Notebook: Bills officially announce Rex Ryan hiring _lowres

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills have officially announced they’ve hired Rex Ryan to take over as coach.

The announcement was made in a release issued by the team Monday, a day after the former New York Jets coach accepted the Bills contract offer. Ryan replaces Doug Marrone, who stepped down abruptly on Dec. 31.

Bills owner Terry Pegula credited Ryan for bringing “a well of experience and enthusiasm,” in a statement released by the team.

And a person familiar with talks told The Associated Press the Bills are finalizing contract discussions to hire Greg Roman as their offensive coordinator.

Ryan had a 50-52 record, including 4-2 in the playoffs, in six seasons coaching Buffalo’s AFC East rival. He was fired along with general manager John Idzik following a 4-12 finish last season.


Bowles, Austin, Quinn may lead Falcons’ search: In Atlanta, three defensive coordinators, including Arizona’s Todd Bowles, may lead the Atlanta Falcons’ coach search.

The Falcons are expected to conduct second interviews with Bowles and Detroit’s Teryl Austin this week. The team must wait for a follow-up meeting with Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is off-limits this week as the Seahawks prepare for the NFC championship game.

Ryan, the former Jets coach, accepted an offer to become Buffalo’s coach following his interview with the Falcons last week. The Bills announced Ryan as their new coach on Monday, one day after he reached an agreement with the team.

That leaves the defensive coordinators as possible front-runners to replace fired coach Mike Smith.


Bowles to get second interview: In New York, the Jets have scheduled a second interview with Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for their head coaching vacancy.

The Jets are also meeting with Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott this week, making him the seventh candidate to talk to the team since Rex Ryan was fired on Dec. 29.

Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is widely regarded to be the Jets’ top candidate, but he can’t be interviewed again until the Seahawks are eliminated from the playoffs or during the bye week leading to the Super Bowl.

Bowles, who has led Arizona’s defense for two seasons, is being sought by a few other teams with openings.

McDermott has been Carolina’s defensive coordinator for four years, and was in the same role in Philadelphia for two seasons.


Source: Del Rio to meet with Raiders again: In Alameda, Calif., Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will have a second interview with the Oakland Raiders for their head coaching job.

A person with knowledge of the plans said Monday that Del Rio will interview with Oakland on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not releasing details on interviews.

Del Rio met with Raiders owner Mark Davis during the Broncos’ bye week. With Denver being eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, Del Rio is available for a second interview.

Del Rio was head coach in Jacksonville for nine seasons before spending the past three as defensive coordinator in Denver.


Hardy’s appeal on domestic violence charges set for Feb. 9: In Charlotte, N.C., the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office has announced that Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy’s jury trial has been set for Feb. 9 in Superior Court.

Hardy is appealing his conviction on two counts of domestic violence last July.

The case is being prosecuted by the DA’s domestic violence team.

Hardy was a Pro Bowl player for the Panthers in 2013 after tying a team record with 15 sacks. He was signed as Carolina’s franchise player and made $13.1 million despite playing in just one game in 2014.

He spent the majority of the season on the commissioner’s exempt list.

The 26-year-old Hardy will become an unrestricted free agent in March, and some teammates have already said they want the Panthers to re-sign him.


Former fullback Konrad talks about ocean escape: In Plantation, Florida, former NFL fullback Rob Konrad says he shouldn’t be here.

Konrad made the comment Monday at an emotional news conference where he talked about his death-defying 16-hour swim to shore last week after he fell off his fishing boat.

The 38-year-old Konrad’s escape was a testament to willpower and world-class athleticism. The first news reports of his adventure last week received world-wide publicity.

Konrad, who played for the Miami Dolphins from 1999 to 2004, said he had been around boats since he was a child growing up on Boston’s North Shore. His boat was on autopilot when he fell off it while fishing alone nine miles from shore.

He swam to Palm Beach, covering a distance of 27 miles before ringing the doorbell of an oceanfront home for help.