Report: Bills offered head-coaching job to Jim Harbaugh

We reported nine days ago that Stanford coach was (not could be, but was) a candidate for the Bills’ head-coaching job.

And Charley Casserly of CBS confirms it with his report that the Bills actually offered the job to Harbaugh.

Harbaugh turned it down, opting to stay at a second-tier college program over coming to the NFL.

So the Bills are still scrambling to find someone/anyone to take the job.  And we can’t figure out the reason for it, unless the coaching fraternity has little regard for Russ Brandon, a non-football guy who has managed to keep himself in the thick of the franchise’s power structure.

63 responses to “Report: Bills offered head-coaching job to Jim Harbaugh

  1. One reason this site is stupid – editorial comments
    Stanford is a “second tier” college program? Just stupid. Yes, it isn’t ND, OSU, USC, UF, etc etc. But isnt’ that more of a challenge?
    Maybe a more accurate thing to say is that he turned down a 2nd tier college team for a 2nd tier NFL team.
    More evidence that Mike Florio is a bozo.

  2. “And we can’t figure out the reason for it”
    really? how about, crappy town, crappy team, crappy owner, crappy history, crappy weather. buffalo wings are good. man if you could buy buffalo wings anywhere else in the world there’d be no reason to go to buffalo ever.

  3. “So the Bills are still scrambling to find someone/anyone to take the job. And we can’t figure out the reason for it….”
    Would you take it Mike….didn’t think so!!!

  4. This is just getting embarrassing. Is it really because of Russ Brandon?… I doubt it… well, at least as the major reason.
    A cheap geriatric owner?… a horrible talent base? …uncertainly where they’ll play in 2, 3, 4… years? I think that reason is more, unfortunately, realistic.
    Hey Florio, maybe you could do some investigative reporting and get some of your sources to comment on this subject. Maybe some coaches who turned down an interview/job could shed some light. What do you say?

  5. I’m not just if you guys are confusing your Harbaughs, of if the article is just written incredibly poorly.

  6. Florio, no one wants this job simply because the roster is devoid of any talent whatsoever. It’s a career-killing job.

  7. The Bills can’t be that bad. Buddy Nix is well respected around the league and certainly knows how to draft and Russ Brandon may be the best marketing guy the NFL has ever seen ensuring that the Bills will stay in Buffalo. If Brandon is going to continue being a great marketer he will convince Wilson to pay for the players that will bring Buffalo back to greatness. So what is there to turn down? Does Buffalo resemble the Raiders too much?

  8. I think it might have something to do with the fact that the owner is 91 years old. They might be worried about what will happen with the ownership of the team when he dies. I think that has a lot more to do with it then who the GM is.

  9. That might be it–Russ must have incriminating pictures of Ralph Wilson for being able to survive as long as he has at the top of the organization considering the results we’ve seen. He needs to permanently step back over to the marketing side, which he does a great job at, and let the football folks run the football part of the operation. Are we the only NFL team to have a non-football guy calling the shots (at least in theory based on the org chart)?

  10. Some thoughts…
    1) Buffalo is cheap and everyone expects a lockout next year. In which case do you really think they want to pay a coaching staff? Why leave a good college job for a bad NFL job where they aren’t even going to pay you next year?
    2) You can get even money in the death pool on who kicks it first, JoePa or Ralph Wilson, and as soon as Wilson dies the family has already said they plan to sell the team.
    3) Marty Mornhinweg showed what happens when a well regarded candidate goes to a bad team. I don’t recall seeing a single team having given him even an interview for the HC job since he left the Lions. He may never get a shot again.
    4) I sort of suspect Harbaugh has his eye on the Michigan job if/when RichRod gets canned after next season. He’s in tight with Michigan’s new AD.

  11. Can we please drop the “football guy” label? It’s like commercials telling me a movie is brought to me by the “guys” who brought me some other movie. If there’s a distinction to be made then make it, but if you can qualify as a “football guy” by riding the bench at a triple A program, that distinction doesn’t mean much to me. The only real “football guys” are the ones playing the game on sundays, otherwise your an observer like everybody else.
    And yea, why does nobody want to coach in Buffalo? Is the ownership that bad? Are they firing coaches so fast they’re actually scaring off would-be coaches who don’t want to get fired? Is Terrell Owens just that toxic?

  12. Devoid of any talent?? Were picking 9th- that means 8 other teams suck more than we do……..unless you have ever been here- your opinion is worthless………most winters suck in any North East city- it is most likely to do with Ralph’s age-new ownership,etc..forget about LA- they could careless about football- I won’t believe any crap I hear- once we get our coach -I’ll deal with it then….It has nothing to do with Brandon or Nix…….I woildn’t think so anyways………none of us know and we may never know…….

  13. I’m thinking Vinny Cerrato for GM with head coaching duties going to Jim Zorn…. man, that just feels right.

  14. Hello everyone, my name is Alzado’s Vein. I am a Raiders fan first, Bills fan second, and glutton for misery third…

  15. Maybe there should be an age requirement you have to step aside as an owner? lol.
    Two of the worst teams in the league, Raiders (Al Davis born July 4th 1929) Bills (Ralph Wilson born October 17, 1918).

  16. Mike if he took that job, then he wouldn’t have time to hang around on the Ravens’ sidelines for the majority of their games and argue with refs.

  17. Again, I have to say: “Who’s been wrong more than Charley Casserly since he left the Redskins?”

  18. Like I said, this this might be worse than the Oakland job. no talent, and the franchise is up in the air, I mean are they even gonna be around in 5 years?
    no one wants this job.

  19. Green Bay – lovely city. Great culture. Detroit – they’ve got it going on and the winter’s are splendid. Kansas City is heaven on Earth. New Orleans? When it’s above water and not depopulated, it can be charming. Cleveland’s river caught on fire. Any team in the Southeast can’t sell tickets unless they’re going to the playoffs. Great towns, just great. L.A. doesn’t have a team because the losers who live there LOST their team. Twice. Buffalo has the 8th-largest stadium in the league and sell out regularly, despite not making the playoffs for a decade. If Cowher wants the perfect deal and Harbaugh can’t part with his wonderful gig, let them rot. We’ll take the guy with the stones who is ready to make his name instead of coast on his past.

  20. Nicely put S. Martin. Anyways, why do people keep bringing up T.O. in this topic? T.O. was fine while he was here and ……. HE WON’T BE BACK. He signed a 1 year deal!!!

  21. Expect an announcement on Monday… Terrell Owens will be the teams new President/Head Coach… His first moves will be to bring in Michael Vick and Albert Haynesworth.

  22. Why did he turn it down? What did he find out that he did not like? If he was willing to sit for the interview their had to have been something he wanted but wasn’t going to get, that a fan on a message board could only assume.
    that’s the real story

  23. Jersuza ….. the temps between Tampa & Buffalo were were about 5-10 degrees different last week. Granted, that is unusual for this time of the year. It’s not as bad the media makes it out to be here. If weather was such a big deal for getting coaches/players, New England, Green Bay, both NY’s, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc. would never attract any talent.
    Fan from Buffalo

  24. It’s a career killing job? Say that to Mike Mularkey, Wade Phillips, Gregg Williams, Bobby April, Perry Fewell, Kevin Gilbride, Bill Polian, Jerry Gray, to name a few. All guys who have a career in the NFL still. Not a career killer.
    The only variable that has not changed is Ralph Wilson. It is a miracle they went to the Super Bowl four times and were always playoff contenders for so long with this guy,and now he has no idea what he’s doing?
    There is something Nix/Wilson is shoveling and these coach candidates don’t like the smell.
    There’s another story here. This is just too weird.

  25. Jersuza, your city is more than twice the size of Buffalo’s. Your stadium holds 8000 fewer people than Buffalo’s. And your owner STILL has to buy unsold tickets to avoid TV blackouts. And you don’t have a head coach worthy of the position. We’re not impressed.

  26. I heard Lane Kiffin is interested in going from USC to Buffalo.
    Now for real, Leslie Frazier sounds like a good fit. The Bills are a mess and nobody wants the job because the team might be moving. How about some other names like Marty Mornhinweg, Mike Martz. The D coordinator Belicheat just fired. Somebody will take the job. Or, Maybe look at a college coach.

  27. “And we can’t figure out the reason for it…”
    Let me explain it to you Florio…
    The Bills make football related decisions based on an “inner circle” which INCLUDES Ralph Wilson, Russ Brandon, Tom Modrak and John Guy. And that is in the order of importance within the organization and this idiotic “inner circle”. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the Bills run things like a normal (successful) football team. Everything that is done at One Bills Drive is as abnormal as it comes. Ralph is a businessman, not a talent evaluator, but HE has final say as to who this team brings in from FA and the Draft. Russ Brandon has exactly NO FOOTBALL experience, he was an Assistant GM for a Minor League Baseball Team (Rochester Redwings) 10 years ago, and Modrak and Guy have shown over the last 9 years that they have absolutely NO ability to evaluate talent. But they are all still employed with the Bills. Goes to show you Ralph’s ability to evaluate the talent within his own organization.
    Sure, coaches have input, but the Boss decides. There should be no wonder as to why a real football person doesn’t want to come into this dysfunctional situation. Why would anyone that has been schooled in football, and has proven they know talent, want to be told “no” on a pick or free agent by an old man whose singular experience in football is that he owns the team? If the Bills were an engineering firm and the owner was NOT an engineer, why in the hell would you have him designing buildings? I think we all know that those building would fall down, as we are seeing the Bills fall down right in front of us.
    Ralphs bottom line is money. The coaches and scouting departments bottom line is talent. The 2 need never be mixed. You take care of the former after the latter has been decided. But that is not how the Bills organization works. And THAT is why no one in their right mind wants to have anything to do with them.

  28. It’s the uncertainty of the owner that scares people off….Look at the real pros/cons
    1.) An old owner who at 91 hasn’t consistently offered to spend the big money that is required in this era to obtain top level free agents…..And where will this team be in 5 years……hopefully in Buffalo but people are trying everywhere to pry it away…..Hopefully Jacksonville gets the boot because their franchise even in its half decent state still can’t sell out….pathetic
    2.) Great fans…..Gotta give it to people that sit outside in 10 degree weather to watch their team and scream with enthusiasm
    3.) No good QB on the roster
    4.) Young talent on the roster on the O-Line and defense…
    It’s Ralphie plain and simple…….

  29. The Bills are not leaving Buffalo. It just isn’t going to happen. To continue typing it on the web is about as useful as typing comments about how Bill Cowher is going to be the next coach of the Buffalo Bills.

  30. This from a Bills fan today on a Bills forum.
    “You have to admit that as embarrassing as it is, there’s some real entertainment value in this sad saga. We may be bereft of champions but we are rich with never-before-seen drama. We have “The Comeback” (which I was there to see…honest), the “Music City Miracle”, the most closely-contested Super Bowl of them all, that Dallas loss from 2008 (I still can’t figure out how that happened!), an opposing team owner proudly giving us the finger (even the widely-hated Patriots never received that!), assistant coaches from across the league turning their back on millions of $$$ just to stay away from us…and on and on.
    And I haven’t even mentioned any SABRES moments, of which there are many! Look, I’m just saying the glass is half full WNYers. Other teams may have titles and trophies (and I want those too, believe me) but we have the most interesting stories…mostly sad ones, but still fascinating!”

  31. TheBeave you are dead on about Michigan. Harbaugh’s just waiting out the soon to be total failure of Rich Rodriguez.

  32. Despite this drama (that could make a good story line your wife or girlfriend would watch), I love the Bills. I mean, what other head coach hunt could be as exciting as this one!
    Yes it sucks that Ralph has to think about cash before he thinks about chips, but as a small market team thriving on not taking advantage of their fans I would say I am pretty happy being a Bills fan. There is a sort of level headedness. Like an out of body experience every game. You are just beside yourself. And you can’t believe what you are seeing. We have long lost any ban-wagon fans, thank god and now its just true buffalo fans in backers bars around the nation.
    I would be up for hiring Jim Kelly as our new head coach.

  33. as wrong as it is, (and i’ve had it for almost 2 years now), my PFT screen name says it all.

  34. Being a Dolphins fan living in Buffalo, it brings me great joy to see this sad saga unfold.
    wwwmattcom said “It’s a career killing job? Say that to Mike Mularkey, Wade Phillips, Gregg Williams, Bobby April, Perry Fewell, Kevin Gilbride, Bill Polian, Jerry Gray, to name a few. All guys who have a career in the NFL still. Not a career killer.”
    All these guys are laughing at buffalo right now. Mularkey OC for ATL, Phillips HC DAL, Williams DC NO, April ST PHI, Fewell DC NYG, Gilbride OC NYG, Polian GM IND, Gray SEC WAS. They ALL found success leaving buffalo. Im suprised no one has taken the job yet cause they know once they suck for a few years and go 5-11 two years in a row and get fired they will go on to find success somewhere else. Its destiny. (April/Fewell haven’t yet but they will and hey they are in philly and nyc instead of buffalo)
    WHO CARES about having stories like close super bowl (u lost), music city miracle (u lost), dallas comeback on mnf (u lost), bud adams middle finger (u lost). and WHO CARES about having the 8th biggest stadium and still having success selling tickets even though u havent been to playoffs this decade. honestly dont u care more about the talent on the field and ur coaches instead of bragging about not having blackouts to jags fans. listen there is nothing better to do in buffalo than go watch a sports game live.
    This is what buffalo needs to do. Take a page from miami’s book. They went from 1-15 to 11-5 in one year. Hire a grand poobah who knows what he is doing like parcells. hire a gm who has had success like ireland (i guess buddy nix fits this mold) and hire a HC who takes no nonsense like sparano. then change the defense to a 3-4. they took aaron maybin 1st rd last year. he is too small to be a 4-3 end. but he is perfect for a 3-4 OLB. Poz is a great ILB. Schobel can be a 3-4 DE. Stroud is a 3-4 NT. get a few more pieces and maybe they dont let miami and nyj run for 500 yds in back to back weeks. Every team in the afc east plays as 3-4. miami, ne, nyj. this would play to the bills strengths and help them better prepare for their divisional games. They have to do something to get better in the divison where it all counts. Since 03 the bills are 1-13 vs the Patriots. (added bonus mia went 5-9 vs ne and nyj went 3-11) Ted Bruschi said it best “When a team loses to another team consecutively for so long, like the Bills have to the Patriots, not only do they have to prove to themselves and their fans that they can win but they also have to prove it to the Patriots.”

  35. Hello Commissioner Goodell. The integrity of the league will suffer if no one but a bad high school coach will take the Bills job. It is time that you got involved and forced Ralph Wilson to sell the team to owners who will move it to L.A. by the start of the 2010 season. As part of the move, allow the new owners to dump the disgusting name “Bills”. In addition, since you will have finally eliminated the last remaining New York team, establish a league rule that will never again permit a franchise to be wasted on that pathetic state!

  36. Dolphin fan living in Buffalo is sad, repeating
    anything that comes out of Teddy Bruschi’s
    piehole is beyond belief. As to this is what
    Buffalo should do? you don’t have the right to even state an opinion. Why don’t you contact
    Realty USA and move your stupid ass to Miami !

  37. dogma
    Last I checked, the Oakland job was not available, and all former HCs in Oakland have stated that it is not like the press describes it in Oakland. You’ve been duped by people like Berman and Al Michaels. LOL!!!
    Besides, if Cable were to get fired, I’m sure Harbaugh would take the Oakland job way before considering the Buffalo job. Afterall, he has worked for Davis and the Raiders before, and didn’t have a problem with either!!!

  38. I have no answers anymore for the Bills….. So I’m going with South Park….. Blame Canada…makes sence:-)

  39. The QB situation may be part of the problem, maybe the BILLS plans are to go ahead with the QB’s that are now on the roster. I can’t see anybody wanting to coach a team that has the options that the BILLS have at QB. I’d prefer someone that wants to coach here i.e. FRAZIER over someone that had to be begged to come here and is only doing it for the money i.e. COWHER.

  40. # Rex Ryan=Fat Twat says: January 17, 2010 1:49 AM ; All these guys are laughing at Buffalo ……..
    You missed my point. Its ok though, you’re a phin fan, let me type slower.
    They have jobs stillin the NFL.
    Get it?
    OK, do what the dolphins did, trade away all good wide recievers, bring on an irrelevant Joey Porter type, draft two QB’s and Pennington can school them, all of which show no promise, Draft Tedd Ginn because you’re in love with Devon Hester, then, have it all blow up in your face and run the wildcat……. no thanks.

  41. Dynamohum says:
    January 17, 2010 8:24 AM
    Dolphin fan living in Buffalo is sad, repeating
    anything that comes out of Teddy Bruschi’s
    piehole is beyond belief. As to this is what
    Buffalo should do? you don’t have the right to even state an opinion. Why don’t you contact
    Realty USA and move your stupid ass to Miami !
    Im glad u decided to take this personally and attack me instead of actually commenting on the buffalo bills. listen guy im only 23 and in grad school, dont think for a minute that im not counting down the days until i can get out of buffalo. whats sad is your buffalo bills and this past decade of failure. even better is u have no building blocks for the future. i have jake long, ronnie brown, chad henne. even the raiders have asomugha, browns have joe thomas and cribbs, lions have megatron, u have what? T.O.? lol. at least i have an opinion on how the bills can actually be relevent in the NFL again instead of just crying tears of laughter over all these assistant coaches turning down the bills. The city is fallen on hard times, the team is in turmoil, the owners family wants NOTHING to do with the team when he dies, u havent won the division since 1995 (i was 9 years old). let that sink in for a minute. YOU HAVE NOT WON YOUR DIVISION IN 14 YEARS. 14 YEARS!!!! and your the guy saying i dont have a right to state an opinion

  42. @wwwmattdotcom…oh ur point was that every single person u named went on to find success once they LEFT buffalo. i dont think thats a good thing. bro.
    LOL joey porter irrelevent? in his last 3 games vs buffalo he has 6.5 sacks. but it is the bills were talking about and anyone can sack their “QB”. So lets go to 2009 total stats. Porter had 9 sacks in only 13 games. He’s a LB BTW, how many sacks did your 1st rd DE have? 0? right. Chad Henne shows no promise? He beat the Jets on MNF (buffalo hasnt won a MNF game in 10 years) and Beat the Patriots (buffalo hasnt beat NE in last 12 matchups). I’d say that shows some promise. we went from 1-15 to 11-5 and AFC east champs. read my last comment about u not winning ur divison in 14 years.

  43. No my point was someone said going to Buffalo was a career killer, but they all have careers and are doing well. Joey Porter is irrelevent.
    Wow, you remind me of a lot of phin fans who think their team is great and so much better than everyone elses.
    Not to mentiont he Bills beat you guys this year, yea we split, but come on, you can beat the pats but not the Bills.
    Since when is it all about winning on MNF?
    I don’t want our team to be like the Dolphins. They are not a protege for anyone.
    Yes, Chad Henne does not excite anyone. You run the wildcat! Your team died after Ronnie Brown was hurt. Williams did well and thank god for that, with out him your offense has nothing.
    If you want ot bring up the past we can talk about the last time your team went to a superbowl.
    Comparing Porter to Maybin, you are weak.
    Finish grad school and then comment.
    I thought Pat fans were bad.

  44. Joey Porter is a Defensive Captain and Leader. Your Defensive captain and leader is thinking about retirement when he was drafted in 01 because he is embarassed to be a bill (schobel) LOL
    I dont think the dolphins are great and much better than everyone else but we sure as shit are better than the buffalo bills. since we put our foundation in place (you know hired people who actually wanted to come to our franchise)Executive VP-Parcells, GM-Ireland, HC Sparano) we are 3-1 vs bills. yeah we split this year but even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes brotha. the loss to the bills was the exception, not the rule. btw id rather beat the patriots than the bills anyday.
    It’s not all about winning on MNF but come on 10 years, a full decade, without 1 win on MNF? thats sad. and hilarious.
    Chad Henne does not excite anyone? well let me tell you that when he made his first start in the NFL, he beat the Bills 38-10 and I was pretty damn excited. and once again Chad Henne did two things in his 1st year starting in the NFL that the Bills havent done in 10 years and 6 years. Win on MNF and Beat the Patriots. YOU ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. this kid beats the bills badly in his first start, beats the jets on MNF, beats the Patriots, yet u say he doesnt excite anyone? coming from a bills fan who hasnt been excited since 1995 (last time u won the division).
    I know your bitter and sad over 14 years of disappointment but come on man, you shouldnt hate on the wildcat u should embrace it. I mean the only offense u generated against the titans this year was a fred jackson td pass to lee evans out of the wildcat. jackass. lol.
    No duh our team died after ronnie brown got hurt. he is a pro-bowl franchise player that u build around. you wouldnt understand. u have no such player.
    and as far as bringing up the past about super bowls. I remember as much about the dolphins last super bowl apperance and i do about the bills, nothing. I was 5 years old. lol. get a grip on reality.
    I only compared peezy to maybin cause u brought up irrelevence. I see no bigger irrelevent bill than aaron maybin.
    finish your mcdonalds shift and then comment.
    i thought Jets fans were retarded.

  45. Ottawa49ers says:
    January 17, 2010 1:15 PM
    I would much rather be coaching and living in Stanford over Buffalo
    id rather be coaching and living anywhere over buffalo. ask willis mcgahee

  46. WOW. Im a diehard bills fan but damn does rexryan=fat twat make some sense (funny name too lol).
    @wwwmattcom. u said u dont want the bills to be like the dolphins and they arent a protege for anyone but i disagree. Nothing would make me happier than the bills putting someone in charge to oversee football operations like parcells does. maybe tony dungy or someone like that if we throw enough money. and a HC who takes no nonsense like sparano. I was sick and tired of seeing Jaurons emotionless face everytime we committed a false start penalty (which was like 4 times a game) and why not change to a 3-4. its been 10 years of disappointment (not 14 like rexryan says. we made playoffs in 99 even though we didnt win division. ) so maybe some change would be good.
    One thing that struck me is this “i have jake long, ronnie brown, chad henne. even the raiders have asomugha, browns have joe thomas and cribbs, lions have megatron, u have what? T.O.?”
    -this is sad. this never dawned on me. honestly there isnt a player on the bills u could consider a franchise player to build your team around. after all our drafts and free agency signings.. Letting antoine winfield, pat williams, and Nate Clements walk via free agency were bad moves but i dont think any of them are young franchise players like jake long, ronnie brown, (im not sold on henne yet, but yes he is exciting), asomugha, thomas, cribbs, and im assuming megatron is calvin johnson. DAMN, who the hell have we been drafting and signing in free agency? neither of the two lineman we got in the draft are gonna be as talented as jake long. he made the pro bowl as a rookie and made it again in sophmore year. BUT rexryan u forgot one man who i believe could turn into this franchise player and that man is Jarius Byrd.
    i would take joey porters old ass over aaron maybin anyday. this kid is way too small to be a 4-3 DE and he showed me nothing all year.
    I was only 11 when the bills last went to the superbowl so i dont remember much about it either but im willing to bet we go to another one before miami does. SQUISH THE FISH

  47. The Dolphins are a bunch of homos. And that 23 year old grad school student. You must be a really poor student for having to choose a grad school in poor old Buffalo. Stop complaining you pussy…

  48. yeah. it must be nice to be a bills fan. id bet u would suck some dirty old homeless mans dick to have winning record. u know since u have only had 1 in the last 1o years. your the homo. the bills talent is like your name. a ghost. no where to be seen. all kids in college are poor you jackass. im sure u wouldnt understand cause you have been busy with your janitorial job.

  49. It takes a real man to attack a college kid. How old are u anyway casper? cause its pretty pathetic u dont even know your own football team. Travis Henry has the 20 kids. Willis has none. Typical retarded move by the bills, drafting willis in the 1st rd. how did that work out? Smack talking the dolphins coach? he’s in only his second year and hes done something the bills havent done in 14 YEARS. Win the Division. Who cares what the dolphins uniforms look like man. I care about the talent on the field and having smart coaches. u have neither. i was 11 when dan marino retired so no i dont remember him playing the bills. LOL. You should prolly move out of your mamas basement, she wants to blow the neighbors in peace.

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