Coordinator dominoes continue to fall around the league. The Browns are set to hire Ken Dorsey as their new OC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Dorsey began his pro coaching career with the Panthers in 2013, but his first coordinator gig came about during his four-plus years on the Bills’ staff. From 2019-21, he served as Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach, taking over from Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator ahead of last season. Things did not go according to plan during the 2023 campaign, however.
Under Dorsey, the Bills finished second in the league in both total and scoring offense in 2022. Expectations were thus high for the unit heading into this season, but a regression marked by inconsistency was experienced. Despite the fact the team sat in the top 10 in points and yards at the time, Dorsey was fired in November and replaced internally by Joe Brady. The latter has since taken on the full-time gig in Buffalo.
In spite of his recent ouster, Dorsey drew immediate interest as a coordinator candidate. He met with the Browns one week ago; an interview with the Buccaneers was also on the books. Instead of speaking with Tampa Bay, Dorsey has elected to join a Cleveland staff which underwent notable changes on the offensive side of the ball following the team’s wild-card elimination.
OC Alex Van Pelt was among the personnel let go in a bid by head coach Kevin Stefanski to spark improvement in production. Van Pelt had been in place for four years (in a non-play-calling capacity), and Stefanski will likely continue to orchestrate the unit on gamedays. Cleveland finished 10th in scoring this season despite a rash of injuries across the board, but an uptick in passing efficiency will be a target moving forward.
Of course, much will depend on the health and play of quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2024 and beyond. Three more years remain on his fully-guaranteed, $230MM deal, and a restructure will be needed to avoid him carrying a cap hit of nearly $64MM next season. Dorsey’s ability to work with Watson and Co. along with Stefanski will be a key factor in Cleveland’s ability to return to the postseason in 2024.
Several offensive coordinator openings remain around the league, but to no surprise this weekend has seen a number of developments on that front. Dorsey marks another candidate off the market for prospective employers, and the Buccaneers (along with any other teams which had him on their radar) will now need to move in a different direction. The Browns, meanwhile, have filled a signficant vacancy on their staff.