ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will miss the rapport he spent four seasons developing with former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Allen also is looking forward to developing a similar bond with Ken Dorsey, who took over after Daboll left to become the head coach of the New York Giants in January.
Smoothing the transition is the familiarity the two already enjoy, with Dorsey having spent the previous three seasons serving as Allen’s quarterback coach. Because no two coaches are the same, the challenge for Allen is now understanding Dorsey’s offensive philosophy, and adapting to whatever tweaks are being introduced this offseason.
“Dorsey’s not Dabes, and Dabes isn’t Dorsey. He’s his own man. He’s going to have his own wrinkles to this offense,” Allen said Wednesday.
“The big takeaway that I’ve gotten already is just asking as many questions as possible during these meetings that we’re having now, trying to get on the same page and understanding what he’s thinking,” he added, two days into Buffalo's voluntary conditioning program. “I think that’s why me and Dabes had such success.”
Until this year, Daboll was the only offensive coordinator Allen worked under since being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. Even before Allen took over as the Bills starter a week into his rookie season, Daboll immediately began devising an offensive system to complement the quarterback’s dual threat ability as a pass and run threat.
Allen’s gradual maturity and understanding of the scheme, coupled with the team upgrading its receiving group with the additions of Cole Beasley, John Brown and eventually Stefon Diggs, led to the offense setting numerous single-season franchise passing and scoring records in 2020.
The production carried over into last year, with Allen becoming Buffalo’s first player to top 4,000 yards and 30 TDs passing twice — never mind consecutive seasons.
At 40, Dorsey is a first-time coordinator who previously worked as the Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach. It’s unclear what his offensive philosophy is because he has yet to address the media since being promoted.
“There are going to be a lot of different things we do, and there’s going to be a lot of the same things we do,” Allen said. “I’ve got supreme faith in what Dorsey is capable of, and the offensive mind that he has.”
Though Allen will continue being the offense’s focal point, there’s an anticipation the Bills will place more emphasis on running the ball. They were criticized for being too quarterback-dependent during a 2-3 skid last season before running back Devin Singletary took over the lead role and provided the offense more balance following a 33-27 overtime loss to Tampa Bay, which dropped Buffalo’s record to 7-6.
The Bills closed the season winning four straight to clinch their second consecutive AFC East title, with Singletary averaging 81 yards rushing per outing and scoring six times, including one receiving.
Dorsey’s hiring came with Allen’s backing, and with the team’s bid to maintain continuity on an offensive staff that has undergone changes following Daboll’s departure.
Aaron Kromer replaced Bobby Johnson as offensive line coach, and the Bills filled Dorsey’s spot by hiring former Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady to serve as quarterbacks coach.
Citing his personal stance against discussing contract issues, GM Brandon Beane sidestepped questions regarding safety Jordan Poyer going public with his desire to negotiate an extension.
“I’ve got nothing but glowing things to say about Jordan and his family. That’s probably as deep as I can get into it,” Beane said, before addressing Poyer’s absence from voluntary workouts this week. “I wish he was here, but I wish any player that’s not here was here. ... But it’s voluntary.”
Poyer, coming off his first All-Pro season, is in the final year of a two-year contract extension, and changed agents two weeks ago by hiring Drew Rosenhaus.
In a text to The Associated Press, Rosenhaus said he had “no comment at this time,” when asked if Poyer’s absence is related to his contract status.
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