(This is the second of a two-part series with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll who met with the team media last week via Zoom call.)
Last Tuesday, Bills fourth-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll engaged in a 30-minute teleconference with the team media and besides his thoughts on quarterback Josh Allen (recounted in Friday’s column) he answered a wide range of other questions.
What about missing out in two offseason NFL head-coaching interviews?
Daboll: “I’m very appreciative of the organizations (Chargers and Jets) that gave me an opportunity to sit down and meet some new people in this league. Everybody has a goal of what they’d like to achieve in the National Football League and now I’m just so focused on this year. It seems so long ago ... I wish both those organizations well.”
The anticipated performance of the offensive line in 2021 with five returning starters?
Daboll: “Playing well is the biggest thing, but continuity and communication does help. You can have something come up from a year-and-a-half ago in a particular game when you made an adjustment and had a different call and you can draw from those experiences. It’s the same with a coaching staff that’s been there for a while … it’s different than the first year, or the second, when you’re just getting together. It’s the five guys (on the offensive front) who are playing the best and working the best together (who play).”
What’s the advantage of continuity on the roster?
Daboll: “The good thing about having some of the same guys is we put a lot of stuff on (their) plates … we put a high premium on bringing in smart guys. There are some guys you know are going to be on our roster but you need to rebuild it. You’re not starting from scratch because there’s a foundation of things you remember from the year before. You’re not going from one year to the next and changing the entire offense, but you’re going to add some things and you’re going to take some things out. You try to rebuild the muscle memory, the knowledge of the system, the signals, the audibles. There’s a lot that goes into it … you’ve climbed that mountain (last year) and now you’re climbing another mountain … you can’t start at the top, we’re kind of at the base of it now.”
What’s the status of running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, who struggled in 2020?
Daboll: “They’re two young players who I’d say can play on all three downs for us. They understand what we’re trying to get accomplished in the run game and they understand the protections. It will be a good competition in training camp. Most of the time you’re going to have two, and sometimes three, backs playing for you. It’s good if you can leave them out there for a series or two and maybe someone gets a hot hand where you don’t have to change or call different personnel groups because they have the ability to play all three downs for you.
Whoever’s out there is playing good. You’re in a game and you get a sense that one guy has it going a little bit more than the other guy and that’s the guy you ride with a little bit.”
Where does new wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders fit in?
Daboll: “We’re all excited to have Emmanual … he’s a great veteran presence. He’s flexible, he’s had a lot of experience and played for a lot of different teams and systems (Steelers, Broncos, 49ers and Saints). He has a skill-set that we like and he’s a smart guy who’s been around for a while. Just getting to know Emmanuel these last six months, he’s got a really good football mind. He’s an instinctive player (and) he’s been able to handle all of the different spots we’ve put him in. I think it’s important for our wide receivers to understand everyone’s position … there’s five eligibles on every play. His experience will serve him well.”
(Chuck Pollock, a Times Herald senior sports columnist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)