5 names to watch for if the Bills need a new offensive coordinator in 2023

01/25/2023
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Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott has said on multiple occasions that “you’re only as good as your last game,” and the Bills’ last offensive performance saw them put up 10 points in their Divisional Round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The 27-10 home defeat also features an offense that mustered a whopping eight yards through the first quarter and had three plays over 20 yards. Add that all together, and you have a contingent of the Bills’ fanbase hoping their offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, is offered and accepts the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching position or is relieved of his duties in Buffalo. If either of those were to come to fruition, I put together a list of five possible candidates to sit in the box and talk into Josh Allen’s headset starting later in 2023.

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Call it a Comeback

Frank Reich is the most noteworthy, attractive, and known name on this list. Bills’ fans will forever love Reich for what he did on the largest playoff comeback in NFL history. The Freeport, NY native played in Buffalo from 1985 to 1994 after being a third-round pick in the 1985 draft. Reich’s coaching career is even longer, starting with the Colts in 2007 and making it full circle as their head coach from 2018 to 2022 before he was let go in one of the weirdest in-season moves ever. The Maryland product was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator for Super Bowl 52, a 41-33 win over the Patriots. He has a .547 career win percentage as a head coach.

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*Full Disclosure: I have met Frank Reich several times, and during a lunch meeting he prayed with me for success in my marriage and as a father. It would be hard to write a bad word about the man.

Rekindle an Old Flame

Joe Brady may have been the hottest name in offensive coaching after the LSU national championship in 2017. He was the passing game coordinator for that team that saw names like Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and more explode on the scene. Brady is still only 33 years old, but his young legacy was tarnished a bit with a tumultuous tenure as the offensive coordinator in Carolina, where the Panthers went just 10-23. Things didn’t get better in Charlotte without him, which led to Matt Rhule being fired in-season. After leaving the Panthers, Brady joined the Bills as their quarterbacks coach this season. If you want a young, inventive voice in Josh Allen’s ear in 2023, going back in time to the LSU’s Joe Brady might be your huckleberry.

Passing Prominence

Brian Hartline might be the best name when it comes to getting excellence out of wide receivers in the college ranks. Now you can ask: is that his coaching or his recruiting? He has pumped out five-star WRs at Ohio State in the likes of Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. A former Buckeye himself, Hartline spent six years in the NFL with the Dolphins and Browns. He’s been with OSU since 2017 and was recently promoted to offensive coordinator. Like Brady, Hartline is young at just 36 years old, but how displayed an ability to improve an offense from the outside.

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Trip to Thailand

Kliff Kingsbury has reportedly said he wants to take some time off after buying a one-way ticket to Thailand when he was fired by the Arizona Cardinals. The former NFL QB is thought to be a bright offensive mind, but things never seemed to click with Kyler Murray, and the Cards went just 28-37-1 under his guidance. Kingsbury would bring a wealth of offensive experience with him to Buffalo. Aside from his time with Arizona, he was an offensive coach in either college or the NFL from 2008 to 2018. The former sixth-round pick spent four years bouncing around the NFL and was part of the Bills’ practice squad in 2006.

Clip an Eagles

Brian Johnson is going to be a name that starts to pick up steam as the Philadelphia Eagles continue to have success. He is currently the Eagles quarterback coach, a position he held last season too, and should be in line for offensive coordinator spots with the success of Jalen Hurts under his tutelage. Before joining Nick Sirianni’s staff, Johnson had spent his entire coaching career in college, joining Utah as the QB coach in 2010 and working through the ranks to reach the offensive coordinator and QB coach positions at the University of Florida. Johnson is also familiar with Josh Allen’s alma mater. He was the All-Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 as the QB of Utah. 

 

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