Things to know about Bills coaching candidate Kris Richard - The Buffalo News

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Things to know about Bills coaching candidate Kris Richard

The Bills conducted their fourth head-coaching interview late Sunday night, meeting with Kris Richard in Seattle. The team interviewed Sean McDermott, Anthony Lynn and Harold Goodwin last week. Here are some things to know about Richard:

Current position: Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator.

Age: 37.

Born: Carson, Calif.

[Bills 2017 coaching search tracker]

Playing career: Richard played cornerback at USC under coach Pete Carroll, who is now his boss in Seattle. Richard was a third-round pick by the Seahawks in 2002 and also spent time with the Dolphins, 49ers and Raiders.

Experience: Richard is the youngest candidate the Bills have interviewed so far. He has less than a decade in coaching, but has moved up the ranks quickly. After his professional career ended, Richard took a grad assistant position at USC in 2008. He followed Carroll to the Seahawks in 2010 and became their assistant defensive backs coach before moving up to cornerbacks coach the following year and defensive backs coach the year after that. Richard became their defensive coordinator in 2015. Part of his ascension can be attributed to the fact that Carroll's previous defensive coordinators, Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn, both left after earning head-coaching jobs.

Pros: Adam Gase, all of 38 years old, led the Miami Dolphins to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth in his first season as head coach. The Giants' Ben McAdoo, 39, did one better, going 11-5 while earning a wild card spot. If the Bills feel there's something to hiring sharp, young coaches, Richard could be their man. The Seahawks finished second and fifth in total defense during his two years as coordinator while ranking first and third in points against. Richard has coached in a Super Bowl and worked with big personalities like Richard Sherman. If he wowed the Bills in the interview, he could be bringing the Legion of Boom mentality to Buffalo.

Cons: The biggest knock on Richard is experience. The Bills need direction in a bad way, and it may take a more experienced coach to guide them. Richard was in college the last time the Bills had a playoff game. However, a younger coach may not challenge general manager Doug Whaley as much on roster control, which could appeal to him. Additionally, if the Seahawks win their divisional round playoff game Saturday against the Falcons, the Bills won't be able to interview Richard again until late January, which may be too late.

Fun fact: Bills corner Nickell Robey-Coleman tied USC's career record for interceptions returned for touchdowns during his time at the university, with three. Richard also has a share of that record.

Quotable: Richard made the news this season after he and Sherman yelled at each other on the sideline after giving up a touchdown. "I'm responsible. I am responsible for that," Richard said. "When things go wrong out there, I'm the first one. I look right into myself to see where I can improve as a coach to make sure our guys will not be put in that position.

"I'm very hard on our guys. I'm very hard on them. I coach them hard. And in light of those situations right in there, maybe I need to calm down, just relax, take it all within itself. We all understand and know that nobody wants to harm this defense."

Other head coaching interviews: The Bills appear to be his only interview.

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