The first of those changes comes at the safeties coach position, where the team announced on Thursday that they’ve hired Joe Danna to fill the role.
Danna replaces Jim Salgado, who had served on Buffalo’s coaching staff since 2017, but was relieved of his duties last week.
Danna has been in the NFL for 15 seasons — the most recent of which was as safeties coach for the Houston Texans.
A four-year letterman and a two-year starter as a wide receiver for Central Michigan, Danna started his NFL coaching career as a defensive assistant for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2017, Danna joined the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he served in a variety of roles, including assistant secondary coach (2017-2018), safeties coach (2019-2020), and nickel coach (2017).
The Bills’ safety situation garnered a lot of attention this year, as they had to shuffle players in and out of the lineup all season. Buffalo played all but two games without All-Pro Micah Hyde (neck injury), and many games without fellow All-Pro Jordan Poyer (foot, ribs, elbow). They were also without Damar Hamlin, Hyde’s season-long replacement, for the regular-season finale and the playoffs, after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field in Week 17.
There will be other questions to answer for Danna and the rest of Buffalo’s defensive coaching staff this offseason. Will Poyer be re-signed and finish his career in Buffalo? Will Hyde return to his pre-injury excellence? Will Hamlin be able to play again?
Obviously, Buffalo’s front office recognizes that the Bills’ defensive backfield situation is one of the items that needed addressing — and decided they would rather get started sooner than later.