Inside The Bills

Butler has history with McDermott

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2018 – 9:49 am

It’s not surprising that Bills new secondary coach John Butler has a history with head coach Sean McDermott, but their ties are not from the coaching world.

The two accomplished coaches have never coached together. Butler and McDermott were actually high school teammates on the LaSalle College high school football team in Philadelphia.

In fact, last year when McDermott was being viewed as the favorite for the Bills head coaching job, the Houston Chronicle speculated that then Houston secondary coach John Butler could be a consideration for Buffalo’s defensive coordinator post.

Even Houston head coach Bill O’Brien, who fired Butler on Jan. 2nd, had a lot of respect for Butler and was optimistic about his coaching future. He told the Houston Chronicle the following about Butler at the close of the 2016 season.

“John Butler is an excellent coach,” O’Brien said. “John Butler, in my opinion, is destined for great things in this profession. I think he’ll be a coordinator someday. I think he’ll be a head football coach somewhere someday. Did a great job for us at Penn State and he’s done an excellent job for us here as guys really rely on him. He’s a very energetic guy.

“He’s a very smart guy, very quick-minded guy. Very detail oriented and works very hard. He’s in here early, stays late. Great family guy, father and husband. He does a great job all the way around.”
The Houston Chronicle also quoted former Houston DC Romeo Crennel for his thoughts on Butler as a coach.

“I think several guys on the defensive staff have the ability to be coordinators, and I think John is definitely one who can be a coordinator, has been a coordinator,” Crennel said in reference to his year as Penn State DC. “He’s a very hard worker, he’s detailed. I think it’s hard to outwork him. He’s got a good football mind, makes adjustments on the sideline.”

Former Houston CB A.J. Bouye, who signed a huge free agent contract with Jacksonville, after emerging as a Pro Bowl caliber talent under Butler, credited him for his development into a premier NFL cornerback.

“He’s helped me out a lot,” said Bouye, of Butler. “Sometimes, we joke about all the meetings we have. At the end of the day, you have to appreciate it. He’s always letting us know what to expect. We watch so much film. He’s keeping us alert and he’s helped out a lot on our techniques and studying film. It makes it easy.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Some family ties to Bills newest asst. hires

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2017 – 11:16 am

Most Bills fans were probably immediately aware of the family tie to Buffalo’s new DBs coach Gill Byrd. His son, Jairus Byrd is a former second-round pick of the Bills (2009) and went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie with Buffalo. Now his father will be coaching the team’s defensive backs and he has a pretty impressive playing resume of his own.

A former first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers (1983), Byrd was a four-time All-Pro and is in the Chargers Hall of Fame as the franchise’s all-time interception leader with 42 picks. He most recently coached the Tampa Bay cornerbacks (2014-2015).

An interesting side note is Jairus Byrd is a potential cap casualty according to reports out of New Orleans. Byrd would have to be released by the Saints for that to even become a discussion for the Bills or any other club.

Meanwhile assistant DBs coach Bobby Babich is the son of Bills LBs coach Bob Babich. He previously coached under head coach Sean McDermott in Carolina as a defensive assistant, and also coached with Cleveland as assistant secondary coach. He was most recently with Florida International serving as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills interview Panthers QB coach for OC job

Posted by Chris Brown on January 18, 2017 – 11:01 pm

The Bills search for an offensive coordinator found head coach Sean McDermott sitting down with a familiar face for an interview Wednesday. 

According to the Charlotte Ovserver the Bills interviewed Panthers QBs coach Ken Dorsey for the Bills OC post. 

Dorsey has been on the Panthers coaching staff since 2013 after previously serving as a pro scout for the Panthers. 

There are reports that Dorsey is also drawing interest for an offensive position at the University of Tennessee. 

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Offensive play callers still in playoffs

Posted by Chris Brown on January 18, 2017 – 10:21 am

With Bills head coach Sean McDermott still seeking an offensive coordinator for his staff here’s a look at the assistant coaches still in the playoffs with offensive play calling experience at the NFL level.

Kyle Shanahan – OC – Expected to be named HC of San Francisco 49ers.

Green Bay
Tom Clements – Associate HC/offense – was Packers OC from 2012-14, but HC Mike McCarthy called plays. Was previously OC in Buffalo, called plays in 2004, but had play calling duties taken from him a few games into 2005 season by then HC Mike Mularkey.

Alex Van Pelt – QBs coach – was RBs coach first 2 years in GB. Only play calling experience was as Bills OC in 2009 under Dick Jauron. Also called plays when he worked in NFL Europe for Frankfurt.

Todd Angelichio – TEs coach – called plays as a college coach only.

New England
Josh McDaniels – OC/QBs – Pulled his name from San Francisco HC search.

Brian Daboll – TEs coach – Was previously OC for Cleveland (2009-10) under Eric Mangini, Miami (2011) under Tony Sparano, Kansas City (2012) under Romeo Crennel.

No one on offense besides OC Todd Haley.

Randy Fichtner – QBs coach did serve as an OC in the college ranks.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Ravens coach Harbaugh congratulates Castillo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2017 – 5:01 pm

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh offered his now former coach Juan Castillo congratulations after an agreement in principle was reached with Castillo by Bills new head coach Sean McDermott.

“Juan and I go back a long time,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “There is no coach I respect more than Juan. We understand his decision to take this promotion.”

Castillo was serving as the Ravens offensive line coach. His additional duties for the Bills will include coordination of the team’s league leading run game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Ravens DBs coach Leslie Frazier to be Bills DC

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2017 – 8:55 pm

According to a report, the Bills defensive coordinator will be Ravens defensive backs coach Leslie Frazier.

That according to ESPN Ravens beat reporter Jamison Helmsley.


Frazier has spent eight years in the league as a defensive coordinator, including his first four under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2002). It was there that he first worked with Sean McDermott who was fresh out of college and working in the Eagles scouting department before he worked as an assistant to coach Reid and then the Eagles coaching staff.

Frazier, 57, has also succeeded Mike Tomlin in Minnesota as defensive coordinator after Tomlin was hired as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He later became head coach of the Vikings (2011-2013).

The veteran coach would be a valuable resource to McDermott and one the new Bills head coach could count on to handle his defense, allowing him to focus on being a game day manager of the entire operation. Frazier could also be a sounding board for McDermott having been a head coach in the league before as well.

In a bit of an ironic twist, Frazier played in Chicago under defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan in his famed 46 defense.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Castillo to be OL coach/run game coord.

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2017 – 4:32 pm

A former colleague of Sean McDermott’s in Philadelphia will reportedly be joining the new Bills coach in Buffalo as a member of his staff.

According to Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec, Juan Castillo will join McDermott’s staff as offensive line coach/run game coordinator. Castillo served in those two capacities for the Baltimore Ravens between 2013 and this past season.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Juan Castillo will be heading to the Buffalo Bills to work on Sean McDermott's staff as OL coach/run game coordinator.</p>&mdash; Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) <a href=”″>January 12, 2017</a></blockquote>

Castillo and McDermott worked for 11 years together on Philadelphia’s staff under head coach Andy Reid.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where defensive fixes will be made

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2016 – 9:19 am

As we covered on today, the defensive staff will be hard at work devising new solutions to the problems that opposing offenses presented during the 2015 season. Here are some of the areas where Buffalo’s defense was compromised that the coaches will likely be prioritizing as areas to address in the coming weeks.

19th in total first downs allowed
21st in red zone defense (60% success rate allowed)
23rd in third down defense (40.5% conversion rate allowed)
27th in completions of 20 yards or more (59)
30th in points allowed on opponent’s first second half possession (53 points allowed)
31st in sacks (21)

The Bills also had their share of positive stats on defense. Perhaps the most inexplicable is their defensive prowess at the end of the first half. Buffalo’s defense was first in the league in points allowed at the end of the first half permitting just 20 all season, less than half the NFL average (53). But as listed above that stinginess disappeared when they came back out for the start of the third quarter with opponents putting up 53 points on their first possession of the second half against Buffalo last season. That ranked 30th and was almost double the league average (28).

Other areas where the defense was solid were total takeaways, where they ranked 11th and points allowed on an opponent’s first possession where they ranked ninth. Buffalo was also 10th in passer rating allowed (83.3) and teams were afraid to run against the Bills on first down as evidenced by the following. Buffalo opponents ran the ball just 37 percent of the time in the first half of games against the Bills, the lowest figure in the league. Opponents overall run percentage against Buffalo of 39 percent ranked 10th.

Posted in Inside the Bills

How Ed Reed decided to coach with the Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2016 – 12:07 pm

One of Buffalo’s newest coaching hires will be making his first foray into the coaching profession in 2016. But just how did nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed come to make the decision to join Rex Ryan’s coaching staff? He shared his decision making process on an appearance on Inside the NFL.

Reed said he received a phone call from Ryan a couple of weeks ago as his former head coach was trying to gauge his interest in coaching.

“I was making some turkey nachos with my son and the phone was ringing and I saw that it was Rex Ryan,” Reed said on Inside the NFL. “And he said, ‘Eddie Reed!’ And he said, ‘How would you like to come coach?’ And I said, ‘I wouldn’t mind it coach I’ll think about that.’ We were talking some football talk and I told him I’d get back to him.

“I had to talk to my son and his mother about the transition if I was going to take that job and how it would affect the family and everything. So he said he’d call me on the weekend. But he called me two days later to ask me what I was thinking. My son he wasn’t for it at first. He’s actually a Patriots fan. I was like, ‘Coach we’ve got to sell my son a little bit more. We’ve got to get him some gear.’”

Eventually everything worked out and Reed agreed to join Ryan’s staff as assistant defensive backs coach. And though this is Reed’s first official foray into professional coaching, Reed feels he’s performed in a coaching type role for several years now.

“You just have to be able to relate to guys and relate to players,” he said. “I’ve been running my football camp for 14 years coaching kids and trying to help kids out. I’ve mentored players on every level whether it’s high school, college or pro. I think I’ve already been a coach for that matter.

“Yes, it’s going to take some learning to be a coach. That’s the head coach’s job is to coach the coaches to coach the players. So I’m looking forward to learning, but at the same time I won’t forget the things I learned as a player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2015 – 11:32 am

Veteran voluntary minicamp is up this week beginning Tuesday and will roll us right into the draft Thursday night. Remember to stay close to online and on your mobile devices for full coverage of the Bills 2015 draft class as it happens. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any shot the Bills can get in on Rivers? Something like EJ and this year’s 2 and 5 or EJ and next year’s 1?


CB: The Philip Rivers trade chatter exists because of the quarterback’s comments, not the GM’s. Rivers has backed off his comments recently. That doesn’t mean that teams won’t be inquiring about the veteran QB’s availability. In a down year for quarterbacks it’ll be interesting to see what NFL clubs would be willing to offer, but I think the asking price would be very high if Tom Telesco even entertains an offer in the first place.

It’s my belief your trade proposals above would have to be improved to make a deal even remotely possible. Not having a one to offer this year I think removes Buffalo from consideration, and that’s if San Diego even decides to talk turkey. In a down year for quarterbacks I wouldn’t want to be hitting the reset button at that position, especially when my QB was an NFL MVP candidate for the first half of the season in 2014.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

2 players #Bills need this draft. MyCole Pruitt and Chris Bonner, what’s your thoughts, opinions?


CB: While I think there are a lot of things to like about Pruitt’s skill set, I don’t know that he’s a match for what Buffalo is looking for at tight end. Buffalo has the versatile playmaker in Clay and a potential athletic understudy in Marqueis Gray. Chris Gragg is a good straight line athlete, so what’s left? In a power run scheme Buffalo needs a tight end that is an accomplished blocker. If they can offer short to intermediate pass catching ability all the better.

Prospects in this year’s draft class who fit that bill as I see it are Ohio State’s Jeff Heuerman and Delaware’s Nick Boyle. Heuerman probably comes off the board in day two and Boyle on day 3. Good, high character players as well.

As for Chris Bonner, I wouldn’t be opposed to using a seventh-round pick on the D-II QB prospect. For a 6-7 quarterback I’m impressed with the way he makes himself small in the pocket to avoid pressure, and then the feet he has for a 6-7 man, Bonner is pretty good at extending plays.

The basics of his arm mechanics are good. He’s got an over-the-top delivery. What he lacks right now is touch on the ball and arc. Too often he throws a laser no matter what type of route he’s targeting. Dropping throws in the bucket on deep outs or putting more loft on an over the shoulder pass are the things he needs work on.

What I think I like best about Bonner’s game is the way he’s able to avoid the inside rush in the pocket, keep his eyes downfield and re-set his feet to deliver the ball. His throws aren’t always great, but a feel for pocket pressure is tough to find in young QBs. I’m confident some NFL team will try to develop him.


3 – Chris,

What positions do you expect the Bills to target? With RB out of the way, do you see tight end as logical choice? Given they are trying to win this year it would make sense to draft someone to plug n’ play to start. The Bills could use depth on defense but it is more likely they will target a guard or tight end? Or where do you seem them going elsewhere with #50?

Sean Robbins

CB: I think offensive line will be a major focus at 50 and if the right value is there at offensive tackle or guard I believe that’s where they go. Players I like for the Bills at 50 (assuming of course they’re still on the board) are G/C A.J. Cann, OT Cedric Ogbuehi (provided the knee checks out), OT Donovan Smith and G Laken Tomlinson.

If none of those prospects are on the board at 50 I think that’s when best on the board truly comes into play. A good all-around OLB/DE would make the most sense for me knowing Manny Lawson is entering the final year of his contract, but I think defensive back, inside linebacker, defensive tackle are all on the table there if the offensive line options are gone.


4 – Hi Chris,

I’m a longtime Bills fan now living in Kentucky and really appreciate all the hard work you do reporting the happenings at One Bills Drive. It seems the Bills with the support of the Pegula’s have assembled an all-star coaching staff.  Are there any league rules that limit or restrict the number of assistants a team can hire or that can be on the sidelines during a game?

Thank you,
Mark from Louisville

CB: Thanks for the kind words. To my knowledge there is no limit to the number of assistants a club can have on a coaching staff. And you’re right it is an all-star staff.


5 – Chris,
First of all thanks again for the great coverage of the Buffalo Bills. My question is about the offensive line and in particular the two starting tackles from the 2014 season. I recall either Doug Whaley or Rex referring to guard and tackle as a need, I thought the addition of tackle was interesting. I know the Bills have seen Cordy Glenn as a tackle in the past but I’ve heard many times that he could be one of the best guards in football if kicked inside. With a new staff and o-line coach do you think they may see as a guard? If this were to be the case that leaves a hole at left tackle clearly. Leading to my next question which is do you think Seantrel Henderson could swing over to the left side? I thought he had his rookie woes early against some top flight talent (Houston game against Watt) but got better as the season went on. Do you think he could be a starting left tackle? This move would also lead me to believe that Cyrus Kouandjio could have a legitimate chance at winning the right tackle spot. Thanks again, I look forward to your insight on these potential moves.

Go Bills!
Phil Dabowl

CB: I think all options are open. Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan and my conversation with offensive line coach Aaron Kromer are all consistent. They will look to find what the best combination of five linemen is best for the starting offensive line. That means no move is off the table.

That being said it’s my belief that Cordy Glenn is the best tackle on this roster right now. The coaches might feel differently and they have a trained eye for what works best far better than I do. Asking Seantrel Henderson to flip to the left side is not outlandish, but I think in his second NFL season might be a bit premature.

There’s little question that Henderson has the physical skill set to play on the left side, but his NFL readiness for that position is the key question. I think Cyrus Kouandjio will also be given every opportunity to be an offensive tackle for this team as opposed to guard.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone on coaching evaluations

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2014 – 11:51 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone and his staff just finished their exit interviews with all the players on Monday. Soon after the process of evaluating the job turned in by Buffalo’s assistant coaches will commence. Marrone laid out how that process will unfold.

“We’ll all get together and we’ll evaluate it,” said Marrone. “I’ll get all the information and that’s what we’re gathering right now statistically of that nature. There’s a lot that goes into an evaluation for everyone, like I’m sure there is with the evaluation of myself as the head coach. We’ll look at that and those discussions will go with our owner, myself and Doug (Whaley) and then the offensive staff, defensive staff and special teams. Everyone is evaluated from me on down.”

Marrone said that process would take about two weeks time before any decisions on made on the future of anyone on the staff.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pettine on what makes a successful LB

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2013 – 2:23 pm

Ray Lewis

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has worked with some pretty special linebackers in his NFL coaching career, most notably Ray Lewis. So he has a good idea of the kinds of qualities that he feels are needed to be a successful linebacker at the pro level.

“First of all is the mentality and the passion,” said Pettine. “They’ve got to love to play. When you have that mentality it shows up how you prepare to play. I was fortunate to be around Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas. To the guys with the Jets and the common theme was they were guys that loved to play. You’re not necessarily looking at great athletes, but I think the mentality has to be there especially to play linebacker.

“You see a lot of guys that have the talent to play in this league, but they don’t have the intangible stuff. When they have both that’s when they’re special.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-1

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2013 – 12:55 pm

Here’s the latest Super Bowl week edition of Fan Friday with your questions from and from Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – opp57 Jan 27, 7:48am via Web

@ChrisBrownBills is E.J. Manuel a good fit for Buffalo?

CB: It’s hard to say who is and isn’t a fit since there isn’t a definitive approach to what Buffalo’s offense will look like. Yes, we know that the offense will be rooted in the west coast system, but it has been very varied and unpredictable under Nathaniel Hackett when he was at Syracuse. Hackett naturally prefers to be unpredictable.

At the same time Hackett will be looking to improve and advance the offense and suit it to Buffalo’s personnel. Manuel certainly offers the physical skills necessary to play at the NFL level. His decision making and deep ball accuracy have been questioned by some. A good number of talent evaluators out there do not think he’s a finished product suitable to lead an offense from day one.

As to whether he fits what Buffalo wants to do I’ll let Buffalo’s offensive coordinator answer that.

“Everybody could have a chance in a system like this because I could tailor it to them,” Hackett said. “Figuring out everybody across the board and who it is and then trying to fit that person into the system is the biggest critical factor.”

2 – Chris,

I’ve heard it talked about amongst fans for a long time, do you ever foresee the Bills re-aligning to the AFC North by swapping with Baltimore? I think the proximity of Cincy, Cleveland and Pittsburgh would create outstanding rivalries, with all 4 teams being within a few hours’ drive of each other. Baltimore would seemingly be a better fit for the East, being that NY, NE and Miami are all along the coast as well. Your thoughts?


CB: I have felt the same way for a long time. When realignment occurred in 2002 I thought that was the best case scenario for the Bills long term, but I think the preservation of classic rivalries like Miami carried the day and kept Buffalo in the East. Geographically it makes way too much sense. Unfortunately I don’t foresee a change, especially with the Baltimore-Pittsburgh rivalry being the fiercest in the NFL in my opinion.


3 – NL_RandyK 10:01am via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Hey @ChrisBrownBills what are chances #Bills draft 2 QB’s? Besides backer and maybe free safety, what are other needs?

CB:  I tend to believe that will not be the case. Buddy Nix mentioned a month ago that he said they will try to draft one and perhaps add another in free agency. I think the free agent crop is thin, but it’s my feeling that Nix and his staff would prefer to add a veteran free agent in addition to rookie. Whether the opportunity presents itself to acquire a pair of quarterbacks along those two avenues is another story.


4 – Hi Chris….
As always thanks for the great coverage. I wondered what the environment must be like at one Bills Drive now that the GM, Head Coaches and OC and DC are in place….are these guys meeting together to talk about talent….thanks


CB:  We have a story that will appear on the website about the nuts and bolts of what the new coaching staff is doing at this time. They’re evaluating cut-ups of the Bills 2012 season by position and as offensive and defensive units. Every player will have a report put together on them by the staff. There will also be a good deal of time spent by the staff on reviewing their offensive and defensive schemes, how they apply to the talent on Buffalo’s roster and how said systems can be improved for the better. All of this takes a good deal of time.


5 – Chris
Thanks for your great work.  My question is about Tarvaris Jackson.  Initially, when the Bills traded a draft pick to Seattle for him and became responsible for his 2012 salary, everyone assumed he would become the Bills backup QB and Thigpen (who had been unproductive in pre-season) would be cut.  Then the Bills said Jackson did not know the offense well enough to be the backup, and Thigpen stayed on the roster after final cuts. But Jackson remained inactive for every game, and by mid-season the Bills said it was impossible for Jackson to learn the offense well enough to play because there was not enough practice time to give him snaps with the first team offense.  Jackson remained inactive the entire season and is now an unrestricted free agent. 

If the Bills’ explanation is correct, and it is impossible for a veteran QB to learn the Bills offense during the season because there is not enough practice time, why did the Bills give up a draft choice to get him when training camp was over?  

CB:  Buddy Nix has said more than once that the Tarvaris Jackson trade was a move made purely for insurance. With the Vince Young situation not working out, Buffalo had a short window to address the vacancy at the QB position without a lot of options out there short of a trade. Jackson was acquired for a seventh-round pick in the event that Ryan Fitzpatrick was hurt and out for an extended period of time. Short of a long term injury to Fitzpatrick, Jackson was never going to see the field.

To be fair to Jackson, he knew and understood the offense. The bigger issue was the previous coaching staff did not see Jackson under live fire before in their offensive system. That gives coaches ulcers when they have to put a player on the field without any prior knowledge of what they’re capable of when the real bullets are flying.

So while Jackson did his due diligence to learn the offensive system he was never afforded the opportunity to execute it in the practice setting due to time constraints. That left the previous coaching staff without any way to develop confidence in Jackson since they never saw him execute it effectively. It was very much a catch-22.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Morris: Running QBs don’t change blocking

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2013 – 9:15 am

Bills offensive line coach Pat Morris knows the running quarterbacks that are executing the read option are all the rage right now in the NFL. But he doesn’t see it changing much with respect offensive line play.

“The quarterbacks running hasn’t changed the ability to drive block and reach block,” said Morris. “You may leave one guy free for the quarterback, but you’re still run blocking and pass blocking. The quarterback might be changing, but the linemen are still linemen.

“In terms of pass protection it’s basically the same. Probably the least changed position would be the offensive line because you’re still going to have to block the same type of people. Maybe on the perimeter and some of your schematic on defense is different, but for offensive line, your count may be different. The quarterback sometimes takes care of that eighth guy and usually you might have to adapt and change to it. It might make your assignments a bit easier with your count if you run that stuff.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone was zeroed in on Pettine

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2013 – 11:33 am

When Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon wrapped up a press conference announcing he was taking over day-to-day control of the organization, he and GM Buddy Nix, Asst. GM Doug Whaley and Sr. VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf hopped a plane to Arizona to interview head coaching candidates, they quickly knew who they wanted to hire. Once they hired Doug Marrone less than a week later, Marrone took a similar approach in landing his defensive coordinator.

In introducing his coaching staff, Marrone confirmed that after his own press conference announcing his hiring a couple of weeks ago, he took off for New Jersey to meet face to face with Pettine

“I think what you’re looking for is someone that has caused a lot of problems for offenses around the NFL,” said Marrone. “Someone that you don’t ever want to play against. I think when I was going through my mind and talking to people in the league they kept coming around to one name. You talk to Russ Brandon or Buddy, my main priority that if I was going to be their choice as soon as we had gotten this done literally, after the press conference that day I jumped on a plane and went right down to see Mike. I couldn’t be happier with that choice. I couldn’t be more excited with the staff we put together. Obviously we’re going to work hard and take it from there.”

Fortunately for Marrone, Pettine was in a situation where his contract was expiring with the Jets.

“I’ve always been an admirer,” Marrone said. “You’re always looking to attack defenses even at the college level. To me what I had in mind was a system schematically that I wanted to run. That came from an origin like our offensive system. When I was looking at people that grew with that system and kept growing with that system and kept pushing that system, it just led to one person.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Crossman has respect for Bills and fan base

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2013 – 4:51 pm

Bills new special teams coordinator Danny Crossman was happy to land the job with Buffalo. In a team statement he indicated how much respect he has for the Bills as an organization as well as its fan base.

“Most important is the opportunity to work with an outstanding NFL franchise that has a passionate fan base,” said Crossman. “I know how much this team means to the community having grown up in a hardworking, blue-collar city. I’m excited to help this organization on the field with the support of our fans.”

Crossman is an El Paso, Texas native, who played his college football at Pitt as a defensive back.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: Experience coveted on spec. teams

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2013 – 4:46 pm

The Bills hired their special teams coordinator Monday as they announced the addition of Danny Crossman, who was most recently the special teams coordinator of the Detroit Lions (2010-2012). Head coach Doug Marrone made it clear that he coveted experience in the man who would fill the role for the Bills.

“Many games are won and lost with special teams,” said Marrone in a team statement. “It was important to our players and the organization to hire someone with experience. You want to make sure that you have someone that has experience and that can evaluate the full roster so that we know that we are getting the most out of our special teams units. It is obviously one third of the game and it is a very important part of it. That person has to deal with everyone on the team. It is different than your unit groups as far as offensive line, defensive backs or any other position—he is truly dealing with everyone.”

Crossman was a former defensive back himself and went to the Super Bowl as a special teams assistant with the Carolina Panthers in 2003.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Jets Asst to join Pettine w/Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2013 – 9:37 am

Immediately after reports came out that the Bills are going to hire Mike Pettine as their defensive coordinator there were subsequent reports that Assistant defensive backs coach Jim O’Neil will join Pettine on Buffalo’s defensive staff.

That according to New York Daily News Jets beat reporter Manish Mehta.

O’Neil worked primarily with the safeties under Jets DBs coach Dennis Thurman, who is expected to be the Jets new defensive coordinator based on Rex Ryan’s comments at his season wrap up press conference Tuesday.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Pettine hired as Bills DC

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2013 – 9:27 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan said his defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would not be back with his club and would be interviewing Tuesday for Buffalo’s defensive coordinator post. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, a day later Pettine has been hired by the Bills for that very position.

Pettine’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in each of his four seasons with the Jets. At his season wrap up press conference Rex Ryan said he wished Pettine well, unless he went to the Bills.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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