Buffalo Bills say goodbye to longtime defensive backs coach John Butler

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Buffalo Bills decided to make a few changes to their coaching staff over the last few days, including a reported mutual decision to part ways with defensive backs coach John Butler. Butler first joined the Bills in 2018, coming over from the Houston Texans. He was the Texans defensive backs coach, and before that, spent time with various collegiate programs as a defensive coach. He was later promoted in 2022 to the Bills' defensive passing game coordinator, in addition to his duties as the defensive backs coach.

Interestingly, the team would agree to part ways with Butler given the success of the Bills' secondary under his guidance. The Bills' pass defense since he arrived has consistently been one of the best in the league and is credited with helping develop both Tre'Davious White in 2019 and Jordan Poyer in 2021 to Pro Bowl seasons, as well as being named to the All-Pro teams for both.

It's possible with Bobby Babich getting the promotion to the Bills' defensive coordinator, Butler wanted to move on to other opportunities outside of Buffalo. Butler called the defensive plays in a preseason game against the Steelers and was likely a candidate for the defensive coordinator job but was ultimately not selected. There was also concern that he and former first-rounder Kaiir Elam never really clicked. Elam had some interesting comments when asked about Coach Butler.

"No comment.

I wasn’t there health-wise for my team, I really couldn’t explode or couldn’t run. It gave more power to the person not to play me. I just feel like when I got healthy and able to show that I can take the ball away at a high level or go out there and be a great player, I was able to do that when I got healthy.""

In his place, the Bills hired 39-year-old Jahmile Addae, formerly of the Miami Hurricanes, where he held the same position for two years. Before that, he was the Georgia Bulldogs DB coach in 2021. It's nice to see Coach McDermott hiring new faces outside the organization. Having a fresh and new perspective is a good thing. Perhaps, Addae can help Elam achieve his goals and become a stronger corner. We've seen flashes from him, let's see what he can do in year three with a new DB coach and healthy.


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