Following another season passing by for the Bills without a spot in the playoffs, the Bills decided to go in another direction as far as coaching was concerned. The dismissal of Head Coach Rex Ryan after not even two seasons led to the Bills hiring of former Panthers and Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott on January 11, 2017. Following the hiring McDermott has gone on to clear the house of the coaching staff left behind from the not so distant Ryan era that plagued Buffalo.
It was announced on Tuesday, January 31st that the Bills would be moving in a different direction in terms of the coaching staff for the 2017 season. Fourteen of the Bills now former coaches included Bobby April, John Blake, Aaron Kromer, David Lee, D’Anton Lynn, Tim McDonald, Pat Meyer, Chris Palmer, Ed Reed, Eric Smith, Kathryn Smith, Dennis Thurman, Jason Vrable and Jeff Weeks. Most notably from that group of names are Ed Reed and Kathryn Smith.
Ed Reed was signed by the Bills and Rex Ryan on January 13, 2016, as an assistant defensive backs coach. This brought Reed and Ryan together for the third time after having stints together back to when Ryan was with the Ravens as well as the Jets. In his one season as coach, the Bills gave up 224-yards passing per game, good enough for sixth-best in the league last season.
The NFL’s first full-time female assistant, Kathryn Smith was also let go by new head coach Sean McDermott. Beginning her football career in 2003 as a game day intern, becoming a scouting intern in 2005, eventually joining the Bills organization in 2015 as an administrative assistant in 2015. Replacing Michael Hamlin in 2016 as the special teams quality control coach, Smith became the first full-time coach in NFL history. Smith told The Associated Press last year. “I might be the first. But I don’t think I’ll be the only one for very long.”
McDermott has already begun filling out his new Bills staff with his coaching hires following his arrival. Leslie Frazier was brought aboard to become the new defensive coordinator after being with Baltimore a season ago. Frazier is the former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2011-2013. Bob Babich will become the new linebackers coach after performing the same duty for the Chargers a season ago. Babich’s 14-year career includes stops with the Jaguars, Bears, Rams, and Chargers.
Coming over from the Ravens as well is Juan Castillo who will be the offensive line coach. Castillo is best known for spending 18-years of his career in Philadelphia as the offensive line coach and defensive coordinator. The new quarterback coach for the Bills will be David Culley, a former member of the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff. Taking over as offensive coordinator following the departure of Anthony Lynn the new Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers Rick Dennison from the Denver Broncos.
The new coaching hires hope to bring stability to the Bills, something they have been lacking in recent years. The new coaches whomever they may be once the staff is fully rounded out will have plenty of work to do for this Bills team to end their playoff drought.
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