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Buffalo Rumblinks, 2/2: A look at the Buffalo Bills’ defense in 2023

Plus, the Bills promote two internal members of their defensive coaching staff

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

In back-to-back weeks early in the season, the Buffalo Bills lost Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White and All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano to season-ending injuries, and they also saw defensive tackle DaQuan Jones go down for a long stretch during the season.

Head coach Sean McDermott’s defense was bit hard by the injury bug this year, and that continued in the playoffs, as a litany of injuries forced Buffalo to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs with a depleted defense.

In today’s edition of the Buffalo Rumblinks, we dive into the state of the Bills’ defense from last season, crediting McDermott for guiding a banged up defense to a terrific regular season, while calling out a unit that let the team down with its worst defensive performance of the year in the AFC Divisional Round setback to the Chiefs.

Defense in Review

The Bills finished fourth in the NFL in points allowed, which is notable considering how many players were sidelined at one point during the season — Milano and White were lost for the year while defensive linemen Ed Oliver, Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, Von Miller, Shaq Lawson, and Jordan Phillips, linebackers Terrel Bernard, Tyrel Dodson, and Baylor Spector, and defensive backs Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Christian Benford, Dane Jackson, Taylor Rapp, and Kaiir Elam missed games in the regular season and postseason.

Linked below: McDermott’s defense is put under the microscope to examine the good, the bad, and the ugly from the 2023 season, plus explore how the number of injuries could have prevented a Super Bowl run for the Bills.

We also hear how, as the only defensive lineman under contract for next year, Ed Oliver is preparing to take on a larger leadership role, and how Elam is excited to move on from a frustrating 2023 campaign.

Bills promote coaches Al Holcomb, Marcus West

Two internal members of the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coaching staff — Al Holcomb and Marcus West — were promoted by the team on Friday. Holcomb will serve as linebackers coach, while West will handle defensive line coach responsibilities.

Even more Bills news

What lessons the Bills should takeaway from the AFC and NFC championship games, hear how wide receiver Justin Shorter is determined to take on a larger role in the passing game in 2024, and take a look at the best offensive linemen available in the NFL Draft.

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