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WIVB: Gruden was Bills' first choice as Jauron's replacement

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The Buffalo Bills have begun their coaching search after firing Dick Jauron on Tuesday. Since that day, the Bills have been linked to two of the biggest names available in the coaching market; the team will meet with former Denver coach Mike Shanahan next week, and there are reports that Bill Cowher is on their short list as well.

According to a WIVB report, you can add Jon Gruden's name to the list, too. Then you can go ahead and cross it off again.

Sources told WIVB that Gruden was team owner Ralph Wilson's first choice to replace the departed Jauron. According to the report, team officials requested a face-to-face meeting with Gruden; whether they got that meeting or not is unclear, but the end result is the same - Gruden turned the Bills down.

On Monday, Gruden signed a contract extension with ESPN to remain a color analyst on Monday Night Football through at least the 2010 season. He said after signing that extension that for now, he has no interest in returning to coaching. Gruden last coached in 2008, when he led Tampa Bay to a 9-7 record.

The report also indicates that Wilson offered Jauron the opportunity to finish out the season as the Bills' head coach, an offer Jauron quickly declined. Perry Fewell will make his debut as the Bills' interim head coach tomorrow afternoon in Jacksonville.

You can keep track of all of the news and rumors surrounding Buffalo's head coaching search - which his likely to last a little while - at this link.