PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) – One of the main goals the Bills have said they want to come out of training camp having is “built an identity” of this team. And offensively, that starts with their new offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, getting comfortable in his new role.
“Overall we’re trying to be as, keep the continuity as much as we can but at the same time grow as an offense and continue to expand what we do and how we do things not only schematically but personnel wise,” Dorsey said before day four of training camp at St. John Fisher University.
While it’s an adjustment for Josh Allen to have a new offensive coordinator for the first time in his NFL career, it’s not totally new as Dorsey was his quarterbacks coach for the past three years. So relationship wise, that’s not an issue, in fact Allen even made it known how much he wanted Dorsey to get the job when Brian Daboll left to be head coach of the Giants. Now it’s about Allen getting used to Dorsey in this new position.
“I think it’s been great and a lot of that is a credit to Josh, obviously working with Dabs, Dabs has done a great job here over the years and had a great relationship with Josh and I think it helps me kind of being here and seeing that relationship and being part of that relationship to kind of continue that,” Dorsey said.
“But I think the most important thing is I’m not gonna try to be anybody I’m not and I think he respects that. I’m gonna be me whether it’s good, bad or indifferent I think comparison to what it’s been here in the past and I think he respects that and I think the communication is critical and the constant back and forth of what did you see, why did you see it, here’s what I’m thinking so we’re always on the same page.”
In addition to Dorsey not being around Allen as much as he was when he was quarterbacks coach, Allen will have to get used to a new play caller and even admitted it’s not going to be perfect right off the bat.
“First time calling plays, there’s gonna be bumps in the road for me, for him, just the comradery that we have, obviously I’ve said it before but like hearing a new voice in my head, I had the same voice in my head for the last four years so that’s a little switch up but again, I think Dorsey’s gonna do everything in his power to be the best OC that he can be,” Allen said.
“If you brought a guy from the outside in, that trust factor might not be there, the knowing of likes and dislikes of myself, of Diggs, of Gabe, of what our O-line is good at, what they aren’t good at, you know it terms of that he’s got a good step above what anybody else would have coming to this position and I count my blessings every day that we did promote him and he’s still here for us and with us. I’ve got supreme trust and faith in coach Dors.”
One thing that won’t change despite having a new offensive coordinator is the bread and butter of this offense, Josh Allen and the passing game. When you have a quarterback like Allen that will always be the recipe for success. However, there are some new pieces and guys that will have different roles this year on that side of the ball.
“You’re really still trying to figure out guys and figuring out kind of the pieces and what they’re gonna do best and where they’re gonna fit. Right now we’re installing and we’re installing our offense. We’re not scheming anything, we’re just trying to install and put pressure on guys a little bit mentally by moving them around and doing some different things,” Dorsey said when it comes to different personnel groupings.
The Bills added tight end O.J. Howard, Jamison Crowder, we know Gabe Davis is tabbed as the number two wide receiver, Isaiah McKenzie’s should expand whether that’s in the slot or elsewhere, they drafted running back James Cook and wide receiver Khalil Shakir, just to point out a few changes to the offense. And when asked about how specific guys could fit in, Dorsey didn’t have many answers yet at this point in training camp only four days in.
“Right now kind of how we’re handling everything is we’re trying to maximize all of our personnel groupings so our goal is to not say ‘hey we’re relying on one guy within the offense.’ We’re trying to maximize everything that we do and right now again, we’re trying to install an offense and not scheme anything up. We’re trying to figure out what guys do best and then that’s where we’re gonna trying to maximize them and use them as much as possible,” Dorsey said when asked about utilizing Howard and possible more two tight end sets.
As for Cook who’s flashed at camp so far and brings that dynamic speed and pass catching ability, Dorsey raved about his skill set but their vision for him remains to be seen.
“James is working and James is doing a very good job for what we’re asking him to do. Again, it’s hard for a rookie at any spot to kind of come in and make that huge impact in year one. So we just wanna make sure we continue to bring him along and continue to just grow and go in the right direction as a player one, from the mental side and two, learning what he can do physically,” Dorsey explained.
“I think right now it’s so early to kind of tell where he’s gonna fit in and everything but I love James, I love his personality, I love kind of what he brings to the table athletically and physically and he’s working his tail off mentally which is great because there’s a lot to learn at that position in terms of everything from the run game to the pass game, the protection and all that and he’s continuing to work hard with it but again, it’s early. He’s gotta continue to work at it and continue to grow and continue to progress the way he is.”