We’d be shocked, perplexed, and/or flummoxed if former Broncos and Raiders coach Mike Shanahan were to become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
At a time when “Holmgren” and “Gruden” are getting all the press, the guy who won one more Super Bowl than each of them needed to get his name in circulation.
If the Bills truly have launched the process of searching for a new head coach even before interim head coach Perry Fewell works his first game, the fact that Buffalo is beating the bushes could make others who plan a coaching change to get antsy.
At the top of that list is Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Despite Sunday’s unlikely win over the Broncos, Snyder and the ‘Skins surely are still plotting a change. Of course, Jim Zorn can’t be fired as a practical matter while his hand is hot. But if the Redskins lose to the Cowboys in ugly fashion and then fall to Philly, Snyder could be inclined to jump into the fray before Buffalo has a chance to get its hooks too deep into one of the prime candidates.
A scan of the standings doesn’t immediately reveal any other teams that could be inclined to accelerate the process of replacing a head coach given that the Bills have gotten a head start on the process, primarily since the Browns seem to be committed to giving coach Eric Mangini a full season and the Raiders won’t be hiring a new coach who has other NFL options, anyway.
That said, keep an eye on the Bears. If they lose to the Eagles and the Vikings, falling to 4-7 and as a practical matter out of playoff contention, the fact that Shanahan is getting some play elsewhere could prompt Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo to recommend firing Lovie Smith before the end of the season.
As to Shanahan and the Bills, we’d be shocked if anything really happens. Shanahan is believed to be owed $7 million from Denver in 2010. If that’s the case, he’d need more than $7 million next year in order to avoid working for free.
The Bills aren’t likely to pay that kind of money for a head coach, unless they justify it by giving Shanahan the powers of a G.M., too. Even then, the payment of big money to Shanahan would at a minimum contradict the notion that the Bills are having financial challenges.