Bills fire Rick Dennison

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The Bills will be on the hunt for a new quarterback this offseason, but they’ll be hiring a new offensive coordinator first.

The team announced on Friday that they have fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. The move comes less than a week after the Bills failed to score a touchdown in their 10-3 Wild Card loss to the Jaguars.

Dennison joined the Bills shortly after Sean McDermott was hired as head coach last year and oversaw a unit that finished 29th in total yards while the Bills finished 22nd in points. The run game was strong with LeSean McCoy leading the way, but the passing offense struggled all year with Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman both making starts at quarterback.

With wide receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins leaving in the offseason, there weren’t a lot of weapons available in the passing game until Kelvin Benjamin arrived in an October trade. Knee problems limited his effectiveness, though, and the Bills remained one of the worst passing offenses in the league.

They’ll move on to finding both a coordinator and players who can change that this offseason so that it won’t be another 18-year gap between postseason appearances.

33 responses to “Bills fire Rick Dennison

  1. Y’need a scapegoat and it’s not gonna be the defensive-minded HC. Even though he’s a Jim Johnson guy, this is a very Andy Reid move for McDermott.

  2. If you read the article below about Beane, then its quite obvious that Beane calls all the shots and McDermott is a rank and file guy aka a yes man.

    a1b24948 says:
    January 12, 2018 at 11:46 am
    Y’need a scapegoat and it’s not gonna be the defensive-minded HC. Even though he’s a Jim Johnson guy, this is a very Andy Reid move for McDermott.

  3. 1st and goal from the 1. Shady got you all the way down the field. “I know lets throw a fade to Benjamin”

    This is just one of the reasons why. He liked to outsmart himself. Tolbert on a draw on 2nd and 21 also comes to mind. Tolbert couldn’t run 21 yards without people trying to tackle him. I like that McDermott doesn’t just stick with a problem hoping it will get better.

  4. Lack of talent on offense aside, the guy called frustrating plays…
    2nd and 25 – Run Tolbert (Seriously)
    1st and goal from the 1 in a low scoring playoff game – Tolbert, right? Nope, pass to a hobbled wide receiver. Bills lose.

  5. Dennison will end up just like Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. He’ll get with a team that has an NFL caliber QB, and he’ll be in the playoffs next year. Did anyone pay attention to what happened in San Francisco this year. Kyle Shanahan looked like a good coach when he was matched up in Atlanta with Matt Ryan. So the 49ers hired him and he got off to a 1-10 start. Then the 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo, and the 49ers were 5-0 in games Jimmy started. They didn’t fire any coaches. They didn’t change the scheme. They only switched from a non NFL QB to an NFL QB. Now Shanahan looks brilliant again. Human’s are supposed to be intelligent beings, but we sure like to play stupid sometimes.

  6. This is good for a number of reasons. First off, mike McCoy is available. Secondly, McDermott and Beane will not stand pat. The easy thing to do is stand pat but by doing this, it shows they are serious about building

  7. Safe to say I am not a Bills fan, but they did just make the playoffs for the first time this century. Why are they acting like a one TD road loss is the same as a 4-12 season?

  8. First off, as it has been stated my media pundits and coaches alike, that play on the goal line was Tyrod checking out of a run, a run pass option, and thinking he could make a better play than what was called into the huddle. However, Dennison’s unwillingness to work with Tyrod is probably what lead to his firing. Not because he should have, because Tyrod is terrible, but we all anticipate the Bills to draft a QB and you will want your OC to work with what he is good at, rather than what you want him to be good at. This is a two-way street though, I fully expect Tyrod to be on the chopping block next. McDermott knows what he’s doing.

  9. @charliecharger

    Rick Dennison was also behind personnel packages, which included running Tolbert on the edges, throwing Tolbert the ball, putting Tolbert in long yardage situations… He wasn’t THE problem, but he wasn’t exactly working towards a solution either. I mean, he did call the play in the Tampa game before half, which was a head scratcher to say the least. And really, Sammy Watkins? You’re going to praise the guy for riding coat tails? He was invisible for large steretches of the season and again in the playoffs. Sammy Watkins doesn’t help teams win games, it’s simple.

  10. Yup – Comes down to this.

    Good OCs look at what they have and plan around that. “Play to their strengths” and all that. Bad OCs don’t – and don’t correct well midgame either.

    Dennison never really adjusted to Tyrod’s strengths – so we’d see week after week of the “Tyrod Taylor – mediocre to bad pocket passer” show.

    Also – for most of the season, The Bills did buptkiss in the second half; because the opposing defense would adjust at halftime, and our Offense wouldn’t or couldn’t adjust.

    I do like that the Bills aren’t resting on their mediocrity and are trying to get better, to fix a fairly obvious weakness at an appropriate point…

  11. Dennison had some of the most stale playcalling I can ever remember seeing. He took a run game, with effectively the same talent level as past years, and hurt it with his change in blocking scheme. And in the passing game, he took his QBs strengths (running the ball, deep outside passes) and abandoned them in attempt to play the NFLs best rushing QB as a pocket passer.

    He criminally misused his talent. Under Anthony Lynn/Greg Roman in the old coaching staff, the Bills were in the top half of the league in almost every offensive stat aside from passing yards. With largely the same players (Zay Jones for Robert woods, Benjamin for Watkins), everything regressed

  12. Jags D knocked you out of the playoffs AND got your OC fired. Man, I wish we played you guys every year.

  13. When a team don’t have a franchise QB that can read defenses their offense will look bad no matter who is calling the plays.

  14. It’s not that Dennison called bad plays, he just called them at the wrong time. If you re-watch the Playoff game, a lot of his play calling was good, but undone by poor execution. Dennison was terrible in the Redzone and I’m willing to bet that was 99% of the reason he was fired. If you are able to move the ball downfield, but struggle mightily when you near the endzone there is a problem… a big problem since winning games requires scoring. You can’t win too many games relying on the leg of your kicker.
    As for a new hire I believe Shula was their reason they moved so quickly to rid of Dennison.

  15. Dennison was a long time lieutenant to Mike Shannahan. The 49ers do not have a O.C. since Kyle calls all the plays but I could see Dennison reuniting with the Shannahan family in SF. He will probably just focus on the ground game while Kyle works with Jimmy G and continues to call the plays.

  16. The Bills offense was terrible. They went weeks without a 2nd half TD before the playoff abomination. Good defenses were a death knell to scoring and several games were won because of defensive scores.

  17. charliecharger says:
    January 12, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    Dennison will end up just like Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. He’ll get with a team that has an NFL caliber QB, and he’ll be in the playoffs next year.

    Robert Woods ok I liked him…Sammy did nothing..he had like 2 good games, and disappeared in many others…he wanted a max WR contract…good luck…still glad we got rid of him. That money would have crippled us. Dennison? He was terrible in Denver with better talent. Sure Bills offense is way under powered, but his system, packages and play calling stunk…. no losss whatsoever to the Bills here.

    Sammy lol….when we had him he was a bum, bust, fragile….he has 2 good games on one of the best offenses in the league now hes a stud…hilarious…. sadly he’s just above average and wants superstar $$$$

  18. AND…hello everyone this is a rebuild. Of course we lacked talent on offense we just cleaned house! Beane and McD are doing what it takes to build a winner and it takes dumping overpaid, non system fitting guys like Sammy and Darby and getting the team you want via draft and smart FA signings…lets see what they do this draft and offseason before we judge…so far draft looks pretty good…Zay Jones? not sure on him….hopefully it was bad QB play..I’ll judge him next year. other 2 picks studs…Tre White and Milano

    Is dennison a scapegoat? kinda maybe..maybe he was a fall guy all along…but he stunk end of story.

  19. And Broncos fans all over are chuckling…. it was completely laughable when they decided to hire him in the first place.

  20. Bills offense was non existent outside of McCoy. Bills had no WR weapons, and didn’t utilize TE very well. Stand still and hope for fruitful draft class, or unload him, take a stab at someone new, with hopes of improving thru draft. Hope he finds new work.

  21. JoJoPoon99 says:
    January 12, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Jags D knocked you out of the playoffs AND got your OC fired. Man, I wish we played you guys every year.


    Nothing to be proud of in that jags win buddy. You guys lucked into avoiding an upset. Your qb had 75 yards passing, the running back in your #1 ranked rushing attack had 55 yards rushing and less than 3 ypc I believe, buffalo had more yards and more first downs and still somehow lost while only producing 3 points and ya wonder why the OC was fired? It certainly had nothing to do with your success. But perhaps inability for the bills to win in a game where the jags were surprisingly outplayed. I’ll have a lot of fun watching you guys get blown out in Heinz field. You got em in the regular season so what. Buffalo beat Atlanta in the regular season as well but it would never happen in the post season. Enjoy!

  22. Thanks for the part you played in breaking the Bills playoff drought Rick Dennison!

    Best of luck in the future. I’ll be rooting for you wherever you land (unless you’re playing the Bills).

  23. Hey back2ebayy, What ya got tos say now??? Jags own the Bills and they changed the name of Heinz Field to EverBank North. DUUUUVAAAAAL!

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