Canadian Football League

Monday, February 19, 2007

Former Canadian Football League player named defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers

Ted Cottrell has been named defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers
“Ted is one of the NFL’s most respected defensive minds,” said Head Coach Norv Turner. “And his experience and success with the 3-4 defense will help us maintain continuity on that side of the ball and grow and get better.”
A veteran of 22 seasons as an NFL coach, Cottrell is a proven teacher and leader of winning defenses. His background includes a strong foundation in the 3-4 attacking-style defense that helped the Chargers lead the NFL in sacks in 2006. Since becoming a coordinator in 1998, Cottrell has had seven players record seasons of at least 10 sacks.
“I’m looking forward to working with such a young and talented group of athletes,” said Cottrell. “I enjoy coaching the 3-4, particularly if you have athletes like those here in San Diego. I look forward to helping these players be the best they can be.”
Cottrell is a proven winner who has shown a keen ability to get the most out of his players. In eight seasons as a defensive coordinator, the Chester, Pennsylvania native has been a part of five playoff teams. He’s also coached 10 different players to a total of 16 Pro Bowls.
The 59-year-old Cottrell’s best seasons came during a six-year run with the Buffalo Bills from 1995-2000 that saw the franchise reach the playoffs in four out of his six seasons with the club. The Bills posted a 55-41 record during his tenure and won three AFC East titles. Marv Levy hired Cottrell to coach Buffalo’s linebackers, and in Cottrell’s first season with the Bills, linebacker Bryce Paup led the league with 17.5 sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
In 1998, Cottrell was promoted to defensive coordinator, and in his first season as an NFL play caller, the Bills finished sixth in the NFL in total defense and fifth against the run. Buffalo posted a 10-6 record and advanced to the postseason.
A year later, Cottrell’s unit was the best in the NFL. They led the league in total defense, allowing just 252.8 yards per game. Although Buffalo did not send any defensive players to the Pro Bowl, they finished first against the pass and third against the run. The Bills held their opponents to 21 points or less in 14 of their 16 regular-season contests.
Buffalo followed up with another solid season in 2000, finishing third in total defense, sixth against the run and fourth against the pass. Both nose tackle Ted Washington and linebacker Sam Cowart earned trips to the Pro Bowl at the conclusion of the season.
In 2001, Herman Edwards hired Cottrell as the New York Jets assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. Although the Jets operated out of the “Tampa 2”, 4-3 scheme favored by Edwards, New York finished second in the NFL with 39 takeaways and earned a Wild Card playoff berth. That season, the Jets held opponents to 18 points or less in seven-consecutive games.
After starting the season 1-4, the Jets’ opportunistic defense sparked a turnaround that saw New York return to the playoffs in 2002. Perhaps the best single-game performance of Cottrell’s career came during the Wild Card round of the playoffs that season. Cottrell’s defense intercepted Peyton Manning twice en route to a 41-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Cottrell most recently served as the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 2004-05. During his first season on Mike Tice’s staff, Cottrell helped guide second-year standout Kevin Williams to an All-Pro season, finishing the year as the NFL’s leader in sacks among defensive tackles. Minnesota earned a postseason berth and defeated the Green Bay Packers in a Wild Card contest. In 2005, the Vikings finished fifth in the NFL in takeaways with 35.
Prior to joining the Bills in 1995, Cottrell spent five seasons coaching the defensive line and linebackers with the Arizona Cardinals. From 1986-89, he coached the Bills defensive line and oversaw the emergence of defensive end Bruce Smith as one of the NFL’s premiere defensive players. He also coached the defensive line for the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (1984-85) and served two stints as the defensive coordinator at Rutgers University (1980 and 1983). His first NFL job came under Levy as the Kansas City Chiefs linebackers coach from 1981-82.
Cottrell enjoyed a four-year professional playing career. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1969 and spent two seasons playing linebacker in Atlanta. He concluded his playing career with a two-year stint with the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.


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