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Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports
Posted: Monday, 02 January 2017 8:58PM

Kim Pegula: Lynn "not a lock"

By Sal Capaccio

Twitter: @SalSports

Buffalo Bills co-owner Kim Pegula told WGR Monday evening that even though Anthony Lynn is a candidate for the team’s vacant head coaching position, he is certainly “not a lock” to be named Rex Ryan’s permanent replacement.

I spoke with Pegula in an exclusive interview just hours after General Manager Doug Whaley met with the media to answer questions regarding the firing of Ryan and the search for his replacement.

“We are going to do a fair and compete interview process,” Pegula told me.  “He is one of our candidates, but we aren’t going to just hand it over.  It wouldn’t be fair to other possible candidates or to Anthony to just assume it’s a fake search.”

Pegula said she expects “five or six” candidates to have formal interviews with the club, as opposed to the twelve the team interviewed two years ago before hiring Ryan.  Whaley confirmed Monday the team has requested permission to to speak to Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.  The Associated Press reported Monday that Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is also scheduled to interview for the position, while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says the team has requested permission from the Miami Dolphins to speak with their defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph.

A person familiar with the coaching search, speaking on condition of anonymity, told me the team has no plans as of right now to speak with Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who the team interviewed two years ago.  However, that person said things could change based on how the search begins to unfold.

Pegula said ownership and front office personnel will begin meeting Tuesday to further discuss candidates, as well as player evaluations and the off-season direction of the orgnization.

When it came to the dismissal of Ryan, Pegula denied reports that said the decision had been made weeks prior to the announcement, saying there are always different discussions after every game involving what went right and what went wrong.  She said firing Ryan was not an easy decision for her or her husband Terry, but one they ultimately felt was right for the organization. ”I believe in continuity and really wanted to make that happen,” she said.  “But, we just realized team wasn't going in the direction we wanted.”

Follow me on Twitter @SalSports

01/03/2017 12:26AM
Kim Pegula: Lynn "not a lock"
Please enter your comments below.
01/03/2017 1:29AM
Pegulas are the worst thing to happen to Buffalo
Not sure why so many Buffalonians love Terry and Kim so much. They have had over 5 years now with the Sabres and the Sabres have been a bottom 5 team ever since they have owned them and will continue to be a bottom 5 team for as long as the Pegulias own them. The Bills have gone in the wrong direction and gotten worse each year since the Pegulias have owned them. The word in the professional circles in both the NHL and NFL is that the Pegulias are amateurs who don't have a clue what they are doing and surround themselves with incompetent and immature people in the front office and managing side of their two teams. It is also widely known that Kim Pegulia runs most things with both teams and is a micromanager and difficult to get along with. Buffalonians are slow to process facts and reality and love to give people way to long to prove themselves. In addition, Buffalonians will continue to buy all the merchandise and sell out all of the Bills games and Sabres games giving the Pegulias no reason at all to change what they are doing. Neither the Bills or Sabres will ever make the playoffs as long as the Pegulias are the owners and that is simply a fact and reality. Pegulias found the perfect city to buy 2 "pro" sports teams in because it will take at least another 10 years or longer before Buffalonians even start to realize what terrible owners the Pegulias are.
01/03/2017 7:15AM
stop lying to fans KIM. only way Lynn not lock to HC is to rid BILLS of BRANDON and WHALLEY.
01/03/2017 7:28AM
What really good Coach would come here now?
After what happen to Rex Ryan? Lets face it, Whaley doesn't get a long with Head Coaches? The problem is most likely Whaley's losing legacy? That speaks for itself. Do the owners really have any grip on what is really causing this team to be out of the playoffs for 17 years? The missing link everyone knows is the special most important position that has been lacking for so many years is QB! Yet Whaley keeps experimenting year after year with 2nd and 3rd stringers at best, they probably wouldn't make the squad on most teams in the NFL after training camp????
01/03/2017 7:54AM
What do two dysfunctional professional teams have in common? With all that money they should have hired football and hockey czars and gotten out of the way to enjoy the accolades. Instead they meddle and micromanage when they have no clue. They left Couglin dangling last spring, hired Rex cause he was a fun guy at dinner, kept inept Whaley, then undermined him, brought in Ville Leino and flew out to convince an old slow Robyn Regher to play for huge money...What a waste. Sooner or later they'll get it---I hope. But we're condemned to be a laughing stock till they step aside and let the pros take over.
01/03/2017 8:00AM
Whaley fell on the sword
For Kim and Terry. Well done Doug, here's some more cash.
01/03/2017 8:10AM
Headed towards year 18 and beyond!
I do not believe that Kim has a clue how to run a team let alone anything at all about the Bills legacy. Its a shame but its all we have. Winning starts at the top - how can the Bills become a winning franchise again with an owner who does not have a clue about what it takes in football to create a winner. Plus I do not think there is a burning desire, like the fans, to produce a winner. Right now they have a cash cow so they can live their lucrative life styles. As long as the money is coming in, they will fake it. I think the future of this team is in the hands of the fans. What I am saying is as long as the fans continue to buy into this mess, spend money, then the Pegula's will fake it, keep greasing the tracks just enough to keep the money train going. STOP buying tickets fop both teams! Stop making it so easy for them! Business men and women get nervous when money gets thin. As long as this team stays in the black, they will keep it status quo.
01/03/2017 8:30AM
Everytime I read comments on the Internet Angel loses her wings. To @1:29 AM: I am very sorry Ralph's Estate didn't sell to "out of town professional owners" instead of those Amateur Pegula's. [sarcasm] Egads! People are so freaking ignorant. The Wizard of Oz setcalled, they're looking for the brainless Scare Crow.
01/03/2017 8:30AM
I have faith in the Pegulas
Thank you Terry and Kim for saving the Sabres and Bills!!!! I will be a "FAN FOR LIFE". I will be rooting for and hoping for both teams to succeed. Looking forward to seeing who the new Bills coach will be. Lets Go Bills!!!!
01/03/2017 9:10AM
Doug Marone
Only Doggie can save the team. Let Rex be the GM, double ticket prices, end all tv and radio coverage. Then the team will become the Johnny Rauch Bills.
01/03/2017 9:12AM
kim can do it
She has the insight and leadership. Put her in charge. Let her kick the team into good winning ways
01/03/2017 9:32AM
Get real
I'm sure everyone realizes the Bills are a privately owned business. The Pegula's technically have no obligation to tell the fans or the sports news media anything. Any releases or information that is required is dictated by the NFL...anything else is at their discretion. As far as hiring or firing of coaches or GM, like any business that also is at their discretion. Are the Bills anymore dysfunctional then the Cowboys and the way Jerry Jones runs that team ? What about the Patriots and the way they parse out information...have you watched Bill Belicheck interviews ? I believe the Pegulas are honestly doing their best to provide a winner. Their talent judgment in regards to GM or President or Coach may be questionalble...but don't forget we went to 4 Super Bowls with Ralph Wilson as owner.
01/03/2017 11:43AM
Oh, really?
Kim Pegula's statement about Rex Ryan's firing contradicts Terry Pegulas. She implied SHE was involved in that decision, though Terry stated he made the decision, and it happened during a private phone call between himself and Ryan. So what IS the story?? All we've heard is evasion and double-talk, and different stories, over what should be a very simple, straightforward narrative. With nonsense like this, the Pegulas continue to cement their postions as some of the worst pro team owners in America.
01/03/2017 11:44AM
Whaley is an embarassment
He and Brandon must go. They have clearly led the Pegula's in the wrong direction. Tim Murray runs the Sabres and is responsible for all hiring and personnel decisions. He is also extremely accessible to the media. Whaley on the other hand, wants us to believe that he has been powerless for the past few years and only now has been handed the power. I find it hard to believe the Sabres and Bills would have completely different GM structures. Whaley is clearly a narcissist intent on salvaging his "reputation" as some sort of football wunderkind. Nothing is his fault apparently. He is an absolute child who has been shielded by media to this point. The curtain came down yesterday. Whaley is deceitful and an outright liar. He has zero integrity. I have no intention of renewing season tickets while he and Brandon continue to be part of this organization.
01/03/2017 12:12PM
Finally the truth has been exposed...
Marrone didn't leave the Bills for personal reasons he did it for obvious reasons. I really think Marrones style of coaching would have and will work in Jacksonville. I am now certain Marrone seen the direction the organization was heading and chosenot to be involved moving forward.
01/03/2017 12:21PM
Its really about the Pegulas. Whaley is just a bullet catcher. So was Rex. They, clearly, are incompetent micro managers with messianic complexes. But we've facilitated these two with our gushing and frothing over them, referring to them as the Saviors of Buffalo(i.e. Pegulaville). Season tix holders have to hold them accountable. The media has to hold them accountable. Its not enough just to keep the teams here. Put a product on the field/ice worthy of our hard earned, scant dollars.
01/03/2017 12:22PM
Pegulas are the worst thing to happen to Buffalo
I absolutely love it when people with no personal knowledge of what is going on inside an organization can speak with so much certitude and authority. In my mind, I just don't see it as "simply a fact and reality." I can readily accept itif you call it your opinion, but spare me (and others) when you claim to TRULY KNOW what is going on.
01/03/2017 12:30PM
It takes more than deep pockets.......
The success of any business or team is good management. You can have a great location, great décor and the best ingredients money can buy, but if you hire mediocre staff and an untalented chef your going to fail. Whaley is an alleged most known for his scouting ability of defensive talent? Bylsma, the jury is still out on him. Had really good seasons with Pittsburgh including a Cup but also had an all star team to work with. Barring injury the Sabres are still not at that level. I don't have a problem with Brandon being the president of the operation but you should at least have a director of each franchise that "KNOWS" their individual sport.
01/03/2017 12:33PM
RE: Pegulas are the worst thing to happen to Buffalo
Who are the Pegulias?
01/03/2017 12:37PM
Rex joined Marrone
"Hey Tim and Kim, if you want to pay me to let me go and get away from your meddling dysfunction--I'm there. By the way, Rob thanks you too."
01/03/2017 12:44PM
2nd Stringers
The Bills have a history of hiring retread coaches & overpaying free agents who are past their prime. Who will be surprised if they hire one of Rex's backups?
01/03/2017 1:05PM
To Be Fair ...
I want to thank the Pegulas for rescuing the Sabres and Bills for Buffalo -- we can never forget that both teams were at very real risk/likelihood of being bought by people who wanted to move them out of Buffalo (LA or Toronto for the Bills, Hamilton or elsewhere for the Sabres). HOWEVER, that said, I also want the Pegulas to know how deeply disappointed and opposed I am to the way they choose to run our teams. Terry Pegula's expertise is in the oil and gas industry -- NOT pro sports -- and there is no shame whatsoever in not having expertise in all areas of life!!! An auto mechanic may be a virtuoso at fixing an engine -- but that doesn't mean he has any business operating on someone's heart (and vice-versa). And especially because they are NOT themselves "experts" in the world of professional sports, the Pegulas have an obligation to hire people with PROVEN EXPERTISE/CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS (not simply people who may have "experience" working in the world of pro sports -- there is a world of difference between demonstrated championship expertise vs. mere passage of time working in an industry !!!). Stated differently, they have to know their own limitations, and hire the best experts. The Maple Leafs went out and hired the BEST assemblage of hockey people available to resurrect the Leafs (e.g., Shanahan, Lamorillo, Babcock -- ALL PROVEN WINNERS of CHAMPIONSHIPS). Bob Kraft hired the best coach. It is crystal clear that Doug Whaley is at best a marginal GM/football man. Likewise, it is crystal clear (and even self-admitted) that Russ Brandon is NOT a football man -- his expertise is in marketing and sales. NEITHER man should be "running" the Bills -- Brandon can stay, as long as he stays in his sales/marketing lane of expertise and is stripped of his meddling influence in football operations, and Whaley can stay as long as he is willing to be an understudy to a new REAL GM from whom he can learn; if they are not willing to accept these terms, they should be shown the door, because as long as they are allowed to wield their present influence, the Bills will continue to spin their tires and go NOWHERE (other than sink further) !!!!! Brandon has been at this for 17 years of playoff qualification failure, and Whaley for at least 2 coaching regime failures now; with all the free agency opportunity for rapid roster turnover (improving one's own roster as well as the depletion of winning rivals' rosters), there is simply NO EXCUSE for even marginal teams failing to qualify for even a wild card berth at least once every 3 or 4 years !!!!!!! Seemingly, the only way that can't happen is if INCOMPETENT people are in charge (i.e., perhaps not incompetent in every aspect of their abilities, but certainly incompetent at least in the areas where they are assigned/entrusted to work/exercise authority). I can't believe we were once on the verge of getting Bill Polian back into the fold -- even if he was too old/unwilling to run the Bills football operations again, he has an unquestioned expert eye for identifying talent (players, coaches, and scouts), and he would at least have assembled the right group of competent folks to lead us out of the abyss !!!!!!!! Apart from Marrone's sudden departure (Polian was reportedly a fan of Marrone as a budding head coach, and was not happy with his quitting departure, but there are plenty of other promising coaches who Polian could have hired), I suspect the real reason Polian got cold feet was because he saw the Pegulas weren't interested in curbing Brandon's and Whaley's influence over football operations (after all, those two had "held the Pegulas' hands" through the ownership transition where they were fish out of water, and they bamboozled the Pegulas with flattery ... and after the Marrone quitting shell-shock, Whaley and Brandon entrenched themselves as "indispensable" in the Pegulas' mindset). Since Polian could see through the façade and that "the emperor had no clothes" in recognizing that Whaley and Brandon were in over their heads (yet he would be saddled with them and powerless to dismiss or even marginalize them), he disengaged from talk of a Bills reunion. How sad for all Bills fans :( In addition to getting a proven championship GM, the Bills need to hire Jim Harbaugh as next HC.
01/03/2017 2:00PM
Kim Pegula?
What NFL experience does she have to be involved in any aspect of this organization?
01/03/2017 2:32PM
Long Past Time...
My personal belief is that the Pegulas have placed far too much trust in Russ Brandon. This guy had no football or hockey experience before coming to the Bills and Sabres. This is the guy that snookered Ralph Wilson, and, for the sake of "believing in continuity" as Kim Pegula said, became the guru for the Pegulas to go to regarding running their two teams. If the Bills and Sabres are to start winning again, Russ "I'm the President" Brandon MUST be kicked to the curb...not just keeping him away from football and hockey operations, but letting him go COMPLETELY. The sooner that it's done, the better. And I will continue to beat the drum for his firing until he is gone.
01/03/2017 2:44PM
This is embarrassing...
...owners who know much less than the average fan, and are from a sports standpoint, relatively inept. To be so clueless, yet almost oblivious to the fact is alarming...
01/03/2017 3:15PM
way to go sal
wow somebody from the official bills station had an "exclusive interview" with one of the clueless owners...way to go sal
01/03/2017 4:13PM
KIM and ME
Kim......please leave Terry and come and live with me !!! :)
01/03/2017 4:20PM
How do you spell sucker?
B-U-F-F-A-L-O S-P-O-R-T-S F-A-N. People were so worried their beloved Bills would leave so they clung to any owner who would promise to keep the team in Buffalo. What they got was inept ownership that relies on backstabbing, misinformation, lies, and cronyism. Why is Kim interjecting on the coach search? I thought this was Whaley's responsibility? Wait Whaley didn't ask about Rex being fired but is in charge of finding a new coach? The Pegula's will never hand this team over to a real football guru until season ticket sales plummet. Until then we will continue to have "yes-men" like Whaley and Brandon "running" things. And by running things I mean doing whatever Kim and Terry say. The Pegula's did not buy the team to bring a Championship to Buffalo. They bought the Bills to make money, PERIOD!
01/03/2017 4:42PM
whatta waste
if Lynn gets the job it will be because of how did what he was told even though I bet he wanted to start Cardale? I think the Bills will have a crowd of coaches applying for the job- they get to coach one year then get fired and collect 15 million dollars sitting on their butts- whatta job!!!!
01/03/2017 5:18PM
know what solves everything?
an elite QB
01/03/2017 5:54PM
What a bunch of jerks
The Pagulas may not know how to pick GMs or coaches yet but they saved the Bills and the Sabres for the area. I'm glad you idiots are so appreciative.
01/03/2017 6:25PM
Trump syndrome
AKA "The rich man's conceit" I made billions; how difficult could it be to run a country or teams of boys playing games?
01/03/2017 7:55PM
@2:00 PM and @2:44 PM
You are stupid idiots. You're not even lucky enough to be Idiot Savants. You're just plain vanilla ignorant. That's why Pegs has 4 billion Net Worth.. while you're making stupid internet comments.
01/04/2017 12:24AM
Slow your roll folks
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the Pegulas for dedicating their money, time and passion to Buffalo. True, we have not won a Super Bowl or Stanley Cup in the 2-5 years they have owned the franchises. But, it takes time to build a winner. It is unreasonable to expect that after years of floundering they would just be able to make these franchises winners. I as much as the rest of you want to win but we need to look at the long-term not the end of year results.
01/04/2017 11:38AM
BUFFALO BILLS FANS beware of the MEDIA spin, false claims and all else
I will stand up for ownership on the Rex thing. Rex too the team, fans and city to the cleaners. As for the "national" guys just read the ESPN story. So they hype false statements to keep their jobs: ESPN Murdered in Ratings Last Year, Now Nearly Dead
01/04/2017 1:14PM
stick to baking cookies
01/04/2017 1:52PM
Tell Me WHY ?????
What's the point of doing this ridiculous "coaching search" when the net cast is so limited and uninspiring? Kim Pegula states that the Bills will interview [ONLY] "five or six candidates" (compared to the 12 interviewed two years ago). As the interviews are presently set up, it's futile and pointless -- not a single established head coach/proven winner on the slate, just a bunch of "hopefully the next great coaching find" !!!!!!!!! Of the "five or six" anticipated interviewees, we have the following known/confirmed individuals: (1) Anthony Lynn, (2) Harold Goodwin, and (3) Sean McDermott. In addition, there are reports that the Bills have requested permission to speak with (4) Vance Joseph. If the Pegulas toss in an interview for (5) Frank Reich as a sentimental nod to appease long-standing Bills fans disgusted over the 17 year (and counting) playoff drought mismanagement, it's eminently possible such a list could complete their intended coach search "dance card" ... WITHOUT A SINGLE EXPERIENCED HEAD COACH WITH PROVEN SUCCESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How depressing -- that the owners would risk the future of the Bills by taking such a LONGSHOT chance on "striking gold" with people who had never served as a successful head coach ... it's as if the Bills willingly relegate themselves to (in former NCAA terminology) a Division II college football team where coaches learn and make their mistakes in order to prepare them for the jump to big-time Division I program job (i.e., a "better" NFL gig). We deserve better than to be a proving ground for a future team's next head coach!!!! Make no mistake -- I don't want burned out re-treads like Jeff Fisher, Chip Kelly, Rex Ryan, etc., but I find it shocking and irresponsible to fail to INTERVIEW at least one or two proven winning head coaches (e.g., Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, Nick Saban at Alabama, etc.). Even if the established coaches and former coaches mentioned have no interest in coaching the Bills, it would be worth talking to them simply perhaps to get ideas and recommendations of some other candidates they would suggest! Remember -- a successful head coach is not only a football guy who must know "Xs" and "Os" incredibly well ... it is a fearless EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP position requiring discernment, good judgment, and knowing the right assistants to hire and the right player "buttons to push." Belichick is a great coach not so much because he is necessarily the smartest "Xs" and "Os" guy on the sideline (although he knows them sufficiently well too), but rather because he is a tremendous no-nonsense EXECUTIVE LEADER who learned at the knee of his father (a long-standing coach at the disciplined Naval Academy) and Bill Parcells. And remember that even Belichick failed at his "previous head coaching learn-on-the-job-and-make-your-mistakes-here gig" in Cleveland. I don't want Buffalo to be Cleveland. We need to hire an established, proven winner who has used other teams to make their mistakes and is much more of a sure bet to turn our mess around. I can't understand why the Pegulas don't see this??? If they are willing to throw away dead MILLION$ on ex-coaches who quit (Marrone) and were fired (Rex), why not put up that $$$ into an irresistible "offer they can't refuse" to a much more sure-fire bet for a proven winner ???????????????????????????
01/04/2017 7:23PM
Kim Pegula is Excellent!
After listening to so many coach and GM interviews and pressers Kim Pegula is a breath of fresh air - question asked, question answered; no double-talk, no avoidance, no cryptic messaging, no confusion. Excellent. More interviews with her would be great.
01/05/2017 10:25AM
stick to being pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen
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