The Buffalo Bills had one of the league’s top offenses this season behind quarterback Josh Allen, and now the performance could earn their offensive coordinator a promotion.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on January 18 that Ken Dorsey had scored an interview with the Carolina Panthers for their head coaching job. Dorsey has some history with the franchise, serving as their quarterbacks coach for three years starting in the 2015 season, when Cam Newton led the team to the Super Bowl.
If Dorsey gets the job, it would mark the second straight season that the Bills lost their offensive coordinator to an NFC team.
Ken Dorsey Will Have Competition for Panthers Job
Dorsey helped lead the Bills to one of the top offenses last season, finishing fourth in total yards and second in the NFL with 28.4 points per game. Though Allen struggled through a mid-season slump and threw 14 total interceptions, he pushed through it to finish the year as one of the league’s top quarterbacks with 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Dorsey had already been pegged as a candidate for the Carolina job, though will have some tough competition for the position. The team has planned interviews with a number of other candidates, including New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Payton, who stepped away from the Saints this season, remains under contract with New Orleans and likely would come at a high cost to the Panthers. Ross Jackson of the Locked On Saints podcast speculated that landing Payton would require a rare trade.
“There is precedent around having a head coach traded within the division, but you should expect the team to pay the premium of premiums,” Jackson said. “I would expect multiple picks in the first two days of the 2023 draft, and then multiple picks spanning the draft. That could be a day-one pick as well as some day-three selections, things like that in the second day.”
Bills Offensive Coordinator Job a Springboard to Success
Dorsey took over the offensive coordinator position in Buffalo last offseason following the departure of Brian Daboll, who became the head coach of the New York Giants. It was a successful move for Daboll, as he led the Giants to a 9-7-1 record, ending the franchise’s six-year playoff drought.
Daboll led the Giants to a win over the Minnesota Vikings in last week’s Super Wild Card round, setting up a divisional-round matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. In doing so, Daboll has earned Coach of the Year buzz and already took home the Coach of the Year award from Pro Football Talk.
The outlet noted that Daboll was able to squeeze success out of a roster “largely devoid of established talent.”
“The two most important players on the roster — quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley — were in contract years,” the outlet noted. “The defense was a work in progress. The offensive line had been a liability, for years. The receivers were no-name castoffs, the bizarro version of Frank Sinatra’s ‘if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere’ assessment of New York, New York.”
Daboll also took on a number of former Bills players into prominent roles, including midseason pickup Isaiah Hodgins. The wide receiver made 33 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns in his eight games with the Giants.