Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is next up to interview for the Buffalo Bills’ vacant head coaching position.
That interview is scheduled to take place today in Denver with the team’s search committee - President and CEO Russ Brandon, General Manager Buddy Nix, assistant GM Doug Whaley and senior vice president Jim Overdorf.
The Bills’ contingent was in Arizona on Friday, where the team confirmed it interviewed Oregon coach Chip Kelly, Syracuse coach Doug Marrone and former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.
The Bills interviewed former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and current Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton earlier in the week.
McCoy, 40, is scheduled to meet with the Bills and Arizona Cardinals today, according to USA Today, with the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles interviewing him Sunday.
“It’s an honor to be considered for those jobs ... we’ll see what happens,” McCoy told Denver reporters this week.
The Broncos have home-field advantage throughout the postseason and have a bye this weekend. McCoy’s in a plum role as offensive coordinator on a team with Peyton Manning at quarterback, which allows him to be choosy about which jobs he pursues.
“You’ve got to make sure it’s the right one,” he said. “It’s not about just taking any job, that’s not my goal. You’ve got to make sure when you take the next step, or any job you take, that it’s the right one.”
McCoy interviewed with the Miami Dolphins last year, but lost out on the job to Joe Philbin, the former offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.
“Until you get that job, don’t listen to anybody,” McCoy said when asked what he learned from that process. “Everyone had me penciled in, going to Miami last year and it was a done deal.
“I’m going to let them know up front, very honestly, my No. 1 priority is to win football games for the Denver Broncos. I’m employed here and I’ve got a job to do ... these organizations understand that.”
McCoy’s offense finished fourth this season in yards per game at 397.9, and second in points per game, at 30.1. Manning’s successful return from multiple neck surgeries obviously played a huge role in that, but the future Hall of Fame quarterback spoke highly of his offensive coordinator.
“I think he’s ready [to become a head coach],” Manning told Denver reporters. He’s paid his dues. Mike’s a good leader. He’s had some good coaches that have been mentors to him, different coaches that he’s worked with in his years in the NFL that I think he’s incorporated some of their leadership philosophies in his own philosophy. ... In my opinion, he deserves a shot at one of these head coaching jobs.”
McCoy established himself as a head-coaching candidate last year when he retooled Denver’s offense midway through the season to better suit quarterback Tim Tebow’s running style. As a result, the Broncos led the NFL in rushing, with 164.5 yards per game. This year, McCoy combined Manning’s passing attack with that same rushing philosophy.
“For me, I knew it was going to take some time with any coach because I had been in one system and really kind of had one coach for the majority of my career. Mike’s been a great resource for me,” Manning said. “He’s been incredibly supportive and patient with me in putting together this hybrid offense.
“He’s a guy, we spent a lot of hours together, early mornings, late nights trying to get our plan in place for what kind of offense we were going to be. There is no substitute for a work ethic and Mike certainly has that.”
McCoy took over play-calling duties for the Broncos after Josh McDaniels was fired late in the 2010 season.
“Everyone has individual goals as a coach, as a player, but it’s team first,” McCoy said. “We still have a lot left here. Hopefully, one day I will become a head coach. There’s still a lot of football left here and we’ll see what happens down the road.”