For those of you who dont remember Mark Carrier from his playing days, played in the NFL for 10 Years, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1990 and made 3 Pro Bowls. He was known as a hard hitting safety and often was the leader on his defenses, identified as a smart player.....so it's not surprising that he would transition to being a coach.
For me, Mark Carrier is the best External Candidate with out Defensive Coordinator Experience. Mark Carrier is the current Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Backs Coach, who previously worked with Mike Pettine in both NY where he was the Defensive Line Coach .
When Carrier arrived in NY with the Jets, his defensive line and mentored Shaun Ellis into his only other Pro Bowl appearence. And upon Carrier's arrival in Cincinnati, the Pass Defense improved from 24th in the NFL to 7th and followed that up with an even stronger performance in 2013 where they were 5th in the NFL in Pass Defense. More impressively accomplished this without Leon Hall for half of the season and with Adam Jones and 35 year old Terrance Newman opposite and safety's Reggie Nelson and George Ioka....Pretty impressive job he's done
He also is familiar with the aggressive attacking Rex Ryan style defensive Mike Pettine employed here in Buffalo. He's worked with Both Mike Pettine and Rex Ryan in both New York and in Baltimore where the 3 have worked together for a few years. Im pretty sure he's also picked up a thing or two working under Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis, two of the games best defensive minds. And Hopefully he picked up nothing from playing for Dave Wannstedt in Chicago lol.
But, his internships in the NFL of working under Rex Ryan, Mike Pettine, Marvin Lewis, and Mike Zimmer is quite impressive and intriguing.
He is an excellent candidate for Defensive Coordinator if the Bills are looking at promoting a position coach from outside the organization
As I said in a different post another choice could be Pepper Johnson, but he could be Houston bound.
"Pepper Johnson just left New England in seek of better opportunities., he’s been with Belichick for 14 years and has been apart of nothing but success his entire career….5 time Super Bowl Champion, 2 Time Pro Bowler….and for a fast fact actually was on the 1990 Giants team that beat the Buffalo Bills.
He wants to be a Defensive Coordinator and was apparently unhappy for being passed over in NE in favor of Matt Patricia, and many believe Pepper is qualified to be a Head Coach, his players love him.
But he is rumored to be heading to Houston to work with former collegue Bill O’Brien. Im sure if Buffalo offered him the gig, he’d consider it with the talent the Bills have on Defense and the fact that the Bills Defensive Coordinator gig has landed Mike Pettine a job. Pettine was also well compensated as reported by WGR's Joe Buscaglia and clearly money for a quality Defensive Coordinator is not an issue for Buffalo.
What makes Pepper Johnson most intriguing is the knowledge and experience of multiple different schemes he’s learned under Belichick. You don't play and work for a guy for nearly 20 years and not learn anything.
Then there are the experienced guys... Wade Phillips, Gregg Williams, Donnie Henderson, and Jim Schwartz.
For Donnie Henderson, as an in house choice. I think he is a tremendous Secondary Coach, one of the best in the NFL, but historically his defenses have been very bad against the Run....something the Bills don't need again is to get gashed for 130 yards a game....and its something the Bills need to work on going into next season
Schematically speaking, I don't Jim Schwartz or Wade Phillips is a fit here. Schwartz ran a lot of the "Wide 9" in Detroit, and has ran a more traditional 4-3 than what was run here. And whoever the next Bills Defensive Coordinator is cannot be afraid to send extra rushers and utilize this teams Pass Rushers. Going from Wannstedt to Pettine was a great breath of fresh air.
With Wade Phillips, do we want to really drastically change things around and run a 3-4 Defense? Can we run the 3-4? What we did last year on Defense wasn't perfect but it worked well enough, and I'd prefer a little more continuity and get someone who can run an aggressive scheme from the 4-3 which is where Gregg Williams comes into play. Not liked as a Head Coach in Buffalo, but still a good Defensive Coordinator. Would the Bills want him back? Would he want to return to Buffalo? That's unclear. As well as would Fans accept him? Schematically speaking, Gregg Williams schemes might work here and has the personnel to do some damage....but im not a fan of that choice
If i'm Choosing between former Bills Head Coaches, I'd rather have Wade Phillips and switch to the 3-4
Again.... Whoever the next Bills Defensive Coordinator is cannot and should not be afraid to send extra rushers and utilize this teams Pass Rushers.
But I think I'd prefer to interview Mark Carrier and Pepper Johnson for the job.