Edwards Exits

George Edwards return to Florida football turned out to be a stunningly brief one. Edwards, who had been hired as Gator defensive coordinator less than a month earlier, has exited to become defensive coordinator for the NFL's Buffalo Bills. He'll be working under Chan Gailey, who he had previously served as an assistant when Gailey was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Gailey was hired as Bills coach just over a week after Edwards was originally hired by Florida.

A statement from Edwards on the Buffalo Bills website provided little detail about why he chose to make this move, quoting him as saying, "I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to come in and have a chance to work with coach Gailey again and the staff that he has been able to put together."

Florida will now begin the search to replace Edwards. Some names that surfaced the first time Urban Meyer was looking to fill the DC spot have since landed in other places. Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown took a secondary coaching spot with the New England Patriots, while ex-Georgia DC Willie Martinez first accepted a post at Stanford and then changed his mind in favor of joining Oklahoma's staff. Another coach who was interviews and could resurface as a possibility is Ohio State cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson.

Now that National Signing Day is past, there may be a broader pool of coaches available for as candidates. Florida has proven to be a strong launching spot for those aspiring to become head coaches, and without the immediate pressure of recruiting more people may be willing to risk having their names linked to another school's job. Multiple SEC schools have hired defensive coordinators within the past month, and the current salary for a top caliber coach at the position seems to be in the neighborhood of 750 thousand dollars. Promoting from within and hiring a position coach could be a possibility for UF, as Chuck Heater was already given the co-coordinator title.

Florida head coach Urban Meyer is supposed to be on leave for an undetermined amount of time, with Steve Addazio in charge of the program during his absence. It's not clear yet what his level of involvement with the search for Edwards replacement will be.

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