The Buffalo Bills have made another change to their coaching staff.
Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar has been fired, the team announced Sunday night.
"This was a difficult decision as Karl both played for me and then coached on my staff with two different teams and I have a great deal of respect for him," Bills coach Rex Ryan said in a statement released by the team. "But I feel we needed to make a change and go in a different direction at this point in time and so I have informed Karl that I am relieving him of his duties. I want to take this opportunity to thank Karl and wish him the best of luck in the future."
Dunbar followed Ryan to Buffalo from New York, where they spent three seasons together with the Jets. Ryan has a tendency to talk up all his assistants, and that was true of Dunbar, whom he consistently referred to as one of the best defensive line coaches in football.
The Bills' defensive line, however, drastically underperformed in 2015. After combining for 40 sacks in 2014, the foursome of Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams had just 13 last year. Overall, the Bills went from an NFL-best 54 sacks in 2014 to just 21 in 2015, the second fewest in the NFL. The Bills also dropped in rushing defense, from 11th to 16th.
Dunbar has 11 years of NFL experience, all as a defensive line coach. The timing of his firing is a bit peculiar in that it comes fairly late. By this point, NFL coaching staffs have reviewed the 2015 season and started preparations for the following year.
Ryan does have an assistant defensive line coach on staff in Jeff Weeks.
The Bills have made several changes to their defensive coaching staff following a disappointing 2015 season, beginning with the addition of Ryan's brother, Rob, as an assistant head coach. Former Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed was also hired for his first coaching job as a defensive backs assistant, while defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson was not retained.