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.

79 responses to “Bills hire Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator

  1. 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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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……

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. “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.

  36. 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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