Courtesy: Vikings.com Leslie Frazier
BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon and General Manager Buddy Nix traveled to Minneapolis to interview Leslie Frazier Thursday about the team's head coaching vacancy.
Frazier is the Minnesota Vikings Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator.
"He is imminently qualified for the job," NFL.com writer Vic Carucci said of Frazier. "He has really earned his way through the league as an assistant coach, and he is one of the most highly-respected coordinators in the league."
While respected around the league, Frazier does not exactly fit the coaching profile laid out by Bills General Manager Buddy Nix, who said he is looking for a coach with head coaching experience. Frazier has no such experience in the NFL. The team is also believed to be searching for an offensive-minded coach.
According to espn.com, Nix spoke with John Wooten who is chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance that oversees the Rooney Rule after the Bills interview with Frazier.
"We got some real good reports from the Bills on Perry and Leslie... Buddy Nix was extremely generous with his compliments, and they had great interviews and felt things were moving forward. We feel good about it... I think Buddy has a couple more candidates he wants to interview. He'll decide on one or two guys he feels good about, and then those guys will have an opportunity to meet with Mr. Wilson and go from there."
In terms of other candidates, 2-On-Your-Side's Adam Benigni spoke with former Ravens coach Brian Billick on Thursday afternoon. Billick says the Bills have yet to contact him about the job but would be interested if the process leads the Bills to talking to him.
Channel 2 Sports Director Ed Kilgore reported that former Ravens Coach Brian Billick appears to be very interested in the job, although it is unclear if the Bills are showing mutual interest.
A source tells 2 On Your Side's Adam Benigni that the Buffalo Bills continue to pursue former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher to become the team's next head coach.
The revelation comes after reports that team management quietly met with Cowher last week. In recent days, speculation has grown that the Bills could potentially lure Cowher to Buffalo if owner Ralph Wilson makes Cowher a massive offer.
Carucci said, while it remains unlikely Cowher will land in Buffalo, it will not be for lack of effort by the Bills.
"I do know that the Bills have not let up in their pursuit and have tried very hard - and are trying very hard - to convince him to come to the Bills," Carucci said. "But based on everything I'm hearing, it's not necessarily [that] he sees [this] as something he wants to do."
Former Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer recently said it was "highly unlikely" that he'd return to coaching in Buffalo, but did say he thought Cowher to the Bills wasn't all that far fetched.
"I think there is a reasonable possibility that Bill Cowher will in fact become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills and I think as you do he's a perfect fit... It would be a natural fit for coach Cowher in my opinion, it would not surprise me I have no inside information but it would not surprise me if he were in fact to become the Bills head coach.''
Schottenheimer made the remarks on Sirius NFL Radio.
Several published reports indicate Cowher may be interested in coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or the Carolina Panthers if the job opens up.
Profootballtalk.com in association with NBC Sports quoted a league source on Thursday suggesting Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh was a "stealth candidate" for both the Bills and Ravens jobs.
Several published reports indicate the Bills may also interview Jets Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Chargers Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera, and Cardinals Offensive Line Coach Russ Grimm.
Channel 2 Sports learned that as of 1:00 EST on Wednesday, Rivera had yet to be contacted by the Bills.