3 teams get OK to pursue M. Lewis

Bills, Browns and Lions contact Ravens, must wait until after Super Bowl

January 16, 2001|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

The Ravens have granted three teams permission to speak with defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis about head-coaching positions after Super Bowl XXXV Jan. 28 in Tampa, the Akron Beacon Journal reported yesterday.

Those three teams are the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. NFL rules preclude any contact with a coach whose season is still going on.

Lewis' agent, Ray Anderson, last night confirmed the three teams had received permission.

"Just by the process, they would have made those requests last week before the AFC championship game in the event that Baltimore would have lost," Anderson said. "Then they could've started talking to Marvin right after the game."

Lewis' coaching profile has soared with the Ravens' record-setting season and Super Bowl run. He reportedly is the Bills' top choice for the vacancy created when Buffalo fired Wade Phillips.

The Browns fired Chris Palmer last week and are looking at Lewis, University of Miami coach Butch Davis and University of Washington coach Rick Neuheisel as prospective successors.

The Lions hired former linebacker and TV analyst Matt Millen as president and CEO last week.

Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' vice president of player personnel, acknowledged yesterday that at least two teams had requested permission to talk to Lewis, but declined to identify the teams.

Lewis is in his fifth season as the Ravens' defensive coordinator. He coached linebackers five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tom Donahoe, who was director of football operations for the Steelers during that time, was named general manager of the Bills last Friday.

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