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Another look at Schwartz's defensive numbers


Here's another look at the defensive numbers put up by Jim Schwartz's teams.

Schwartz, the Buffalo Bills' new defensive coordinator, always has run a 4-3 base front, and that's very likely what he will do in his new job. He is not known as a big blitzer, a gambler. He plays the percentages. That doesn't mean he isn't creative. But his teams always have ranked very low in terms of the percentage of times they rush five or more men. He likes to run nickel much more than dime coverage. He likes to have two athletic safeties with good range. The Bills have that, for the moment anyway, in Jairus Byrd and Aaron Williams. (Byrd's contract is up.)

The Bills did not blitz a lot under Mike Pettine in 2013. But they did threaten the blitz a lot, feinting at the line of scrimmage with linebackers and defensive backs and varying which four men rushed the quarterback.

Here's how Detroit ranked in Schwartz's five seasons in key categories. Keep in mind, Gunther Cunningham ran the Lions' defense. Also keep in mind that Detroit did not have high-quality cornerbacks over the five seasons, which limited the team's ability to blitz effectively.

Category: 2009-10-11-12-13.

Points: 32, 19, 23, 27, 15.

Yards: 32, 22, 20, 18, 25.

Third downs: 25, 20, 3, 10, 1.

Sacks: 30, 5, 16, 20, 28.

Rush yards: 25, 24, 23, 16, 6.

INT percentage: 31, 19, 9, 25, 19.

Here's how they ranked in his Tennessee tenure, from 2001 to 2008:

Category: 2001-02-03-04-05-06-07-08.

Points: 25, 11, 13, 30, 29, 31, 8, 2.

Yards: 27, 14, 23, 31, 26, 30, 5, 4.

Third downs: 9, 14, 1, 7, 8, 20, 24, 6.

Sacks: 26, 12, 17, 28, 5, 31, 10, 6.

Rush yards: 5, 2, 1, 18, 22, 30, 5, 6.

INT percentage: 28, 15, 9, 15, 28, 15, 4, 7.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.