So there are six new football coaches in the NFL for the upcoming season. And as we all know this will effect our fantasy football teams. So let’t get this started:
To be fair you really weren’t putting all your fantasy football hopes in the Buffalo Bills offense anyway. Yes, they were ranked number one in rushing yards, and had the most rushing touchdowns this season. But seriously, when you are considering the first and second round of your fantasy draft, what Bills’ player were you considering?
But as stated, the Buffalo Bills have been the number one or two rushing team in the last two seasons. That was when Anthony Lynn, the running guru was in charge. He isn’t even on the same coast now. So wipe those memories away, for now.
Here is what we know:
McDermott was the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator. When defensive coordinator the Panthers finished in the top 10 in takeaways each season since 2013. However in 2016, the Panthers defense was 26th in points given up and 21st in yards allowed. The good news and the bad news is that his tenure in Carolina coincides with the tenure of head coach Ron Rivera, also a defensive guru. So the question is was it Riverboat Ron or McDermott responsible for the good years in Carolina?
He is now the 20th head coach in the Bills history.
McDermott has run a 4-3 defense, but is known as a man who adjusts the system to fit his players.
2016: 17th in points allowed; 19th in yards allowed; sixth against the pass; 29th versus the rush
Defensive Coordinator: Leslie Frazier
The Bills went in the total opposite direction for their coaching needs. Think of the Ryan Men..now take a gander at McDermott and his defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. It doesn’t get much more opposite in terms of personality as this. But what about defensive schemes?
Last season Frazier was the secondary coach for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens ranked ninth in pass defense and led the league in interceptions with 18. Before that he was the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That lasted for two season. While the Buccaneers were the 10th ranked scoring defense in 2015, his two years in Tampa witnessed his defense in the bottom quarter of the league in yards. But that was then.
Frazier utilizes some of the same language and concepts that were employed by Jim Schwartz when he was the Bills defensive coordinator. Remember those times? Those times when the Bills defense led the NFL with 54 sacks, and allowed a miserly average of 18.1 points per game? Less complicated defense, plus an almost intact defensive line ( I hear Mario Williams might be available) could equal a Bills defense that has the ghost of Schwatz with them instead of their brains going to their feet! Just an aside Spaceballs so underrated!
Defensively the Bills have to get better, right?
:Fantasy Player Watch:= Defensive Tackle Kyle Williams-Last season Williams had 64 tackles and five sacks.
2016: 10th in points; 16th in total yards; 30th in passing yards; 1st in rushing yards—-also scored a league high 29 rushing touchdowns last season
Offensive coordinator: Rick Dennison former Broncos offensive coordinator, will be McDermott’s offensive coordinator. Dennsion was with Gary Kubiak in Hourston and then with him in Denver. In both destinations, Dennison ran a run first offense. The offense employed lots of play action and lots of bootlegs. Last season Dennison’s Broncos offense finished 27th in yards gained and 22nd in points scored.
So according to BillsWIRE, Dennison employs a West Coast offense. (The core philosophy of a West Coast offense is all about timing, ball control, and efficiency in both the run and pass game.) Bills’ former offensive coordinators Greg Roman and Anthony Lynn had the foundation of their offense in the West Coast philosophy.
One primary foundation of the West Coast offense in the reliance on zone blocking scheme. This has an offensive lineman blocking an ‘area’ rather than a particular defender. Under both Lynn and Roman, the Bills utilized a power running game. The lineman would pull and execute trap blocks.
For the passing game the West Coast offense relies on quick, efficient, high percentage passes that often has the quarterback using play action in order to stretch opposing defenses horizontally. The goal is to spread defenses horizontally and use quick, timing routes while also being aware of the deep shots open down the field. The staple is the ‘triangle read’, which utilizes a route combination with three receiving options.
So we know the West Coast offense in some form will be utilized. We also know that Dennison likes the run. And we know that Dennison worked with quarterback Tyrod Taylor when he was the backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore. Speaking of which, did you know that Flacco got voted Best Looking NFL Player? I know! WTF! Did Chris Long opt out of the competition? But I digress.
We also know that Taylor’s skill set fits the basics of the West Coast offense like a glove. What we don’t know is if Taylor will be employed by the Bills. We also don’t know if the Bills are going to get a couple of reliable wide receivers. Sammy can’t do it all himself.
:Fantasy Player Watch:=This depends on the status of quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Taylor fits the system that Dennison employs. IF Taylor is acquired, look for him to be your fantasy sleeper in the upcoming season.
The Rest of the Offensive Coaching Staff
Running Backs Coach: Kelly Skipper
Tight Ends Coach: Rob Boras
Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator: Juan Castillo