The Buffalo Bills have their head coach. Now Sean McDermott needs to hire his coordinators.
McDermott has a defensive background, most recently serving as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator, so his offensive coordinator will be the most important hire. One name reportedly in the mix for that position is former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, though the Broncos seem to have strong interest in him, too.
The defensive side appears to be more cut and dry. Shortly after news of McDermott’s hire broke, ESPN and the Charlotte Observer reported that he is likely to bring Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb to Buffalo to be his defensive coordinator.
McDermott and Holcomb have worked together for four years. Holcomb has coached Carolina's linebackers since 2013, helping develop Luke Kuechly into a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year.
Holcomb was a defensive assistant and quality control coach for four years with the Giants before coming to Carolina. He spent 14 years in the college coaching ranks before moving up to the pros and is a graduate of West Virginia.
McCoy would be a solid selection for offensive coordinator – if the Bills can get him. The ex-Chargers coach has interest from other teams and will reportedly be one of the candidates new Broncos coach Vance Joseph interviews for the position Thursday. McCoy may be more attracted to a team with better structure and a more developed passing attack.
But in Buffalo, McCoy would lend credibility and experience to the staff of a first-time head coach.
McCoy, 44, was a quarterback in his playing days and has been known for his work with quarterbacks over the last decade-plus in the NFL. He was the quarterbacks coach in Carolina with Jake Delhomme before leaving for Denver in 2009.
There he became the offensive coordinator and worked with Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning, winning a playoff game with Tebow at quarterback. McCoy took over as the Chargers coach in 2013, going to the playoffs twice with Philip Rivers before being fired after consecutive last-place AFC West finishes.
The Bills reportedly asked for permission to interview McCoy for their head coaching position in 2013 before hiring Doug Marrone.
NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported that if McCoy lands elsewhere, Norv Turner could be another candidate for the Bills’ OC job. Turner, 64, was the Chargers coach before McCoy and has been an offensive coordinator with several teams, most recently the Vikings and Browns. He earned his first head-coaching job with Washington in 1994. (Update: Silver tweeted late Wednesday that he no longer believes Turner will be a candidate for the Bills' OC position.)
One name not expected to be in the running for offensive coordinator is Anthony Lynn, who held the role for most of this season and also interviewed for the head job. Lynn has interviewed with the three teams with remaining head coaching vacancies – the 49ers, Chargers and Rams – and seems unlikely to want to return to the Bills after they hired someone else instead of him. McDermott also probably has other offensive coordinators in mind, and may not want Lynn.
Elsewhere, it appears LeSean McCoy has pulled out of the Pro Bowl.
After the Miami Dolphins announced Wednesday that running back Jay Ajayi and receiver Jarvin Landry were going to the Pro Bowl, the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported they were replacements for McCoy and Bengals receiver A.J. Green.
McCoy also backed out of last year’s all-star event.