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Buffalo Bills Announce Coaching Staff Changes

The Buffalo Bills have announced a re-shuffling of their coaching staff as well as two additions. Two first-time NFL coaches will join the team's coaching ranks.

On offense, Bob Bicknell will shift to wide receivers coach. Stan Hixon held the job for two seasons, but has since taken the same position at Penn State University as well as the title of assistant head coach. Bicknell coached tight ends for two years, helping Scott Chandler become a viable threat at the position. Bicknell played tight end at Boston College.

On defense, Bob Sanders is once again on the move. Sanders will take over the entire linebackers corps; he only coached the outside guys last year. With the promotion of Dave Wannstedt, the Bills had an opening at inside linebackers coach. This also signifies a likely shift back to the 4-3 alignment, as the linebackers will all be coached by the same person. Sanders has been with the Bills since 2009, when he joined Dick Jauron's staff as defensive line coach. He last coached linebackers in 2000 with the Miami Dolphins.

Also on defense, Adrian White was promoted from defensive quality control to assistant defensive backs coach. There he will help George Catavolos, where he has focused the last few years. White played defensive back for the Giants, Packers, and Patriots during his seven-year NFL career. He has been with the Bills as quality control coach since 2008.

The team also announced two new hires. Replacing White as defensive quality control coach is Eric Thatcher. Thatcher only has one year of paid coaching experience, having coached defensive backs at Mercyhurst College a year ago. He played collegiately at Pittsburgh, where has was also a grad assistant, while under the direction of Wannstedt.

The other new hire is at assistant offensive line coach, where Andrew Dees replaces the departed Bobby Johnson. Dees spent last season at the University of Massachusetts, where he was running backs coach. He was the offensive line coach at Temple from 2006 to 2010 and tight ends coach at the University of Buffalo from 2001 to 2005. Dees played for the Bengals and Seahawks after graduating from Syracuse University, playing tight end and offensive tackle.

For the time being, the only open spot on the team's coaching staff would be at tight ends coach, where Bicknell will likely be replaced. The team also added quarterbacks coach David Lee earlier in the offseason to replace George Cortez, who became the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.