A little bit of trial and error is on the way this offseason
New Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has never called plays in an NFL game before so he doesn’t want to commit to a location just yet. As quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, Dorsey stayed on the sidelines while Brian Daboll (who preferred being in the booth) called the plays from up high. Dorsey still wants to get a feel for it between now and the end of the preseason.
“I’m not sure how that’s going to work in terms of whether it’s up in the box or on the field, to be honest with you,” Dorsey told reporters at the Bills’ OTAs on Tuesday. “I think we’re going to try both and see what’s most comfortable and roll with that. Right now, I’m just trying to figure out the best way to proceed with the installs and the development and the continued growth of this offense. And once we get into those preseason games, really kind of buckle those types of things down in terms of whether it’s box or down the field.”
Daboll’s answer in August of 2018 when he was hired mirrored Dorsey, but Daboll was up in the booth for that preseason. By the end of October, he was down on the field. A year later, he moved back up to the booth permanently in November 2019. With a rookie quarterback in 2018, you have to wonder if that was the main reason to come down on the field.
“It is hard to lead the players on the field when you are up that far away,” said head coach Sean McDermott in August of 2018 when discussing Daboll. “He has to feel like he has good leadership down on the field, which he does with our position coaches.”
McDermott noted it was completely up to Daboll, and that will likely carry over to Dorsey.
Joe Brady, Buffalo’s new quarterbacks coach, initially called plays from the booth for the Carolina Panthers when he joined the team as offensive coordinator. By the start of November, he was down on the sideline.
“You enjoy being down there with the guys, being able to talk to them, look them in the eye, feel the emotions of the game,” said Brady after his first game on the sideline. He admits he had never been on the sideline as a coach before. “There wasn’t really anything in particular [that made me make the change to the sideline]. I just kind of had the vibe and the feel that I just wanted to be down there. It’s obviously very calm up in the box but just the communication elements of just being able to be down there. It’s just one less factor of being like ‘hey let me talk to this person,’ I can just walk around and do it down there. It doesn’t really change much, so it was good.”
Brady remained on the sidelines during his tenure in Charlotte, NC as offensive coordinator.