Damien Woody Lauds Mike Pettine as Bills New DC, and Other AFC East News
The Buffalo Bills need to get a bit more creative on defense, and that's exactly what new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine brings to the table.
He also earned a big vote of confidence from ESPN analyst Damien Woody.
According to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News, the former Jets offensive lineman thinks Mike Pettine will be a solid hire as the Bills defensive coordinator and that Pettine will make a "night and day" difference impact on the defense.
Woody has confidence that Pettine can get the most out of the Bills' defensive playmakers.
Buffalo has some weapons. Buffalo has some nice pieces to make things happen. If you look at Buffalo's personnel and match it up to the Jets, I wouldn't say I would take the Jets defense over Buffalo's. ...They underachieved. There's no question about it. But I think part of that has to do with scheme and coaching. You get the right coach and put them in position, they have a real chance to jump up and be a factor.
The Bills spent quite a bit of resources on the defensive side of the ball over the past three years. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were first-round picks in 2011 and 2012 respectively; defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson were the team's prize free-agent acquisitions this past offseason.
Maximizing that talent would be a great starting point for any defensive coordinator, but Woody has a lot of confidence in the scheme. He also pointed out that Pettine "had a lot of input" and that Jets head coach Rex Ryan was not the "mastermind" of the whole defensive operation.
A lot of what we saw in Florham Park will likely make its way to upstate New York. Woody told Graham:
The secondary does a lot of disguise, a ton of disguise. They play a lot of man-to-man. ... If those guys can cover, it allows Mike Pettine to draw those exotic blitzes. That's one thing you really haven't seen from Buffalo. It hasn't been an exotic-type blitz team. That's what you're going to see out of Buffalo, but you need guys who can cover.
Pettine would probably like to become a head coach one day, so the motivation is there. In case it isn't, though, Pettine would have plenty of motivation every time he faces the Jets.
Here's some more news from around the AFC East.
Field Yates of ESPN Boston points out that the Patriots are the only team left in the playoffs that still has all 22 of its Week 1 starters intact.
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York runs down the long list of general manager candidates for the Jets.
Brian Bund of BuffaloWins.com shares his perspective on Doug Marrone as a fan of Syracuse.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.
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