A couple weeks ago, the Buffalo Bills made a big change at offensive coordinator, firing Rick Dennison and hiring Brian Daboll. Then Monday, word came out that defensive line coach Mike Waufle was retiring. Very early Tuesday morning, Tim Graham of The Buffalo News reported the Bills weren’t done reshaping their coaching staff and had dismissed defensive backs coach Gill Byrd.
While Dennison was expected and the 20-year vet Waufle leaving isn’t necessarily surprising, this move is. Byrd was saddled with a brand new secondary of free agent safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, rookie Tre’Davious White, and late-offseason acquisition E.J. Gaines but managed to get all of them playing at a high level together. Hyde made the Pro Bowl while Poyer should have. White received some consideration for rookie of the year. The on-field production certainly didn’t seem to warrant a move like this.
Buffalo allowed just 13 passing touchdowns in 2016, which was the second-best mark in the NFL and opposing quarterbacks averaged a 78.9 passing rating against Buffalo, which ranked sixth in the league.
Byrd was out of football in 2016 but before that was Leslie Frazier’s cornerbacks coach when the current Bills defensive coordinator held the same position in Tampa Bay for two seasons. He’s also spent time with the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams during his coaching career.
Former Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is Gill’s son.
The Bills have not named a replacement as of this time.