My friend, John Wawrow from The Associated Press, had a very interesting interview with Ralph Wilson today in which the Bills owner said he is prepared to revamp his entire football operation after the season and that no job is safe. Wilson also said in the interview that he’s open to making a lucrative offer to land a high-profile coach.
“It’s not about money, it’s about winning,’’ Wilson told the AP. “If it was about money, we wouldn’t have brought in and paid for somebody we know was a great player.’’
Ralph obviously was referring to the signing of the underachieving Terrell Owens to a one-year, $6.5 million contract after the star receiver was released by the Dallas Cowboys in March.
Ralph also discounted reports that the Bills are preparing to interview former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.
So, let’s dissect this.
First off, I’m glad Ralph is going to hold everyone accountable because the Bills woes obviously go well beyond the poor coaching of Dick Jauron. It also includes a front office that has done a poor job of drafting college players and signing free agents for much of this decade.
It’s also encouraging that Ralph said he is willing to spend big bucks for a new coach and director of football operations because that’s the only way he is going to land a Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Mike Holgrem, Mike Shanahan, etc.
As I’ve written before, this is going to be a very competitive process because there are a number of bad teams out there courting these big-name coaches, whose ranks also include broadcaster Jon Gruden, who I assume has an escape clause built into that new contract extension he just signed with ESPN.
My feeling is the Bills shouldn’t wait until the end of the season to nab their guy. I think the ideal situation would be to get somebody in house as soon as possible – not to coach this season, but to evaluate from above the way Bill Parcells did when he arrived in Miami a few years ago. That would allow the new guy to make a fair assessment of his players and coaches with his own eyes in real games. It would give him a huge jump on the holes he’ll have to address via free agency and the draft.
A nationally recognized sports columnist and best-selling author, Scott Pitoniak is pursuing new challenges after 35 years in the newspaper business. He hopes one day to write the great American novel and hit a baseball over the wall at Yankee Stadium. In the meantime, he runs his own website – ScottPitoniak.com – and blogs about sports and life’s other adventures.
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