The Buffalo Bills coaching staff is a group of coaches who work with the Buffalo Bills. They are responsible for helping the team prepare for games and developing players.
The Bills coaching staff is a large group that changes from year to year. The head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams coordinator have been constant members of the team since 1991. Since then, they have had about 50 different assistants come through their doors. In this blog post, we will be looking at some of the most notable coaches to come through their doors from 1991 to today. They have coached some great players and some not so great players but have all made an impact on the team
The Buffalo Bills Coaching Staff: Head Coaches
The Buffalo Bills have had 8 different head coaches throughout their history. The longest running head coach, Tom Watt, started in 1992. He went 31-48-1 for two seasons. The last head coach to remain under their own tenure was Rich Kotite who was with the Bills from 1993 to 1996.
The Bills have had one man do the most damage to their franchise. Jack Kemp, a four time Pro Bowl quarterback for the team, has the most wins as a head coach in the history of the franchise. He has a regular season record of 69-70-1. Kemp also took the team to the Super Bowl in 1990 but failed to repeat his success as a coach.
The other head coach who is a Super Bowl champion and won a Super Bowl with Buffalo is Wade Phillips. Phillips was with the Bills from 1993 to 1995.
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The Buffalo Bills Coaching Staff: Head Coach
The longest tenured coach in Buffalo Bills history is head coach Rex Ryan. He first came to the team in 2009 and has remained the head coach since. In that time he has reached two AFC Championship games. In 2013, he was voted Coach of the Year. He led the Bills to a 9-7 record in 2015 but has missed the playoffs every season since. Rex Ryan has come under scrutiny for his down years in Buffalo. He has been named the best coach in the NFL and the worst head coach in the league.
Rex Ryan’s defensive coordinator was former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Munchak. He is known for his excellent defenses in Pittsburgh. The 2013 Bills defense had the fourth ranked defense in the NFL. The team also ranked tenth in sacks.
Currently, the Bills’ offensive coordinator is Rick Dennison. He started as the offensive coordinator in 2016. Dennison was one of the newest coaches to join the Bills’ coaching staff in 2016. He comes over from the Denver Broncos. In Denver, he was the quarterbacks coach for the last two seasons. Dennison played in the league as a quarterback and has plenty of experience on the offensive side of the ball. He will be the third offensive coordinator to hold that position for the Bills.
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Ken Whisenhunt served as the Bills’ offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2013. He came from the Pittsburgh Steelers. His best season was in 2013 when he worked with the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Steve Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and LeSean McCoy. This will be Whisenhunt’s third stint with the Bills.
Jauron has been the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills for the last four seasons. He’s had a pretty impressive resume during his career. His first year as defensive coordinator for the Bills was in 2006, the same year the team won their second consecutive AFC East division title. The defense finished the season ranked fourth in the NFL giving up 293.8 yards per game. In Jauron’s second year he coached the Bills to another fourth-place finish in scoring defense giving up 20.8 points per game. In 2008 Jauron’s defense gave up 21.6 points per game, the second highest total in the NFL.
Over his 14 years as a defensive coordinator in the NFL, he has finished in the top 10 in scoring defense three times. Jauron is a former player himself with 13 years of NFL experience.
Special Teams Coordinator
1997-present: Rick Dennison
Rick Dennison’s specialty is on special teams. He has developed several players on special teams in Buffalo including Steve Tasker. He has also seen success with Bills punter Colton Schmidt. In fact, he was able to develop the NFL’s first ever punter from the Canadian Football League into an NFL punter and then into a Pro Bowl punter.
Since coming to the Bills, he has helped the team win two straight AFC championships, two division titles, and a wild-card spot. In the off-season, he will be leaving to take the offensive coordinator job in Denver. Dennison could be considered one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL.
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Offensive Coordinator Assistant
Ron Turner, a coach with ties to Dan Marino, begins his first job with the Buffalo Bills as an offensive assistant coach. He is responsible for helping develop rookie quarterback Jim Kelly and general manager Russ Brandon drafts his rookie tight end.
Phil McGeoghan is the head coach of the Bills. That season Turner gets a promotion and becomes the offensive coordinator for the Bills. He takes some rookie quarterback to his first Pro Bowl in Kelly.
Turner is named the New York Jets offensive coordinator and then replaced the short-lived Chan Gailey. The Bills hire Turner after he is fired as the Jets offensive coordinator. McGeoghan gets his first head coaching job after his tenure with the Bills.
Defensive Coordinator Assistant
This assistant works in several different positions depending on how the team is structured and what role is needed. He works under the defensive coordinator and some even work directly with the defensive line. The person is most commonly known as the defensive coordinator assistant but he has some other titles. He was most likely referred to as the defensive quality control assistant during the time that Jack Del Rio was defensive coordinator. He is now a defensive coordinator himself and we will see that in a moment.
There are two positions with the defensive coordinator assistant that often go under one name. One is the defensive line defensive assistant and the other is the defensive backs defensive assistant.
Each NFL team has a coaching staff that has been built over the years and that team reflects the school’s current values. This is how each team is built, through the needs of the players. This allows the coaching staff to work and improve on the skillset of their players. The coach that can bring the most out of a player is the best coach for that individual. A great team is a current day roster, through their coaching staff, and through the experience of past coaches. If you would like to see where each of your favorite college football programs rank, be sure to check out our NFF Coaches Poll for the 2016 season.