Getty Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
When Brian Daboll left the Buffalo Bills to become head coach of the New York Giants a little over a year ago, quarterback Josh Allen made a strong case for Ken Dorsey to replace him as offensive coordinator.
Allen got his wish as the Bills promoted the quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator ahead of the 2022 season. Dorsey ended up playing just over a season and a half and was released on November 14th after a crushing loss on Monday Night Football to the Denver Broncos.
An insider believes the firing could be a message to Allen to get out of his difficult situation.
“This is a ‘grab under the face mask’ moment for Josh Allen,” The Athletic’s Tim Graham wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “He was a shell of himself. If he was a rookie in a rebuild, maybe put him on the bench to get his attention. Firing his hand-picked coordinator could be the message Allen deserves right now.”
Josh Allen in criticism
Dorsey’s firing came just hours after the Bills suffered a heartbreaking blow to the Broncos, losing 24-21 after a too many men on the field penalty negated a missed field goal in the final seconds. The Broncos made their second attempt to win the game, putting the Bills on a short week with a divisional game against the New York Jets next.
Allen and the offense struggled against a Broncos defense that gave up 70 points to the Miami Dolphins early in the season, committing four turnovers and a number of other errors.
Dorsey fired. It’s not ALL his fault, but when you have a quarterback like Josh Allen, who was at an elite level and looks the way he looked, something has to change.
Bill’s attack was predictable and easy to defend. Allen looks lost. This should have happened a month later… pic.twitter.com/yvkTnJRH0g
— Mike Catalana (@MikeCatalana) November 14, 2023
Ryan O’Halloran of the Buffalo News wrote that “Allen should be at the forefront of the blame,” noting that he now leads the NFL with 11 interceptions and all quarterbacks with 14 turnovers. He noted that league executives and coaches have begun privately raising concerns about Allen’s play.
“They don’t believe Allen is average or even below average – they love him and believe the Bills will have a chance at glory as long as he is healthy and effective,” O’Halloran wrote. “But like you, they expected the same amount of dynamic plays coupled with fewer crippling mistakes.”
Bills maintain hope after a devastating loss
Although the loss dropped the Bills to 5-5 and well outside the playoff standings, veteran center Mitch Morse was still optimistic.
“The lows are so devastatingly low in this league,” Morse told reporters after the game, via The Athletic. “It’s safe to say this is a pretty devastating low point right now. But I do think that the good teams will come together. Watch each other’s backs, man.
“I mean, listen, this is not at all what we’re looking for, but we have to have each other’s backs and that’s being put to the test right now.”
Allen agreed, but added that there is little time left for a turnaround.
“Yes, I’m still confident, but it’s no secret that the clock is ticking. We have to have some urgency now,” Allen said.
The Bills will have a hard time fighting their way back into the playoff race, with games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys still to come.
Nathan Dougherty is a sports reporter who covers the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions for Heavy. He previously wrote for the Rochester Business Journal and was associate editor of the sports journals Coaching Management, Athletic Management and Training & Conditioning. He lives in Rochester, New York and loves all things soccer. More about Nathan Dougherty