The Ravens should know in the next 24 hours whether they'll lose defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis to the Buffalo Bills.
Bills president and general manager Tom Donahoe yesterday interviewed the last of his four head coaching candidates, defensive coordinator John Fox of the New York Giants, at Donahoe's Pittsburgh home.
The Buffalo News has reported that Donahoe wants to present Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. with the name of his choice today.
Lewis and Fox, who were prohibited by league rules from having any contact with other teams until after Super Bowl XXXV, are believed to be the front-runners.
But also under consideration are defensive coordinators Gregg Williams of the Tennessee Titans and Ted Cottrell, who recently took a job with the New York Jets after 10 years with the Bills.
The sooner a decision is made, the better, said Ray Anderson, Lewis' agent.
"Our expectation is that a decision in this situation needs to be done promptly," Anderson said yesterday. "I think by the end of [today], or [tomorrow] morning at the latest, a firm decision would be made.
"You've got a coaching staff to get together, and Cleveland is already out hustling their staff. Coaches are not sitting around forever."
The Cleveland Browns formally introduced Butch Davis as their new head coach yesterday, canceling an interview they had planned with Lewis.
Lewis, whose defense broke the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game schedule this season, was unavailable to comment. He visited with Donahoe for several hours Monday evening in Baltimore.
"I know he had a strong session," Anderson said. "Nobody's shown more that he's ready and deserving of a head coaching job than Marvin."
The Bills have the last head coaching vacancy in the NFL. Since the 2000 season began, there have been eight head coaching hires, including the Houston Texans, who don't play until the 2002 season.
If Lewis gets the Buffalo job, Ravens coach Brian Billick has said he would turn over the coordinator's job to linebackers coach Jack Del Rio.