When the Bills hired defensive coordinator Mike Pettine after his four-year run with the Jets, it brought immediate credibility to Doug Marrone’s staff.
It might also be enough to make their defense better than the Jets’ according to one former Jet.
ESPN analyst Damien Woody told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News that Pettine will make a “night and day” difference, considering a set of defensive personnel that might be better than New York’s. Woody played offensive line for the Jets for two years while Pettine was defensive coordinator under Rex Ryan.
“Buffalo has some weapons,” Woody said. “Buffalo has some nice pieces to make things happen. If you look at Buffalo’s personnel and match it up to the Jets, I wouldn’t say I would take the Jets defense over Buffalo’s.
“They underachieved. There’s no question about it. But I think part of that has to do with scheme and coaching. You get the right coach and put them in position, they have a real chance to jump up and be a factor.”
The Jets have been the one team in the division to have any amount of success against the Patriots recently, including a 2010 postseason win. And while Pettine worked in the shadow of Ryan, Woody said that might be deceiving.
“A lot of people assume that it’s all Rex, and Rex is the mastermind,” Woody said. “But Pettine had a lot of input. He knows that defense just as well as Rex does.
“You know Mike Pettine’s going to be hungry because he wanted to get out of the shadow of Rex and prove himself. Ultimately, he wants to be a head coach. So he’s going to be a highly motivated guy, a guy that’s been schooled in that defense.”
With the money they spent on defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson last year, the Bills failed to see a return on that investment. Getting a motivated Pettine might get them closer to it.