Recapping Two Years' Worth Of Buffalo Bills Defensive Transition

PITTSFORD, NY - AUGUST 08: Dave Wannstedt, Assistant head coach/linebackers coach of the Buffalo Bills talks to Head coach Chan Gailey during Buffalo Bills Training Camp at St. John Fisher College on August 8, 2011 in Pittsford, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

When the Buffalo Bills fired defensive coordinator George Edwards and promoted Dave Wannstedt to that role, the move was generally applauded by a Bills fan base sick of watching terrible Bills defense. As with any move, however, there has also been some panning, and very little of it has to do with Edwards or Wannstedt.

Edwards had experience in both 4-3 and 3-4 looks before coming to Buffalo, but had only ever coordinated a 4-3. In his two years on the job, the Bills - hell-bent on switching to a 3-4 - started the year out in an odd front, were terrible, then played more 4-3 as the year wore on and got negligibly better. With a big-name successor on board, Edwards appears to be the fall guy for an organization that is just now realizing that it's not equipped to run the 3-4. Perhaps some of that was Edwards' fault; perhaps he was shoehorned into something he knew would fail, and tried to fix it twice.

Wannstedt takes over a defense that, when you get right down to it, still lacks elite playmakers, particularly at the most important positions on the field. He has a strong reputation from previous defensive coordinator gigs, the last of which occurred far more than a decade ago (1999). He's drawn praise for switching schemes, but in the end, all of the team's personnel problems remain.

Our questions for you: is it fair to be skeptical of Wannstedt's ability to find a good defense within a group of players comprised largely of spare parts? Does Edwards get a fair shake with fans? And finally, does any part of the way this whole defensive transition has gone down make you feel icky?

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