ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – As the names linked to the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator position dwindled from Mike McCoy to Norv Turner to Brad Childress to Greg Olson and even Ken Dorsey, almost out of nowhere came Rick Dennison to officially accept the job on Thursday.
Dennison comes to Buffalo with 22 years of NFL coaching experience under his belt, which could come in handy alongside first-time head coach Sean McDermott. Dennison has spent his entire coaching career as an understudy to recently retired Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak. In 1995 he took his first job as an offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos where Kubiak was serving as offensive coordinator. He bounced around in a multitude of offensive roles until Kubiak left to become the Texans head coach in 2006, allowing Dennison to be promoted to offensive coordinator.
He’d remain in that post for three seasons before being demoted to offensive line coach when Josh McDaniels was hired as the Broncos head coach and took over the play-calling duties in 2009. That opened the door for Dennison to reunite with Kubiak in Houston as his OC. Once Kubiak’s tenure with the Texans came to an end in 2013, Dennison followed him to Baltimore as a quarterback’s coach, then back to Denver as his offensive coordinator these last two seasons.
Dennison has coached in various roles for three Super Bowls throughout his career, most recently in 2015, when his offense – led by an aging Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler – hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Denver’s offense ranked 16th in yards per game (355.5) that season and with first-time starter Trevor Siemian under center this year, the Broncos offense finished 27th. In each season Dennison shared play-calling duties with Kubiak.
The addition of Dennison to the Bills staff could be good news for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who worked with Dennison back in Baltimore for one season when he was Joe Flacco’s backup in 2014. The Bills have until March 11 to exercise an option in Taylor’s contract, which would guarantee the 27-year-old starter more than $30 million. While recent reports have suggested that the franchise will be moving on from Taylor, perhaps Dennison’s familiarity with the QB could help convince the Bills brass otherwise.
In his introductory press conference last week, McDermott echoed the remarks of general manager Doug Whaley and owner Terry Pegula that they’ll wait to make a decision on Taylor’s future until they’ve evaluated the two-year starter. As a defensive minded coach, McDermott will surely seek input from Dennison on the matter.
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