I’m told Bills to switch to 3-4 defense

Posted on January 26, 2010 by Patrick Moran

I spoke to an insider this evening with privileged knowledge of the Bills organization that much to my astonishment, tells me the Buffalo Bills are going forward with plans to switch to a 3-4 defense in 2010.

“Well, I got this much, Patrick: They’re going to a 3-4.” he said.

Who that coordinator turns out to be I don’t yet know, though I reported this morning my belief that a guy had already been selected, and the 3-4 switch adds credence to it.

Still, I’m utterly surprised the Bills would proceed with the switch.  I’m in agreement with Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports, who said a few days ago “we can’t think of a roster in the NFL less suited to play a 3-4 than Buffalo.”

If the Bills really are in the midst of a defensive philosophy change, that could lean the job towards former Baltimore linebackers coach Vic Fangio, who’s now free to pursue a job after the Ravens signed former Patriots coordinator Dean Pees.

Meanwhile, a rumor is circulating down in Georgia the Bills have already hired former Georgia Tech defensive line coach Giff Smith to coach the linebackers.  If true, this would lend further confirmation that the Bills are switching.

Presumably Smith would be brought in to teach Maybin how to play rush linebacker in a 3-4 as well as Aaron Schobel, assuming he doesn’t retire.

Why the Bills are being so secretive throughout the process, much as they were during the head coaching search is a mystery.  The insider I spoke to either doesn’t know the identity of the new coordinator or is waiting for confirmation to report on himself; but he’s confident enough to state we’re going 3-4 and I’m equally confident in him to report it—and take the heat if wrong.

“I know they had something in the works for their DC yesterday (Monday) and I’ve been waiting to hear back from one person to see if there was or wasn’t a deal.” he said.

I’m also told a Bills coach left over from last year’s defense will return in 2010; probably George Catavolos.

**UPDATE** According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Bills have indeed hired Smith.

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