LONDON – Aaron Kromer is back from a six-week suspension that cost the Bills’ offensive line coach plenty of money in lost salary and could very well have cost the team because of his missing hands-on involvement.
“It’s great to have him back because he’s a great football coach and a huge linchpin of the staff,” said offensive coordinator Greg Roman, adding that he pushed hard for the Bills to hire Kromer “because of his expertise and experience.”
The Bills had to go without both through their 3-3 start because of an incident last July in which Kromer allegedly punched a teenage boy in Florida. Although charges were dropped, the Bills punished him with a suspension that resulted in his having to give up roughly $127,000 in pay.
Kromer wasn’t part of any practices or meetings during that time, but he did keep track of what his offensive linemen were doing on the field by studying coaches’ video of all of the games.
“I’ve seen every game, I’ve seen every snap,” he said. “And I know where we are as a team and as a line, and I’m doing everything I can to help. We’re working on the things that we’ve seen on tape that we need to work on.”
Despite the inconsistent performance of the Bills’ offensive line, Kromer has plenty of thoughts on how it can improve. He says it’s a matter of developing continuity, which continues to be challenged with both starters on the right side – tackle Seantrel Henderson (concussion) and guard John Miller (death in the family – due to miss Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.
“That’s the thing that hits you in the face when you’re watching the tape,” he said. “We’re not, as an offense, consistent enough, but we can be. And that’s what we’re working toward. The more consistency we have with guys playing, personnel working together in a new offense, it’s going to grow as time grows. You can practice all offseason, you can practice all preseason. And when the games come, then you really get the sense of where you are. Then you miss a guy here and there, and next guy up’s got to fill in and be able to have learned what the other guy might not have done successfully or had success with.”
Kromer sees no excuse for the line to struggle even though Henderson’s replacement, Cyrus Kouandjio, is making his first NFL start. “He’s on the team to play, so Kouandjio needs to go in and have a good game and follow the structure that we have for scheme and technique just like anyone else,” the coach said.
Kromer said the same applies to his joining the team nearly halfway through the season.
“I think every day when you come into coach an offensive line, you’re assessing the situation and you’re moving on with the things you think you need to work on, talking about things that are the right ways to do it,” he said. “And that’s always a constant process whether it was yesterday or six weeks ago or two weeks ago. It feels good to be back. I’m a football coach, I’m around the guys, I’m in the meeting rooms, on the field, and this is what I love to do.
“I think Kurt” Anderson “and Pat” Meyer “both did a great job” in Kromer’s place. "Greg Roman did a great job. Sometimes things work out and you have success. Sometimes they don’t, and all you can do is evaluate from there, and just continue to work the technique, work the scheme and get continuity.”