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Bills say they want to promote from within for front-office, coaching vacancies

We’ll see what happens

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

When Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane met with the media earlier this week, both of them discussed replacing departed members of their staff. For McDermott, it wasn’t a certainty yet but for Beane, he knew he had big shoes to fill.

Last May, Beane’s number 3 was hired by the Carolina Panthers when Dan Morgan left. Morgan’s job was split among the staff and they also lost lead negotiator Jim Overdorf, who stepped into semi-retirement. This week, Beane’s number 2 was hired by the New York Giants when Joe Schoen signed on to be the general manager in Jersey. For now, his responsibilities will be split up until after the draft, but the Bills need to promote and/or bring in some new personnel guys. Beane told reporters he wanted to promote from within for the top jobs, but moving up those people will require hires down the ladder.

Malik Boyd, the senior director of pro scouting, and Brian Gaine, the senior personnel advisor, who both likely play into this mix. Gaine (late 40s) is a former general manager of the Houston Texans and assistant general manager of the Miami Dolphins, so he has more experience on his side. Boyd (51) has spent more time in college scouting throughout his career and the Bills have been grooming him for this job by giving him more pro player responsibility.

On the coaching staff we now know what Sean McDermott didn’t; Brian Daboll was officially hired by the New York Giants (following Joe Schoen) and the Bills need to revamp their offensive staff. We still don’t know about the future of quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Ken Dorsey, who is reportedly weighing options to stay with the Bills or stick with Daboll by going to the Giants. If it’s up to McDermott, it sounds like he’d want Dorsey to stay.

“You want to be able to promote from within, just like in any business, that’s where you get your return on investment,” McDermott said this week. “That’s where you try and foster morale and camaraderie again and again, just continue to invest in the people we have in our building. There’s two sides of that, right? They’ve got to show you that they have what it takes and will put in the time and then you’d love to be able to do that in every situation. I’ve been very pleased with our staff; we’ve got a good group.”

Quarterback Josh Allen is going to be “looped in” on the decision, per McDermott. That makes sense when your quarterback just signed a six-year extension and is going to be here for a while.

“I think every quarterback would love to be part of that process,” said Allen. “There’s a guy in this building that I’m a huge advocate for [in Dorsey]. I think as a quarterback and as a competitor, you definitely want to feel like you have some sort of say in it.”

Allen went on to extoll the virtues of Dorsey over and over.

“I think when he got here three years ago my career definitely changed. In terms of just how I viewed football and to have a guy in the room that played the game,” Allen said. “Just the way that he approaches the game, he’s competitive, smart, he works his ass off. I appreciate what he’s done for me in my career so far. Again, wherever the chips fall.”

Dorsey headed up our list that includes two more names currently on the Bills’ coaching staff, but if he leaves, it wouldn’t be a surprise if McDermott went outside the organization for experience. He has an extensive history with one of the greatest offensive coaching trees of the last quarter-century, and it would be silly not to consider disciples of Andy Reid.

The Giants and Bills will likely move quickly on replacing their coordinators. As head coaches are hired around the league, they will be looking to bolster their staff, as well. If the Bills are going to go with Dorsey who has never called plays before, they may want to bring in a QB coach with some experience.

Right now, it’s simply a waiting game to see where the big domino falls.