Buffalo Bills head coach Dick Jauron said Thursday he will run a 4-3 defense and employ a scheme in the mold of the successful defenses in Tampa Bay, Indianapolis and Chicago.
Jauron has his coaching staff almost in place after a flurry of hirings the past week.
His defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, will be running a defense for the first time in the NFL. But Fewell has extensive experience coaching in the "Tampa Cover 2" scheme that Colts coach Tony Dungy first popularized while he was coaching the Buccaneers. Jauron, who stopped by the Super Bowl XL media center for an interview, said that's what he was looking for in his defensive chief.
"He's been in positions with teams that run a scheme that I like," Jauron said of Fewell and the two-deep zone system. "I've always had a lot of respect for it. It's specific. It follows a teaching progression, I like that. You play fast in it, I like all those things. I trust Perry. It's time for him. I think he'll do a tremendous job."
Fewell, 43, comes to Buffalo from Chicago, where he was defensive backs coach under Lovie Smith, who is a protege of Dungy. Fewell also worked in St. Louis with Smith, and so did the Bills' new defensive line coach, Bill Kollar. Jauron got to know Fewell when the two were assistants in Jacksonville in 1998.
"I have a relationship with Perry from Jacksonville and have kept in touch with him and watched him develop," Jauron said. "He's a very smart guy, a very straightforward guy, high energy. I like all those things about him. He's a very honest guy."
Jauron, who is a defensive coach, said Fewell will be calling the defensive signals on game day. Also calling signals will be offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild, who formerly was offensive coordinator under Mike Martz in St. Louis.
"I have all the say, but I don't go in there and dictate," Jauron said of play calling. "I feel like you hire an expert and you guide him. You try to give him your opinion but it's his area of expertise. . . . There aren't very many times in a game in my past where I've said, 'I don't want this.' But it does happen. Don't do this. Don't call this. That will happen once in awhile."
The Bills moved quickly last week to sign Fairchild, who already had offers from New Orleans and the Jets.
"The pressure [in the interview process] comes when you have that guy in, and he has a really good interview," Jauron said. "And you have other people you might want to interview but you know he's been to two places previously and you know he's been offered at two places. And then he's sitting in your facility and you have to decide. Are you going to let him go out the door? . . . We did not let him go out the door. We liked him that much."
Fairchild spent eight years as offensive coordinator at run-oriented Colorado State, then coached running backs in Buffalo for two years. Then he worked under Martz the past three seasons.
"I like Steve because I like his background," Jauron said. "I like the variety of ways he's coached. I'm a big believer in the fact you've got to do it all to win in our league. You've got to be able to throw it creatively but you've got to be able to run it. He's had a background in both."