A week after shaking up some coaching positions, the Cleveland Browns find themselves in the middle of a search for an offensive coordinator. The team is doing their due diligence interviewing several candidates, one of them used to play for the franchise years ago and is now one of the coaches on their radar. Ken Dorsey is the name and on paper and he’s the Browns best choice for their new offensive coordinator.
Dorsey’s coaching career began in 2011, three years after he had played his last down in the NFL. He joined former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who hired Dorsey to be a team scout. Two years later he would be promoted to coach the quarterbacks where he would hold that position until Rivera relieved him and their offensive coordinator Mike Shula after the 2017 season.
It wouldn’t be long till Dorsey found work in the NFL again as he was hired onto the Buffalo Bills coaching staff in 2019 as the quarterbacks coach. Dorsey would go on to accrue more responsibilities with the team, being promoted to passing game coordinator in 2021 and then to offensive coordinator after Brian Dabol left the team to be the head coach of the New York Giants. After a year and a half being an offensive coordinator, he was eventually let go by the Bills after 10 games into the season this year.
Now if the Browns were to bring Dorsey he would fill two needs. As the last offensive coordinator, Alex Van Pelt was heavily involved with the quarterbacks and in some seasons was also the QB coach. Dorsey would fit right in with Deshaun Watson's playing style as well, as he has inclusively only coached mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, Cam Newton and of course Josh Allen. It's worth noting that during Cam Newton's MVP season and Josh Allen’s improvement from his sophomore season in Buffalo, Dorsey was their quarterbacks coach.
Dorsey isn’t just a QB guru though, he has proven he can put together a legitimate and efficient offense. In 2022, his first year ever as an NFL play-caller, his offense was second in the NFL in points, second in total yards, second in pass TDs, and had the second least giveaways of any offense in the NFL. Now while his offense didn’t put up a little over 100 fewer yards as it did with Brian Dabol the year prior, it was gaining more yards per play on fewer attempts.
The growing concern with Dorsey among fans is simply he was let go this year by the Bills halfway through the season. A lot of times when a team underperforms and goes on a losing streak, changes are made. In the 10 weeks Dorsey was with the team this year, the offense committed 18 turnovers.
Looking deeper into this, you would see quarterback Josh Allen was responsible for 14 of those with nine interceptions and five fumbles. Now while Dorsey shouldn’t be fully absolved of blame, there’s only so much a play caller can do when the QB turns the football over 14 times in 10 games.
Now even acknowledging Dorsey’s firing, the Bills offensive averages in those 10 games outweigh the Browns offensive averages the entire last season. Even throwing out the Browns last regular season game, as a vast majority of the starters were rested the Bills offense in those ten games did better. The Bills over those 10 games averaged three more points per game, 30 more total yards, and committed almost half a turnover less per game. So even if the Browns got the bad version of Dorsey’s offense, it would be an improvement from their 2023 season.
All in all, Cleveland will take its time with this coaching search. Just like with the defensive coordinator interviews last year, they will interview multiple candidates all with different approaches to the game and different offensive systems.
So far Dorsey is one of the three coaches they have interviewed for the position and it wouldn’t be surprising if a fourth interview was scheduled soon. So far between experience with mobile quarterbacks and a resume full of offensive production, Ken Dorsey is the best candidate for the Browns open offensive coordinator position.