Who will replace Brian Daboll?

Photo by Jamie Germano, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Brian Daboll has been nothing short of excellent since coming to Buffalo in 2018. His development of Josh Allen is the highlight but he stands out in many other areas as well. He understands how to leverage insights from analytics and is among the best at in-game adjustments. He uses motion, play action, and high passing rates to attack defenses in the most optimal way. Most expected Daboll to become a head coach this offseason but Buffalo lucked out as he went un-hired. With his success comes the near guarantee that he will be a head coach next season, leaving the Bills to search for a replacement. I will profile a few of the options that I think would be able to keep the Bills offense among the best in the league.

Ken Dorsey – Buffalo Bills Passing Game Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach

Photo by Jamie Germano, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Dorsey has been Josh Allen’s quarterbacks coach since for the past two years and will be the passing game coordinator in 2021. This is a clear indication that the Bills are grooming him to step into the role when the time comes. He has no play-calling experience but his relationship with Allen and time learning from Daboll are major positives. As passing game coordinator he should learn more of the nuance in the Erhardt-Perkins scheme as well. My main concern with Dorsey is inexperience, especially with in-game adjustments. Ultimately, this would be a great hire to maintain continuity and keep Allen in a system that he has mastered.

Mike Kafka – Kansas City Chiefs Passing Game Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach

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He has been in Kansas City for five seasons and is highly regarded in the NFL. Chances are that he will backfill KC’s offensive coordinator job if Eric Bieniemy finally gets the head coaching job he deserves. If the cards fall differently however, he would be a top candidate for the Bills. Patrick Mahomes and Kafka both joined the Chiefs in 2017 and Mahomes speaks highly of him. As passing game coordinator under Reid he is learning from one of the best play callers in NFL history. Kafka’s name came up in the Eagles head coach search this offseason so it would be a short stay if we could get him at all.

Graham Harrell – USC Trojans Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach

Photo by John McGillen, USC Athletics

If Buffalo decides to dip into the college ranks then Harrell is my favorite option. Harrell is most famous for his touchdown connection with Michael Crabtree to upset #1 Texas back in 2008. He played and later coached under Mike Leach and has gained a mastery of the air raid offense. His passing offense is high volume and all about creating space for his QB and WR to identify and connect on. These air raid concepts would add a new wrinkle to Buffalo’s passing attack and leverage Josh Allen’s chemistry with the receiver group. Harrell’s run game has not been great with USC but that is largely due to poor offensive line play. He runs a lot of outside zone to stress defenses horizontally which fits Buffalo’s personnel. I believe Harrell can adapt well to the NFL and lead a high-powered offense, especially with Josh Allen at quarterback.

Chad Hall – Buffalo Bills Wide Receivers Coach

Photo by Brett Carlsen, AP Photo

Chad Hall is a dark horse candidate but a worthy inclusion. Hall went undrafted in 2008 and served two years as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force before carving out a 3 year NFL playing career at receiver. He joined the Bills as an assistant in 2017 and has quickly been promoted due to his energy, football IQ, and hard work. As the receivers coach he has led John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Stefon Diggs to career seasons. The players absolutely love Hall and frequently talk about his importance, even pooling together to buy him a truck for Christmas. Diggs has said: “That’s why I say he’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had, because not only just the grind part, as far as drills and stuff like that, but more so the mental portion.” Hall has all the qualities you’d look for and would get the most out of our receivers. If he doesn’t get the job then I hope he remains in Buffalo so that we have an excellent coach in waiting.

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