After rounds of interviews and a bevy of candidates, the Buffalo Bills have finally found their new defensive coordinator. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bills have gone in-house to hire their new defensive play-caller, promoting linebackers coach Bobby Babich.
Babich has worked his way up in Buffalo since 2017, now lands in a prime job for Sean McDermott. pic.twitter.com/4ZqhHsDpwA
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 30, 2024
The Bills interviewed former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and past Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach Sean Desai, among others, before landing on Babich. Caldwell and Desai are still looking for NFL coaching opportunities.
Bobby Babich: Taking Step Forward With Buffalo Bills
A former cornerback at North Dakota State, Babich started his coaching career in 2006. The son of longtime football coach Bob Babich, Bobby took on a graduate assistant job with the Kent State Golden Flashes during his first season. He joined Eastern Illinois in 2007 as the secondary coach, where he spent four years. The younger Babich moved to the NFL in 2011, landing an administrative gig with the Carolina Panthers. He proceeded to the coaching side in 2012, becoming a defensive assistant under then-Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
The Oklahoma native darted for the Cleveland Browns in 2013, working with the secondary for three years. After a one-year stint with the FIU Panthers, Babich rejoined McDermott, now the head coach with the Buffalo Bills. He was an assistant defensive backs coach during his inaugural 2017 campaign before becoming the safeties coach from 2018 to 2021. Babich became the linebackers coach in 2022, where the former corner has spent the past two seasons. However, he will now take on the defensive coordinator duties next fall.
Buffalo Bills: Defensive Expectations in 2024
Bobby Babich will become the team’s third defensive coordinator during the Sean McDermott era. Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier called the defense from 2017 to 2022 but stepped away from the team last year. The Bills posted fantastic numbers on defense with Frazier, including allowing just 17.9 points per game in 2022, the second-lowest average in the NFL. McDermott took over for Frazier last season, with the Bills finishing in the top ten in fewest points and yards allowed.
Five players tallied at least five sacks, with Leonard Floyd leading the way with 10.5. Linebacker Terrel Bernard, who worked specifically with Babich last season, posted monster numbers for the Bills. The 24-year-old collected 143 tackles, 6.5 sacks, ten TFLs, three interceptions, and three fumble recoveries.