Here's the Bills news of note for Feb. 9th.
1 - Coaching staff is completeOver the past month Bills head coach Sean McDermott has worked diligently to put his staff together. Finally his collection of assistants is complete. His final primary position coach, Gill Byrd, was hired on Tuesday.
The coaching staff numbers 26 in all counting the strength and conditioning staff. That's about a half dozen fewer than the previous staff. Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman is the only coach retained from the previous coaching regime.
Here's a look at the full set of coaches who will be working under McDermott in 2017.
Offensive coordinator - Rick Dennison
Defensive coordinator - Leslie Frazier
Special teams coordinator - Danny Crossman
Offensive line/run game coordinator - Juan Castillo
Quarterbacks coach - David Culley
Running backs coach - Kelly Skipper
Receivers coach - Phil McGeoghan
Tight ends coach - Rob Boras
Defensive line coach - Mike Waufle
Linebackers coach - Bob Babich
Defensive backs coach - Gill Byrd
Asst. defensive backs - Bobby Babich
Asst. offensive line - Andrew Dees
Asst. quarterbacks/offensive quality control - Marc Lubick
Asst. special teams - Matt Smiley
Asst. defensive line - Bill Teerlinck
Asst. to head coach - Matt Worswick
Asst. to head coach - Laura Young
Defensive quality control - John Egorugwu
Offensive assistant - Chad Hall
Defensive assistant - Jim Salgado
Head strength and conditioning - Eric Ciano
Strength and conditioning asst. - Dan Liburd
Strength and conditioning asst. - Mark Loecher
Strength and conditioning asst. - Hal Luther
Strength and conditioning asst. - Jason Oszvart
**2 - Hughes makes top 10 list for edge rushers
**The Bills finished eighth in the league in sacks last season with 39, a good bounce back season from the franchise low 21 the year before. Pro Bowl LB Lorenzo Alexander led the way with 12.5, but it was his pass rushing counterpart who made the list for the top 10 NFL edge rushers.
NextGen Stats ranked edge rushers using chip technology in the players shoulder pads. They put together a list of the top 10 edge rushers most effective in putting pressure on an opposing quarterback by their average raw yards from the opposing quarterback at the time of the throw or sack.
Buffalo's Jerry Hughes was eighth on the list. Here was their assessment on Hughes' success in 2016.
8) Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills (4.07 average distance to the quarterback)
A first-round flop for the Colts, two Buffalo Bills coaching staffs have managed to get the most out of Jerry Hughes as a pass rusher. The 2010 31st-overall pick managed just five sacks and seven starts over three years with the Colts. Since signing with the Bills in 2012, Hughes has 31 sacks to his name. His 4.07 Next Gen Stats pressure score puts him above the 80th percentile among NFL edge rushers this year. Hughes is under contract until 2019 and is set to enter his age 31 season. His fellow edge rusher Lorenzo Alexander (4.41 pressure score) will be 34 and is coming off a career year with 12.5 sacks, more than he had his entire career before 2016. The Bills will hope to have Shaq Lawson in full form next season to figure into the rotation, as the 2016 first-round pick played just 237 defensive snaps this year.
Hughes finished the 2016 season second on the team in sacks with six.
3 - 2017 draft class steeped in talent at DBThe Bills have four safeties on their roster who are set to become free agents. They also have two cornerbacks whose contracts are up. Fortunately for them their timing couldn't be better. The 2017 draft class offers talent at both cornerback and safety in bountiful supply.
"This is a loaded defensive draft especially in the secondary at corner and safety," said NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. "Not only the top tier guys, but incredible depth as well."
Jeremiah recently produced his Top 50 Prospects list for the 2017 draft class and three defensive backs are among the top five. Ohio State S Malik Hooker and teammate CB Marshon Lattimore ranked second and third on Jeremiah's list. LSU S Jamal Adams was fourth.
Jeremiah has six defensive backs in the top 30, and a total of 14 in his Top 50. The breakdown was 10 cornerbacks and four safeties.