Schwartz brings 'attack' defense to Bills

January, 27, 2014
1/27/14
6:15
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Introduced to reporters Monday, new Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wasn't willing to divulge much about his scheme, calling it opponent-specific.

"I don't know if you can put it in a box like that, we've never put a label on it," Schwartz said. "Whatever anybody wants to tag the system as far as a name, it won't be us. We're just going to try to do whatever we can every week to do the best to have the game plan."

[+] EnlargeJim Schwartz
AP Photo/Paul Sancya"We'll be fast, we'll be physical, and we'll attack," Buffalo's new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "We are not going to be a reading defense."
Schwartz, however, did offer a little more than that.

"We're an attack scheme, it's a scheme built on the guys up front getting after the quarterback," he said. "As much as you want to be multi-dimensional with personnel groups, this league comes down to one on one and I think we have some guys that can do that."

That should be music to Bills' fans ears. Just like in Buffalo, the strength of the Detroit Lions was in their defensive line. If Schwartz is able to maximize the Bills' front-line talent like Mike Pettine did last season, it will set a solid foundation for the rest of the defense.

"We'll be fast, we'll be physical, and we'll attack. We are not going to be a reading defense," Schwartz said. "There's going to be a lot of defensive lineman that will be real happy to play in a system like that."

Schwartz and his long-time defensive line coach with the Tennessee Titans, Jim Washburn, have been associated with the "wide nine" defense, which uses defensive ends aligned in a "9-technique" -- a few yards off where the tight end typically aligns on offense. On Monday, Schwartz downplayed the importance of that concept within his defense.

"Mostly that's thrown around by people that couldn't line it up if they wanted to. That's no disrespect to those people," he said. "I'll say this, there's 32 teams in the NFL and all 32 line up in a wide nine. Not all of them are called wide nine teams, but that's just the way it goes.

"That's what it developed into because it fit our personnel and it fit what our opponents did. You can dictate something your opponents did and it makes it hard on offense. There's some things that you need to constantly work because like anything it has strengths and weaknesses. It will certainly be part of our scheme here, but that won't define our scheme."

While Schwartz didn't get into the specifics Monday, his defensive scheme is known as more of a true "4-3" look than that used by Mike Pettine, who has roots in the "46" defense. How much Schwartz will meld his system into what players have known under Pettine will come to light as the offseason progresses.

"First of all, Mike and I are different guys. Even though I think continuity is important and there is something to be said for that, we're going to look very hard at ways over the next few months to keep continuity as much as we can," Schwartz said.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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