Game plays

Invoices using “call periods” during camp to simulate games for new coordinators

Often in training camp there is a clear plan with what the coaches want the players to work on and therefore games are scripted in advance. This year, with a first offensive play call, the Buffalo Bills are incorporating live play calls into drills. It’s a way to get more experience for offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and special teams coach Matt Smiley ahead of preseason competitions and ultimately preseason.

“We try to make our practices feel like games in some ways, and one of those ways is to have coordinators during those call times,” head coach Sean McDermott said this week. “We will do as much as possible because we have new coordinators, two of the three are new coordinators. Same with Smiley a bit in special teams. It’s a little more difficult to do that, to simulate that in special teams. We’re going to do all of that as much as possible during training camp. As a coordinator, I found – and I know [defensive coordinator] Leslie [Frazier] feels that way, well – that’s fine. It helps even an experienced coordinator to get rid of the rust, to question themselves, and then when you go back and watch the movie, it’s not just about evaluating the pattern, it’s about evaluating : “Hey, was that the right call?” Did I like that call I made?

Dorsey, calling an offense for the first time, had a great day Wednesday as the offense brought him on defense. Josh Allen made his way with defenders and even running backs entered the mix with good runs.

“I’m happy with the way the guys have responded during these tough times,” Dorsey said this week. “We play against a great defense every day, and it won’t always be perfect, and that’s good in training camp. You don’t want one side of the ball dominating, you want back and forth and great competition, I think that’s important. I think that’s all part of it. It’s great how Sean has made a concerted effort to include these people in a practice as much as possible.

Dorsey noted that they don’t have a game scheduled at the moment, so it’s a bit different from the regular season, but still worth having live game experiences.