The Buffalo Bills offensive line performed very poorly throughout most of the 2014 regular season. So bad in fact the unit ranked 30th out of 32 teams in overall blocking efficiency. That was in large part due to weak interior line play, two rookie starters and an offensive scheme that didn’t quite fit the personnel.
Fast forward to the 2015 offseason and the Bills have added a few guys in free agent Richie Incognito and third-round pick John Miller along with veteran offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to help bolster the line’s performance. Now that the latter is facing some recent off the field issues, Buffalo may have to tap current Assistant Offensive Line Coach Kurt Anderson to right the ship.
The 36-year old has been on the Bills coaching staff since 2013 and is reportedly a favorite to step into Kromer’s role if the opportunity arises. Beyond the fact that he was retained by Rex Ryan, you probably aren’t too familiar with the Michigan graduate. Let’s get to know a little bit more about Kurt Anderson:
- Center for Michigan from 1997-01 (00-01 starter)
- All Big-Ten Honorable Mention in 2001
- Signed with Arizona Cardinals in 2002 as UDFA
- Both his grandfather, father and older brother played in the NFL
- Indiana State Tight Ends coach 2005
- Michigan Def. Quality/Offensive Line Coach 2006-07
- Eastern Michigan Offensive Line Coach/Running Game Coordinator 2008-12
- Buffalo Bills Assistant Offensive Line Coach 2013-present
Anderson is considered an up and coming figure in the coaching ranks and its notable that Rex Ryan retained the assistant after taking over as head coach. In 2010 and 2011 while coordinating the ground attack at Eastern Michigan, the Eagles recorded 4,700 yards combined for a two-year school record. The latter season was especially productive as the team ranked 14th nationally in rushing production with 2,620 yards and 15 touchdowns.
While coaching at his Alma mater Michigan, Anderson worked with the defense his first year and then switched over to offensive line in 2007. That versatility could come in handy if he ends up taking Kromer’s place come this fall. Additionally, Anderson worked directly with and helped develop offensive tackle Jake Long, who was taken first overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Losing a positional coach as revered as Kromer just weeks before the start of training camp is never an ideal situation. It makes matters worse that Buffalo needs the offensive line to improve arguably the most out of any group this year. That being said, at least the team had someone in place who’s entering his fourth season with the organization and is familiar with how business is conducted at One Bills Drive.