George Cortez will reportedly become the Bills quarterback coach. He is the offensive coordinator for the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. He has worked with CFL greats such as Jeff Garcia, Doug Flutie, and Henry Burris. He earlier served as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator at the University of California, where he coached Aaron Rodgers and Kyle Boller, both first-round draft picks. He had been under consideration for the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. He faces the serious challenge of Buffalo’s quarterback problem, with both Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick doubtful to start next year.
Archive for January, 2010
Bruce DeHaven will return to coach Bills special teams. He was with Buffalo from 1987-1999 and coached in the 4 Super Bowl appearances. He was fired after the Bills Music City Miracle playoff loss to the Titans. DeHaven later served as special teams coordinator for Seattle, Dallas, and San Francisco. He has 23 years coaching experience in the league. Former Bills special teams coach Bobby April, released after Dick Jauron’s firing, has joined Philadelphia.
The Bills are looking ahead to the NFL draft on April 22. Buffalo will have the ninth overall pick. The run up to the draft is beginning with player combines and all-star games. General Manager Buddy Nix is expected to take an active role. He has been coaching and scouting for 49 years. Nix was college scout for the Chargers from 2001-2007, when his draft picks helped build San Diego into a powerhouse. The Bills are apparently going to retain vice president of scouting Tom Modrak. They need to hire a replacement for the fired chief pro scout John Guy. This year’s draft will be crucial for the Bills, who need serious help at quarterback and offensive line.
The Bills have announced coaching appointments. Chan Gailey is keeping 2 assistant coaches from the Dick Jauron era: defensive line coach Bob Sanders and defensive backs coach George Catavolos. He also hired 5 new coaches: Kevin Patullo (offensive quality control), Bob Bicknell (tight ends), Giff Smith (defensive assistant), Curtis Modkins (offensive coordinator), and Joe D’Alessandris (offensive coordinator). Catavolos coached rookie sensation Jairus Byrd. D’Alessandris, Giff, and Modkins all coached under Gailey at Georgia Tech. The Bills still need to name a special teams coach, defensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach.
Giff Smith has been named Bills linebackers coach. This will be his first NFL job. He most recently served as recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach at Georgia Tech. He spent 3 years under Buffalo coach Chan Gailey with the Yellow Jackets. Smith has also coached at Georgia Southern, Georgia, Arkansas, and Tulane. He played his college ball as defensive end at Georgia Southern. He has a good working relationship with Gailey who continues to assemble his coaching staff.
Chan Gailey fits Ralph Wilson’s mold for a Buffalo head coach. Gailey is unlikely to make waves as he takes the helm. He will call the plays, which eliminates the need for a high powered offensive coordinator. He is arguably past his prime and will make a token effort. Wilson does not seek to build a championship contender. He wants only a marginally competitive team that satisfies the fan faithful while riding out its time in Buffalo. His estate will sell the franchise to out-of-town interests who will move the club and start over.
The Bills may tap Jim Bates as defensive coordinator. He was assistant head coach and and defensive line coach under Chan Gailey in Dallas. He later served as defensive coordinator for Miami when Gailey was offensive coordinator. Gates most recently was defensive coordinator for Tampa Bay. He was let go after 10 games last season. Gailey is putting together his coaching staff in time for the scouting combine in February.
The Bills have named Curtis Modkins as offensive coordinator. He was most recently running backs coach for Arizona. He worked with Buffalo coach Chan Gailey at both Georgia Tech and Kansas City. He is a graduate of Texas Christian, where he played running back. While Modkins will coordinate the offense, Gailey will reportedly call the plays, at least for the coming season.
Chan Gailey is working to assemble a coaching staff. He has yet to announce his assistant coaches. Among those thought to be under consideration is John Tenuta, who was Gailey’s defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech. Former Ravens coach Brian Billick said he was never contacted by the Bills, despite fielding winning teams in 9 of 10 years. Carolina has hired Tyke Tolbert as receivers coach. He held the job for 6 seasons until being dismissed by the Bills.
Dan Reeves is reportedly interested in coming to Buffalo to work with Chan Gailey. Reeves gave Gailey his first coaching job with special teams in Denver. He has head coaching experience with the Broncos, Giants, and Falcons. Gailey has not yet reached out to him. In other developments, the Bills fired vice president of pro personnel John Guy. The housecleaning has begun at One Bills Drive. Drastic change is needed in the front office to start turning things around.