Inside The Bills

Pettine to coach from sidelines this year

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2013 – 11:51 am

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will be calling plays down from the coach’s booth. He feels being up top allows him a better look at what personnel groupings are being sent out on the field by the opponent so he can make his calls quicker. For defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, he’s choosing for the first time in a long time to be down on the sidelines.

Pettine called Sunday’s game from the sidelines in Indianapolis and felt things went well, but it’s been quite a while since he’s been downstairs on game day.

“It was strange,” said Pettine. “It had been since 2002 when I was a video assistant in Baltimore and I was doing still prints sitting behind the bench. That was the last time I was on the sideline for an NFL game.”

As Pettine explains it he’s trying to take a link out of the chain in the play call to get his defensive call into Kiko Alonso’s helmet a few seconds faster.

“Part of it was with calling the defenses I always felt it was a problem in New York when I called them and the (opponent) was up tempo that it had to go through somebody else so you had that couple of seconds where it had to get called twice,” said Pettine. “Now I have the ability to make the call and give a couple of reminders, tell the nose guard to do this or make sure the three technique does this. To me it’s something I had wanted to do so I knew when I made the move here I was going to come down on the field.”

Sitting up in the coaching booth on Sundays for coach Pettine will be linebackers coach Jim O’Neil with quality control coaches Samson Brown and Brian Fleury also helping out. They will be Pettine’s eyes in the sky to identify personnel groupings and assess opposing offensive formations and chart plays.

“We got off to a good start,” said Pettine. “They did a real good job on Sunday.”

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