AFC East: DeMontie Cross

Bills land Dave Wannstedt as assistant

January, 21, 2011
Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey's defensive coaching staff has gotten a lot better. senior writer Alex Marvez reports Dave Wannstedt will join Gailey's staff as assistant head coach and inside linebackers assistant.

The move is an offseason victory for the Bills, an organization that struggled to attract top free agents because they haven't reached the playoffs in a decade. Wannstedt becomes the biggest name to join the Bills as an assistant coach since future Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau served on Gregg Williams' defensive staff in 2003 or since Sam Wyche was quarterbacks coach under Mike Mularkey in 2004.

It will be interesting to see how big a voice Wannstedt has on defensive game planning.

Gailey retained defensive coordinator George Edwards, who oversaw a slapdash unit that switched from Dick Jauron's 4-3 scheme to a 3-4. By the end of the season, the Bills were running multi-front schemes.

They ranked 24th in total defense, 32nd in run defense and third in pass defense (because opponents ran so much).

The Bills had an opening because Gailey fired inside linebackers coach DeMontie Cross.

Wannstedt agreed with the Bills after drawing interest from several other teams. He was available because he resigned as head coach at the University of Pittsburgh.

He was Miami Dolphins head coach from 2000 through 2004, taking them to the playoffs his first two seasons with Gailey as offensive coordinator. Wannstedt led the Chicago Bears from 1993 through 1998, reaching the postseason once.

Wannstedt gained notice as a sharp defensive mind under Jimmy Johnson with the Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys. He was Cowboys defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XXVII, holding the Bills to 17 points.

AFC East wire: Coaching staff updates

January, 11, 2011
There have been a few reports pertaining to AFC East coaching staffs that deserve monitoring:

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted former University of Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt is in demand and will speak with the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers.

Bills head coach Chan Gailey was the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator when Wannstedt was head coach. Schefter added Wannstedt would not interview to be defensive coordinator with the Bills. They do have at least one defensive vacancy after firing inside linebackers coach Demontie Cross last week.

The Dolphins are moving on their offensive coordinator opening, need a quarterbacks coach and would seem to be unhappy with their tight ends coach, too.

They've been granted permission to interview Dallas Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett and San Diego Chargers tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski to be offensive coordinator.

Todd Archer of reported Monday the Dolphins wanted to speak with Garrett, and the Cowboys were OK with it. Garrett, the older brother of new Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, served on Bill Parcells' 2007 Cowboys staff with Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.

San Diego Union-Tribune beat writer Kevin Acee reported Chudzinski might follow former Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to the Panthers. Chudzinski is a former Miami Hurricanes and Browns offensive coordinator and also held the title of assistant head coach with the Chargers.

The Dolphins also need a quarterbacks coach because David Lee, the man who introduced the Wildcat to the offense, will be Mississippi's offensive coordinator.

Bills finalize staff, Schobel's future unsure

February, 11, 2010
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills staged a media meet-and-greet with new head coach Chan Gailey and his coordinators Thursday afternoon in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

[+] EnlargeChan Gailey
AP Photo/ David DupreyNow that Chan Gailey has assembled his coaching staff, he can move on to other things such as deciding who his quarterback will be in 2010.
For the first time since they've been hired, offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins, defensive coordinator George Edwards and special-teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven spoke with reporters.

Mostly, it was a chance to get a feel for their philosophies, but there was a little news to report.

Gailey finalized his staff by announcing he had retained DeMontie Cross as inside linebackers coach and has assigned Bob Sanders to outside linebackers and newcomer Giff Smith to the defensive line.

Sanders coached Buffalo's defensive line last year after serving as the Green Bay Packers' defensive coordinator. Smith coached with Gailey at Georgia Tech.

Gailey also said he has spoken to two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Schobel, who's considering retirement.

"I took from the conversation he has not decided," Gailey said. "I think that's going to come with time. He's going to have to make a decision.

"We know what a great player he is. You know you'd like to have him on the Bills if we could make that happen. We'll see what he decides. I don't want to speak for him."

Gailey also acknowledged rumors the Bills are interested in trading for a veteran quarterback, perhaps Michael Vick. But Gailey didn't have much info to share. He said he hasn't gotten through the evaluation process with the quarterbacks on his roster: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm.

"This is a quarterback-driven league at this point," Gailey said. "It hasn't always been that way, but it seems to have become moreso in the last decade or so. You have to have a quality player there. It does not have to be a big-name player. You just have to have quality production. That's the decision you're trying to make."

I'll post Edwards' thoughts on the move from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 scheme, but in the meantime, here is a rundown of the Bills' revamped coaching staff for 2010.

Bills fire entire coaching staff

January, 4, 2010
Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix said at his introductory news conference Thursday he wanted a coach who could build a staff, and the new hire apparently will have to do it from scratch.

The Bills resumed heavy internal renovations Monday by firing their entire coaching staff a day after completing a 6-10 season, their 10th straight without the playoffs.

The story was broken by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and confirmed by Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan, who noted all of the coaches had one year remaining on their contracts.

The Bills fired offensive coordinator Turk Schonert 10 days before the season opener and head coach Dick Jauron after a Week 10 loss. They named defensive coordinator Perry Fewell interim head coach.

Nix on Thursday said Fewell would be interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy. Other assistants could be re-hired.

Here is a rundown of the coaches who finished the year with the Bills:

  • Bobby April, assistant head coach/special teams coordinator
  • Alex Van Pelt, offensive coordinator
  • Eric Studesville, running game coordinator/running backs
  • Ray Brown, assistant offensive line
  • George Catavolos, defensive backs
  • Charlie Coiner, tight ends
  • DeMontie Cross assistant linebackers/special teams
  • Nathaniel Hackett, offensive quality control
  • Sean Kugler, offensive line
  • Chuck Lester, assistant to the head coach/special projects
  • Bob Sanders, defensive line
  • Matt Sheldon, linebackers
  • Tyke Tolbert, wide receivers
  • Adrian White, defensive quality control
  • John Allaire, strength and conditioning