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Bobby April is a coaching free agent

No matter what semantic games the Buffalo Bills are playing with their fired coaching staff, special teams coach Bobby April is no longer on the staff.

April has exercised a clause in his contract that makes him a “free agent” Tuesday, according ESPN’s John Clayton.

Long one of the best special teams coaches in football, April doesn’t figure to be a free agent for long.  April is a rare difference maker at his coaching position, and doesn’t cost an owner much relatively to upgrade a team’s chances for winning.

The 56-year-old has also coached with the Steelers, Falcons, Saints and Rams.

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31 Responses to “Bobby April is a coaching free agent”
  1. BleedGreen says: Jan 5, 2010 11:52 AM

    God I hope the Eagles fire Ted Daisher and pick him up. That would be a godsend. Daisher is terrible.

  2. Slippyal2 says: Jan 5, 2010 12:03 PM

    As a Bills fan he held the team as hostage. Filled the team with players who are good special team players, but couldn’t actually play as back up on offense of defense.
    Good coach, just don’t let him fill your team with John Wendling and John Corto of the world.

  3. stnmmc says: Jan 5, 2010 12:06 PM

    Tomlin get him now!
    Our ST blow, except for Stefan Logan, and he is okay.

  4. alewatcher says: Jan 5, 2010 12:09 PM

    Huge mistake on the Bills part. Special teams was one of the few bright spots on the Bills squad. This comes under the throwing-out-the-baby-with-the bath-water category. The Bills real problems are on offense.
    He won’t be unemployed for long.

  5. Big_McLargeHuge says: Jan 5, 2010 12:16 PM

    Great career move

  6. dcfan-1212450 says: Jan 5, 2010 12:17 PM

    After the Redskins debacle on special teams this year, a clear choice would be Washington for his next move. And the man knows he will be paid in Washington. So don’t expect him to sign on this week, not until the Redskins and Shanahan make it official so they can at least offer him a deal. And when we overpay the crap out of him, he will sign here. Watch, it will happen.

  7. whybuffalowhy says: Jan 5, 2010 12:21 PM

    Even after what looks likes Bobby’s worst year (Take away the injurys, one disgruntled player’s poor play and one or two fluke plays and it would have been very different) he will still be missed very much in Buffalo. His special teams units have always ranked at the top of the league and have been one of the few bright spots for the Bills in the last decade. I hate to see him go. That said, I can’t blame him for testing the waters of the free agent market rather than waiting to see what the Buffalo Bills hiring “storm” blows in.

  8. wwwmattcom says: Jan 5, 2010 12:27 PM

    Yea, I loved April because his teams were the only succesful ones that the Bills had, but his special team guys couldn’t do anything but run down the ball. We had no depth. That said, if he could spot talent for a defense or offense I would make him a DC or OC. (Didn’t appreciate him needing Fred Jackson Leodis McKelvin or Terrence McGee as KR, they were all starters in their position) Showed a lot of heart. Wish him the best of luck.

  9. tombrookshire says: Jan 5, 2010 12:29 PM

    Reid doesn’t fire anyone. He’ll live a die with stinking special teams because of his stupid, misplaced loyalty to staff. Plus, Reid is afraid of looking stupid in reversing a Reid hiring decision. Same with Lurie. Thus, Reid will never be fired, even though he should be or at least from his coaching job.

  10. nps6724 says: Jan 5, 2010 12:30 PM

    “As a Bills fan he held the team as hostage. Filled the team with players who are good special team players, but couldn’t actually play as back up on offense of defense.”
    How can a ST coach do this? I doubt he had any say in personnel besides who would do well on ST.

  11. stnmmc says: Jan 5, 2010 12:31 PM

    Slippyal2 says: January 5, 2010 12:03 PM
    As a Bills fan he held the team as hostage. Filled the team with players who are good special team players, but couldn’t actually play as back up on offense of defense.
    —————————————————
    If he was the one making the roster decisions and filling “the team with players who are good special team players, but couldn’t actually play as back up…”then you had a bigger problem in Buffalo than anyone thought.
    Usually it is the coach and/or GM who has final say on the roster, not a ST coach. Maybe that is why the Bills suck so bad…or it could be the owner is cheap and won’t pay for good coaches/players.

  12. ncsteeler says: Jan 5, 2010 12:33 PM

    Steelers should make a move on him. dcfan is right Snyder may simply overpay him; so he has to make a decision money or a shot at a ring.

  13. Deb says: Jan 5, 2010 12:34 PM

    Bobby come home!! I know Cowher yelled and spit at you a lot even though you did a great job, but Tomlin is cool, calm–no spit!!!
    Tomlin … call Bobby!!!!!!! Please, call Bobby!!!!!!

  14. Ollie says: Jan 5, 2010 12:42 PM

    Are you kidding!!! The Steelers fired April long ago because the special teams were so bad there.

  15. reddog9 says: Jan 5, 2010 1:03 PM

    Hey Slippyal2 – Your post is dead on! The Bills have no depth because over the past 5 years they have wasted some many spots with players who will never be offensive or defensive contributors/starters just because they could cover punts! April was a part of those decisions. Afterall, he was the asst. headcoach on a team with no GM.
    See ya Bobby! Don’t come back!

  16. Deb says: Jan 5, 2010 1:08 PM

    @Ollie …
    Maybe I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses … you know, the way you look back on your old boyfriend like he was Brad Pitt when he was really David Spade but since your current boyfriend has turned out to be Freddy Krueger, he makes David Spade seem like Brad Pitt.
    Well, the Steelers special teams this year were Freddy Krueger, so if April was really David Spade, that’s still Brad Pitt compared to what we have now.

  17. mikel says: Jan 5, 2010 1:11 PM

    Well, the Steelers really need help in the special teams and Bobby April has a proven track record. And if he wants to be with a winner, he can come to the Steelers. I hope they snap him up or some other Special Teams coach that can make a difference. Since he has been to the burgh, both the Steelers and April will know what to expect.

  18. Drat says: Jan 5, 2010 1:14 PM

    With the Rams, April had the worst special teams in the league. Consistently. Give him talent, or allow him to demand talent like he’s done with the Bills, and he’s successful. Who wouldn’t be? Coaching up special teams that don’t have raw talent?: not so good. Dismal, actually. Just the fact the April has already worked his way through a good proportion of teams in the league tells you all you need to know: good enough to hire, bad enough to fire.

  19. nps6724 says: Jan 5, 2010 1:17 PM

    “The Bills have no depth because over the past 5 years they have wasted some many spots with players who will never be offensive or defensive contributors/starters just because they could cover punts! April was a part of those decisions. Afterall, he was the asst. headcoach on a team with no GM.”
    Which means your HC wasn’t a strong enough or smart enough man to run a team.
    Bobby April’s responsibility is the ST unit so he is going to try and get the very best guys he can for the ST unit. He is going to fight for the guys he feels he needs. It is the responsibility of the HC and/or GM to make the call.
    I won’t begrudge a coach for doing the best he could at his job.

  20. Ollie says: Jan 5, 2010 1:32 PM

    @Deb
    I think I see your point. Only I think any new special teams coach compared to the one we have now would seem like Kristen Stewart!

  21. reddog9 says: Jan 5, 2010 1:42 PM

    Nps6724 – there is no doubt that the headcoach, Dick Mauron, wasn’t strong enough or smart enough to run the team! He was awful! That said, April had good special teams because he had more “full time” special teams players that just about any team in the league!

  22. footballrulz says: Jan 5, 2010 1:57 PM

    Man, I wish Ted Thompson knew how to use a telephone.

  23. GaBlackNGold says: Jan 5, 2010 2:00 PM

    With the Steelers, the bad special teams wasn’t as much on the coach as it was on the personnel. They cut a couple of our ST aces from the previous year, when it was good, and tried to plug in a bunch of rookies which was obviously disastrous. Once they brought back guys like Anthony Madison at the end to the coverage units it shored things up.

  24. coz says: Jan 5, 2010 2:17 PM

    “As a Bills fan he held the team as hostage. Filled the team with players who are good special team players, but couldn’t actually play as back up on offense of defense.
    Good coach, just don’t let him fill your team with John Wendling and John Corto of the world.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I agree with this, april is good but he will need the coach to draft all these special teamer guys fills your team with them, yuck. Plus the bills STs sucked this year once they banned the 3 man wedge

  25. spyboots says: Jan 5, 2010 2:24 PM

    Anthony Madison should never have been cut in the first place.

  26. EG says: Jan 5, 2010 2:40 PM

    Coz hit the nail on the head. The bills ST were not nearly as productive this year because of the “no wedge” rule which April didn’t do a great job of adjusting to the rule change

  27. Deb says: Jan 5, 2010 3:22 PM

    @Ollie … Exactly!
    GaBlackNGold and Spyboots are right–one of the biggest mistakes the Steelers made was cutting Anthony Madison.

  28. mlegue810 says: Jan 5, 2010 3:43 PM

    Go get him, Lions! Stan Kwan is an effing JOKE.

  29. rollingsteel says: Jan 5, 2010 5:42 PM

    I agree Anthony Madison is a Special Team stud. Pit should of kept him. But I seriously think making the moves to get Bobby April back will go along way to improving our horrendus ST.

  30. nflinsider says: Jan 5, 2010 6:08 PM

    I would also look out for Pete Rodriguez, he and Shanahan go way back

  31. sportjd says: Jan 5, 2010 10:03 PM

    Far and away the best ST Coach in the NFL who was part of an NFL program to identify potential Haed Coaches and formally interview them on tape. A difference maker for a team who has provided “points” in games. In St Louis he did not pick the personnel on all the Special teams like kickoffs. Other staff(HC & DC) and had offsive lineman on kick off team!! Go figure. Won’t be out there long.

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