Mike Pettine's Scheme a Positive Change for Buffalo Bills, & More AFC East News

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IFebruary 1, 2013

July 29, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine prepares to call a defensive play during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills were characterized by their complacency with regards to getting after the quarterback in 2012.

If defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and his staff have anything to do with it, all that will be a distant memory.

#Bills new defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, when told the team ranked near the bottom of NFL in blitzing: "won't be this year."

— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) January 25, 2013

The Bills blitzed an astonishingly low 17.5 percent of the time, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Considering the league average was 31.5 percent, the Bills were about as aggressive as a kitten.

That's not the only change we could be seeing from the Bills defense this year. The Bills will focus on defending the pass, and could even employ the nickel defense as their base (as opposed to a 3-4 or 4-3).

#Bills DC Mike Pettine: "With pass happy league, our 3rd down [nickel] defense will likely be our base package." @wgrz twitter.com/JonahJavad/sta…

— Jonah Javad (@JonahJavad) January 25, 2013

It wouldn't be unheard of; the Patriots have been doing business that way for years. The Bills were not awful against the pass last season; they were right around the league average in defensive passer rating (84.4), sack rate (6.3 percent) and yards per pass attempt (6.8).

That being said, they invested so heavily on defense, average can't be considered acceptable.

A heavier emphasis on blitzing and on nickel defensive packages will put more pressure on the defensive linemen to maintain gap integrity against the run, because they will have less help from linebackers at the second level.

Defenses that are geared to stop the pass are in vogue right now, and it appears that's exactly what Mike Pettine intends to bring to the Bills.

Here's some more news from around the AFC East.


Buffalo Bills

Joe Pinzone of BuffaloWins.com wonders whether the Bills are rebuilding.

B/R featured columnist Ryan Talbot lists the Buffalo Bills' draft needs.


Miami Dolphins

Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post writes that Reshad Jones and John Jerry will both earn pay raises for the 2013 season due to their play in 2012.

Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald goes in-depth on Jeff Ireland as a family man.


New England Patriots

Bleacher Report Patriots featured columnist Mike Dussault maps out the Patriots path to Super Bowl XLVIII.

Field Yates of ESPN Boston offers five points of analysis on the signing of linebacker Dane Fletcher.


New York Jets

Joe Caporoso of TurnOnTheJets.com lists the inconvenient truths facing the Jets this offseason.

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York talks about the possibility of Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora suiting up for the Jets.


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 otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.