Bills Tab Schwartz As D-Coordinator

- The Bills said they had a plan. It didn't take long to execute it. 

Just 24 hours after their old defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, became the head coach in Cleveland, the Bills found a former head coach to be the new coordinator. 

Jim Schwartz was give the reins to the Bills defense Friday night. Schwartz was just fired by the Lions after five seasons as head coach in Detroit that included one playoff appearance. 

He brings to Buffalo a wealth of defensive experience. Schwartz has coached in the NFL for 20 seasons in total. Eight of those years, he was the coordinator of a pretty decent Titans defense. 

“We are excited to add a talented and accomplished coordinator in Jim Schwartz to our staff,” said Bills head coach Doug Marrone.  “Schwartz has led aggressive and productive defensive units throughout his time in the NFL and we feel our defense will continue to improve under his leadership.”

Schwartz had plenty of success in Detroit with a defensive line that had a similar amount of talent as the line he takes over in Buffalo. Ndamakong Suh made the Pro Bowl three of the four seasons he played under Schwartz. The Lions D also had seasons among the NFL's top ten in takeaways (3rd in 2011) and sacks (6th in 2010). 

His Titan defenses ranked in the top ten against the run five of eight seasons and were in the top ten overall three times in eight years. 

Schwartz was the probably the biggest and best name available in a picked-over pool of available coaches, but will be regarded around the league as a strong hire by the Bills. 

Buffalo also announced Todd Downing will be the team's new quarterback coach. It's the same job Downing had under Schwartz in Detroit. 

Downing, 33, will enter his 12th year in the NFL coaching ranks and fourth as a quarterbacks coach. He helped Lions QB Matthew Stafford become the Lions’ franchise leading passer (17,457 career passing yards) in 2013.
Downing has worked with two quarterbacks on the Bills’ current roster – Thad Lewis in 2013 with Detroit and EJ Manuel during the 2013 Senior Bowl.

“Todd Downing is a bright and energetic coach.  He is familiar with our personnel at the quarterback position and he will play a key role in the development of all of the quarterbacks on the Bills’ roster,” said Bills head coach Doug Marrone.  “He played a pivotal role in the development of Detroit’s quarterbacks during his tenure – most notably Matthew Stafford, the franchise’s all-time leading passer.  Downing will be a valuable addition to our offensive coaching staff.”

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