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Young Buffalo Bills defenders finally have coaching stability

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Aaron Williams is among several starting Bills defenders that are playing for a defensive-minded head coach for the first time at the NFL level.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Any Buffalo Bills defender that has joined the team since the end of the 2010 season has yet to enjoy consecutive years in Buffalo in which they have played for the same defensive coordinator. The same is true for having a head coach that cut his teeth on the defensive side of the ball.

Starting safety Aaron Williams is among that group; he has played for head coaches Chan Gailey and Doug Marrone, and defensive coordinators George Edwards, Dave Wannstedt, Mike Pettine, and Jim Schwartz in his four seasons with the Bills. The 2015 season has not even begun yet, and Williams is already noticing a big difference under new head coach Rex Ryan.

"I never really had a head coach be real interactive with the defense," Williams told the Austin American-Statesman. "This is my first year where he's actually the one putting the installs in and going through the walk-throughs. Of the four head coaches I've had, he’s the one that's been most interactive on my side of the ball."

(Williams' college head coach at Texas, Mack Brown, also came into the head coaching ranks with a background on offense.)

The Bills have five projected starters on defense - Williams, defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, linebackers Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore - that have been drafted by the team since 2011, and none of them have enjoyed the level of involvement on defense from their head coach that Williams describes above. All have yet to play in the same defensive scheme in consecutive years, as well.

If all goes well on defense this season - and it is certainly expected to - the consecutive-years streak with a new defensive play-caller for these players will undoubtedly come to an end, providing this group (assuming they stay together) with the coaching stability that they have thus far lacked. Is anyone expecting that that won't happen?