Brian Daboll left the Bills this offseason, should fans be worried about the Bills losing his coaching and playcalling abilities?
Brian Daboll Comes To Buffalo
After Anthony Lynn left Buffalo to become the newest Los Angeles Chargers head coach at the end of the 2017 season, the position of offensive coordinator became vacant. The team decided to hire Brian Daboll to fill the position, and he was brought in to help their rookie quarterback Josh Allen become the franchise star the team hadn’t had since Jim Kelly.
Daboll and Allen began their respective careers in Buffalo at roughly the same time, and it was made a focus that the two got along and Allen learned as much as he could from the former OC at Alabama. With the unmatched potential and raw talent of the rookie Allen, Daboll worked with him on his mechanics, accuracy, and precision.
After Josh’s inaugural season, Bills fans were excited to see what the future held. While the personnel on the Bills wasn’t exactly elite caliber, Allen was able to overcome that and came up big in a few games, either with his arm or his legs. The future looked promising for both Daboll and Allen in Buffalo.
Coaching Josh Allen
As 2019 approached, general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott focused all their attention on finding Allen some new weapons to work with. The first two moves made were signing John Brown and Cole Beasley, a combination of speed and excellent route running, coming in a package of two different players. Daboll instantly made changes to the offensive scheme. Allen wasn’t to run as much, because he had players that could get open on a much more consistent basis.
Brown broke out in his first year with the Bills, catching 72 passes for 1060 yards. To put those numbers into perspective, superstar wide receiver Devante Adams totaled 83 receptions for 997 yards in the same year for Green Bay. Beasley was highly effective as well. He caught 67 passes for just under 800 yards, becoming Allen’s favorite target on third downs and fourth and short situations. Daboll had to work hard to make sure everything was always working properly, as he tried different schemes and tricks throughout games to help the offense as much as possible.
Daboll always did a great job in the passing game, but he certainly struggled to mix in the rushing component. In Daboll’s offensive scheme, Allen was usually the leading rusher, which is very unorthodox in today’s NFL. To have your quarterback be the rushing game’s main focus is extremely dangerous. Luckily for the Bills, there hasn’t been a serious injury to date for Allen, however, there were times he got hit and fans got on Daboll for even allowing him to be rushing outside the pocket in the first place.
The Next Step
A few months after the 2019-20 season ended, the team traded for Vikings’ star wide receiver Stefon Diggs. In the same way I mentioned Brown and Beasley coming over and being speed and route running in a package of two, Diggs brought over Brown’s speed and Beasley’s route running in his own package. He was perfect for the offense, and something that Beane and co. believed would catapult Allen’s development and make Daboll’s job much easier. Diggs finished his first season in Buffalo as the leading receiver in terms of receptions and yards gained and earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career. Additionally, with the acquisition of Diggs, Allen was running much less, as he didn’t suffer a single injury at any point during the season.
Daboll didn’t have to mess around too much with crazy plays because simply, Josh and Stefon seemed to have complete trust in each other and made things happen that other teams couldn’t know was possible. In 2021, the connection between Allen and Diggs was just as strong. John Brown and Cole Beasley are no longer on the roster, as they have been replaced by young stud Gabe Davis and free agent addition Jamison Crowder, formerly of the Jets.
As Daboll was hired as the newest head coach of the New York Giants, Buffalo hired their quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey, which I believe was the best move possible. Dorsey has known the offense for a good amount of time, he’s been highly engaged and active around Josh Allen and everyone on the offense and he is well respected around the league.
How Should The Fans Feel?
In closing, my answer is no, and a resounding one. Fans should not be worried about losing Brian Daboll to the Giants. There were many times between 2018 and 2021 that he made very questionable decisions surrounding the offense. While he was also a great help to the overall development of Allen’s career, honestly with the tools and pure raw talent he had entering the league, he was on a Pro Bowl trajectory regardless.
In this business, if the offense is successful for multiple seasons and you’re the offensive coordinator, chances are you will be asked to head coach a team that needs a new direction. That’s exactly what happened. Ken Dorsey, who Josh Allen has praised to the moon ever since it became official that he’d be taking over the OC position, will be just fine if not better. I firmly believe there isn’t any reason why fans should be disappointed or worried that Daboll isn’t with the team anymore.