Coordinator chat: The best Dennison has seen & keepin’ it cool with Frazier (videos)
By: Nick Wojton
ORCHARD PARK – The Buffalo Bills (8-6) made it interesting late, but got it done against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at New Era Field in Orchard Park en route to a 24-16 win.
But both coordinators had differing opinions on Monday when reflecting. Buffalo’s offensive coordinator Rick Dennison wants the Bills to continue building on Sunday’s win against Miami while defensive coordinator Leslie Frazie hopes to calm his guys down.
At half, the Bills had a 21-6 lead on the Dolphins. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor led a nearly flawless 10-play, 81-yard, opening drive to put Buffalo up 7-0 on a four-yard run by LeSean McCoy. The ensuing two drives only netted the Bills 14 total yards, but Taylor connected with McCoy on a 16-yard touchdown pass and scored on a nine-yard run before the end of the first half.
That half outcome earned high praise from Dennison.
“That’s the best half we’ve done as an offense, I think (all season),” Dennison said. “Miami played very well defensively the last two ball games against two good teams, two good offenses anyway. I think our guys were – they worked hard at it, they studied, they knew what they wanted to get done, and worked at the game plan. They did a good job.”
Continuing that early success against the New England Patriots (11-3) would make things a lot easier.
Attempting to do so will be a point of emphasis this week for Dennison. But in the second half, it was a different story. Only three points thanks to a Shareece Wright interception return into Miami territory which helped setup a 34-yard Steven Hauschka field goal. Dennison credited strong Miami adjustments.
“They brought more pressure (in the second half), I’ll give you that. I think they’re a good defense, they do a good job pressure wise, they’re good up front obviously, and we’ll see them again, but I think we had our moments and just didn’t make the plays,” Dennison said.
In terms of making changes, Buffalo’s defense won’t want to make many. Holding the Patriots to 16 points and causing three turnovers would be a good start. What won’t be a good start is if the Bills lose focus by getting themselves into another chippy contest which was the case against Miami.
And heading into Sunday’s game at New England, Buffalo actually has reason to play chippy. Last time the Pats and Bills met, tight end Rob Gronkowski was suspended for one game after a late hit on Tre’Davious White. Many Bills players took offense to it, some such as Jordan Poyer said they’d remember it.
Frazier said his job this week is to keep his players’ focus on the task at hand instead of revenge.
“I think for us it’s so important that we concentrate on the task at hand; that is to go on the road and get a win against a very, very good offense. Can’t get caught up in all the extracurricular stuff, it’s not about that. Our guys get that message, they understand it. We really have to focus on the task at hand, and that is playing good, clean football; no personal fouls; no stuff that could hurt us because of a lack of discipline on our part. We’ll have our hands full as it is, we don’t want to do anything to create issues for our team or our defense by getting caught up in anything other than just playing hard football,” Frazier said.
For more from Dennison and Frazier, see the attached videos below.