Bills WRs coach Hilliard relieved of duties


Head coach Doug Marrone after a year at the helm for the Bills has already made a change to his coaching staff. He announced that receivers coach Ike Hilliard has been relieved of his duties.

"Again the evaluation starts with me," Marrone said in the team's season-ending press conference. "We've already made one change. Ike Hilliard is no longer with us. We appreciate what Ike has done in helping us try to reach our goal this year and we fell short."

Buffalo's receiving corps certainly has some promising talent in 2013 draft choices Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. Top receiver Stevie Johnson is still under contract for three more seasons and T.J. Graham set career highs in receiving yards (361) and yards per catch (15.7).

But the receiving unit also ranked 27th in the league in percentage of passes dropped. Buffalo's receiving targets dropped just over eight percent of catchable passes according to STATS Inc., which was above the league average.

The team also ranked 28th in passing yards per game, though that figure could be tied more to the play of three different quarterbacks in the lineup, who combined had one NFL start coming into the season.

Marrone indicated that the approach coaching-wise between himself and Hilliard did not mesh.

"I spoke to Ike about it and it was really just a difference in philosophy," he said.

No details were provided as to how Hilliard's role would be filled on the staff, whether there would be a promotion from within or if a new coaching candidate would be brought in from the outside.

When asked if there could be any other coaching changes, Marrone indicated he wasn't expecting much else, but did not rule anything out.

"I think you always go through an evaluation process," he said. "After that you're going to have situations where there's going to have to be some type of structure, discipline and change in what we do. If everyone is on board with the coaches that we have here now then I don't foresee many changes. But again when you sit down with the coaches and go through the evaluation and lay out a plan, there can always possibly be change."

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