Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Marrone: Contingencies in place if Pettine leaves


Jeff Hafley was added to the Buffalo Bills coaching staff a week ago, previously working under Greg Schiano in Tampa Bay as a defensive backs coach.

He is currently listed as only an assistant on staff, however, which head coach Doug Marrone assured is no accident.

"Anytime you have a chance to get a coach that you admire who is a good, young football coach who is up and coming you go ahead and do that. And that’s what we did," Marrone said, via buffalobills.com. "We brought Jeff on as a defensive assistant until we know the direction that we’re going."

The hesitation is no surprise, especially with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's future up in the air and the Cleveland Browns' interest in him seemingly on the rise. With the news that Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase is out of the running for Cleveland's head coaching gig, Pettine's second interview scheduled for Thursday could wrap up their search. 

Hafley has prior coaching experience at Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh and SUNY Albany, though he's never held a position higher than defensive backs/secondary coach. He was the assistant defensive backs coach in 2012 with the Bucs before being promoted to safeties coach this season.

On top of Buffalo's uncertainty at defensive coordinator, the team also has vacancies at two prior coaching positions -- wide receivers coach and inside linebackers coach.

Ike Hilliard was relieved of his duties as receivers coach just before the new year, while Chuck Driesbach was fired last week from the inside linebackers position. It's unclear whether the team will fill Driesbach's slot or have outside linebackers coach Jeff O'Neil absorb it, who followed Pettine from the New York Jets at the beginning of last year.

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