Former Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar has been fired by the Buffalo Bills.
His dismissal was first reported by Newsday on Sunday afternoon and confirmed by the Bills hours later.
The timing of Dunbar’s firing is curious, considering most coaching staff decisions are made immediately after the season.
“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, 48, joined Ryan’s Jets staff in 2012 and followed Ryan to Buffalo after the 2014 season.
The Bills struggled defensively last season and several players, including star lineman Mario Williams, who recently signed with Miami, criticized Ryan’s scheme. After setting a franchise record with 57 sacks in 2013, they recorded an NFL-best 54 sacks in 2014. But last season, the Bills finished second-to-last in the league with 21 sacks.
But the Jets’ defensive line, which featured end Muhammad Wilkerson, nose tackle Damon Harrison and tackle Sheldon Richardson, came into its own during Dunbar’s three-year tenure with the Jets.
Dunbar previously coached in Chicago and Minnesota before joining the Jets.