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By: Matt Byham
Catch up on the latest from four key leaders at One Bills Drive
During the Buffalo Bills’ latest round of media sessions ahead of the team’s Week 11 home game against the New York Jets, quarterback Josh Allen, edge rusher Von Miller, and center Mitch Morse spoke for the first time publicly about head coach Sean McDermott dismissing offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey.
Once again McDermott addressed the moves this week, diving a bit further this time into overall offensive concepts, interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s new role, and more during his time at the mic.
In reflecting on Dorsey’s departure, it speaks to moves like this having become a thing of the past during head coach Sean McDermott’s tenure. Allen, Morse, and Miller all spoke of Dorsey’s commitment and dedication to the players and the team, investing everything he had in bringing the best in those around him.
Catch up below on all of today’s pressers.
Sean McDermott: “Looking forward to a new beginning here”
Once again, as would be expected, Sean McDermott fielded plenty of questions about his decision to move on from Ken Dorsey. An always mindful leader, McDermott noted the following of the players’ reactions:
“They’ve taken it in stride. Obviously, sad at what had to be, or what’d become of it, and became of it. But looking forward to a new beginning here and an opportunity to gain more production on a more consistent basis really.”
Bills beat and sideline reporter Sal Capaccio asked McDermott to reflect a bit on what drew him to hiring Joe Brady last year, to which Buffalo’s head coach stated:
“Everyone talked about how smart he was and how hard he worked and I think those two combined can be dangerous in professional sports.”
McDermott pointed out what he sees as a favorable benefit to a coach working from the field.
“I’ve done both, and I can tell ya, what I came up around was on the field — the coordinator, Jim Johnson, who I worked with and for, was down on the field. And there’s a huge leadership aspect from doing it down there. I started that way as a coordinator and then I went upstairs and at first I was like ‘it’s not the same vibe.’ But if you have people, lieutenants down there that you can trust to get the pulse of the players, to communicate up to you — to me (at the time) — upstairs is the best way to see everything.”
In what was an interesting tidbit from a head coach who usually keeps things tight to the vest, McDermott spoke a bit candidly about defensive tackle Ed Oliver and his elevated play this season.
“You know the word ‘process’ I already mentioned — I think that’s huge. You know and then I would say sometimes guys get paid and they go the other way. It’s kinda the relaxation syndrome that sets in, and I know that’s sometimes what makes irritated with certain situations. But in this case, I think the contract has helped him, and you can ask him why. But his process is as good as it’s been, so his preparation, his detail as it’s been — and I think that’s important, and you’re seeing the result. I would say for some of those other guys up front as well that may not have been, may not have performed up to the level they are this year… those guys have all improved on their preparation.”
Josh Allen: “It’s not like it’s broken. We’re not a broken offense. We’re not a broken team.”
Josh Allen acknowledged the challenge of the current situation, with the team more than halfway through the regular season.
“I love Dorsey. As a human being, he’s one of the good ones. He’s been in this room with me for a very long time. I feel like I owe him a lot of the success I’ve had in my career. He’s been a huge part of that, so it’s sad to see him go.”
Allen was contrite, noting that:
“The fact is, we play better as a team, we probably don’t have to make a move like that. He’s a big part of what we’ve been doing here the last few years. I talked with coach McDermott and I understand the thought process of why we’re doing it.”
When asked about the difference moving on from Dorsey could make, Allen simply said “I honestly don’t know,” with it being new to his career in football. Pressed about if Allen and the offense were able to play better, would Ken Dorsey still be the team’s offensive coordinator, Allen said:
“Without a doubt — I take that very personally. It hurts. It hurts alot to see someone you care about go through a situation like that. And to know that if I could’ve done more, if this offense could’ve done more, we wouldn’t have had to do something like that.”
Allen would go on to remark about interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady:
“It’s not a congratulations move. He’s in there because we didn’t do our jobs, and now are backs are against the wall.”
When asked about his comfort level with Joe Brady at this stage, Allen quipped:
“We’ve got no choice but to be comfortable. But, again, he’s the same voice that we’ve heard in the quarterback room for the last year and a half now.”
Mitch Morse: “It’s a brutal business”
It’s worth your time to hear Mitch Morse wax poetic about his now-former offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey. Clearly, the decision to move on from Dorsey had a profound impact on Morse, who’s as stoic and revered a well-spoken leader as they come in the Bills’ locker room.
“You’re talking about a person with a family, a person who really loved his players, was putting his best foot forward… a lot of respect for him”
In Morse’s voice was a common refrain of tone marked by solemnity about having lost someone the team cared for dearly. With Morse reflecting on professional football and calling it a “brutal business,” it’s a reminder for us all to consider the human aspect to everyone, above their roles that shape our fandom. Morse went on to discuss the Jets’ defense, noting they
“(The Jets) tout a formidable front seven, not only that their back end’s very talented. They know what defense they want to run, they execute it very well. They force you to make mistakes, and I just think they’re very physical, and for us it’s about matching that physicality.”
Von Miller: “We’re damn lucky to have a quarterback like Josh Allen”
Von Miller is an often fantastic sounding board, and Wednesday’s time with the media was no different. In almost 19 minutes at the mic, Miller was fully candid, self-reflective, and wearing the cap of respected leader well.
Short of transcribing the bulk of Miller’s interview,
“It’s very unfortunate because Dorsey has a family here. You know, he’s invested in his team. At its base level, just for me looking at it from the defensive side of the ball — it wasn’t all the offensive coordinator’s fault, I can say that. Fumbling on the first play of the game, which is uncharacteristic for (running back James) Cook, is not Dorsey’s fault. (Then with wide receiver Gabe Davis) The guy caught the pass, dropped the pass, it turns into an interception — that was a great play, that was a great decision. But at the end of the day, this is a business, and somebody has to, you know, take the fall for it — whether it be his fault or not. It’s just how it goes. I’ve been a victim of it. I’ve been in that situation before. I’ve had moments like that where it’s not necessarily my fault, but at the end of the day, somebody has to take the blame for it. That’s just part of our league, and it’s just part of the business. It’s very unfortunate for Dorsey, you know, and all the things that he’s had going for this team — he’s committed to this team. He invested in this team, and it’s just unfortunate for sure.”
Originally posted on Buffalo Rumblings