Coaching Report Updated: 1/6/04

The Redskins will interview Ray Rhodes today, but their coaching search might hinge on how well Jim Fassel interviews in Buffalo this afternoon. And here's why: the Bills already are impressed with New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Depending on how Fassel interviews, that will determine the Bills' direction.

They love what he's done with much less talent, squeezing the most out of his players. They like his dynamic personality with the players. And they like his plans for how to fix Bills quarterback, and ex-Patriot, Drew Bledsoe.

Buffalo would be willing to hire him as its head coach, according to Bills sources. (Their chances of landing him will improve if New York hires Tom Coughlin; the Giants also have interest in Weis). Also, Buffalo has a defensive staff in place that would ease Weis' transition, and allow them to wait for his season to be over before they hired him. Three years ago they hired Gregg Williams in February, preventing him from hiring the best staff possible.

If Fassel has a good, but not great, interview, the Bills likely would put him atop their list. But they also wouldn't get into a bidding war, figuring they could land Weis. That would be helpful for Washington, which would then become the leaders to land the fired Giants coach.

But if Fassel has a great interview, then the Bills likely would make him a better offer to try and land him. The conventional thinking is that as long as Buffalo's offer is in the ballpark of Washington's, it would be Fassel's top choice.

We've heard that Fassel has no interest in going to Arizona, where he once served as offensive coordinator.

Of course, some of this depends on how Ray Rhodes' interviews with Redskins owner Dan Snyder today. If Rhodes flops, then it's likely they'd make a stronger push for Fassel. It's uncertain who tops their secondary list, but Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has been mentioned often. Weis could also be a possibility.

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