A couple of days ago, the Buffalo Bills lost their defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, to the Cleveland Browns, for their head coaching job. The Bills wasted little time and brought in Jim Schwartz, former head coach for the Detroit Lions as well as former defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans.
Buffalo Bills fans were somewhat angry to see Pettine go, after he did sign a 3 year deal with the Bills and just upped and left, but it is a business as every person in the NFL will say and who wouldn’t want to move up in their world. But why would the Bills allow what seemed to be a good addition to the coaching staff leave only after 1 season?
The defense now needs to in a sense start over. Jim Schwartz, in his press conference, stated that there is come continuity that needs to be kept but there are changes that will be made as well.
Schwartz has been looked at as a coach that seems to move towards a 4-3 defense. This is fine for the Bills, as they have one of the best front 4s in the business. Schwartz also defended his position of moving towards 4-3s. He said that the coaches adapt more to the players that vice versa. This is a reason that Marrone brought in Schwartz. Marrone believes in who is calling his defense rather than what defense his coordinator is calling.
Schwartz defends himself against his critics that say he moves towards a 4 front defense.
“When people say we relied on the front four that’s because they were really good,” Schwartz told Buffalobills.com. “For a significant portion of my career we didn’t have to blitz to get pressure on the quarterback. With guys like Jevon Kearse and Kevin Carter, Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch in Tennessee, and even going to Detroit with Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Cliff Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch was also up there. We were in a situation where we were doing what our players did best.
“We weren’t trying to force the issue of putting a square peg in a round hole. I think that’s part of coaching is you want to put players in good position and let them do what they do best. We’ve been in other situations where we didn’t have the talent up front and we had to blitz more and be a little more creative in our packages. We’ll be multi-dimensional enough to handle any of those situations (in Buffalo).”
Two years ago, Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt was described as being predictable. This was due to a lack of personnel during the year on defense, especially up front and due to injuries. Jim Schwartz should not have a major issue with not having the personnel, with three pro bowl defensive linemen on the team. They should not have to do a lot with blitzing packages as this group up front, should be able to create pressure by themselves.
“We’ll be fast, we’ll be physical. We want to attack. We’re not going to be a reading defense. There are going to be a lot of defensive linemen who are going to be pretty happy to play in a system like that,” he said. “I think that over the next few months we will be looking at what is best rather than that is the way it has been done. There is going to be some carryover and there is going to be some things that we’ll wind up changing because we think it is in our best long-term benefit to be able to do that.”
My initial reaction, after Schwartz press conference is opportunistic with what Schwartz is proposing. I know he was successful in Tennessee as well so his stock is on the rise. We will have to wait and see how everything plays out and if it falls into place. First this is first though, the Bills need to bring back Byrd to solidify the back 4.