May 10, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine watch players run through drills during rookie minicamp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Next Step Forward: Mike Pettine's Departure


 The recent departure of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has left Buffalo in a state of dismay; the loss of this defensive genius places the head office in a tight situation with the free agency period quickly gaining ground. With the impending Jairus Byrd contract looming over their heads, the Buffalo Bills front office has their work cut out for them heading into their second year. The loss of Mike Pettine’s aggressive defense leave Buffalo in a state of question at a crucial time  for the young franchise; the question at hand is how do the Bills make the next step forward?

Right now Buffalo’s main concern is figuring out a new defensive strategy with their ex-leader bound for Cleveland. How does Buffalo approach their defensive personnel? Which coach can build off the current staff while building off of the improvements made by Mike Pettine last year? Most importantly, which coach hiring will keep Jairus Byrd playing happily in Buffalo?

More pressing than filling the coaching gap left by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is the 2014 NFL Draft. Prior to Pettine’s departure to Cleveland, the Buffalo Bills were arguably a draft away from NFL relevance. Looking at the situation now, the first round is of the utmost importance. A good first round can make the team competitive; A poorly played first round can put a crack in Marrone’s future in Buffalo.

The only move for Buffalo right now is a step forward. The departure of Mike Pettine does hurt this young Buffalo team; The only way to get through the situation is to take it with a grain of salt.  The Buffalo Bills organization needs to focus on their staff changes first & foremost, then prepare for the impending free agency and NFL draft. If the Buffalo Bills want to succeed, they need to prepare for success and not waste time doing so. The key to Buffalo’s success? Taking that first step forward.

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