After just one season and a national championship at Alabama, Brian Daboll is heading back to the NFL.
Daboll, who served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator this past year, will join the Buffalo Bills in the same role.
Prior to joining Nick Saban’s staff for the 2017 season, Daboll was an offensive assistant and tight ends coach with the New England Patriots from 2013-2016. That was one of his two stints with the Patriots, as he first joined the team in 2000.
The Bills fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison earlier this week after he spent just one season with the team. They ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense in 2017 and 31st in passing. With Tyrod Taylor already being linked to other teams, Daboll may have to help the Bills rebuild on the offensive side of the ball.
The Buffalo Bills exceeded expectations by reaching the postseason this year, but that will not be enough for certain members of their coaching staff to keep their jobs.
On Friday, the Bills announced that they have fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who was with the team for just one season. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media was told that Dennison’s dismissal could be part of a bigger coaching shakeup.
The #Bills have fired OC Rick Dennison as part of a coaching shake, source said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 12, 2018
Dennison joined Sean McDermott’s staff last offseason after spending the previous two years as the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. It’s unclear how much say he had in Buffalo’s controversial decision to bench Tyrod Taylor earlier in the year in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman, which ended up being a disaster.
The Bills ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense this season and 31st in passing. A strong running game led by LeSean McCoy was one of the biggest reasons they were able to remain in the playoff hunt all season.
NFL wild-card weekend is complete, and we’re down to eight remaining teams in the postseason. Four teams are going home after suffering losses. That means plenty of goats will have an entire offseason to reflect on what went wrong for them at the worst possible time.
Here’s a list of 10 big disappointments from the first weekend of the NFL playoffs.
Andy Reid, Chiefs
The Chiefs’ second half collapse on Saturday will do nothing to dispel Reid’s reputation as a guy who can consistently get you to the playoffs, but doesn’t know how to win there. Up 18 points at halftime, the Chiefs sleepwalked through the second half, ultimately losing out to a Titans team that some viewed as the worst in the playoffs. Not everything that happened was Reid’s fault, but he ultimately bears responsibility — especially since this keeps happening on his watch.
Officiating in Chiefs-Titans game
A series of reports on Sunday indicated that referee Jeff Triplette, who headed the crew that worked the Chiefs/Titans game, was retiring. If he is, he certainly didn’t go out on a high note. His crew made several bizarre decisions during the game, most notably ruling Marcus Mariota down by forward progress, wiping out a fumble that could have changed the entire game. The explanation for that ruling was woefully insufficient. Playoff referees are supposed to get these assignments on merit, but it’s hard to see how Triplette and his crew got that assignment, especially after a performance like that.
The Buffalo Bills and their fans are never going to forget what the Cincinnati Bengals did to help them out on Sunday, and they are certainly showing their gratitude.
Andy Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on a 4th down play with under a minute left in Cincinnati’s game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to take a 31-27 lead. That touchdown was the difference in the Bengals’ victory. Their win helped send the Bills to the playoffs because Buffalo held a tiebreaker over Baltimore.
After the game, the Bills tweeted to say they were going to send some Buffalo wings to the Bengals as a thank you:
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 1, 2018
Well the Bills made good on their promise. They sent a tweet on Thursday night saying that nearly 1500 wings were being sent from Duff’s over to the Bengals:
Our friends at Duff’s are hitting the road to Cincinnati tonight with:
90 lbs of celery
30 lbs of carrots
6 gallons of blue cheese
9 gallons of Duff’s wing sauce
And a TON of thank you’s from Buffalo! #GoBills
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 5, 2018
You gotta love it.
But that’s not the only form of generosity Buffalo is showing to the Bengals; Bills fans have also been making donations to Dalton’s charity to thank him for throwing the touchdown pass. The whole thing has been very cool, though not exactly a surprise for the Bills, who have done similar things in the past.
- Buffalo Bills
The Bills and Jaguars are preparing to do battle in the opening round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday, but the tension is already heating up on social media.
On Thursday, the Jaguars sent a tweet informing fans that a limited number of tickets for Sunday’s game will go on sale Friday at 3 p.m. The team claimed the new inventory was the result of tickets that went unused and unsold, including some from Buffalo. That didn’t sit well with the Bills.
A limited amount of unused tickets will go on sale to the general public tomorrow at 3 p.m.
This includes unused inventory from groups like the NFL, Bills, player families and internal holds. https://t.co/ueujji6Dvi
— z-#Sacksonville (@Jaguars) January 4, 2018
Wait, wait, wait…
Unused tickets from the Bills? Fake news.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 4, 2018
While the Bills are heading to the postseason for the first time since 1999, their fan base is as rabid as any in the country. It’s not exactly an insult to say there were unused tickets from Buffalo when the game is being held in Jacksonville, but the Bills don’t want to be lumped in with teams like this.
The Jaguars are a heavy favorite for Sunday’s game, so Sean McDermott’s team needs to draw motivation from any source it can. Perhaps that tweet will help.
As NFL Wild Card weekend looms, eight teams will begin what they hope is their journey to the Super Bowl. There’s an interesting mix of usual suspects and new characters entering this year’s playoffs, from the reigning NFC champion Atlanta Falcons to a Buffalo Bills team that will be playing their first playoff game in 18 years.
What should you be watching for in these four games? Here’s a look at some important factors that could determine who moves on and who goes home.
1. Andy Reid’s postseason game management
Andy Reid’s clock management is the stuff of legend. Two years ago, many argued it was a factor as the Chiefs were eliminated from the playoffs by the New England Patriots. Clock management has long been a criticism of Reid. He’ll lead his team up against the Tennessee Titans in the wild card game, and all eyes will be on Reid. He has something of a reputation as a good coach who is simply unable to win the big one, with questionable tactical and management decisions magnified during the playoffs. If Reid is at all a factor in this one and the Chiefs don’t win, those criticisms will get very, very loud.
No team has given up more touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski than the Buffalo Bills. The New England Patriots tight end caught his 12th career touchdown reception against the Bills on Sunday, and he’s posted gaudy numbers against the team throughout his career.
It turns out there’s more to it than the simple fact that, as division rivals, they face off twice a year. According to Gronkowski, he still remembers Buffalo as the team that passed on him in the NFL Draft — twice.
Gronk says he still remembers that Buffalo, his hometown team, passed on him *twice* in the NFL draft: "No lie. I remember that every single time I play them."
— Boston.com Patriots News (@BDCPatriots) December 24, 2017
Gronkowski is, indeed, a native of Buffalo suburb Amherst. Gronkowski went 42nd overall in the 2010 draft. The Bills picked 41st — and used that selection on defensive lineman Torell Troup, who started two games for the team over two seasons and is now out of the league.
Maybe this was in Gronk’s mind when he pulled this cheap shot against Buffalo earlier in the season.