posted on January 25, 2014 07:52
The Buffalo Bills have hired former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator according to multiple sources.
Schwartz replaces Mike Pettine, who was hired as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
The 47-year-old coach was fired last month after five seasons as the coach of the Lions. Schwartz went 29-51 at the helm after inheriting the team after going 0-16 in 2008. He led Detroit to their first playoff appearance since 1999.
“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.”
Prior to his stint in Detroit, Schwartz served as the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans for eight years.
The Titans finished among the NFL’s top 10 in fewest yards allowed three times during that time.
In a note of importance to Buffalo fans, Tennessee finished in the top 10 in rushing yards allowed five times under Schwartz. The Bills have not finished higher than 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed since 2004.
Schwartz began his career as a college and pro scout with the Cleveland Browns from 1993-1996 under current Patriots boss Bill Belichick.
In another coaching move, the Bills also hired former Schwartz assistant Todd Downing as quarterbacks coach.
Downing was the Lions’ quarterbacks coach from 2011-2013, where he helped Matthew Stafford become the franchise’s all-time leading passer.
The 33-year-old joined Schwartz’s staff in 2009 as an offensive quality control coach before ascending to the role of assistant quarterbacks coach. He has also coached with the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings in various capacities since entering the NFL in 2003.