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Adam Gase emerges as first Buffalo Bills head coach candidate

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The search to replace Doug Marrone is on in Buffalo, but what's more interesting: that the first name on the list of candidates is Adam Gase, or that Doug Whaley is still on staff as this search ramps up?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills have begun the process of replacing departed head coach Doug Marrone, requesting permission to interview Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase for the vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this news is that it comes shortly after not only Marrone's departure, but after also being rebuffed by none other than Bill Polian for a front office position. One would think that if the Bills are starting to interview coaching candidates, that it would bode well for the job status of, most prominently, GM Doug Whaley.

Gase, who will turn 37 in March, has spent the past six seasons as an offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos. For four seasons, he was a position coach - first receivers, then quarterbacks - under former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who left to become San Diego's head coach in 2013. Gase was then elevated to the position of coordinator, where he has worked for the last two seasons with Peyton Manning and the Broncos' elite attack.

You may recall that Gase was a hot name on the coaching circuit last offseason, as well; most famously, he turned down an opportunity to become the head man in Cleveland, a decision that ultimately paved the way for the Browns to poach Mike Pettine from Marrone's 2013 Bills coaching staff.

We'll see if the Bills add any names to their list in the coming days, but Gase is a good start. But quite frankly, this is most interesting to mull from Whaley's perspective; one wonders how involved he is in setting up and conducting these interviews.