Former Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz is now Buffalo's defensive coordinator
Three AFC teams changed head coaches this offseason and two of those hires alone resulted in openings at either offensive or defensive coordinator elsewhere in the conference. That combined with both of Cincinnati's coordinators leaving for head-coaching gigs in the NFC and one other getting another shot at the top are the primary reasons why half of the AFC's 16 teams will have at least one new coordinator this season.
Related: 2014 NFC Coordinator Carousel
Here is a rundown of the coordinator changes in the AFC entering the 2014 season:
Baltimore Ravens, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Gary Kubiak
OLD: Jim Caldwell
Fired after going 61–64 in eight seasons as the head coach of the Houston Texans, Kubiak returns to the role he filled on Mike Shanahan’s staff in Denver from 1995-2005. During those 11 seasons, the Broncos finished outside of the top 14 in total offense just once.
Buffalo Bills, Defensive Coordinator
NEW: Jim Schwartz
OLD: Mike Pettine
Schwartz was fired by the Lions after making the playoffs just once in five seasons as the head coach. The Titans’ defensive coordinator from 2001-08 before leaving for Detroit, Schwartz will look to mold a young Bills defense into one of the more feared units in the AFC.
Cincinnati Bengals, Defensive Coordinator
NEW: Paul Guenther
OLD: Mike Zimmer
After Zimmer left to become the head coach in Minnesota, Marvin Lewis decided to promote from within to fill the vacancy. Guenther has been on Lewis’ staff since 2005 and previously served as linebackers coach.
Cincinnati Bengals, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Hue Jackson
OLD: Jay Gruden
Oakland’s head coach in 2011 (8–8), Jackson joined Marvin Lewis’ staff in Cincinnati after the Raiders fired him. The Bengals’ running backs coach last season, Jackson has 27 years of collegiate and NFL coaching experience, including stints as the offensive coordinator for the Redskins, Falcons and Raiders.
Cleveland Browns, Defensive Coordinator
NEW: Jim O’Neil
OLD: Ray Horton
O’Neil has worked with new Browns head coach Mike Pettine in each of the past five seasons. They were both part of Rex Ryan’s staff with the Jets before O’Neil joined Pettine in Buffalo last season as the Bills’ linebackers coach. O’Neil also played for Pettine’s father, Mike Sr., in high school in Pennsylvania.
Cleveland Browns, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Kyle Shanahan
OLD: Norv Turner
Shanahan served as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator the past four seasons under his father, Mike, before both were fired in December. Before going to Washington, Shanahan served in the same role for the Texans from 2008-09, during which time he was the NFL’s youngest coordinator (28 at the time of promotion).
Houston Texans, Defensive Coordinator
NEW: Romeo Crennel
OLD: Wade Phillips
The former head coach of both the Browns (2001-04) and Chiefs (2011-12), Crennel got his NFL coaching start as the special teams coach of the Giants back in 1981. He has served as the defensive coordinator for three other teams — Patriots, Browns and Chiefs.
Houston Texans, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Bill O’Brien
OLD: Rick Dennison
The former Penn State head coach and offensive coordinator for the Patriots (2011), O’Brien will oversee the Texans’ offense while also serving as head coach. After leading the Nittany Lions to 15 wins in two seasons, O’Brien will shift his focus to turning around a team that scored the second-fewest points in the NFL last season.
Miami Dolphins, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Bill Lazor
OLD: Mike Sherman
Virginia’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2010-12, Lazor returned to the NFL as Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach under Chip Kelly last season. He was an offensive assistant and QBs coach previously with Atlanta, Washington and Seattle, though this will be Lazor’s first stint as a coordinator in the pros.
San Diego Chargers, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Frank Reich
OLD: Ken Whisenhunt
A quarterback for four different teams over 14 NFL seasons, Reich is getting his first shot at being a coordinator following Whisenhunt’s departure to Tennessee. An assistant coach in Indianapolis and Arizona previously, Reich served as the Chargers’ QBs coach last season.
Tennessee Titans, Offensive Coordinator
NEW: Jason Michael
OLD: Dowell Loggains
An NFL assistant coach for eight of the past nine seasons, Michael worked alongside new Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt in San Diego as the Chargers’ tight ends coach in 2013.
Tennessee Titans, Defensive Coordinator
NEW: Ray Horton
OLD: Jerry Gray
Horton left the Browns to reunite with new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt. The two first worked together on Bill Cowher’s staff in Pittsburgh before Whisenhunt hired Horton as his defensive coordinator in Arizona in 2011. Horton’s defenses have ranked 18th or better in the NFL in yards allowed in each of the past three seasons.