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'Rally around each other ' | QB Josh Allen focused on Bills' path to the postseason amid OC change 

FTLR Practice Wk. 11

After the Buffalo Bills completed their walkthrough on Wednesday, quarterback Josh Allen shared how he felt about the changes to the offensive coaching staff. On Tuesday, the team relieved Ken Dorsey of his role as offensive coordinator and promoted Joe Brady to the interim role.

"I love Dorsey," Allen said. "As a human being, he's just 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 that I've had in my career and he's been a huge part of that."

The Bills made the coaching change the day after they lost 24-22 against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Allen threw two interceptions and fumbled an exchange with running back James Cook, who started the game with a fumble of his own.

"The fact is, we play better as a team, we probably don't have to make a move like that," Allen said. "I talked with Coach McDermott and I understand the thought process of why we're doing it and it's unfortunate but at the same time we have a game against a division rival on Sunday and we still have time to turn this thing around."

Quarterbacks coach Joe Brady, who is in his second year in Buffalo, will take over as interim offensive coordinator. He began his coaching career at William & Mary as a linebackers coach and was the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at LSU during their 2019 national championship run. Brady then served as the offensive coordinator in Carolina for nearly two seasons (2020-21). 

"Joe was that same guy two years ago where [Dorsey] was, so he understands both sides of it," Allen said. "So again, we have to rally around each other right now. We have to come together as a team and offensively we have to play better football."

Despite ranking second in total expected points added per play (EPA/play), the Bills offense has struggled in their last six outings compared to their explosive performances against the Raiders, Commanders and Dolphins earlier this season.

Since rolling over Miami in Week 4, the Bills have turned the ball over on nearly 30 percent of drives (including turnovers on downs), have failed to reach the red zone on over 62 percent of drives and have failed to cross the 50-yard line on 37.5 percent of drives. From Weeks 1-4, the Bills averaged nearly 35 points per game and have averaged just 20.5 points per game since.

With seven games remaining, the Bills are 10th in the AFC, three spots out of a spot in the Wild Card. Allen knows that if they are to get the season back on track, the offense must increase their efficiency starting Sunday against the New York Jets.

"It's no secret in terms of how many wins you probably need to get to the playoffs and now we don't have much more wiggle room," Allen said that. "But again, we can't focus on the next week or the week after that or inevitably we can't focus on the end of the season. We have to focus on the here and now and that's Sunday against a team that's already beat us once this season."

Brady is taking over at a pivotal moment in the season, and Allen believes that Brady's previous experiences can help the team find a groove.

"He's got a lot of juice to him. He's a former ballplayer himself and I think that he can relate with a lot of the guys," Allen said. "Obviously, he's a fairly younger guy, but again, a guy that's been around the league. He's been an offensive coordinator in the league. He's been a national championship caller at the college level. … We're going to have to utilize his knowledge going forward."

Allen has been responsible for 11 interceptions and three lost fumbles in 2023. However, Allen has also played at an elite level at times during the season, accounting for 26 total touchdowns (19 passing, seven rushing) and 2,600 passing yards, the fourth-most in the NFL this season.

"We're damn lucky to have a quarterback like Josh Allen," said Von Miller after Wednesday's walkthrough. "All quarterbacks struggle, they have hard times and that always looks the same whether it's a turnover, a pick or this misplay or a sack here or a WTF moment from the quarterback position.

"But I think the max level for Josh Allen, which he's played at multiple times, is nothing that I've ever seen before … and I've been around some great [quarterbacks]."

Sunday's game against the Jets will serve as an opportunity for Allen and the Bills offense to get back on track as the season's end creeps closer. The Jets defensive front got the better of Allen in their first meeting this season, tallying five sacks and nine quarterback hits in addition to the quarterback's three interceptions.

Regardless of the threat the Jets defenses imposes, the Bills are looking inward as they seek to right the ship.

"They're a really good defense. Probably the most talented defense in the league and they do a great job from the coaching end as well," McDermott said before practice Wednesday. "I think more than anything, our focus needs to be on us and in particular on offense. But overall, as a team as well and getting us right. Getting us back to playing confident, playing with energy."

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