Ken Dorsey has been a quiet backbone to this Bills’ offense for quite some time now. Around the league, he’s regarded as one of the great minds of the game. Now is his chance to shine at the helm with a future MVP in Josh Allen at quarterback. But I wanted to break down just who Ken is as a person, where he came from, and what makes him tick. With week one in the books, he gave us a little insight as to what’s up his sleeve, now let’s break it down together.
No Impossible Wings At This Table!
For those of you who may not know, let me introduce the Bills’ new offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey. In high school, Dorsey wasn’t the most touted recruit or known as the most athletic, but what he lacked in natural ability he made up for with grind and grit. Being a two-sport athlete in high school Dorsey understands what it takes to be successful as a team not just individually. Here’s what he brings to the table and why McBeane made the right move to promote him to the offensive coordinator, again for Dorsey proving why nothing is impossible.
Does Miami Have Good Wings?
Ken Dorsey grew up in a small city outside of San Francisco playing and lettering in both football and basketball while in high school. As a quarterback in his senior year, Dorsey was named to the USA Today All-USA Honorable Mention team while in basketball he finished his career averaging 10 points a game, eight rebounds, and five steals.
After high school as mentioned previously, Ken wasn’t a highly touted recruit, mainly due to his lack of arm strength and ability to push the ball down the field. Or so many people had thought. After being doubted about his natural ability (which is what separates the men among boys in high school football.) Eventually, he found himself with a scholarship to the University of Miami. This was the break Ken had been working for his entire life.
Ken Dorsey finished his college career re-writing Miami’s passing records yet again proving that hard work and determination always pay off no matter the situation. In 2001 Dorsey was named a finalist for the Heisman for what would be the first of two times being a finalist and also led Miami to an undefeated championship season being named a CO-MVP of the Rose Bowl after beating Nebraska. The 2002 season was more of the same for Dorsey again leading Miami to an undefeated season but ultimately falling short in a very controversial over-time thriller this time in the championship.
Finishing his career at Miami, Ken Dorsey set the school records for most passing yards, total offense, passing touchdowns, passing attempts, passing completions, victories, and winning percentage for a quarterback. Dorsey also had the most 200 yard passing games, most passes without an interception, most consecutive games with a passing touchdown, most passing touchdowns in a game, and a national championship. He was also named a Heisman finalist twice while being named to the First team All-Big-East three times, and the winner of the Maxwell Award (Nations’s top overall player of the year.) Not too shabby for a small-time recruit.
Wings Professionally Made
Following his stellar collegiate career, in 2002 Dorsey threw his hat in the ring and entered the NFL Draft but was doubted yet again due to arm strength. Having high aspirations coming in, Ken was drafted in the seventh round by the San Francisco 49ers. In his first few years in the league, Ken Dorsey played in nine games throwing for a little over 1,700 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2005 Dorsey came into a game for an injured Alex Smith and was spearheading a comeback which ultimately fell short on a two-point conversion.
After his first few seasons with the 49ers, he became a run-of-the-mill backup quarterback for the travesty (at the time) that was the Cleveland Browns. For the 2010 season, Dorsey was again cut by the Browns and found himself playing football in Canada for the Toronto Argonauts. A year later Ken decided to hang up his cleats for a headset and began his quest to become a coach.
Brilliantly Offensive Wings
In August of 2011, Dorsey was hired by the Carolina Panthers (Buffalo South) to be a professional scout while also being an IMG employee and working with quarterbacks who were Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, and Joe Webb while also working with receiver Randall Cobb. Dorsey worked with Cam during his MVP season and also represented the NFC in the Super Bowl against the Broncos. After the Super Bowl season, the Panthers’ organization went through a few rough years, and most of the coaching staff including our own Sean McDermott and Ken Dorsey.
After his tenure in Carolina, Dorsey spent a year working for Florida International University as an assistant to the athletic program but still maintained his work with Cam Newton. Newton touted Ken as a “hard worker with a killer instinct and known winner.” That’s quite a compliment coming from a league MVP.
Following his stint with FIU, the Carolina relationships he had built in the pass had proven worthwhile. In the 2019 season McBeane hired Dorsey to be the teams quarterback coach and help Josh Allen take the next step in becoming the superstar he is today. After seeing the growth Allen had after one year working with Dorsey, he was approached by multiple teams interested in making Ken their offensive coordinator.
Nothing Like Buffalo (Wings)
After being approached by other teams, Dorsey knew the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and decided to stay for the 2021 season with the Bills. Dorsey would be promoted to the passing game coordinator, along with his quarterback coaching duties, and worked side by side with then offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. It was still Daboll’s offense, and he made the final call on game day to Josh Allen, but Dorsey was right there every step of the way learning and buying his time. Following a disappointing loss to the Chiefs in last year’s playoffs, Daboll bailed out of Buffalo and decided to take the head coaching position for the New York Giants.
Daboll leaving left the door open for the opportunity Dorsey had been waiting for and with the confidence of an MVP-caliber quarterback in Josh Allen behind him, Ken was named the offensive coordinator for the coming season. In the first game of the season Bills, Mafia and most media members alike were curious if he would come in with a new system or would build off of what Daboll had built. Those questions were answered very quickly in week one against the defending Super Bowl champs.
The smackdown the Bills’ offense laid on the Rams in week one was a thing of beauty. We can all rave over the newly revamped defensive line but let’s be honest, the only way the Rams were able to stop Josh Allen and that offense was by the Bills beat themselves with turnovers. The Rams were expecting the Bills to come out with a spread offense and throw the ball deep all over the field every play, instead the Bills picked and chose where and when to do that to be most effective. The Rams’ defense had zero clue what Dorsey had schemed up with the off-set pistol formations and quick passing game.
Even though the Bills running backs didn’t necessarily shine throughout the game, the run game as a whole was more effective and made the defense have to pause for just a split second on play-action plays which buys Josh and the receivers enough time to get behind the defense and make the long pass plays. Defenses weren’t able to line up and know whether the Bills were going to run or pass depending on their formations. Ken Dorsey can run many different plays out of the same or at least similar formations which puts extreme stress on a defense.
What I personally saw from Dorsey in his first game (yes, I know it’s only one game) against the DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPS is a completely different offense they and other teams have not seen or expected. Ken Dorsey bringing a new style and thought process to this offense while being paired with a creature like Josh Allen at quarterback will be a nightmare for opposing coaches and defensive coordinators.
I couldn’t be more excited for this season. With a new look offense and a few additions to the player personnel, the Bills are destined for greatness. Other teams are going to be playing the Bills and going by the seat of their pants trying to keep the offense in check while the suffocating defense continues to do its thing. So, from us here in Bills Mafia, congratulations Ken. You’ve busted your tail to be where you are and deserve every bit of credit. There’s a lot more work to do but the fans are behind you every step of the way, now go finish the job. Good luck and enjoy your wings.
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