By Sal Capaccio
Doug Whaley still has - and will maintain - control over the Bills 53-man roster, according to a source familiar with the team’s head coaching search, putting to rest reports from over the weekend that stated otherwise.
Those reports said the Bills plan on giving the new head coach “more power,” and one stated that may even include overseeing the 53-man roster, which would be a change from the way the team has operated over at least the past seven years.
Over that time, whether it’s been Whaley or his predecessor Buddy Nix, the general manager of the team has had control and final say over the 53-man roster. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that isn’t about to change, but did say that the new coach will have complete say over any changes in assistant coaches or support staff, including those still currently under contract.
That practice is fairly standard with a coaching regime change, although teams sometimes want the new coach to retain some of the previous staff since they are still under contract and will be paying them.
It would be odd if the Bills did give the new coach that much power, considering the team is likely to hire a first time head coach, judging by the list of candidates they’ve either already spoken to or are reported to be interested in. Also, the new head coach may very well be reporting directly to Whaley, a change from the past two years when Rex Ryan and Whaley both reported separately to owners Terry and Kim Pegula.
Meanwhile, I’m told team officials were impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who they interviewed Sunday. However, I’m still of the belief Bills offensive coordinator Antony Lynn and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott are the front-runners for the job. Those three, along with Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin are the four known candidates the team has interviewed.
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