Multiple outlets are reporting that Minnesota assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is currently the "leader in the clubhouse" in the Buffalo Bills' head coaching search. Frazier, who interviewed for Seattle's vacant head coaching position for four hours on Saturday, is said to have been very impressive in his Thursday interview with GM Buddy Nix.
As Sports Illustrated's Peter King points out, however, Frazier is only the clubhouse leader. King reports that the Bills are set to conduct "4 or 5" more interviews for the head coaching job - and though this may have only been in reference to the excellent job he did in playoff action yesterday, King mentioned offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's name as one who could interview.
This is good news. Many people took issue with yesterday's report about Frazier's impressive interview simply because it appeared that the Bills might bypass due diligence and hire Frazier right away. That does not appear to be the case, and the more people that Nix and CEO Russ Brandon interview, the smaller chance that they screw this search process up.
Only two men have interviewed for the job to this point - Frazier and former interim head coach Perry Fewell.
The cause for delay could be twofold. First and foremost, coordinators such as Schottenheimer, who coached in playoff games this weekend, are ineligible to be interviewed until next week. If King's report is accurate and the Bills seek permission to interview Schottenheimer, expect that to happen quickly - possibly as soon as Monday or Tuesday - so that Schottenheimer (or any other assistant) has time to prepare for divisional round action.
A second likely cause for delay, of course, is the presence of veteran coaches Bill Cowher and Marty Schottenheimer. Buffalo has reportedly been in hot pursuit of Cowher all week, and as far as we know, those pleas continue. Schottenheimer's relationship with Nix is well-known, so his name will continue to be in play until a coach is hired.
Reports have indicated that Buffalo's search for a head coach may last another full week, if not longer. The clock is ticking, but with Seattle set to hire Pete Carroll (which is not yet set in stone, by the way), the Bills remain squarely in the middle of a buyer's market.