Buffalo fans had been nervous after the departure of their defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Yesterday, the Bills acted quickly to fill the vacancy in hiring former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz.
Schwartz, only 47, had been previously rumored as a possible defensive coordinator candidate in Cleveland. He was a disappointing 29-51 in five seasons with the Lions. Before that, he served as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator for eight years. He’s been in the NFL since 1993 with the Browns.
It’s a savvy addition to replace Pettine, who made his mark in just one season over in Buffalo. In 2012, the Bills ranked 22nd in yards allowed per game and 23rd in forced turnovers. Then in 2013, led by the addition of rookie Kiko Alonso and Pettine’s guidance, the Bills ranked 10th in yards and sixth-best in turnovers. They were a very good unit, outside of that 37-point performance by Cleveland in Week 5.
Schwartz’s time clearly needed to be over in Detroit. They eventually replaced him with Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. Former OSU coach Jim Tressel has not yet joined his staff, as was previously reported. But with Schwartz off the board, it seems the Browns are likely banking on Bills LB coach Jim O’Neill to be their new defensive coordinator. This now appears more likely.
Photo: Mark Duncan/The Associated Press