After being hired months ago, we finally were treated to Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s first live press conference on Thursday – it was well worth the wait. There was only a brief snippet interview of Daboll after he was hired by Sean McDermott to take over an offense that struggled to produce under previous OC Rick Dennison.
I wondered for months why Daboll didn’t do the perfunctory introductory press conference after being hired by the Bills, as is the normal custom. After Thursday’s press conference, I wondered no more.
Brian Daboll is my clear leader for the “most interesting man of the year” award, at least as far as Bills coaches are concerned. He’s a fascinating guy because of his background and determination to succeed through hard work. No one ever worked harder to get where he is than Brian Daboll.
For what it’s worth, anyone who worked for Bill Belichick as long as Daboll did will get my attention. As much as I detest what Belichick has done to the Bills over the last couple of decades, I’ve always been fascinated by his ‘hoodie’ mystique.
So what did Daboll absorb from his time with ‘BellyBoy’?
Certainly Belichick isn’t the only mentor who helped shape Brian Daboll’s career. Nick Saban may have been even more instrumental in making things happen since he was the one who recommended Daboll to Belichick.
However, Daboll’s tenure with the Patriots did give him the rare opportunity to observe how to create and maintain an NFL football dynasty from the inside. He obviously also learned a lot from the school of hard knocks along the way.
Why would we think a guy who failed as offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Miami and Kansas City suddenly become successful in Buffalo? The short answer is because timing is often a huge factor in determining success or failure in the NFL. Coordinators are often hired and fired when head coaches are desperate for change. Most of the time when head coaches lose their jobs, coordinators are swept out along with them.
Daboll finds himself now in a situation where the timing was perfect for him to return to his homeland in Western New York. But don’t ask him about it, because he’ll bristle at any “touchy-feely” question about returning home to work with the Bills.
And that’s what I found most fascinating about Brian Daboll’s press conference on Thursday. You can easily see why Belichick was drawn to this man. Daboll handles himself in press conferences like a less grumpy version of Belichick.
For all the complaints people have made over the years about how little Belichick reveals, I’ve always found his press conferences quite enlightening. If you as Belichick the right question (one he deems worthy of his time and consideration), he will expound on the topic du jour.
However, ask Belichick a question he deems invasive and/or redundant and you’ll get the full frontal stare that makes you want to immediately duck for cover. Although Daboll is slightly more polite, he nails this particular ‘Belichickian’ strategy with one quick withering look.
Oddly, the most important takeaway for me from Daboll’s press conference didn’t have anything to do with his demeanor. Usually I’m focused on the intangibles, but I was completely awestruck by some things he said that were like music to the ears of this venerable Bills fan.
“I think you need to try to do what you need to do each week to win,” Daboll said before the team’s OTAs on Thursday “Whether it’s zone or gap scheme you have to have variety in everything you do. Whether it’s gap schemes sometimes this week, zone scheme sometimes this week, mix of both. You have to have that expansive playbook because you have to dictate tempo offensively.”
Wut. A. Concept.
If there’s one common thread to the multitude of failures the Bills had on offense during their 17 year playoff drought, it’s the unimaginative mediocre and at times infantile offenses crafted by a turnstile of offensive coordinators over the years.
Kiss that era goodbye.
Brian Daboll refuses to be pigeon-holed or ‘defined’ by scheme. Like Belichick, he values versatility and creativity in developing game plans opponents cannot predict. How many times have we whined as fans over the years that the Bills’ offenses were too vanilla and predictable?
At the same time as Daboll reveals nothing in terms of future scheme, he’s remarkably loquacious when asked theoretical questions about past plays or game plans. Like his mentor Belichick, if a question comes to him that intrigues him, he’ll happily indulge a comprehensive response.
Unlike Belichick though, Daboll will often say “that’s a good question” before launching into his response. He’s polite but his steely side will flash the minute a ‘stupid’ question is asked.
It’s not hard to see the fireball underneath Daboll’s professional exterior. It seems to lurk just beneath the surface waiting for the right moment to pounce. He appears to be a hearty taskmaster but also shows signs of our well-reputed compassionate side. Western New Yorkers are known for our compassionate nature and raucous personalities.
Which is exactly why I believe Daboll will find his nirvana in Buffalo. The timing is right. The Bills are on the rise and Daboll will lead this offense to success we haven’t seen the likes of since Kelly & Co. were running the K-Gun offense.
Our time has come. What better way to usher in a ‘New Era’ in Buffalo than with our chosen son to lead the way on offense?
Editor’s babble: Brian Daboll is the perfect guy to help Sean McDermott bring a championship to Buffalo. He epitomizes what it means to be a WNYer; loud and proud. Love everything he brings to the table on offense. If the Bills can find consistency at the quarterback position, they will make noise this season with a defense that also looks to be vastly improved up front. If you can stand my drippy optimism, you’ll find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.