Bills announce departure of Rex Ryan holdovers

By Nick Shook
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The Bills‘ change in coaching staff was a somewhat disjointed process, but it’s finally starting to come together.

After hiring former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott as head coach, Buffalo has made the departure of Rex Ryan holdovers official. Bobby April, John Blake, Aaron Kromer, David Lee, D’Anton Lynn, Tim McDonald, Pat Meyer, Chris Palmer, Ed Reed, Eric Smith, Kathryn Smith, Dennis Thurman, Jason Vrable and Jeff Weeks will not be on the team’s staff in 2017, the Bills announced Tuesday.

McDermott met individually with each of the aforementioned members before making the decision, which is anything but surprising. New coaches, be they coordinators or head coaches, tend to bring in “their guys,” which is also to be expected from McDermott.

The most notable names on the list are defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, assistant defensive backs coach (and future Hall of Fame safety) Ed Reed and special teams quality control coach Kathryn Smith. The connection between Reed and Ryan went back to Ryan’s days as the defensive coordinator in Baltimore, and their brief reunion in New York with the Jets. Smith became the first full-time female assistant coach in NFL history with the Bills.

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