It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. The fact that other organizations want to replicate the Buffalo Bills’ success, and do it with some of the same coaches, is quite a compliment. The desire for offensive coordinator Brian daboll, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and assistant general manager Joe Schoen, is a testament to the team of leaders that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have brought it and cultivated since arriving five years ago.
Brian Daboll has been a name supposedly at the top of many team’s wish lists for a couple of years now. The stunner of the last hiring cycle was Daboll not getting his shot to lead a team. Once again this year, his name is being thrown around and has already been given some interviews for available jobs this year. If Daboll were to leave it would come at a considerable cost to the Bills. Many fans are ready to throw Ken Dorsey into the role as his replacement and expect the Bills to not skip a beat. Although Dorsey has had a hand in Josh Allen’s epic rise from raw talent to MVP caliber and Patriot-destroyer player, many would say it would be better for the Bills if Daboll never leaves. Even in a down year for the offense, Brian Daboll won over fans with his schemes and personnel groupings he deployed against the Patriots, proving that even during an inconsistent year he is capable of pulling a rabbit out of his hat just at the right time. While a ton of the credit for Allen’s rise lies within Allen himself, there is no doubt that every coach he had along the way also deserves credit for what he has become. Based on his resume and the accolades from players around him, Brian Daboll deserves a shot to be an NFL head coach and sooner or later the Bills will have to adapt to life without him.
On the defensive side of the ball, Leslie Frazier has developed the most consistent and dependable defense in the league. Not just for this year, but for the past five years running. Frazier was previously the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and probably thought his head coaching days were behind him. Last year Frazier was the runner up to already fired David Culley for the Houston Texans job. That seemed to thrust him back into the head coaching conversation and once again he is being considered, and interviewed, for a lead job. Many believe that the Bills could sustain the loss of Frazier because, “it is Sean McDermott’s defense.” McDermott could not be more clear that the defense we see on a weekly basis is “Leslie Frazier’s defense.” Whether or not that is totally true can be questioned among the fanbase. Even though Frazier calls the defense, it is obvious that he and Sean McDermott share a similar defensive philosophy. While it would be easy to find another defensive coordinator that sees eye-to-eye with McDermott on philosophy and scheme, it would be impossible to replace the years of experience, leadership, and character of Leslie Frazier. To anyone who has meet him, interviewed him, or even watched his weekly Zoom calls, it is clear that Leslie Frazier is a man of great character, something that could never be replicated if he were to leave Buffalo.
The Bills have already lost one member of their organization since the season has ended. Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen was hired to be the next general manager of the New York Giants today. The man who has worked tirelessly under Brandon Beane will get a shot to craft his own team. While Beane remains with the Bills, they lose someone in Schoen who has done a tremendous amount of leg work for the team both in and out of the Buffalo, working with the scouts throughout the season. Beane made a point to always credits Schoen when reflecting on drafts, free agency, etc.
Good teams have been able to sustain losing members of their coaching staff, and I trust Sean McDermott to hire suitable replacements if need be, but nobody would argue that the Bills would be wise to take advantage now before their offense and defensive coaching staffs get purged in the event that Daboll or Frazier leave to get one of the thirty-two highly coveted head coaching gigs.