|Levy eager to move on; decided midseason against return as GM|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 02 January 2008 11:27|
``I agonize over not coaching,'' Levy told The Associated Press in his first comments since stepping down as the team's GM this week. ``In midseason, I said, `OK, this is going to be it for me.' I honestly feel there's more things I want to do.''
The Hall of Fame coach said Wednesday his options include broadcasting and writing as he prepares to return to his native Chicago. The Harvard-educated Levy, who published his autobiography in 2004, has expressed interest in writing a novel and he's also a history buff.
Levy also wanted to make one thing clear: at 82, his health is fine and had nothing to do with his decision to cut ties with the Bills once their season ended with a 17-9 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday.
``Not true at all,'' Levy said, referring to speculation he had grown weary, or that the long hours of work proved draining. ``I'm not slowing down,'' he said. ``I want to do something to speed up.''
Levy's comments echo those he made in a statement released by the team on Monday, when the Bills announced he was stepping down. And they're similar to ones he made to Bills players at the team's season-ending meeting the same day.
``He definitely made it clear that he's not stepping down, he's stepping out,'' safety George Wilson said. ``He seemed to be happy and eager and ready to move on to the next phase of his career.''
Before Levy departs Buffalo for the second time since 1997, when he retired as the winningest coach in franchise history, he'll help the Bills search for his successor.
Without going into detail, Levy said he's already had discussions with team owner Ralph Wilson. He added the two plan to meet again once Wilson, who lives in suburban Detroit, visits Bills headquarters within the next week.
``He asked if I had any recommendations, but I greatly understand the decision will be his,'' Levy said.
Levy said there's been no decision whether Wilson will promote from within the organization or seek an outside candidate.
``These are all up for discussion and that's one of the reasons I've stuck around,'' Levy said. ``(Wilson) didn't want to rush into it.''
John Guy, Buffalo's director of pro personnel, is considered a candidate, while the team's assistant GM and chief scout, Tom Modrak, has been all but ruled out.
It's also possible Wilson might choose to spread the general manager's duties among his current staff.
Levy held the GM's title, but his role was relatively undefined. Contract talks and salary cap decisions were handled by Jim Overdorf, the team's vice president of football operations. Coach Dick Jauron, meanwhile, has control over personnel decisions.
The Bills are coming off consecutive 7-9 finishes and have missed the playoffs for eight straight years, establishing the longest drought in team history.
Levy was the team's third general manager this decade, taking over after Tom Donahoe was dismissed following the 2005 season. Donahoe succeeded John Butler, who was fired during the 2000 season.
Whatever decision the team makes regarding its GM, Jauron's job is considered safe. Wilson has said he's been very impressed with Jauron, and how he was able to get the most out of a very young and injury-riddled team this season.
The Bills opened the season starting two rookies and four second-year players. They finished the year with 17 players - including 10 regulars - on injured reserve.