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Bills officially announce new coaching hires, promotion of John Butler

The Bills’ coaching staff is complete

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

On Thursday, the Buffalo Bills announced the hiring of several coaches as well as a few promotions.

The most notable move announced on the list was adding the passing game coordinator title to defensive backs coach John Butler. On the offensive side of the ball, when Ken Dorsey added the PGC title, it was a sign that he was the offensive coordinator-in-waiting should Brian Daboll leave, and then that’s exactly what happened. This may be a sign that head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier (both former defensive backs coaches themselves) view Butler as the successor to Frazier at some point. Frazier is 62 and has interviewed for head coaching jobs in each of the last two offseasons.

The team confirmed that Bobby Babich would take over linebackers following the retirement of his father, Bob Babich. That had long been the rumored swap. The younger Babich had been coaching safeties.

Promoted to safeties coach to replace Babich is Jim Salgado, who had been in charge of the nickel position for the last two seasons and has been on the coaching staff since 2017.

In addition to the three promotions, the Bills added six new coaches to their list.

Corey Harkey is the new assistant special teams coordinator. He played five seasons with the St. Louis Rams from 2012 to 2016. His tight end coach and later offensive coordinator was Rob Boras, Buffalo’s current TE coach. He’s been coaching tight ends at small colleges for the last couple years, but he made his living in the NFL playing special teams. He was a core special teamer, playing more than 50% of the Rams’ special teams snaps over the final four seasons of his career. He replaces Matthew Smiley, who was promoted to special teams coordinator when Heath Farwell took a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kyle Shurmur is the new defensive quality control coach. Shurmur is the son of Pat Shurmur, who coached on the Philadelphia Eagles’ staff with Sean McDermott. The younger Shurmur was a backup quarterback for the Washington Football Team last year, Cincinnati Bengals in 2020, and Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 (earning a Super Bowl ring). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him flip over to the offensive side of the ball in future offseasons.

Marcus West replaces Jacques Cesaire as the assistant defensive line coach. Cesaire was hired as the Houston Texans’ defensive line coach. West has a very brief NFL career and has been coaching since 2008, most recently at Charlotte.

Jaylon Finner is another new defensive quality control coach. He played safety at Rice before entering the coaching ranks. His most recent job was as safeties coach at Texas A&M-Commerce.

Austin Gund is the new fellowship coach, which means it’s part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. It’s an intern-level coaching job to gain experience. He had been a coaching intern at Wake Forest. His background is on the offensive line.

Nick Lacy is the new strength and conditioning assistant. He interned with the New York Jets and the University of Southern Mississippi.

This complete the Bills’ coaching staff that saw offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, and assistant QBs coach Shea Tierney leave for New York when Daboll was named Giants head coach. After Ken Dorsey was promoted to offensive coordinator, the Bills hired Joe Brady as quarterbacks coach and Aaron Kromer to run the offensive line.