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Super Bowl coordinators Bruce DeHaven, Wade Phillips buried the hatchet

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 7:  Special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven of the Buffalo Bills yells for the referee during a field goal attempt against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter on October 7, 2012 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The 49ers won 45-3.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 1999 Bills lost a playoff game on the Music City Miracle, a trick play that the Titans used to return a last-minute kickoff for a touchdown. That play changed the fortunes of both franchises and resulted in Bills head coach Wade Phillips firing his special teams coordinator, Bruce DeHaven.

Now DeHaven is coordinating the Panthers’ special teams and Phillips is coordinating the Broncos’ defense, and their teams will meet in Super Bowl 50. Although there was a time when DeHaven despised Phillips for making him the scapegoat of the Music City Miracle, DeHaven says he and Phillips buried the hatchet.

“Any problems I had with Wade, I got over,” DeHaven said. “It took me almost 10 years, but I talked to him before a ball game down in Houston a couple years ago and we ended up embracing. I don’t think he had a problem with me, but I had a problem with him and I think he was very happy that I reached out to him, approached him. That’s just the way the business is and I am now old enough and experienced enough to understand that.”

DeHaven, who is battling cancer, is letting bygones be bygones. He had every right to be upset that he was given an outsize portion of the blame for the Bills’ playoff loss, but he and Phillips are no longer on bad terms.

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15 Responses to “Super Bowl coordinators Bruce DeHaven, Wade Phillips buried the hatchet”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 3, 2016 7:03 PM

    They finally buried the hatchet. In each other’s back.

  2. jr4real says: Feb 3, 2016 7:04 PM

    why wouldn’t he get the blame? he’s the ST coor.

    Too PC in this world. his unit lost the game. he should get fired.

  3. paulieorkid says: Feb 3, 2016 7:05 PM

    Hard to imagine having to bury a hatchet when it comes to Wade Phillips — the guy is about as likable as it gets in the NFL. His (late/great) dad was super cool too.

  4. db105 says: Feb 3, 2016 7:16 PM

    Those 2 may have moved on but the Buffalo Bills haven’t been in the playoffs since that game.

  5. westcoastbillsfan says: Feb 3, 2016 7:17 PM

    That Bills fell victim to the NFL propping up their “new” market in Tennessee. While the play was being reviewed the officials were on the phone with the NFL office regarding security in the event of a reversed call…guess what?…the bad call never got reversed…that was NOT a lateral…don’t get us Bills fans started!

  6. tylawspick6 says: Feb 3, 2016 7:24 PM

    10 years?

    Jesus. Good luck with your mental health.

  7. cranespy says: Feb 3, 2016 7:38 PM

    Great story…’s too short. Still amazed at the shellacking Wades D put on my Pats.

    BB acknowledged their game plan and their execution.

    It should keep them in the game vs the Panthers but I don’t think they will win the game. Panthers look destined.

  8. howiehandles says: Feb 3, 2016 8:18 PM

    “his unit lost the game. he should get fired.”

    If the team was that good, it wouldn’t have come down to that play.

    That’s the definition of being the scapegoat, and why Wade Phillips has never won squat as a HC.

  9. controlaltdeletedeletedelete says: Feb 3, 2016 8:41 PM

    Just like “Fail Mary,” but in the playoffs.

  10. mackcarrington says: Feb 3, 2016 8:58 PM

    De Haven should have had a problem with Philips starting Rob Johnson over Doug Flutie in that game.

  11. fafafuey says: Feb 4, 2016 8:03 AM

    Still think it was a forward pass

  12. ratsagain says: Feb 4, 2016 10:01 AM

    The refs blew that call.

  13. billswillnevermove says: Feb 4, 2016 10:12 AM

    mackcarrington says:Feb 3, 2016 8:58 PM

    De Haven should have had a problem with Philips starting Rob Johnson over Doug Flutie in that game.
    Maybe, but Rob Johnson didn’t lose that game. He played pretty darn good.

  14. superpatriotsfan says: Feb 4, 2016 11:54 AM

    Hmm closing seconds of the game, Titans are getting the ball from a kick off. Of course they are going to try some trick play, you’re down with not much time you are going to be desperate and take drastic measures. ST coordinator of the Bills should have told the players to look out for that.

  15. gah05 says: Feb 5, 2016 7:03 AM

    I thought Ralph made Wade fire DeHaven?

    Oh and by the way, it WAS a forward pass.

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