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|Daye hits the ground running on new job|
Ferriday native Daryl Daye is returning to the football field.
After a year as Buffalo's Assistant to the Head Coach. which included assisting Head Coach Chan Gailey in the team's day-to-day administrative operation as well as numerous travel and training camp duties, Daye has been promoted to linebackers and special teams coach.
"This is a dream come true," Daye said. "And to be working with Coach Gailey and Coach (Dave) Wannstedt is exciting as they are two of the premier names in football. To be working under those guys and be mentored by them is a tremendous blessing."
Daye said the past couple of weeks have been hectic with the lockout finally coming to an end.
"We're rolling and cooking with gas," he said. "It was tough to miss rookie camp and the OTA (Organized Team Activities) camp because we're having to catch up now. Most of the schemes you see on defense and offense may be a little scaled down now because we don't have time to get all that in. But these are still high quality athletes and we're going to have high quality football."
As a linebackers coach, Daye is working with rookie Kelvin Sheppard of LSU, who pulled a hamstring last week.
"He's going to be all right," Daye said. "He's a Tiger. It won't take him long to get back. He needs some reps like all of them to get in the groove. The speed of the game is the biggest difference. And there's more responsibility knowing the whole system."
The Bills also picked up former Tiger Buster Davis, a wide receiver.
Daye's coaching career began at Louisiana State in 1986, where he worked under and also played for Bill Arnsparger‚ the architect of the Miami Dolphins' "No-Name Defense‚" in the early 1970s. He then coached for two years under Mike Archer. Initially, Daye arrived at LSU as a walk-on player, later earning a scholarship and lettered at inside linebacker.
While at LSU, Daye was a member of two Southeastern Conference Championships and a member of five teams that went to bowl games either as a player or coach. The Tigers represented the SEC as the league champions in the 1985 and 1987 Sugar Bowl, while also appearing in the 1983 Orange Bowl, 1985 Liberty Bowl, 1988 Gator Bowl and the 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl.
"Every time we pick up an LSU Tiger, we are closer to a Super Bowl," Daye said.
Former Tiger Kyle Williams is also on the team. Former LSU coach Stan Hixon is Buffalo's receivers coach, while former Tiger assistant coach Buddy Nix is the Buffalo general manager.
"We actually have a number of kids from Louisiana," Daye said. "If we ever have a crawfish boil, we're set to go."
Daye spent four years (2006-09) at Missouri Southern State as the school's defensive coordinator, special teams and linebackers coach.
Missouri Southern is located in Joplin, Mo., where a tornado hit May 22, killing about 122 people, while injuring hundreds more.
"We had just sold our house," Daye said. "We had a lot of friends and kids I coached who had family members die or injured in that tradedy. We've been doing everything we can to help them."
Prior to Missouri Southern State, Daye served as special teams coach for Southern University in 2005.
In 2005, his punt return unit led the nation with 19.1 yards per punt return in and the kickoff return squad ranked ninth nationally at 22.4 yards per return average.
From 1999-2003, Daye served as the head coach at Nicholls State.
In 2003, Nicholls State football broke 32 school records and played for the first ever Southland Conference Championship.
Before joining Nicholls State, Daye held an assistant coach position at Liberty University from 1991-96 under former Cleveland Browns and two-time NFL Coach of the Year Sam Rutigliano and was elevated to defensive coordinator for the 1997 and 1998 campaigns.
In his first year as defensive coordinator at Liberty in 1997, the defense led the nation (I-AA) in turnovers with 40, ranked second in turnover margin (1.82) and held opponents to 17.7 points per game, the best mark over previous 15 year.
Prior to coaching at Liberty, Daye was a member of Southern Mississippi's coaching staff for two years from 1989-90 where Brett Favre was the school's quarterback.
The Golden Eagles made a postseason appearance in the 1990 All American Bowl.
Daye is looking to find more success at the next level.
"Like I used to say at Nicholls, we're undefeated right now," he said. "The major difference between pro ball and college ball is that there is a big gap between the best and worst in college. In pro football, you can look at last year and see a dropped pass in overtime kept us from beating the Steelers and we were right with Green Bay in the second half. When you are building a new program with new system, ideas and coaches, as well as attitude, it takes a little time. We're already vastly improved from last year because the guys know what to expect."
And he knows what to expect from his special team players.
"It's a whole lot different from college where you are using some freshmen," Daye said. "These guys' study habits are great and it is impressive how they learn the system. They are trying to get a starting job on offense and defense. They know that limited time they are on the field is evaluated real closely. They are all athletic and they know how to stay on their feet. It's a job to them."
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