ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – That didn’t take long. Just one day after losing Mike Pettine to the Browns, the Bills already have his replacement in place, hiring Jim Schwartz as the team’s new defensive coordinator.
Schwartz spent the last five seasons as the Detroit Lions’ Head Coach, before the team fired him in December. He led the Lions to the playoffs in 2011.
Prior to that, he spent eight seasons as the Titans’ defensive coordinator, producing three seasons with his unit ranked in the league’s top ten in total yards allowed. His teams finished in the top ten against the run during five of those eight seasons.
In Detroit, Schwartz mostly ran a 4-3 base defense with some “wide-nine,” where the defensive ends push out in a wider than normal position. During most of his stops in the NFL, Schwartz’s defenses have featured talented defensive lines, which he will once again have in Buffalo with Pro Bowl selections Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Kyle Williams.
“We are excited to add a talented and accomplished coordinator in Jim Schwartz to our staff,” said Bills head coach Doug Marrone in a press release. “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.”
So the Bills go with an experienced coach, instead of an up-and-comer. The bonus to that approach is that it should limit the drop-off from last year’s defensive performance. On the flip side, if Schwartz’s unit performs well enough, he could find himself in a similar position to Pettine this year.