The Buffalo Bills have a new football decision-making hierarchy in place, spearheaded by recently-christened GM Buddy Nix, and rumors are already starting to fly regarding the biggest decision the team has yet to make. Paul Hamilton at WGR 550 and Buffalo Sports Daily are both reporting, citing sources, that Nix will seek permission from the San Diego Chargers to interview defensive coordinator Ron Rivera for the Bills' head coaching position.
San Diego has a first-round bye in the playoffs, meaning that if the Chargers give the Bills permission to interview Rivera, he'll only be available to interview next week. He then won't be able to accept the job until San Diego's post-season run comes to a close.
Nix spoke at length at his introductory press conference of his belief that previous head coaching experience is important to the search process; Rivera has none. Though he's been coaching since 1996, Rivera has never risen higher than the defensive coordinator post, which he held in Chicago and again in San Diego.
Rivera joined the Chargers prior to the 2007 season, when Nix was still the Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel with San Diego. Clearly, the two men are somewhat familiar with each other. Rivera has employed a 3-4 defense for the past year and a half in San Diego, though he also coached a 4-3 alignment under Lovie Smith in Chicago. Rivera's apparent candidacy flies in the face of multiple reports claiming that the Bills would lean toward an offensive-minded coaching candidate.