of gratitude they owe coach Chan Gailey, who was fired this morning.

Here is a collection of some of their comments:

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick: "Chan means a lot to me as a person and as a coach. Before he took over here, I was kind of the lost journeyman, bouncing around from team to team. He was the guy that gave me my first real shot, the guy that showed a lot of confidence in me and has stood by my side for the last few years. He means a lot to me as a coach and as a person and he's somebody I'll always respect."

Tight end Scott Chandler: "He pulled me off the trash heap. That guy gave me a chance to play. He's a guy who's pretty special to me, who I have a lot of respect for."

Receiver Stevie Johnson: "It was a great offense to be in. It was a great offense for me. I'm happy that I was here. I'm happy that he came here and I was able to get that opportunity from him. My feelings about coach Gailey, it's always good. He gave me my opportunity and gave me my chance and I pretty much took advantage of it. But if it wasn't for him who knows what would've happened?

Receiver David Nelson: "I owe everything I have so far to Chan. He brought me in when not a lot of people would. He gave me an opportunity. He continued to stick behind me. A lot of people have doubted me."

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams: "I think everybody in here has a tremendous amount of respect for Chan. I've been lucky in the sense, the two guys I've had as head coaches [Gailey and Dick Jauron] are really, really solid, good men. They're great men to be with. Their yes is yes, their no is no. Obviously we haven't won enough, which is what it's all about."

Bills sign five to future contracts

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills this afternoon announced they've signed five players to 2013 future contracts:

  • Running back Zach Brown
  • Tackle Adam Grant
  • Defensive end Corbin Bryant
  • Defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert
  • Linebacker Brian Smith

They are called future contracts in NFL parlance because these previously unattached free agents were signed for next season, not the current season.

Video: Players reflect on season, head coach

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Video: Sully, Gaughan & Graham on coaching searchGailey's full statement
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Jerry Sullivan's post-firing column: Right back to Square One
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Related: Bills make it official: Gailey is firedNFL Network's analysts' takesPlayers' tweets about firingKey dates for coaching searchFitzpatrick not keen on being a backup
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C.J. Spiller wants to give Adrian Peterson a run as top back

By Tim Graham

Given that we haven't heard from Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson or General Manager Buddy Nix, we don't know their specific grounds for firing head coach Chan Gailey.

One of the more notable reasons Bills fans are glad Gailey's gone is the way he used running back C.J. Spiller this season.

Spiller was a revelation. He ran for 1,244 yards and six touchdowns and caught 43 passes for 459 yards and two touchdowns.

The problem was that Spiller averaged only 13 carries and less than three catches a game.

Continue reading "C.J. Spiller wants to give Adrian Peterson a run as top back" »

Ryan Fitzpatrick not keen on possibility of being a backup

By Jay Skurski

Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the 2012 season 13th in the NFL in touchdown passes, 16th in completions, and 17th in passer rating.

He is, by those statistical measures, a middle-of-the-road starting quarterback in the NFL. That explains why, when asked today whether he'd consider returning to Buffalo as a backup to a new, young quarterback, Fitzpatrick was less than enthusiastic about the proposition.

"I would hate to speculate on any of that. For me personally, I think I want to play," he said. "That's just who I am. I think I'm a starter in this league and want to play. I'd hate to play the 'what if' game right now, I guess."

Continue reading "Ryan Fitzpatrick not keen on possibility of being a backup" »

Video: Sully, Gaughan & Graham on Bills' coaching search

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Video: Gailey's full statement
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Jerry Sullivan's post-firing column: Right back to Square One
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Related: Bills make it official: Gailey is firedNFL Network's analysts' takesPlayers' tweets about firingKey dates for coaching searchFitzpatrick not keen on being a backup
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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