There’s now more clarity on that mysterious meeting between the Bills and former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. According to ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen, the two sides did actually meet… although the meeting took place during the “early part of the offseason.” Furthermore, it’s unlikely that Coughlin was interviewing for a head coaching gig, as Bills head coach Rex Ryan was reportedly at the meeting. Previous reports, which has been denied by the NFL and Coughlin’s agent, were uncertain of the purpose of the gathering.
Mortensen writes that Ryan, Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, and team president Russ Brandon all met with Coughlin in South Florida “around March or early April.” The hour-long discussion was focused on Coughlin’s willingness to join the organization as an active consultant. A later phone conversation between Ryan and Coughlin convinced the Super Bowl winning coach to pursue other opportunities.
“I can confirm that the meeting you’re talking about did take place, but it was several months ago and there have been no calls from any team about Tom’s availability to coach,” agent Sandy Montag told Mortensen. “He is fully engaged in his job with the NFL.”
The timing of the initial report was notable, as the Bills had recently fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Furthermore, there have been lingering questions regarding the job security of both Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley.
Coughlin stepped down as the Giants head coach in early January following 12 seasons (and a pair of Super Bowl championships) with the team. The 70-year-old has indicated that he wants to coach again, and he took meetings with both the Eagles and 49ers this past offseason. Coughlin ultimately accepted a job working alongside Troy Vincent in the NFL’s football operations department.