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Studesville, Other Former Bills Coaches Finding Success

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Denver Broncos fired head coach Josh McDaniels yesterday and promoted running game coordinator Eric Studesville to interim head coach. Studesville was the running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills for the previous six seasons under Mike Mularkey and Dick Jauron. It's a good time to update you on what some of the other former Bills coaches are doing.

Jauron signed on with the Philadelphia Eagles as defensive backs coach. He was joined there by Bobby April, his former assistant head coach / special team coordinator. They haven't made a discernible change in the Eagles' numbers but Philadelphia is in the middle of the NFC playoff hunt.

Fighting with the Eagles in the NFC East is a tough job for any defensive coordinator but new New York Giants DC Perry Fewell is really making a name for himself. The Giants have improved on defense across the board, currently sitting at second in overall defense with the most forced turnovers in the league.

Alex Van Pelt is providing a huge impact in Tampa Bay as the quarterbacks coach. While Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford were the tops of the 2009 QB class, AVP's Josh Freeman is outplaying both of them this season. During his rookie season, Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson was also the QB coach. With the additions of Van Pelt this season, Freeman is taking off completing 58% of his passes with a 16:6 touchdown to interception ratio. The Bucs have already doubled their win total from a year ago.

The Pittsburgh Steelers new line coach, Sean Kugler, is dealing with a ton of injuries on the line just as he did while in Buffalo. Former wide receiver coach Tyke Tolbert is mired in a no-win situation in Carolina with a disastrous quarterback situation. linebackers coach Matt Sheldon latched on with the Minnesota Vikings as assistant defensive backs coach. Ray Brown is working for San Fransisco as assistant offensive line coach.

Not all of the assistants found a job in the NFL ranks, though. Offensive quality control coach Nathaniel Hackett is the quarterbacks coach for Syracuse University which is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2004 and won seven games for the first time since 2001. Tight ends coach Charlie Coiner joined the North Carolina Tar Heels as defensive line coach. The Tar Heels are also 7-5 and bowl bound.

The lists above don't take into account the four coaches retained by Chan Gailey. Defensive backs coach George Catavolos has Drayton Florence playing the best season of his career. Outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders shifted from defensive line just to stay with the club and has dealt with a rash of injuries and lackluster talent. The inside linebackers are being coached by Demontie Cross who was the spcial teams assistant a year ago. Adrian White, the defensive quality control coach, was retained in that position which is mainly advanced scouting of the next opponent.

My casual look found nothing on longtime assistant Chuck Lester nor strength and conditioning coaches J.T. Allaire and his assistant Sean Hayes.