Inside The Bills

Wannstedt’s defense keeps it simple

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2012 – 5:11 pm

Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt, who is transitioning his unit to a base 4-3 front, has had success on the defensive side of the ball throughout his career because he’s kept things simple and let the talent on his side of the ball just play. It’s an approach that Bills GM Buddy Nix, a former coach whose experience was rooted in defense, subscribes to as well.

“To me having coached defense for years and that doesn’t mean I know everything about it, but if you can keep things simple and keep it basic where guys play hard it leads to more consistency,” said Nix. “If you’re having to think and play defense you’re usually a step late. I think some of that will help us (under Wannstedt). We had too many missed assignments, and I’m not blaming anybody. We also didn’t have good enough players at some positions.”

Nix is right, to have a simple scheme work well you need quality talent. The success of Tony Dungy’s simple but successful ‘Tampa 2’ scheme was having players like Warren Sapp, Ronde Barber and Derrick Brooks and later in Indy it was Dwight Freeney, David Thornton and Bob Sanders. So the Bills still need to boost the level of talent on the defensive side of the ball with a pass rusher high on the list, but this new direction is a welcome one on the part of the players and the front office.

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