He was the Bills starting tight end for the better part of 10 seasons. Now Pete Metzelaars will be in charge of coaching that position group after being hired Tuesday by head coach Chan Gailey as the team's new tight ends coach.
"You always entertain the thought," said Metzelaars of returning to coach where he spent most of his days as a player. "You think it would be neat and fun to come back home a bit and coach in Buffalo. It's been a whirlwind last week, but fun getting to renew a bunch of old acquaintances and contact a bunch of old friends and hopefully spend a lot of time with them over the next few years."
Metzelaars spent the past two seasons as offensive line coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as the assistant offensive line coach after being promoted from offensive quality control coach.
A solid blocker and physical mismatch in the passing game, Metzelaars was a reliable target for Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. A part of all four AFC title teams, Metzelaars was a three-time Pro Bowl alternate for Buffalo and was named to Buffalo's 50th All-Time team in 2009.
Where Metzelaars excelled as a player was with his consistency as a fundamentally sound tight end that could effectively execute all facets of the position, something he plans to pass on to the Bills tight ends.
"I think in anything it's about teaching techniques, fundamentals, doing things correctly every single time and doing them well," he said. "That gives you a chance to compete against the people you play against in this league and gives you a chance to win. That's my whole focus."
Ironically, Metzelaars could be coaching the tight end that tied his single-season touchdown record of six last season in Scott Chandler, provided the tight end is re-signed by the club. He's an unrestricted free agent.
"I watched some tape during the season when I was in Indianapolis looking at what Buffalo did because they did a lot of good things last year and kept seeing this guy catching balls," Metzelaars said of Chandler. "My hope is that he's back here and goes out and breaks any and all records that I might still be holding because there's got to be somebody out there that's better than me."
Chandler's game is not all that different from Metzelaars' so it could prove to be a valuable coach-player relationship.
Metzelaars is still the team's all-time leading tight end in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, and appeared in 169 straight games with the Bills over his 10 seasons with the franchise.