Bills head coach Chan Gailey filled a couple of vacancies on his coaching staff Monday and adjusted the roles of some of his current assistants in the process.
The club announced the hiring of assistant offensive line coach Andrew Dees and defensive quality control coach Eric Thatcher.
Buffalo hired Dees to assist veteran offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris. Dees spent last season as the running backs coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of Massachusetts. He coached offensive line at Temple from 2006-2010 and coached tight ends at the University at Buffalo from 2001-2005. The 16-year college coaching veteran enters his first season in the NFL.
This will also be the first NFL coaching season for Eric Thatcher as the team’s defensive quality control coach. Thatcher began his coaching career last year as the defensive backs coach for Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania a year after serving as a grad assistant at Pitt.
Thatcher graduated from Pitt in 2008 and was a three-year starter for the Panthers under former head coach and current Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt.
The defensive quality control position was open because Adrian White was promoted to assistant secondary coach. White had served as the defensive quality control coach for each of the past three seasons, but assisted secondary coach George Catavolos with the defensive backs the past two years.
In other coaching moves tight ends coach Bob Bicknell will coach wide receivers in 2012. Bicknell coached the team’s tight ends the past two seasons, but was named receivers coach after the departure of former assistant Stan Hixon.
Meanwhile veteran assistant Bob Sanders had his role expanded. The past two seasons he coached the outside linebackers. Now he will coach all the linebackers with Dave Wannstedt now the team’s defensive coordinator. Wannstedt spent last season coaching the inside linebackers.