- The Washington Times - Friday, January 19, 2001

A chance to be the Washington Redskins' defensive coordinator appears extremely close for Buffalo Bills coordinator Ted Cottrell. The only question is whether he would give up his seemingly remote shot to be a head coach.

Cottrell continues to eye the Bills' top position after the New York Jets' opening was filled and reports said the expansion Houston Texans' vacancy was close to being filled. Despite being the only candidate Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer has interviewed and has current plans to interview, Cottrell couldn't say whether he was ready to give up on the Bills.

"We'd just have to wait for [an offer from the Redskins]," Cottrell said yesterday after a four-hour interview with Schottenheimer at Redskin Park. "Your aspirations are to be a head coach, so you want to see what's going on [with those opportunities] first."

But Cottrell acknowledged that "I'm running out of options." He was in the running for the Jets' and Texans' top positions, but New York hired former Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Herman Edwards yesterday, and Houston reportedly was on the brink of hiring Jacksonville defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

Schottenheimer, for his part, said he would not wait for the Bills to select a head coach a process that is expected to take at least 10 more days.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis reportedly is the Bills' top candidate. Lewis, as well as Sean Payton and John Fox, the New York Giants' offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively, cannot be contacted until after the Super Bowl on Jan. 28.

Schottenheimer continues to express interest in former Arizona coach Vince Tobin as defensive coordinator. But no interview has been scheduled with Tobin or any other potential coordinators. Tobin left a message with Schottenheimer, the Redskins coach said, but Schottenheimer did not have a chance to return the call.

Despite the writing of Cottrell's name on the proverbial wall, Schottenheimer wouldn't reveal how strong a candidate he is, saying only, "It's our intention to touch base again and follow up with a little more dialogue and see where we're going… . Ted's the first one I've interviewed for the position. I have a couple other names Vince, for example."

Schottenheimer also has made no decision on an offensive line coach. The Jets' Bill Muir and former Dolphins line coach Paul Boudreau have interviewed, and Schottenheimer said, "We'll have a resolution here in the next 48 hours."

Schottenheimer has just one interview scheduled today with Dave Redding, his former strength and conditioning coach in Cleveland and Kansas City. Schottenheimer called the well-respected Redding "as good as there is in the business." Longtime Redskins strength coach Dan Riley resigned last week and appears the front-runner to take the position in Houston.

Former Chiefs special teams coach Mike Stock, the front-runner for the Redskins' staff, is expected to interview next week, Schottenheimer said.

If Cottrell, 53, is hired, he could change the Redskins' defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4, which he ran with great success in Buffalo. The Bills defense did not rank below sixth in three seasons under Cottrell and was the league's No. 1 unit in 1999, when current Redskins right end Bruce Smith played there.

"He's not only been involved in 4-3 defenses, but 3-4 defenses," Schottenheimer said. "He's well-versed in whatever we might choose to do. That versatility is an important consideration."

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