Bills hire ex-Lions coach Schwartz to run defense

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Downing’s addition filled Marrone’s desire to add a quarterbacks coach to his staff after offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett doubled at the position last year. Marrone had expressed an intention to ease Hackett’s burden entering his second season.

Lack of experience and injuries didn’t help the position. Manuel missed six games because of knee injuries. Undrafted journeyman Thad Lewis went 2-3 in five starts, while undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel struggled in a 23-13 loss to Kansas City.

Downing has 11 years of NFL coaching experience, and spent the past three seasons at the same position in Detroit, where he mentored Lions starter Matthew Stafford.

The 33-year-old Downing is familiar with Lewis, who spent last offseason in Detroit before the Bills acquired him in a trade in August. And he also coached Manuel at last year’s Senior Bowl.

Todd Downing is a bright and energetic coach,” Marrone said. “He played a pivotal role in the development of Detroit’s quarterbacks during his tenure: most notably Matthew Stafford, the franchise’s all-time leading passer. Downing will be a valuable addition to our offensive coaching staff.”

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