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Bobby Babich opens up about transition from secondary to linebackers

The younger Babich is replacing his father this offseason

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

The Buffalo Bills had to make a change at linebackers coach this offseason with the retirement of longtime coach Bob Babich. They kept it in the family, promoting the elder Babich’s son, Bobby, to the role. With OTAs and minicamp under his belt, he spoke about the transition and how he’s using his dad as a sounding board.

“Moving positions, I’m always up for a mental challenge, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I embrace those,” said Bobby, via The Buffalo News. “Me and Sean had the conversation and obviously he felt comfortable with it, so once my dad retired, he made that move. That shows he trusts me and I’ve continued to be diligent, be detailed and show that I can help those guys get better within what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

The younger Babich is no stranger to the roster, and he has been part of head coach Sean McDermott’s staff since the beginning. First he was assistant defensive backs coach, then he received a promotion to safeties coach four years ago. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer have played at a Pro Bowl level, with Poyer earning an All-Pro nod this past season.

“I wanted to embrace the challenge of doing something new,” Babich said of moving to linebackers. “I’ve coached Micah and Jordan for five years. They’ve had a lot of success, which is credit to them. The challenge with them was, they know the scheme, but finding the little things that they need to improve on year to year. Once you found those and you hammered those, they were pretty good within the scheme. You let them kind of soar within the defense and do their thing.”

Babich also parroted Sean McDermott, discussing “growth mindset” and the ability to learn new skills and position groups during his time managing the safeties.

In addition to building relationships with the current crop of linebackers, Babich has to navigate what could be a difficult transition from an incredibly experienced coach to a younger, more inexperienced one. His predecessor had coached linebackers for 20 years while Bobby Babich is just 40. He’s leaning into his father’s experience instead of trying to strike out on his own path, but he’s also bringing a new flavor to the position.

“Shame on me if I didn’t use him as a resource,” Bobby Babich said. “I would say we’re very similar. You kind of take on the traits of your father. I grew up going to practices, going to games and watching him coach. I wanted to make sure that when I got into this profession, the nepotism thing was separate. I never wanted to work for him. With that being said, I’m sure there are some things I acquired from him in the way I go about things. Probably the best word to describe how I’m a little different is I’m a little more new school and he’s a little bit more old school, but I’d say there is a lot of similarities in energy and urgency, and just the way we go about every day.”

The elder Babich notes that his son has called him on a few occasions to discuss the details of coaching linebackers, but they’ve been few and far between.

There is a lot more in the full write-up from The Buffalo News. Go on and check it out.