Bills Turn To Orange Coaches
By Stan Chrapowicki
Doug Marrone isn’t the only former Syracuse coach to take his talents to the NFL this season. The new Buffalo Bills coach has brought seven of his assistants from the Orange with him to Buffalo.
Nathaniel Hackett (offensive coordinator, quarterbacks): Hackett, the son of former Pitt Panthers and USC head coach Paul Hackett, was Marrone’s offensive coordinator at Syracuse the past two seasons.
Tyrone Wheatley (running backs): Wheatley, the former New York Giant and Oakland Raider, was the running backs coach for Marrone at Syracuse from 2010-12.
Greg Adkins (tight ends): He was Marrone’s offensive line and recruiting coordinator the last four years.
Donnie Henderson (defensive backs): Henderson spent one year with Marrone at Syracuse coaching the Orange’s DBs. Henderson has extensive NFL coaching experience, including a stint as the New York Jets’ defensive coordinator in 2004-05. Marrone coached Gang Green’s offensive line from 2002-05.
John Anselmo (special teams assistant): Anselmo, who was the head coach at Nassau Community College on Long Island for 18 seasons, spent the last four years at Syracuse in various coaching capacities.
Jason Rebrovich (defensive quality control): He was a defensive assistant with the Orange the last two seasons.
Hal Luther (assistant strength and conditioning): He spent the previous 13 years at Syracuse, including the last six as the Orange’s director of strength and conditioning. Luther will report to Eric Ciano.
The following Bills assistants have no Syracuse/Marrone ties:
Mike Pettine (defensive coordinator): The defensive coordinator for the New York Jets the last four years, Pettine enters his 12th season as an NFL coach. The Jets finished in the Top 10 in total defense in each of Pettine’s years in New York.
Anthony Weaver (defensive line): A former NFL defensive end, Weaver spent the past two seasons as the Jets’ defensive line coach.
Ike Hilliard (wide receivers): A former NFL receiver who played for the New York Giants for eight seasons and spent another four with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hilliard comes to Buffalo after coaching Washington Redskin wideouts the past two years.
Chuck Driesbach (linebackers): This is the first NFL gig for Driesbach, who had coached in college since 1976 for 11 different schools. Jim O’Neil, most recently the assistant secondary coach with the Jets, will assist Driesbach with Bills linebackers.
Pat Morris (offensive line): Morris, who has spent the last 15 seasons in the NFL, has coached the offensive lines of the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Buccaneers.
Danny Crossman (special teams): Crossman enters his first year with the Bills after serving as the special teams coordinator for the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers.
Rounding out the staff are offensive quality control assistants Kurt Anderson and Jason Vrable, assistant defensive backs coach Samson Brown and defensive quality control assistant Brian Fleury.