Here's the Bills news of note for Jan. 24th.
**1 - Dennison open to input
**He's run a version of a west coast offensive system for years under Gary Kubiak, but Bills new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is a coach who's open to tweaking and changing things if it makes sense. That's how former Bills receivers coach and current Denver Broncos receivers coach Tyke Tolbert described how Dennison operated in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.
"He's a smart guy. Even though this is an offense he's been running since he's been coaching, he'll not only implement what he does offensively, he'll also take suggestions from other coaches," said Tolbert. "When you have certain ideas or plays that you want to add to the game plan, be it third down or red zone and it makes sense, he'll look at it and add it to the game plan. He works very well with the other coaches in that respect."
Tolbert also said that despite being attached to the west coast system since he's coached on the offensive side of the ball, Dennison has adapted and expanded their offensive scheme to maximize his players' talent.
"What matters to him is (what quarterback) can be efficient in the system," said Tolbert. "The west coast is the base system, but there are so many things you can do off of it whether it's bootlegs or something else, and I think good coaches fit the scheme to the players. I think Rico will do that.
"I don't think he'll ask those (quarterbacks) to do anything they can't do. Whatever they do well, they'll do those things and work some other stuff off of those things to keep defenses off balance. Whether it's formationally, a play call. He'll even switch the cadences on a defense to get them to jump and get a free five. Those kinds of things you'll see Rico do that will help the Bills offense."
2 - Zach Brown gets his wishThe day after the Pro Bowl squads for the AFC and NFC were announced, Zach Brown was not a happy guy. He was one of the leading tacklers in the entire league, but wound up being a third alternate. Brown was ticked.
"I was like, 'Damn I didn't make it?' It was disappointing, I was hot. I ain't going to lie, I was mad."
Brown talked about setting the Pro Bowl as a goal of his since he was a young player coming up.
"As a kid you at least want to go once. You work hard for it you know, you play hard. You care more about winning than anything, but I was like, 'Man it would be cool to go to.' But it's still frustrating."
When asked if he'd go if by some twist of fate he was called upon. Brown said he would.
Brown got that opportunity on Monday when he was named as a replacement for New England LB Dont'a Hightower who is preparing to play in Super Bowl LI.
"Yeah, I'll go. Of course I'll go," he said. "I'll go because it is something that I've always dreamed about as a kid and even now. Just go at least once."
Joining him will be Stephon Gilmore, who was also named to replace Kansas City CB Marcus Peters. Gilmore was a second alternate for the Pro Bowl and much like Brown is expected to make his first appearance in the league's all-star game.
3 - Cal QB Webb: Don't knock the 'Air Raid' offenseHe was a graduate transfer from Texas Tech. Davis Webb decided to transfer to Cal and follow the act of number one overall pick Jared Goff for the Bears. Some thought he was taking a giant risk, but Webb went on to put up numbers just like Goff.
Webb finished fifth in the nation in passing throwing for almost 4,300 yards in just 12 games with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Not far off of the figures put up a year ago by the Los Angeles Rams QB in his final season at Cal, prompted opinions that Webb is simply a product of the Cal Bears 'Air Raid' offense.
"I don't think the Air Raid is what it was five to 10 years ago," Webb told SeniorBowl.com. "(Texas Tech) Coach (Kliff) Kingsbury, (Cal interim head coach) Jake Spavital, (former Cal) Coach Pat Dykes, they all watch NFL offenses each and every Sunday and study their game and we take a lot of things that they do and implement them into our offense. I don't think it's the basic mesh plays anymore, the crossing plays or all the screen plays.
"We run a ton of stuff and we have plenty of gimmicks and I think the offense is just growing. We like to throw the ball, obviously more than anybody else, that's something that's very fun to do, but I just think the offense has evolved over the years and that that's a credit to great coaches and players executing those game plans."