The Indianapolis Colts stunned many NFL observers today by announcing that their offensive line coach, Dave DeGuglielmo, will not return in 2019. The Buffalo Bills, who recently fired their offensive line coach, Juan Castillo, are in the market for a replacement, and DeGuglielmo certainly seems to fit the Bills.
The 50-year old Massachusetts native has worked with NFL offensive linemen since 2004, when he broke into the league as an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants. He remained with the Giants through the 2008 season, leaving to coach the Miami Dolphins offensive line from 2009-2011. After a one-year stint as the offensive line coach for the New York Jets, DeGuglielmo joined the New England Patriots staff, serving as their offensive line coach in 2014 and 2015. He also worked with the then-San Diego Chargers in 2016, the Dolphins again in 2017, and the Colts this past season.
The time-frame that should be of greatest interest to Bills fans is that stint in New England. DeGuglielmo worked with Buffalo’s current offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, during those years. At the time, Daboll was the Patriots’ tight ends coach. That partnership could lead the Bills to pursue a reunion in Orchard Park. He was also Daboll’s o-line coach in Miami in 2011.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweeted the news of DeGuglielmo’s release, saying that Colts head coach Frank Reich is actually recommending his now-former offensive line coach to other staffs. Reich merely wants to hire his own guy to handle the offensive line, as DeGuglielmo had been hired by Josh McDaniels prior to him deciding to return to New England.
DeGuglielmo played his college ball at Boston University, earning four varsity letters after walking on to the team in 1986. He redshirted that first year, but started each year from 1987-1990. His last offensive line coach at BU, the late Tony Sparano, hired DeGuglielmo as the offensive line coach in Miami in 2009.
The Colts’ offensive line improved dramatically this season under DeGuglielmo’s tutelage. After allowing a league-high 56 sacks in 2017, the Colts only allowed 18 sacks this season, which was the best number in the league. Granted, the team also added an influx of talent to the line, drafting guard Quenton Nelson sixth overall and right tackle Braden Smith 37th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
With the Bills looking for a new offensive line coach, checking into DeGuglielmo’s interest would make plenty of sense. Having overseen one huge turnaround in 2018, perhaps he can work some magic again in 2019. With the Bills expected to overhaul the offensive line in the off-season, DeGuglielmo seems to be comfortable working with young players, and he showed this year that he can be quite successful doing so.