BUFFALO, N.Y. - Both Former San Diego Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer and Former Ravens Coach Brian Billick each confirmed for 2 On Your Side that they were interested in the Buffalo Bills head coaching job.
According to a report from Tim Graham of ESPN.com, Schottenheimer wanted the job, but Bills Owner Ralph Wilson was not comfortable with Schottenheimer, who had worked with Bills General manager Buddy Nix in San Diego.
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Wednesday afternoon, 2 On Your Side spoke to Schottenheimer, who confirmed that he had shown some interest in the job, and that he and Nix had spoken about it; however, Schottenheimer downplayed his level of interest, adding that the discussions were only preliminary.
REPORTER: How interested were you in coaching in Buffalo?
MARTY: Well, I wasn't certain, quite frankly, that I was interested in coaching, but Buddy Nix has been an associate of mine for a number of years. And Buddy in my opinion is one of the best personnel people I've ever been around. So, with that in mind, we had some discussions, but to suggest that I was ever a candidate would not be accurate... My discussions about it were really driven by the fact that I have such a high regard for Buddy Nix.
REPORTER: Did Buddy reach out to you?
MARTY: No. Buddy and I, having been together in San Diego for an extended period of time, are good friends, and, you know, we had some discussions about (my son) Brian Schottenheimer, and all. But, there was never a point in time that this was something that I was absolutely excited about doing, to be candid with you.
Schottenheimer briefly discussed the report that Wilson was not interested in him. We asked him if it was true.
"Not in my sense of it. No, I don't think so," Schottenheimer said.
REPORTER: Were you disappointed at all that there didn't seem to be a massive level of interest from the Bills in bringing you in?
MARTY: No, because I never considered myself a candidate. No, I didn't have any disappointment at all, because I was never a candidate in my view... My discussions, as they unfolded, were very preliminary and never got beyond that point. There was never any point in time in my opinion that I was committed to doing.
Schottenheimer said that he was never certain he wanted to return to coaching.
2 On Your Side also spoke with former Ravens Coach Brian Billick, who acknowledged he too was interested in the team's coaching vacancy, among other jobs. Billick confirmed that the team was not interested in him. At first, Billick was complimentary of Chan Gailey, the man the Bills selected as head coach.
We asked Billick if he had spoken to Nix about the Bills coaching vacancy. Billick did not specifically answer the question.
"They've made a good choice in Chan Gailey," Billick said. "I really don't want to comment on what was, or what was not discussed, or who I talked to, or if I talked to it. They went about their process. They came up with Chan Gailey. It'll be interesting to see how it goes."
Billick added: "Chan Gailey is a good coach. I think he's done a nice job. I don't think I need to get drawn into that."
About 15 minutes later, Billick called us back to clarify that he had not spoken to Nix about the Bills coaching job. That's when Billick sounded surprised about being left out of the coaching mix.
"I just wanted to make sure I was clear that he (Nix) had not called," Billick said. "Why he had not called a coach with a Super Bowl ring, 10 wins a year for nine years, having orchestrated the highest-scoring offense and defense in the history of the league, is a question worth asking. But I never spoke with Mr. Nix."
Asked why neither Billick nor Schottenheimer was interviewed, a Bills team spokesperson sent us the following statement:
"Chan Gailey is our Head Coach and we are focused on moving forward."