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SB Nation Reacts: Fair or not... welcome to the hot seat, Ken Dorsey

Let’s have a conversation...

New York Giants v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has found himself under a microscope through six games of the 2023 NFL season. A very vocal group within Bills Mafia believes the root of trouble for Buffalo’s offense is due to Dorsey, and Dorsey alone. But Dorsey doesn’t operate in a vacuum, and isn’t calling plays that he in turn runs down to the field to execute.

Quarterback Josh Allen even took the opportunity to serve an on-topic roast:

It’s often true that there’s no changing the mind of a sports fan. Those opinions held close to the vest simply seek out public voices and thoughts that align with the most cherished of opinions by each and every diehard fan. Admittedly, that’s all of us at one point or another, and it’s usually far more often than just the one point.

Offering my opinion here, I believe Dorsey’s been under far too much fire to this point of the season. I could go over the numbers/stats that show how successful the Bills’ offense has been on the whole, but it will do very little, if anything, to change the opinions of those who just don’t see a way out of the dark with Dorsey.

Earlier this week, Tim Graham of The Athletic asked head coach Sean McDermott whether he was considering a change at offensive play caller, referring to the four other coaches on the team with prior experience calling plays. McDermott’s response went exactly as you’d imagine things playing out.

I’d really like to know why anyone finds the idea of making an in-season change at offensive coordinator appealing. Subtracting Dorsey at this point would do far more damage to the Bills’ offense and the team’s chances at reaching the loftiest of goals.

There are people who say Dorsey lacks an offensive identity, a style, if you will. But think for a moment about his use of play action (with sprinkles of shotgun formation) and what it’s done for quarterback Josh Allen.

Recently, Dan Orlovsky mentioned that Dorsey’s 12-personnel isn’t an overly creative system formation-wise. Dorsey has said that he tries to give Allen some plays and concepts that he’s most comfortable with, which right now are those shotgun formations. But the Bills are a far better passing team this season when operating out of play action.

Everyone’s losing their minds over the last two games while also ignoring the great three-game stretch that preceded those games.

I was compelled to share the following recent comment from longtime Rumbler “Dyl”:

Dorsey has multiple great games this year; we have two clunkers. An OC is not going to have an offense looking perfect for 17 games in a season. Some people just need a scapegoat. They would have us cycle out a new OC every two years because their standards are impossibly high and no one out there will ever be good enough to escape the incessant “Fire ___” after a couple of years. It’s the same people that couldn’t wait for Daboll to be fired.

Now, has Dorsey struggled at times? Absolutely. You need look no further back than Week 6, when it appeared as though everything was out of alignment on offense, from the play calling to the execution. But it’s possible far too many fans aren’t considering the idea that, right now, New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll knows Allen Dorsey better than anyone else in the NFL. Giving that thought a few minutes to simmer, one might conclude that the Bills were in for a real fight borne out of familiarity and tells.

Regardless of all that’s transpired the last two weeks, I’d venture a guess that most fans would be content seeing Dorsey more swiftly address similar voids as needed in the coming weeks. Additionally, Dorsey’s use of 12 personnel dropped off a cliff by Week 6 (Week 1 — 43 plays in 12; Week 5 — 14 plays in 12; Week 6 — 3 plays in 12). Was this due to game plan or player availability. It’s worth monitoring, for sure.

Until we know that Dorsey’s failing to scheme guys open, it feels disingenuous to pin those shortcoming on him. Plus, Dorsey didn’t throw the picks that threw Bills Mafia into a spiral in Week 1.

What percentage of voters have confidence in OC Ken Dorsey?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 73% of voters this week lack confidence in Dorsey as play caller for the Bills.

Are Bills Mafia confident in Bills’ direction after six weeks?

Let’s switch focus to see where Bills fans’ confidence sits after the team’s Week 6 home win against the Giants. Things appear bleak, if you were to know nothing about the Buffalo Bills’ record this season, nor individual team stats. Sure, there are far too many injuries, many already season-ending with others seemingly trending in that direction. Yes, the Bill have played poorly on offense in two consecutive games. But no, the sky isn’t falling... unless you’re someone who believes it is.

We’re talking less than half of those polled (40%) — and numbers-wise, not an insignificant portion of Bills Mafia — who aren’t confident the team is headed in the right direction. Head coach Sean McDermott has more than admirably weathered the loss of elite talent at every level of the defense, playing rookies or otherwise very green players who’ve helped the system continue its stout play. The team is 4-2, and despite the perception otherwise, Ken Dorsey has put together a solid offensive system. It’s just that too many fans expect perfection on every snap, as though the Bills are playing against tackle dummies,

I’m fully convinced this lack of confidence is fed by the situation brewing on offense.

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