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[BN] Blitz newsletter: New Bills OC reportedly was frustrated with Saban

Brian Daboll, the Bills’ new offensive coordinator, had obvious reasons to come to Western New York: he’s a graduate of St. Francis High School, for one thing, and he crossed paths with head coach Sean McDermott in 1997, when Daboll was a coach and McDermott a player at the College of William & Mary.


But the Tuscaloosa News reported that there could have been another factor – Daboll, who spent the latter half of 2017 as the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama, was apparently frustrated with head coach Nick Saban, who wanted to stick with Jalen Hurts at quarterback while Daboll preferred Tua Tagovailoa. There was also the allure of returning to the NFL, where Daboll won five Super Bowl rings as an assistant with New England.

Prospects to watch: Reporting from St. Petersburg, Fla., The News’ Jay Skurski has outlined 10 prospects Bills fans should watch in the East-West Shrine Game, the college all-star event that will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at Tropicana Field (NFL Network).

Making the switch: Skurski focused in on Iowa State’s Joel Lanning, who made the transition from quarterback to linebacker last season and continues to do so in advance of April’s NFL Draft.

Mock draft: ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper released his first mock draft of the year and projected that the Bills will take defensive players with the No. 21 and 22 picks: Central Florida’s Mike Hughes, a cornerback, and Michigan’s Maurice Hurst, a defensive tackle.

Old friends: Erstwhile Bills coach Doug Marrone, now the head coach in Jacksonville, will be facing two of his former Buffalo players when the Jaguars meet the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. He spoke highly of both of the players: wide receiver Chris Hogan and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. “I’m a huge Chris Hogan fan,” Marrone told reporters.

Using the Force: Bills wide receiver Zay Jones’ Star Wars-themed moves in the Jets’ end zone from Buffalo’s lone Thursday night game this season was in the running for the NFL’s best touchdown celebration of the year. The winner will receive an award at the NFL Honors event the night before the Super Bowl.

Listen: In the Daily Drive Podcast, Paul Peck and Kevin Sylvester from Buffalo Sports Page talk with The News’ Skurski about the East-West Shrine Game.

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