Ken Dorsey’s experience in helping Cam Newton adjust to being a pocket passer in the NFL figures to be a benefit as the Buffalo Bills’ new quarterbacks coach works with Josh Allen.
It was one of the assets Dorsey’s previous boss considered when he hired the former University of Miami star to be an offensive assistant at Appalachian State.
Dorsey spent the past two months at Appalachian State before jumping back to the NFL to join Sean McDermott’s staff. Dorsey and new wide receivers coach Chad Hall were formally named to the Bills' staff Saturday.
“I think Ken’s got, No. 1: Great experience from winning a national championship as a player,” App State coach Eliah Drinkwitz told The News. “He coached Cam Newton to the Super Bowl and an MVP season with the Carolina Panthers. So not only has he done it at the highest level, he’s coached other people to do it.”
Dorsey, 37, has strong ties to McDermott, having worked with him for seven years in Carolina when McDermott was the Panthers' defensive coordinator. Dorsey was a scout for the Panthers in 2011 and ’12. Then he was quarterbacks coach from 2013 to 2017. And Dorsey makes sense as a fit in Buffalo because he was position coach for Bills backup Derek Anderson for five seasons in Carolina.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera overhauled his offensive coaching staff after the 2017 season, firing coordinator Mike Shula and Dorsey.
Dorsey then spent 2018 as an assistant athletic director at Florida International before diving back into coaching with Drinkwitz.
While Drinkwitz only worked with Dorsey the past two months, he had gotten to know him while working as offensive coordinator at North Carolina State the past three seasons.
“I just met him when he was with the Panthers,” said Drinkwitz. “We talked ball and professional development, and I just knew that he was a very good football coach.”
“Ken’s got what I consider to be a gift,” Drinkwitz said. “He’s got low ego, high output, which means it’s not about him. It’s about what’s the best idea. It’s not about whether or not it’s his idea, which is rare in coaching. That’s what I respected most about him. I think it’s a huge asset for him.”
Drinkwitz, 35, has built a reputation as an innovative offensive mind. Appalachian State had a run-oriented offense in recent years and Dorsey was hired to develop incumbent QB Zac Thomas to improve in the passing attack.
“He understands the position because he coached it, played it and he understands the dynamic of working with what people have already done but also understanding that there are non-negotiables as far as certain fundamentals,” Drinkwitz said of Dorsey. “Obviously, he understands scheme and he understands how to get the playmakers the ball.
“It’s preference vs. performance. It’s not about who we prefer, it’s about what performs the best and whether it’s my idea or the graduate assistant’s or the janitor’s idea. If it’s going to produce the best result, that’s what we’re going to do. That’s the approach Kenny would take.”