Chargers head coach candidates: Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll

Brian Daboll, in Buffalo Bills sweatshirt, stands on the sideline with his hands in his pockets.
The Buffalo Bills’ Brian Daboll is drawing interest around the NFL as a head coach contender.
(Ron Schwane / Associated Press)

As the Chargers search for a new head coach to replace Anthony Lynn, The Times will examine candidates the team plans to interview. This is the fourth in a series of appraisals of the contenders, along with thoughts from NFL writer Sam Farmer:


Current job: Offensive coordinator, Buffalo Bills

Age: 45

Credentials: In his third season with the Bills, Daboll’s offense finished second in the NFL in both points and yards as quarterback Josh Allen took an enormous step forward. In his previous six seasons as an NFL coordinator, Daboll didn’t see his offenses finish higher than 20th in either category. In 2017, Daboll won a college national championship as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

Humble beginnings: Daboll’s gateway into coaching came as a volunteer assistant at College of William & Mary in 1997. He then served as a graduate assistant for two years at Michigan State under Nick Saban.


Appraising the Chargers head coach candidates: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy

Jan. 9, 2021

One man’s view: “He handles everything the right way. He comes at you from all angles, not just as a coach, but a guy that understands the game, and he’s a professional. He’s serious about it and he’s passionate. I love playing for him. That’s why I don’t want to give you too good of a pitch.” — Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, via the Athletic

Did you know: Along with Saban, Daboll also worked for Bill Belichick. He was with New England from 2000 to 2006, first as a defensive assistant and then as wide receivers coach. Asked for a comparison of the two before the 2018 Sugar Bowl, Daboll called both coaching icons “very similar,” “very demanding” and “very detailed.”

Sam Farmer’s take: Look at Allen’s stats. He completed a league-low 52.8% of his passes as a rookie in 2018 and had a lackluster passer rating of 67.9. Two years later under Daboll, the Bills star completed 69.2% with a rating of 107.2. That’s astounding, and it’s a testament to both Allen and Daboll, who as an offensive coordinator has a long track record of making the most of the personnel he has. Daboll was the guy behind Peyton Hillis in Cleveland, transforming that former fullback into a ball carrier who got so hot he wound up on the cover of Madden NFL 12. Daboll was Miami’s coordinator in 2011, when journeyman Matt Moore replaced injured Chad Henne and the Dolphins tore off four wins in five games, including a 31-3 rout at Kansas City and a 35-8 blistering of Buffalo. Daboll isn’t going to win the news conference — he’s as flat and Belichick-boring in public as he is fiery behind closed doors — but he’s head-coach material.