1. Ken Dorsey's background a strong fit for Josh Allen
Bills head coach Sean McDermott finished assembling his coaching staff a couple of weeks ago. In his first press conference since those hires at the NFL combine, McDermott was asked about why Ken Dorsey was such a good fit for his staff.
"Whether it's Dorsey or (receivers coach) Chad Hall of some of the other coaches we hired this year, we start off with A, they're a good person and they're smart. I wanted to build our staff with smart, very capable candidates who we could grow and develop."
The gem on Dorsey's coaching resume is the fact that he coached Cam Newton during his ascent to the NFL MVP in 2015, along with two more seasons after that. That wasn't the main reason McDermott hired Dorsey, but it was a factor knowing Buffalo has a quarterback in Josh Allen with a similar skill set.
"He has a history of developing a young quarterback in Cam Newton in Carolina," said McDermott of Dorsey. "Dorsey also played the position at a high level in college and then had a stint in the pros as well. The other added piece to Ken is the element of being able to evaluate having spent time in the scouting department in Carolina. That will aid Ken and the way he'll help us in Buffalo.
But his work with Cam Newton, there are similarities between what Cam brings to the table in some ways with the athleticism and mobility and size there are certainly some parallels (to Josh)."
2. McDermott confirms analytics hire Dennis Lock
Over the past year the Bills have revamped their analytics department with new hires, headed up by Luis Guilamo as the director of analytics and application development.
On Wednesday, McDermott confirmed the hiring of Dennis Lock as the team's Director of Football Research and Strategy.
"We did hire Dennis. It's a good hire for us. I'm excited about it," said McDermott. "He's another piece and another tool in our tool box. It's important that we continue to build our staff with guys that can think at a high level and he's certainly that in addition to Luis (Guilamo) who is already on staff."
Lock comes from the Miami Dolphins organization where he served for four years as the team's director of analytics.
It appears that Lock will serve as a conduit between the analytics department and the coaches in applying solutions for the weekly game plan.
"It's a race against time every week for coaches," said McDermott. "On most occasions you get seven days to find the right answers. The more we can streamline information and get the right information, the sooner we come to those all-important solutions during the week."
“You want to make sure you’ve got the young quarterback protected. So, if you start there and build out from there, the tight end is an important position for a quarterback, in this case a young quarterback like Josh." Head coach Sean McDermott
3 – There's time to address tight end position
It's no secret that with the release of Charles Clay earlier this month that Buffalo's tight end cupboard is pretty barren in terms of numbers, with Jason Croom as the only player at that position on the roster.
Head coach Sean McDermott appreciated what Clay brought to the roster from a leadership perspective, but felt the team had to chart a new course.
"The leadership and the way he battled through injuries my first two years… he helped us get it off the ground in Buffalo. I'll always be indebted to Charles for that," said McDermott. "But that said, we feel right now we're moving in a different direction. We're going to look hard at every position, tight end being one of them to improve our football team."
Fortunately for the Bills, the 2019 draft class is chock full of tight end talent, providing a couple of elite prospects and depth through the class as well. But free agency comes first on the offseason calendar.
"There is plenty of opportunity between now and opening day to make sure we have the right players at that position," said McDermott.
Buffalo's head coach recognizes the importance of a dependable tight end for a young QB.
"You want to make sure you've got the young quarterback protected. So, if you start there and build out from there, the tight end is an important position for a quarterback, in this case a young quarterback like Josh," he said. "Being around a couple of good tight ends in my history in both Philadelphia and Carolina in Chad Lewis and Greg Olsen, you see how that helps a young quarterback, whether he becomes a security blanket or turns a five-yard route into a 15-yard gain, the work in the red zone, on third down, I think it goes without saying how important that position is."
Right now, the only tight end on the roster is third-year player Jason Croom, who earned his stripes on offense last season.
"Give a lot of credit to (tight ends) coach (Rob) Boras and Jason and the work they've put in together," said McDermott. "Coming from where Jason has come from and making the plays he made for us last year and to grow and develop, there are very few who have worked harder than Jason.
"His work ethic from the offseason all the way through the season. I really appreciate the way he played hurt at times last season. We look forward to him growing and developing and taking the next step."