The Buffalo Bills lost Bobby Johnson when the offensive line coach joined the New York Giants in the same role. With his departure, the Bills will be looking for a new coach but it’s kind of a holding pattern until they name the offensive coordinator.
But Buffalo needs to strike while the iron is hot. Other coaches around the NFL are already filling out their staffs. Here’s our quick list of possibilities.
1. Bills assistant offensive line coach Ryan Wendell
The quick promotion route, Wendell has been Johnson’s assistant offensive line coach since 2020. He comes from the New England Patriots’ tree, playing from 2008 to 2015, which ties him to Brian Daboll, so he could end up in New York himself. He was a Bills assistant in 2019. If you’re looking for someone with experience, he’s not your guy. The Bills can afford to take a big swing here and Wendell wouldn’t be that.
2. Jaguars offensive line coach George Warhop
He’s still under contract in Jacksonville and they don’t have a head coach, so it might be hard to pry him away right now since the team is in limbo. However, he was the offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014 and 2015 when Bills defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier was the DC down there so he has a direct connection to the coaching staff. He’s been an NFL offensive line coach since 1996.
3. Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak
Longtime Oilers/Titans offensive line coach Munchak coached with Bills head coach Sean McDermott’s college teammate, Mike Tomlin, when he ran the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line from 2014 to 2018. New Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett could ask him to stay and we don’t know if he’s under contract in Denver, but it’s worth a conversation especially if Doug Marrone as Denver’s o-line coach materializes as rumored.
4. Former Carolina Panthers offensive line coach Pat Meyer
Meyer was fired after the Panthers’ 2021 season, and that’s why he’s available. He coached with the Bills from 2015 to 2016 under Rex Ryan before joining Anthony Lynn with the Los Angeles Chargers as offensive line coach. I don’t see an obvious connection to Buffalo’s coaching staff despite spending time on the Chicago Bears’ staff; it was before Matt Nagy was there. Can they get a read on him from former Bills personnel man and Panthers assistant general manager Dan Morgan? UPDATE: With the hiring of Joe Brady as the quarterbacks coach on February 2nd, Meyer has a very strong connection to Buffalo’s coaching staff. It puts him near the top of candidates.
5. Bears tight ends coach Clancy Barone
Barone worked for Matt Nagy, who has a close connection with Sean McDermott so there’s a connection, especially if Nagy joins the offensive staff. He’s worked with tight ends for the past two years but he has five NFL seasons as an offensive line coach. He’s technically still under contract in Chicago for now.
I’m going to go ahead and rule out Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo, who was not retained by the Bills after the 2018 season. Even though he’s available, I doubt he will be back since Sean McDermott already fired him once to hire Bobby Johnson.
Of course, if the Bills hire an established offensive coordinator like Pat Shurmur (who worked with Munchak) or Doug Pederson or Matt Nagy, those guys will have connections they’ve worked with before. I’d really like that first domino to fall soon.