BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone suddenly has a big hole to fill at defensive coordinator with Mike Pettine leaving to take over the Cleveland Browns.
With Pettine hired on Thursday, Marrone is forced to enact the contingency plan the team began preparing this week once Cleveland narrowed in on his key assistant.
Depending on whether any Bills assistants follow Pettine, Buffalo has several in-house candidates to consider, most notably linebackers coach Jim O'Neil and defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson.
Replacing Pettine, isn't something Marrone was anticipating entering his second year.
Losing Pettine is a significant blow to a defense that was Buffalo's strength last season. The Bills finished 6-10.