The Buffalo Bills added a quarterbacks coach to the staff on Friday, hiring former Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach Todd Downing to the position. Nathaniel Hackett had held that title in addition to his role as offensive coordinator in 2013. The move is designed to ease the burden on the young play caller and help Buffalo's trio of young passers.
Downing was hired by Buffalo on the same day as Jim Schwartz, who will run the Bills defense following the defection of Mike Pettine. Schwartz, you'll recall, was the Lions' head coach from 2009 to 2013, mirroring Downing's time with the team. Downing mentored Matthew Stafford for three years as his position coach. Prior to that, he was offensive quality control coach for Detroit in Schwartz's first two seasons at the helm.
It should be noted that Downing has experience with two of Buffalo's young quarterbacks. He coached Thad Lewis during his brief time in Detroit, and was on the coaching staff at the Senior Bowl a year ago when EJ Manuel was named the MVP of that game.
This will be Downing's 13th season as an NFL assistant. He also spent time with the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings in various entry-level coaching positions.