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Paul Posluszny wishes he'd known Bills would switch back to 4-3

By Tim Graham

Paul Posluszny would like to have known the Buffalo Bills' interest in a 3-4 defense was a mere flirtation.

The main reason Posluszny departed in free agency was his desire to play in a 4-3 system again. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bills' 3-4 experiment lasted two seasons. They named Dave Wannstedt defensive coordinator and switched back to a 4-3 this year.

"If someone would've gave me the heads up," Posluszny said with a laugh.

Posluszny was on a conference call today to preview Sunday's game between the Jaguars and Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium. It will be his first regular-season game in Orchard Park since he left.

"Obviously, you can't go back now," Posluszny continued. "But when that happened, I said, 'You've got to be kidding me.' Coach Wannstedt's there. They're going back to a 4-3. What are you going to do, though? The decision was made."

Posluszny said he has "all the respect in the world for Coach Wannstedt." They've known each other casually since Posluszny starred for Hopewell High in the Pittsburgh area. Wannstedt is one of the Steel City's more prominent football sons and became Pitt's head coach after Posluszny committed to Penn State.

"I haven't spent a whole lot of time with him," Posluszny said, "but I feel like I know him for some reason."

The Bills drafted Posluszny 34th overall in 2007 to be their top 4-3 linebacker.

The Bills switched to a 3-4 when Chan Gailey became head coach in 2010. Posluszny's impact declined significantly. He recorded 151 tackles with two sacks and no forced turnovers that season.

A year earlier, Posluszny had 111 tackles, one sack, three interceptions and three forced fumbles in just 12 games.

"My last year, going to that 3-4, I didn't feel like I played well," Posluszny said. "I didn't feel like I was a fit. I needed to get back to what I knew the best and what I felt I could play the best football at."

Posluszny hasn't missed a game since joining Jacksonville. He leads the Jaguars this year with 156 tackles (based on the team's coaching film review) and has recorded double-digit tackles in nine of their 11 games. He also has two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

"I think when it was time to make that decision with the information that I had and the surrounding circumstances, I think I made the right call," Posluszny said. "Obviously, when you play for anybody, you want to win, and we haven't had success in my two years here, which has been difficult.

"When you have a losing record consistently, it's tough. It wears on you. Obviously, everybody wants to win. You want to go to the playoffs. But that's something I've obviously not been able to experience. Hopefully, somewhere in my career I will."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |