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DeHaven lands on feet in Carolina

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.

Bills special teams were 8th overall

By Mark Gaughan

For the record, the Buffalo Bills' special teams ranked eighth overall in 2012, according to the Dallas Morning News annual ranking.

Former Bills special teams coach Bruce DeHaven was part of the team's housecleaning after the season, but he ended his second Bills tenure on a good note.

The Bills ranked first in punt return average, fourth in kickoff return average, ninth in opponents' kickoff return average and 32nd in opponents' punt return average. They blocked a league-best five kicks. The ranking factors 22 special-teams categories.

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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