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Buffalo Bills hire Jim Schwartz to run defense

The Buffalo Bills wasted little time filling their vacant defensive coordinator position after Mike Pettine took the Cleveland Browns' head coaching position Thursday.

The team announced Friday it hired ex-Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz to run the defense

"We are excited to add a talented and accomplished coordinator in Jim Schwartz to our staff," Bills coach Doug Marrone said in a team press release. "Schwartz has led aggressive and productive defensive units throughout his time in the NFL and we feel our defense will continue to improve under his leadership."

Schwartz was fired by the Lions in December after five seasons. He compiled a 29-51 regular-season record. Prior to his stint in Detroit, Schwartz was the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans from 2001 to 2008.

The fiery coach will take over a talent-laden defense, which sent four players to the Pro Bowl.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Bills still are undecided on whether to allow linebacker coach Jim O'Neil to take the Browns' defensive coordinator job, according to a source familiar with the Bills' thinking. Schwartz's contract had offsets, so the move helps Detroit pay off the $12 million it owes him, according to Rapoport, per a source familiar with Schwartz's situation.

In both Detroit and Tennessee, Schwartz's defenses always have had fantastic fronts. He will have that luxury again with defensive tackles Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and pass rusher Mario Williams.

Given the Bills' personnel and Schwartz's background, the team appears likely to move its base defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3.

Schwartz is a good defensive mind and will have better overall defensive talent than he had with the Lions. He might have worn out his welcome in Detroit, but the man can still coach at a high level.

The Bills also announced they signed Todd Downing as their new quarterbacks coach. Downing worked under Schwartz in Detroit.

The Bills visit Detroit twice in 2014: once in their annual preseason matchup and once during the regular season.

We handed out awards for the 2014 coaching class and talked all the latest headlines in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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