Bills OC Accepting Falcons Interview 1 Day Before Playoff Game Turns Heads

Joe Brady

Getty Bills Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady at Highmark Stadium on November 19, 2023.

After the Buffalo Bills fired firing Ken Dorsey and named Joe Brady interim offensive coordinator, their entire season changed.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Co. rediscovered their spark and the team started winning. Brady’s success turning the Bills offense from an inconsistent mess into a playoff contender has not gone unnoticed. On January 19, the Atlanta Falcons requested to interview Brady for their vacant head coaching position.

However, when the Falcons announced on Saturday, January 21 that they completed their interview with Brady, many fans were appalled. Cover 1 podcast hosts posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “This s*** needs to stop. We have a game tomorrow. No head coaching interviews or hires should be able to start until the Thursday after the Super Bowl.”

A Bills stats account balked, “Interviewing coaches still active in the playoffs is the dumbest rule the NFL has.” Even Chiefs fans were taken aback. Arrowhead Pride posted, “The day before a game? Smh.”

KSHB 41’s Tod Palmer, however, didn’t see the harm. “The game plan for tomorrow is set and there’s no practice, so it makes sense,” he wrote. The Falcons noted in their announcement that the interview was virtual. Joe Brady did not fly to Atlanta the day before the Bills faced the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round.

Brady isn’t the only coach taking head coaching interviews before their playoff game. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday, “Chargers completed their head coaching interview today with Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.” The Detroit Lions face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional round on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

The NFL Changed Head Coaching Interview Rules Ahead of the 2024 NFL Season

The NFL shared a new set of rules ahead of the 2024 NFL season that allow teams with open head coaching positions to start requesting interviews on January 8. “Interviews with employees of other clubs must be conducted virtually prior to the conclusion of the Divisional playoff games on Sunday, January 21,” the notice states.

Yahoo! Sports reported, “Executives believe that the virtual interview caveat will keep tampering and rule violations at bay, executive vice president Dasha Smith said.”

If the initial interview didn’t take place this weekend, the Falcons would’ve had to wait to do an initial interview with Brady until the employer’s club’s season ends. Brady, 34, faces heavy competition for the head coaching position. Former New England Patriots legend Bill Belichick is considered a top candidate to replace Arthur Smith.

Atlanta has also interviewed Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Ravens assistant head coach/defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, and 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

Joe Brady & the Bills are Focused on Defeating the Chiefs

It’s not difficult to see why Brady has emerged as a head coaching candidate. Bleacher Report noted, “In the eight games since Brady took over, the Bills have averaged 27.5 points each week. The success has continued into the playoffs, as Buffalo easily dispatched the Pittsburgh Steelers by the final score of 31-17 in the wild-card round.”

Speaking to reporters on January 18, Brady sounded prepared for the Chiefs by deploying their biggest weapon: Allen.

While Dorsey kept Allen from going full throttle as a dual-threat quarterback, the Bills’ seven-game win streak coincides with Allen rushing the ball more. Allen’s 52-yard rushing touchdown against the Steelers was the epitome of the “Josh Allen experience.”

“That’s who he is,” Brady said. “He’s a human eraser. He makes bad plays and bad play calls, he makes them work… All the time I’m telling him, ‘Hey look, man. There’s three guys around you. It’s the NFL. Just go down, you’re not going to able to do it.’ Well, he proved me wrong.”

“So that’s going to set me back a bit. He’s such a dynamic football player that I think when you hold Josh Allen back, you’re probably doing him a disservice.”