A former Buffalo Bills quarterback with a track record of success against one hated rival could be making a return to Buffalo in a new role.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on January 26 that former quarterback Thad Lewis was interviewing for the offensive coordinator job currently held by interim Joe Brady. Lewis had a five-game stint as starter in Buffalo back in 2013 and now has a rising stature as an assistant coach.
“#Bills plan to interview #Bucs quarterbacks coach Thad Lewis for the offensive coordinator job, per source,” Fowler wrote on X. “Lewis expected to have other OC looks, too, based on his work with Baker Mayfield this year.”
In order to earn the job in Buffalo, Lewis would have to beat out Brady, who took over the job midway through the season and helped lead the Bills to a five-game winning streak to end the regular season.
Thad Lewis Gained Popularity Among Fans
The veteran Lewis started five games in the 2013 season while then-rookie E.J. Manuel went down with an injury. While Lewis went 2-3 in his five starts, he did beat the Miami Dolphins twice and earned a reputation as a “Dolphins killer” among fans.
Lewis finished the season completing 59.2% of his passes for 1,092 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, adding one rushing touchdown.
As Pro Football Talk noted, Lewis bounced around the NFL, spending time with seven other teams but never stepping foot on the field again after the 2013 season. After his NFL career ended, Lewis joined the coaching ranks at UCLA and moved to the the Buccaneers’ staff in 2021. He was named the team’s quarterback coach in 2023.
Joe Brady Looking to Keep His Job
Brady could have an inside track for the offensive coordinator job. He started the season as the quarterbacks coach in Buffalo, then moved into the role as interim offensive coordinator after Ken Dorsey was fired in November.
As SI.com’s Nathaniel Marrero noted, the Bills averaged 27.1 points per game under Brady and saw a rejuvenated rushing game led by second-year back James Cook. Brady earned a key endorsement, with quarterback Josh Allen saying he would like to see him return as offensive coordinator for 2024.
“I would fully embrace it,” Allen said. “I love Joe. I love what he brings to this team, to our offense, the juice that he has [and] the passion that he has for football. How much preparation he’s put into a tough situation these last seven to eight weeks…He’s got my vote.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said Allen’s endorsement carries some big sway, noting that Brady did a good job taking over on the fly and helping the team turn its season around. The Bills had fallen to 5-5 when Dorsey was fired, but ended the season by winning six out of seven games including their last five straight, taking the AFC East title with a season-finale win over the Dolphins.
“I thought Joe did a really nice job coming in and building great communication, collaboration [and] a vibe with Josh, and I think you saw the results of that,” McDermott said. “I thought he did a very nice job…I respect Josh’s opinion, respect his position on it, and it does factor into the overall equation.”
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