- Jim Schwartz has been named as the Bills Defensive Coordinator
Bills-Toronto series is postponed for one year; annual game returns to Ralph Wilson Stadium. Team statement at buffalobills.com.
BILLS AND GIANTS WILL PLAY IN 2014 PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME GAME
The NFL announced on Thursday that the 2014 Hall of Fame game will feature two teams from the state of New York. The Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants will meet on Sunday, Aug. 3 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
It will be the Bills’ fourth appearance in the game, the last coming in 2009 when they met the Titans. Previous trips were in 1974 and 1989. The Giants, meanwhile, played in the first Hall of Fame game back in 1962 and made subsequent appearances in 1972, 1985 and 2002.
On the Saturday before the game, former Bills wide receiver Andre Reed and former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Other inductees include: linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, defensive end Claude Humphrey, tackle Walter Jones and defensive back Aeneas Williams. (Photo: Buffalo Bills/Twitter)
Happy birthday Brian Moorman!
-BILLS ADD PEPPER JOHNSON,PAGAC TO DEFENSIVE STAFF-
The Buffalo Bills have started filling out their defensive staff under new coordinator Jim Schwartz by hiring Pepper Johnson and Fred Pagac, the teams official website reports.
Johnson takes over as defensive line coach, overseeing a group featuring three Pro Bowl selections, including Mario Williams. Johnson stays in the AFC East after spending the past 14 seasons as a New England Patriots assistant.
Pagac has 13 seasons of NFL coaching experience. He will coach linebackers — the same role he held in seven of the past eight seasons with Minnesota.
Both assistant coaches reached deals Friday, becoming the first additions to a retooled defensive staff under Schwartz, who was hired last week.
Schwartz replaced coordinator Mike Pettine, who left to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns and took many of his assistants with him. (Photo: buffalobills.com)
-BILLS HIRE HOSTLER AS SENIOR OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT-
The Buffalo Bills have hired Jim Hostler to work as a senior offensive assistant coach.
Hostler has 14 years of NFL coaching experience, including the past six as Baltimore’s receivers coach. He also spent three seasons as an assistant in San Francisco, including 2007 as the 49ers offensive coordinator.
Hostler also spent time as an assistant with the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.
It was in New York, from 2003-04, when Hostler worked on the same staff as Bills coach Doug Marrone. Hostler was the receivers/quarterbacks coach for the Jets, while Marrone coached the offensive line.
Marrone had an opening on his staff at receivers coach after Ike Hilliard was fired on Dec. 30. (Photo: Sabina Moran/PressBox)
-BILLS D TO MAINTAIN ATTACKING STYLE UNDER SCHWARTZ-
Jim Schwartz doesn’t expect continuity to be an issue in his new job with the Buffalo Bills.
Despite taking over as the team’s fourth defensive coordinator in four years, Schwartz stressed he has no intention of making drastic changes to his predecessor’s aggressive approach that made the Bills one of the NFL’s most feared pass-rushing teams last season.
"We’re an attack scheme. It’s a scheme built on the guys up front getting after the quarterback," Schwartz said via the teams website during his introductory news conference on Monday. "We’ll be fast. We’ll be physical. We want to attack. There’s going to be a lot of defensive lineman that are real happy to play in a system like that."
That should make Mario Williams, one of Buffalo’s three returning Pro Bowl defensive linemen, breathe a little easier.
Schwartz is happy, too.
A month after being fired as the Detroit Lions head coach, Schwartz’s decision to bide his time before making his next move paid off in landing a job he considers to be an ideal fit.
Schwartz replaces Mike Pettine, who left Buffalo after only one season to take over as the Cleveland Browns head coach. Pettine’s departure last week was unexpected and had the potential of undercutting whatever carry-over the Bills were seeking to build on following a 6-10 finish.
Though the Bills struggled against the run, their defense finished 10th in the NFL in yards allowed — Buffalo’s best ranking since a second-place finish in 2004. And Buffalo finished second in the league with a franchise-record 57 sacks.
Once Pettine indicated he was accepting the Browns position, Bills coach Doug Marrone wasted little time targeting Schwartz.
Schwartz has 20 years of coaching experience including an eight-year stint as the Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator from 2001-08.
The Titans’ defense three times finished among the NFL’s top 10 in fewest yards allowed. Tennessee was particularly stingy in stopping the run, finishing sixth or better in yards rushing allowed, including a first-place ranking in 2003.
Schwartz was inconsistent during five seasons in Detroit. He went 29-51, including a 10-6 finish in 2011 in which the Lions snapped a 12-year playoff drought.
In Buffalo, Schwartz’s immediate priority will be filling out his defensive staff.
Marrone said four Bills defensive assistants are expected to join Pettine in Cleveland. The group includes linebackers coach Jim O’Neil, who is expected to take over as Browns defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver.
Marrone also expected to lose defensive quality control coach Brian Fleury and newly hired assistant Jeff Hafley.
Veteran defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson is staying in Buffalo.
Schwartz’s defensive approach is rooted in a 4-3 system with some similarities to Pettine’s philosophy particularly when it comes to generating pressure off the edges. He intends to spend the next few months adapting his defense to the strengths of his personnel. (Photo: Harry Scull Jr./Associated Press)
-BROWNS EXPECTED TO OFFER PETTINR HEAD COACHING JOB-
The Cleveland Browns are expected to offer Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine their vacant head coaching job, multiple sources are reporting
According to ESPN, Pettine was expected to visit the club for a third interview Thursday and unless there are unanticipated hang-ups, Pettine will become Cleveland’s seventh full-time coach since 1999.
The Browns have been looking for a coach since firing Rob Chudzinski on Dec. 29. Team officials flew to Mobile, Ala., this week to interview the 47-year-old Pettine, who spent one season with the Bills after four as defensive coordinator of the New York Jets.
Pettine is one of at least 10 known candidates to interview with the Browns, who dismissed Chudzinski hours after the season finale in Pittsburgh. The club had been expected to have a second interview with Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is preparing for the Super Bowl. But things have progressed to the point that the team is focused solely on Pettine.