There was a good chance Brian Daboll was going to end up back in the NFL after doing Buffalo Bills as their offensive coordinator.this season. And he did, but he ended up on a different AFC East team than anyone expected, joining the
The team announced the move on Sunday afternoon.
This is kind of fun for a few reasons.
One, there's the whole circular connection of coaching. Daboll used to be an offensive assistant with the Patriots before being promoted to tight ends coach with New England in 2014. He held that role until last year, when he jumped to Alabama as their offensive coordinator. Daboll replaced Steve Sarkisian (who replaced Lane Kiffin before the 2017 CFP title game), who left to be the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, who the Patriots just beat in the Super Bowl.
Two, this means that Alabama will be looking for its fourth offensive coordinator in the last 13 months.
In 13 months, Alabama will have gone from Lane Kiffin to Steve Sarkisian to Brian Daboll to whomever Nick Saban's next OC is.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 14, 2018
Three, the Bills making an aggressive play for Daboll, who would've been a strong candidate to take over the vacant offensive coordinator position should Josh McDaniels end up departing New England, is pretty spicy., and hiring a candidate to fill the role for the Patriots is a missile fired in the direction of the Pats. It's a bold(ish) move by Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane and one that could simultaneously help the Bills and hurt the Patriots.
Daboll has plenty of experience calling plays in the NFL, having served as the offensive coordinator for the Browns (2009, 2010), the Dolphins (2011) and the Chiefs (2012). None of those teams were powerhouses, per se, when it comes to offensive talent, but none of the offenses he guided were ranked in the top 20.
The other side of this thing is maybe Daboll didn't have a shot to join the Patriots: no one's entirely sure what McDaniels is going to do (the Colts are a logical landing spot, but the Titans aren't totally off the table; maybe he stays in New England) and there's an old saying about a bird and a bush. For Daboll, making the leap back to the NFL gives him an opportunity to pursue his goals at the next level.