Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is coaching with a heavy heart on Monday Night Football in Week 6.
ESPN reported during Monday’s broadcast that Daboll’s grandfather, Chris Kirsten, died on Sunday, October 17, just three weeks after Daboll’s grandmother had died.
Daboll was still with the team and on the sidelines as the Bills took on the Tennessee Titans in a critical matchup that could have playoff implications.
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Daboll Just Learned About Grandfather’s Passing
As ESPN reported, Daboll learned about his grandfather’s death while he and the team were on the plane heading to Nashville for Monday’s game. It appears that he chose to remain with the team over the weekend to prepare for the Titans and lead the offense.
Daboll’s grandfather has now died just weeks after his grandmother, Ruth Kirsten, had also passed away. As the Buffalo News reported, Daboll was actually raised by his grandparents in their home in West Seneca, a Buffalo suburb. The couple had been married for 68 years.
Daboll told the Buffalo News that his grandmother helped to shape him into the man he became today.
“She was awesome,” Daboll said. “She was tough. Loving. Loyal. Family oriented. She’d tell it like it is, no question about that. Never wanted to sugarcoat things. Made me into the man that I am today, along with my grandfather.”
After his grandmother’s passing, Daboll said he wasn’t sure how his grandfather would handle losing his lifelong partner.
“She’d ride him pretty good,” Daboll said. “He’s at the house right now, so I don’t know if he knows exactly what he has to do because he’s missing her riding him a little bit. She was a homemaker. Took care of her two daughters, took care of me.”
Bills Rallied Around Their Coach
After his grandmother’s passing, members of the Bills rallied around their coach. Buffalo defeated Washington Football Team 43-21 after the passing of Ruth Kirsten, and afterward players said they dedicated the win to their coach.
“He had a pretty tough week,” quarterback Josh Allen said after the game, via ESPN. “To go out there and play the way we did and execute the way we did, and I know him and his family are hurting right now.”
Allen said he had grown especially close to Daboll last year, after Allen had lost his grandmother and his offensive coordinator was there to support him.
“It’s just crazy how the roles are reversed,” Allen said after Daboll’s grandmother died. “Last year I got to come into the locker room, and I had a heartfelt hug with [Daboll]. And this year, he falls in my arms. He’s a guy that I love dearly and to go out there and play the way we did for him, the guys understood that, and we wanted to go and execute and play well for him.”
Daboll has been able to push through the adversity this season, engineering a Bills offense that has led the league in a number of categories. In doing so, he has risen to the top of the NFL assistant crop, with many expecting that he could snag a head coaching job this offseason.