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Bills hire Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator


The Bills lost their defensive coordinator to a head coaching job on Thursday, but it didn’t take long to replace him.

The team has announced that former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is joining Doug Marrone’s staff as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Schwartz was fired by the Lions after the end of the regular season after compiling a 29-51 record over five years as the head coach in Detroit.

“We are excited to add a talented and accomplished coordinator in Jim Schwartz to our staff,” Marrone said in a statement. “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 was the defensive coordinator in Tennessee from 2001-2008 before moving on to Detroit and there aren’t too many guys with that kind of experience available to run a defense right now. He inherits a unit that finished second in the league in sacks and interceptions, but struggled badly against the run. Schwartz’s units in Tennessee were very strong in that area, which could bode well for Buffalo.

The Bills also announced that Todd Downing has been hired as the quarterbacks coach. Downing worked for Schwartz in Detroit for the last five years and spent the last three years as the team’s quarterbacks coach. The Bills didn’t have a quarterbacks coach last season, but Marrone said he planned to hire one to help oversee E.J. Manuel heading into the first-round pick’s second season.

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79 Responses to “Bills hire Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator”
  1. dtownsportslions says: Jan 24, 2014 9:46 PM

    Good for him. Not the most popular guy but I respected him and appreciated his time in Detroit.

  2. coachjohnharbaugh says: Jan 24, 2014 9:47 PM

    so the bills stink for years with a 4-3…move to a 3-4 under pettine, have a really solid year…..& now back to a 4-3 with a coordinator who once had the 32nd ranked D in tennessee

  3. stevenwilliams2013 says: Jan 24, 2014 9:48 PM

    He is a good defensive coordinator!! Good hire!!

  4. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 24, 2014 9:51 PM

    LOL! Good hire, but Schwartz has to be feeling low.

  5. moerawn says: Jan 24, 2014 9:51 PM

    Wow. It’s like the Republirats. Every loser gets a second chance in another capacity. See McCain, John, Romney, Mittens, and Clinton, Hitlery.

  6. Remixed says: Jan 24, 2014 9:52 PM

    Great hire! Love that we had a backup plan that for once i’m not mad about. He could make our defense that much better.

  7. thurstonblogging says: Jan 24, 2014 9:54 PM

    Give ’em Hell, Jim. Go easy on the Lions this year.

  8. bills4life says: Jan 24, 2014 9:54 PM

    Cant billieve that this guy is on our staff. I hate this man, but help us win and all is forgiven. Go BILLS!

  9. tigersfandan says: Jan 24, 2014 9:55 PM


    Sorry. Had to get that out of my system.

  10. bvolke says: Jan 24, 2014 9:57 PM

    Wow! Great hire by Buffalo! He has a lot of pieces to work with there. Their D was top 10 this last season. Wouldn’t be shocked if they were even better next year.

  11. tolan04 says: Jan 24, 2014 9:59 PM

    Please help with this run d that’s been putrid for the past 5 years

  12. lionsfaninthe505 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:02 PM

    Pull up your Gym Shorts Buffalo…it’s gonna be a long year with this idiot running your defense.

  13. beyond2k says: Jan 24, 2014 10:02 PM

    + !!!!!

  14. wwwmattcom says: Jan 24, 2014 10:04 PM

    Could do worse. What’s with the Lake Erie trifecta?

  15. purple1967 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:05 PM

    As long as he’s not making BIG decisions he should be just fine…..Right?

  16. cjspiller12 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:07 PM

    Wow!! I really thought the Bills would hire from within and maybe hire Donnie Henderson, the DB coach. I have to say I am surprised by this hire, but if they went outside the organization to me this was the best hire, the best guy available. He is aggressive and has a ton of experience. Great hire for the Bills!!!

  17. keltictim says: Jan 24, 2014 10:17 PM

    That’s a couple of smart hires. Detroit might have been terrible under him but their defense was always stout. Couple more moved like this and the bills might just climb out of the cellar in 2-5 years!

  18. stolendog23 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:23 PM

    Errrr…. wow.

  19. radioactivechimp says: Jan 24, 2014 10:25 PM

    The Bills and Lions defenses have been somewhat similar the past few years. They are both stacked with talent across the D-Line, yet they can never quite get the job done.

  20. jerrahsucks says: Jan 24, 2014 10:27 PM

    Shows Marrone has no clue what he is doing, My God, Schwartz?

  21. joeflaccoallday says: Jan 24, 2014 10:28 PM

    Is it me or are the Bills getting sneaky-contending?

  22. ajgreenhof says: Jan 24, 2014 10:32 PM

    Tough break Bills fans.

  23. ariani1985 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:33 PM

    It should be an eye opener for him, he won’t be able to feast of those lousy green bay teams.

  24. bi49xfactor says: Jan 24, 2014 10:42 PM

    Jim Schwartz is a great hire,Mike Pettine will be missed but Jim Schwartz is a very good D Coordinator, good job Bills

  25. polegojim says: Jan 24, 2014 10:45 PM

    Wow… just wow.

    To be positive… He was present when Detroit put together a decent D

  26. trappdaddy says: Jan 24, 2014 10:46 PM

    Good defensive coordinator and an even better man. If you needed a kidney , I’m willing to bet he’d give you one.

  27. coltzfan166 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:48 PM

    It doesn’t matter who you hire. The Bills will forever be bad.

  28. brenenostler says: Jan 24, 2014 10:49 PM

    I don’t get all the hate against this guy. He took over what was the worst team in NFL history and took them to the playoffs 3 years later but whatevs.

  29. thefiesty1 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:02 PM

    Wasn’t that his job before he went to Detroit? Humm, wasted a few years just to start over.

  30. arwiv says: Jan 24, 2014 11:03 PM

    Maybe Schwartz re-invents himself after realizing that his BS act in Detroit was a mistake. He concentrates solely on building a great D, bides his time for 2-3 years, and gets another shot as a HC. Rex Ryan I think underwent a similar reality check last year by understanding that the clown act was not appreciated. Luckily rex kept his job but its the same concept. Head Coaches need to act like Head Coaches, not like petulant teenagers. Jim Harbaugh is a year or two away from having to learn the same lesson.

  31. thesmartest1 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:07 PM

    Detroit to Buffalo..Ugh!

  32. sketchydave says: Jan 24, 2014 11:09 PM

    I can’t argue this. And to the idiot above they were a multiple front d. Even if they ran some 34 they were in nickel half the time and that would leave 34 about 1/5 if that. The big thing is the dline stay INTACT. HUGHES WILLIAMS DAREUS WILLIAMS. Jim will do that. Solid hire should fit right in.

    Awkward that jim fired crossman the special teams coach?!? Now they’re reunited (even though he should get fired cause st sucked)

  33. metalhead65 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:15 PM

    the bills will now chase the lions for the lead in personal foul penalties next season.

  34. hendeeze says: Jan 24, 2014 11:17 PM

    Hahaha Has he learned the timeout rules from harbaugh yet?

  35. billsfan1 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:20 PM

    ahh the Bills were given crap last year when we hired Pettine “yeah well rex Ryan actually called the defense” blah… its cool to give the Bills crap when they do something and because he didnt have the best luck as a HC
    its a good hire esp so late in the game. Plus he has some good players to work with

  36. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:20 PM

    Well Bills fans, hope you are ready to lead the league in defensive penalties. Schwartz is totally incapable of providing discipline to the players under him.

  37. henryjones20 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:23 PM

    Can’t believe ppl are actually down on this hire.ppl,he will be our DC not our HC so chill out.great DC much like Greg Williams.great DC horrible HC and pettiness ran a 4-3 for the ppl who didn’t realize my god

  38. hehateme1 says: Jan 24, 2014 11:24 PM

    Wow!! I feel horrible for buffalo. Bye bye jimmy!!!!

  39. metrocritical says: Jan 24, 2014 11:26 PM

    Credit Jim Schwartz with getting the Lions out of the outhouse and into the house. He just didn’t have the ability to get the team to the penthouse and couldn’t seem to grasp that he obstinance isn’t a virtue. With a sufficient dose of maturity, humility, wisdom and perspective, he may eventually resurface as a head coach somewhere down the road.

  40. kabasaman says: Jan 24, 2014 11:53 PM

    Is Schwartz still going to get paid by the Lions?… I’d would have had to pull a Lovie Smith and take a “Little Time Off” If’n ya know what I mean……

  41. isphet71 says: Jan 25, 2014 12:07 AM

    Is he capable of running a 3-4 Defense well, or do the Bills have to get all new guys and play a 4-3 with Schwartz?

    Something tells me there are going to be a few rough defensive years in Buffalo while they deal with the differences between their current personnel and their new coordinator’s style of defense.

  42. backdapack4evr says: Jan 25, 2014 12:55 AM

    Salt in the wound
    Poor guy!!

  43. staffordsyear says: Jan 25, 2014 1:23 AM

    Thanks jim for the 2011 playoffs but it was time to go..tough situation to come into in the first place.
    Good luck to you.

  44. fumblenuts says: Jan 25, 2014 1:41 AM

    May the Schwartz be with you!!

  45. tennesseeoilers says: Jan 25, 2014 1:48 AM

    Jim is like Norv Turner … BRILLIANT coordinator, deeply flawed head coach. This is a huge steal for the Bills. Our defense has been a hollow shell of itself since he left 5 years ago. We miss him almost as much as Jeff Fisher.

    – Titans Fan

  46. sharkt says: Jan 25, 2014 2:20 AM

    WIDE 9! FTW!

  47. asublimeday says: Jan 25, 2014 3:04 AM

    “Step one… Be filthy”

  48. asublimeday says: Jan 25, 2014 3:06 AM

    I love all the kitten fans that were on their knees for Schwartz six months ago scorning him now.

  49. hellswitch says: Jan 25, 2014 3:20 AM

    Ummm, this is an NFL football forum. Crawl back into your hole. Seriously? Take your political beliefs elsewhere. I don’t agree or disagree. Your just in the wrong forum. Go back to sleep dude.

    moerawn says:

    Wow. It’s like the Republirats. Every loser gets a second chance in another capacity. See McCain, John, Romney, Mittens, and Clinton, Hitlery.

  50. packerbackersince71 says: Jan 25, 2014 3:30 AM

    … Yup , Them Lousy Green Bay Teams Indeed Helped him get unemployed!!! … lol

  51. sclazo says: Jan 25, 2014 3:50 AM

    Bills the laughing stock of the NFL.

  52. mcguenther13 says: Jan 25, 2014 4:21 AM

    Really wanted Pepper Johnson, but gotta let it play the course…..should solidify the run D and put Schwartz back where he belongs as coordinator, more than happy to have a qb coach come on board that has made Stafford a great qb in this league

  53. rjkilla says: Jan 25, 2014 5:33 AM

    looks like another 2-3 years of the patriots getting automatic playoff births because of that god awful divison

  54. ballboy48 says: Jan 25, 2014 7:14 AM

    The Bills defense played much better with a 3-4, than a 4-3. This will be ineteresting.

  55. freebird2011 says: Jan 25, 2014 8:02 AM

    Downing is totally unqualified to be a QB coach. His only prior experience playing QB? In a summer semi-pro league. Lions fans say, good riddance.

    As for Schwartz, he will do a good job for the Bills. Guess those rumors about Schwartz to Cleveland fell apart after the Browns dawdled hiring a head coach.

  56. upstaterules says: Jan 25, 2014 8:12 AM

    When are Detroit fans going to realize, like we have in Buffalo, the common denominator in years of ineptitude is the oldtime owners and their longtime hires (moneymen) in the front office?

    Jim Schwartz is an excellent defensive coach. This move is very atypical for the Buffalo front office, which means the football people are finally getting their say.

  57. wwwmattcom says: Jan 25, 2014 8:16 AM

    With Mike Pettine one and done in Buffalo, I really don’t want to wish him well, I hate to “burn the bridge”, Schwartz was a good hireand his rrecord in Detroit is very good compared to what Pettine will have in Cleveland, no QB, no Megatron, no D Line like Detroit. Good luck Mike, it’s just a resume builder your a DC.

  58. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jan 25, 2014 8:24 AM

    I guess the could have hired Jim Caldwell for any position (seriously, that guy is terrible) when he was available.

    Failing that, this is about the second-worst hire that has been made in the NFL so far.

  59. leatherface2012 says: Jan 25, 2014 8:36 AM

    so now the bills will be dirty?

  60. pdixon920 says: Jan 25, 2014 8:39 AM

    I think this guy falls under the category that a lot of current coaches do, the one that reads “Not every good coordinator makes a good head coach”. He clearly had a lot of success as a coordinator, he’s just not the guy you want in charge or “buying the groceries”. That works both ways too, just because he was an epic failure as an HC, doesn’t mean he can’t go back to being a great coordinator. Some people just don’t have the make-up to captain the ship (see Wade Phillips, Norv Turner, etc.), he is obviously one of them, but he can still excel focusing on one side of the ball. Good hire by the Bills.

  61. thelionsrgreat says: Jan 25, 2014 9:11 AM

    Guy is a joke. Shouldn’t be coaching at any level.

  62. niallofthenine says: Jan 25, 2014 9:22 AM

    On behalf of the city of Detroit I want to thank Coach Schwartz for what he’s done as a coach there. This includes Gunther and Linehan.

  63. jordiway73 says: Jan 25, 2014 9:24 AM

    There were a lot of fans that wanted Jim Schwartz to stay here in Detroit. I hope we don’t have to play the Bills anytime soon.

  64. backdapack4evr says: Jan 25, 2014 9:45 AM

    So much for any discipline on that D.

  65. texanfan62 says: Jan 25, 2014 9:50 AM

    Bad hire. First of all the Bills, at least when I saw them play, had a great Defense. Their Offense was the Problem. Second, why hire a guy who lead an undisciplined team to nowhere and plays a 4-3 Defense. A 3-4 guy would’ve been better for continuity sake. The discipline will be Buffalo’s downfall.

  66. radiofriendly420 says: Jan 25, 2014 9:54 AM

    Congrats bills fans. You’re getting a good coach. Don’t listen to these other lions fans. They honestly say everyone “sucks” that is no longer with the organization. Fans here in Detroit boo’d him for taking a knee with 23 seconds left from their own 20 yard line. What does that tell you? The only thing more inept than the lions is their sorry fan base which I am forever part of. He’s a good, smart coach. Good luck next year bills nation.

  67. honalulublue says: Jan 25, 2014 10:24 AM

    One of the best 4-3 DC’s in modern times. Just loved the Titans defenses before he came to Detroit. Good luck Jim.

  68. hehateme1 says: Jan 25, 2014 10:50 AM

    Radio friendly are you an idiot? Jimmy is NOT a good coach. He makes poor coaching decisions and cannt keep his teams from taking stupid penalties. The lions lost several games because of him. Not sure what rock you’re coming out from under but get it together. Bills fans, enjoy his sideline strut.

  69. rmc1995 says: Jan 25, 2014 10:55 AM

    Seattle led the league in penalties in 2013 and the Ravens were third in penalties in 2012. The Lions playoff year in 2011 they were third in penalties. Being a highly penalized team isn’t exactly a bad thing.

  70. ravenswhat says: Jan 25, 2014 10:55 AM

    The Bills did watch tape of Detroit before thinking of gym shorts right? It’s really mind boggling how inept management in the NFL really is. Your avg sales mgr off the street would make better decisions than some of these GM’s.

  71. mylionsroaring says: Jan 25, 2014 11:37 AM

    Watch out Matt Schwartz will be coming with all he has. He knows you struggle under pressure, so he will bring the house. If he had done that in Detroit he would still have a job

  72. footballfather says: Jan 25, 2014 1:31 PM

    Schwartz’ defenses in Tennessee were good against the run, but what most people don’t know is that the Lions were actually really good in that area last year as well. The Lions also had a top-ranked 3rd-down defense and a top-ranked goal-line defense. Schwartz was a good hire by Buffalo.

  73. joecoz17 says: Jan 25, 2014 2:50 PM

    Whats with all the idiots saying that the Bills ran a 3-4 last year. They ran mostly 4 man fronts and a lot of nickel. Just because the DE stood up on some downs doesn’t mean they ran a 3-4

  74. rabidbillsfan says: Jan 25, 2014 3:16 PM

    Ignorance is Bliss I guess… If we, as Bills fans, should expect Schwartz to turn our Defense into penalized neanderthals because he runs the defense, wouldn’t that mean Cunnigham was to blame in Detroit, not Schwartz? I mean, twisting a story to fit your trolling is nice, but mother is still making your bed at night.

  75. rabidbillsfan says: Jan 25, 2014 3:18 PM

    And a reminder, he runs the DEFENSE, that is all. He will be calling defensive plays and that is it. No Timeouts, no challenges, nothing. So, please, stop embarrassing yourselves.

  76. deltaoracle says: Jan 25, 2014 4:01 PM

    “Talented and accomplished?”
    He accomplished an almost unbelievable choke job with the Lions this past season, if that’s what you’re looking for. I still can’t believe that they didn’t win the NFC North with everything breaking their way. Sort of like Cindy Crawford entering a beauty pageant where everyone else had first been punched in the face (or in the case of the Vikings, fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down) and still managing to lose.

  77. buyamericanonly says: Jan 25, 2014 6:03 PM

    People of Buffalo, Please…do not try shaking hands with this man!

  78. bills56shout says: Jan 26, 2014 11:00 AM

    The Bills ran a combo 3-4, 4-3 defense last year under Pettine. If we become a strictly 4-3 team under Schwartz it’s not that much of change. Great Hire.

  79. nytroutdog says: Jan 27, 2014 11:38 AM

    Fantastic hire and a clear break from the not so distant pass Bills (waffling and settling before hires). This is a great step in the right direction!

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