On his relationship with Bill Cowher and reports that he had quite a bit to do with his recommendation for this job:
I can’t report on that. You’ll have to call him and ask him if he had anything to do with that. I don’t know if he did or not. I have an unbelievable amount of respect for Bill Cowher because I learned about how to be a head coach probably more from him than anybody else I’ve been around through my years, and I’ve been around some great people. I’ve worked for Dan Reeves, I’ve worked for Bill Cowher, I’ve worked for Dave Wannstedt, I mean I’ve worked for some unbelievable people and I’ve learned something from each one of them. Everybody in here is a product of the people that they’ve touched in their lives. Every one of us. You’ve taken the good and the bad from each of them and I’ve been around some successful people and I think that’s why I’ve been able to be successful somewhat in my career is because I’ve been around those guys, and they’ve shared with me and taught me and I’ve been fortunate.
On if he ever thought he’d get another shot at being an NFL head coach considering how long it’s been:
I didn’t know. That’s a great question. If you sit there and say “do you lose confidence and lose belief in yourself?” No, you don’t. But do you see opportunities going by? Sure you do and you hope what Buddy said earlier, the body of work at some point will speak for itself, but sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. The beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. That’s the way it is.
On if he’s relieved or excited:
Yeah excited, that’s a great word. You can use that one.
On if there was anybody that he’d consider the greatest influence on his career:
No, I can’t say that. I just mentioned three of the guys and I’m leaving out some guys that have been unbelievable factors in my life. It started with my high school coach, my parents, I can go on and on. So no, nobody’s more than the other.
On if he’ll act as the Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach:
I will do both. I may have a guy that has the title offensive coordinator but I’m going to run the offense to start with. If you want to get it the way you believe it needs to be done from the start then you need to do it. Don’t mess around here and try to make this match with that, you have to get it the way you want it and what you believe in and that’s what I plan to do. That way, even if as time goes on, I distance myself a little bit from it, and I’m talking about years not days or months, I’m talking about years from now as I distance myself from it then I’ll still have the basis of it and know exactly what’s going on so that I can correct it or do whatever needs to be done to get it right if it’s not right.
On how he’ll attract a good strong offensive coordinator if he’s not going to do the job:
The people that we’re going to attract probably won’t have the names that somebody might recognize right off the bat. We’re going to get the best teachers. The best people to help fit in to a program. Everybody is not the superstar on the team. Everybody’s got a role on the team. We’re going to get the best people to come in here and be a part of our organization to help us build a winner and everybody’s got a role. That’s my job as the offensive side of it.
On the Bills offense and his core offensive principles and philosophy:
When you talk about base offense, I think if you talk to the people that I have worked with or the players I’ve coached, the one thing that I’ve always tried to do is put people in position to be successful. We don’t have a name for our offense – we’re not East this, West this, North this, South this. We don’t have a name for it. We’re going to do whatever it takes to move the football, score touchdowns, and if it has to adjust because we have players better suited for one thing than another, then we’re going to do that.
I think that’s the responsibility. Every player is not going to be suited for every offense, so you have to suit things to those people. Some core things I believe: you’ve got to run the football and you’ve got to be able to run it. Now, you don’t have to lead the league in rushing to win football games. You don’t have to lead the league in passing to win football games. You’ve got to be smart, you’ve got to move the football, be intelligent with how you try to score points each and every week, and that’s what we’ll try to do.
On the quarterback position:
Buddy and I have talked about it somewhat, but until I get in there and watch film, and evaluate, it’s unfair for me to sit here and say what’s going to happen. That’s not fair. I would be talking off the cuff and that’s the quickest way to get in trouble. So I’m trying, I want to make sure that we do a thorough evaluation, thorough study, do a great job of deciding and then us talking about what needs to go on in the future. So no, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen right now and what the plans are. I know both guys have had some success playing in the NFL but they have not done it for a length of time with consistency. So can they? We’re going to decide that.
On thinking about who he wants to bring in on staff and if that process has already started:
Oh yes, it’s already started. That’s something that when you get the call the very first time about, ‘hey, we may be interested in visiting with you about the job,’ you start to formulate that in your mind. Now you don’t make the calls, but you start to formulate those kinds of things in your mind. But that again, is a very fluid situation because you may be able to get some people, you may not be able to get some people. You would like to try to fit things in exactly perfect, but it will not happen most times. But yes, I have given that some thought. No, I’m not going to name names, but I think we’ve got, again I’ll go back to the statement I made earlier, I think we’ve got the right people in mind as far as teachers, and being able to put together a winning unit.
On running a 4-3 in Dallas and in Georgia Tech, and if that is his defensive philosophy:
I think right now we’re going to look at other options. I don’t want to sit here and say we’re going to do this or that today. That’s one thing that I have to see the coaches that we’re talking about. I have an idea of the direction that we want to go but I want to talk with Buddy (Nix) about drafting and how can you draft for these certain positions if you go to 4-3 or 3-4. You have to talk about all that to see the direction that you want to go but I know one thing, I’m much more open to the 3-4 than I used to be because I know what a pain it is to go against it every week.
On why Buffalo seemed to be a job that nobody wanted:
Well I can’t speak for other folks… you look at the history of the Buffalo Bills and I’ve come in that stadium enough times to know about the fans of the Bills Nation. Who wouldn’t want to come here? Maybe some guys have personal reasons that they don’t want to be here, great. I’m glad, because I get to come here!