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Buffalo Bills Terminate Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey’s Deal


Coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills was forced to fire offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey on Tuesday after observing an alarming increase in turnovers and a concerning decline in quarterback Josh Allen’s confidence.

Ten weeks into the season, the move was made the day after the three-time defending AFC East champions lost to the Denver Broncos 24-22, dropping them to 5-5 and further out of the playoff picture.

Then, defending the decision’s timing as the Bills head into a brief week with just five days to get ready for Sunday’s home game against the division rival New York Jets (4-5).

Interim coordinator Joe Brady, a quarterbacks coach in his second year, assumes the role. After serving as Carolina’s offensive coordinator for the previous two seasons, he signed with the Bills.

With an offense that appeared to be stagnating over a six-week period during which Buffalo lost four of six games, something had to give. The final straw came during a performance against Denver in which Allen was responsible for three of Buffalo’s four turnovers. The offense was also held below 26 points for the sixth game in a row, which was a record since the quarterback’s rookie campaign in 2018.

After Brian Daboll was hired to coach the New York Giants, Allen personally selected Dorsey to take over, but he was unable to finish his second season in the position.

After Daboll was hired, the Bills traded up five spots to select the raw and inconsistent but powerful Allen with the seventh pick in the 2018 draft. Allen played four seasons in Buffalo.

Allen broke multiple franchise single-season passing and scoring records under Daboll.

After leading the University of Miami to a 21-19 loss against the Miami Dolphins in the previous season, Dorsey trashed the coach’s booth in a fit of rage. Dorsey was a national championship quarterback for the University of Miami in 2001.

Though he acknowledged that he bears some of the blame, Dorsey found it difficult to articulate his philosophy or identify the specific issues beyond pointing the finger at execution and attention to detail.

The Bills offense lacked the tempo necessary to fool defenses, and Allen appeared uneasy in the pocket far too often.

When asked if his offensive style was too formulaic, McDermott said he fired Dorsey independently and without consulting Allen. However, he declined to elaborate.

The Bills’ offense, which was misfiring far too frequently and lacked the swagger of previous seasons, had very little to offer. This was especially true during a three-game stretch in September when the team defeated its opponents by a combined score of 123-33. The victory over Miami (48–20) capped the run.

Since then, the Bills have lost their last six games to teams that have outscored them by a total of 129-123.

Along with the offense’s struggles, McDermott lost patience with the team’s incapacity to cover for an injured defense that was missing two starters during the loss to Denver and was missing three starters due to long-term injuries.

With Allen tossing a league-high 11 interceptions—including at least one during a career-worst run of six consecutive games—turnovers have become a problem. After a turnover, his career record fell to 33-25, and this season it is 3-5.

After every defeat, Allen seemed to get more miserable.

The schedule for Buffalo doesn’t get any simpler. The Bills have a four-week stretch that includes their bye week that begins with hosting the Jets and ends with games at Philadelphia (now 8-1), Kansas City (7-2) and Dallas (6-3).

When Dorsey started drawing criticism a month ago, Allen supported him and at first took responsibility for the difficulties.

He acknowledged he might have gone too far, but after Week 2, he started to control his emotions by taking a “low-positive” tack.

Buffalo has changed coordinators twice already this year. With at least one year remaining on his contract, coordinator Leslie Frazier announced in February that he was taking a year off from coaching. McDermott assumed control of the defensive play-calling duties.

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