One of the major off-season tasks for the Bills is to find a new defensive coordinator after the loss of Mike Pettine to the Cleveland Browns.
Another one is to bring back Jairus Byrd as well as a couple of other free agents. Buffalo is set to send out offers to some of their free agents very soon and Byrd is one of those free agents.
Buffalo sees a need to bring back the Pro Bowler to help solidify their back seven.
Jairus Byrd has a definite relationship with his other defensive backs and his defensive backs coach, Donnie Henderson.
“Everything we heard is he really enjoyed coach Henderson and he loves his teammates and I think he likes the defensive scheme that coach Pettine employs so all those are positives and hopefully we can use that in our negotiation,” Whaley said.
Another show of this is that Byrd is trying to bring all of the defensive backs and coach Henderson down to Hawaii, if he is able to get away and spend some time with them. This shows that there is more of a relationship with Byrd and his teammates, there is a deep bond that needs to be kept.
One way to help the process and bring Byrd back could be to promote within and bring Donnie Henderson in as the new defensive coordinator. Henderson has the 2nd ranked defense against the pass as a backs coach back in 2005 when he was with the Jets.
Henderson has been a defensive backs coach with the Lions and Cardinals. He also has coached at Southern University and was brought in to Doug Marrone’s coaching staff in 2012 while at Syracuse. He has been with Marrone since 2012 and with the Buffalo Bills, Henderson had the 4th ranked defense against the pass only allowing and average of 204.4 yards per game and had the 2nd most interceptions in the league with 23.
This might be a viable option for the Bills as a defensive coordinator, who knows the system and Marrone. He also has a relationship with his defensive backs and this could be a selling point to Byrd if the Bills come in with a lower offer than what he is looking for.