By Mark Gaughan
Former BIlls special teams coach Bruce DeHaven has landed on his feet in Carolina and will coach special teams for a 27th straight year in the NFL in 2013. The Carolina Panthers hired DeHaven as their assistant special teams coach.
DeHaven will work with Richard Rogers, who was elevated from assistant special teams coach to head special teams coordinator nine games into last season. That was when Carolina head coach Ron Rivera fired special teams coach Brian Murphy. The Panthers had given up a 76-yard punt return for a TD the day before. The Panthers' punt and kickoff returns were struggling at the time. Rogers went to the University of California with Rivera and was on the field for "The Play," the famous, five-lateral kickoff-return touchdown by Cal against Stanford in 1982.
DeHaven coached the Bills' special teams from 1987 through 1999 and from 2010 to 2012. He was swept out with the rest of Chan Gailey's staff after the season. DeHaven coached special teams in San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle in between his two Bills stints. New Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman knows DeHaven's work well. He served as a Bills scout under Bill Polian from 1986 through 1993.