Looking at his offensive output and lack of playing time, no one should be surprised that Patrick DiMarco’s name frequently came up as a potential roster casualty this offseason. That limits his role to just one phase, and in special teams he has stood out throughout his NFL career.
New Buffalo Bills special-teams coach Heath Farwell has taken notice in his short time in Western New York and brought up DiMarco during his press conference Thursday morning.
“It’s always been unbelievable in my meetings and on the field there’s leadership but Pat DiMarco,” said Farwell when asked about leaders other than Lorenzo Alexander on special teams . “I think [he] has covered a million kicks and has played for a long time. He’s been huge in the leadership, in the meeting rooms, on the field, and all that stuff. He’s giving me feedback, you know; what’s going on out there and what can I work on. He’s been great and I rely on those guys big time. My relationship with those guys is unbelievable and I hope that they would agree.”
DiMarco was fourth on the Bills in special-teams snaps in 2018 under former special-teams coach Danny Crossman. At 400 combined snaps on offense and special teams, he has carved out a role on the team that often flies under the radar.
This could just be the start for DiMarco. When current Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was with the New England Patriots, fullback Joe Develin was a fixture of the offense, playing 350 snaps in 2016. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have both praised Develin for his offensive and special-teams contributions, noting his importance.
While DiMarco only played 168 offensive snaps in 2018 under Daboll, the Bills had a rather sub-par offensive line, as evidenced by the great effort to overhaul each and every position this offseason. Also, LeSean McCoy doesn’t prefer playing with a fullback, but Frank Gore or Devin Singletary might. He played 265 offensive plays in 2017 under Rick Dennison, 324 in Atlanta in 2016, and 366 during his Pro Bowl season in 2015.
His value as a leader on special teams and as an offensive player could rise in 2019.