Bills GM not interested in coaching

Published: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Buffalo Bills general manager Marv Levy clarified Saturday that he's not a candidate for the vacant coaching job, while Jim Haslett and the team have had preliminary contact about the post.
"I want to say unequivocally that I am here to serve as the general manager/football operations," Levy said in a statement on the team's Web site.
The clarification comes a day after the 80-year-old Hall of Fame coach repeatedly declined to rule himself out as a candidate to take over as coach following Mike Mularkey's resignation.
"I regret that I was not more specific in stating that I will not be serving in a coaching capacity," said Levy, who came out of retirement to take over as the GM after the Bills dismissed team president/general manager Tom Donahoe on Jan. 4.
Bills owner Ralph Wilson also reiterated Levy wouldn't be a candidate.
"He was hired to be the GM and would never coach the team," Wilson said. "We are excited to have Marv as our general manager as we move forward in hiring a new coach."
Meanwhile, Haslett's agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Associated Press on Saturday that his client has had contact with the Bills. Schaffer declined to say who made the initial call, but added that no interview has yet been scheduled.
The Bills declined comment on Haslett. Haslett has several ties to Buffalo. A former linebacker, he played for the Bills from 1979-85 and began his coaching career as an assistant with the University at Buffalo from 1988-90.
"He has nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Wilson and would be honored to interview for such a prestigious job," Schaffer said.
Haslett has also been mentioned as a candidate for several other coaching vacancies, including the New York Jets and Detroit. The NFL's coach of the year after his rookie season in 2000, he was fired after the Saints' 3-13 finish this season.
Other potential candidates include Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who completed his fifth season with Buffalo; Dick Jauron, Detroit's interim coach; Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera; Dallas assistant head coach Sean Payton; and Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Fassel.
The Dallas Morning News was one of several media outlets reporting the Bills have received permission from the Cowboys to interview Payton.
Fassel declined comment. He spent seven seasons as head coach of the New York Giants before being fired in 2003, and he was a candidate for the Bills' job before the team hired Mularkey.

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