BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bills made their first staff change of the offseason on Thursday, hiring Joe Danna to coach safeties.
Danna, who has 15 seasons of NFL experience and coached the Texans’ safeties in 2022, replaces Jim Salgado, who was fired last week following the Bills’ season-ending playoff loss.
Salgado just completed his sixth season with Buffalo, and his first coaching safeties. He broke in with the team as a defensive assistant in 2017 before being promoted to overseeing the nickel cornerback position in 2020.
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The position coach change follows a year in which injuries depleted Buffalo’s depth at safety, with the most notable to Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati on Jan. 2. Hamlin was starting in place of veteran starter Micah Hyde, who had surgery to repair a herniated disk after being injured in Week 2. Starter Jordan Poyer, meanwhile, spent a majority of the season playing through an assortment of injuries.
Coach Sean McDermott declined to discuss any potential changes to his staff during his end-of-season news conference, saying he needed more time for evaluation. McDermott didn’t mention his secondary but did specify he was disappointed with the inconsistent play of Buffalo’s defensive line, especially after pass rusher Von Miller sustained a season-ending knee injury in November.
Buffalo’s season ended with a thud following a 13-3 regular-season finish in which it matched a single-season record for victories and won its third consecutive AFC East title.
Overall, the Bills’ secondary, which was previously the team’s strength, featured a revolving door of players. Starting cornerback Tre’Davious White missed the first three months of the season recovering from a knee injury. Injuries and inconsistent play led to Buffalo splitting the other starting cornerback position among three players, including rookie first-round draft pick Kaiir Elam.
The Texans allowed the 10th fewest passing yards per game (209.3) and tied the Jets for the fewest passing touchdowns allowed (15) in the regular season. The Bills allowed 21 passing touchdowns and were fifth in the NFL in allowing six yards per pass attempt.
Danna also coached safeties for two seasons in Jacksonville, after two seasons as the Jaguars assistant secondary coach. He spent four seasons as a defensive backs coach with the Jets and Falcons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.