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Bills on the verge of losing another defensive coach

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The Buffalo Bills today granted permission for defensive line coach Anthony Weaver to interview for the same position with the Cleveland Browns, a likely precursor to him leaving.

Weaver, 33, came to the Bills last season along with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who last week accepted Cleveland's head-coaching position.

Bills coach Doug Marrone on Monday sounded resigned to the fact Weaver would be leaving the team.

"We want people that want to be here. I think that’s the most important thing and that’s the most important message," Marrone said. "I spoke to him today and right now I don’t feel good about that, him coming back."

Weaver played seven seasons in the NFL with Baltimore and Houston, the last coming in 2008. He started his coaching career in 2010 at the University of Florida, them moved to the University of North Texas the following year before joining Pettine's staff with the New York Jets in 2012.

If Weaver does join the Browns, as expected, he'll be the fifth member of the Bills' coaching staff from the 2013 season to join Pettine in Cleveland -- joining defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil (who coached the Bills' linebacker), linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach (linebackers coach with the Bills), assistant linebackers coach Brian Fleury (defensive quality control coach with the Bills) and secondary coach Jeff Hafley.

The Hafley era in Buffalo lasted all of 11 days. He was hired as a "defensive assistant" Jan. 16 by the Bills before being hired away by Pettine on Monday.

Marrone said one of the reasons he hired Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator and Todd Downing as quarterbacks coach was because of their desire to join the Bills.

"Those are the type of people that we’re looking for. People that can become part of the community and part of this region. Be a positive influence on that and at the same time getting this football program back to where we all want it to be," Marrone said.

  • Hank Kimball

    I think the NFL should make the Browns give up compensatory draft pick(s) for this situation. It doesn't reflect well on the league when coaches show so little loyalty to their employer.

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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 NFL.com 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.