Rick Dennison, Buffalo’s offensive coordinator, was that quarterbacks coach, and he too is a person that sweats the details. Yes, the general job description of any NFL coach is to cover all your bases, but Dennison is known to be a man who is always thinking.
Possession a master’s degree in civil engineering, Dennison taught mathematics and coached football and basketball at a prep school in Connecticut after a nine-year NFL playing career before he returned to the league to coach in 1995.
The roots of his offensive system were developed from the scheme he learned as an assistant under Mike Shanahan. The principles of the famed zone blocking scheme of offensive line coach Alex Gibbs in Denver that helped Terrell Davis rush for 2,000 yards in a season are in his system here in Buffalo.
A lot of those same offensive principles were in Baltimore when Dennison coached Taylor three years ago. It’s provided Taylor with a valuable head start on the new scheme.
He didn’t get much of a chance to execute it with the Ravens, but things are different now. That’s why their second opportunity to work together is one each of them is looking forward to this fall.
“I’ve always liked his offense, his style of coaching,” said Taylor. “It’s very detailed in terms of what he expects from the quarterback position. Just continue to keep grinding away, using the time that we have available for us to meet to soak up that knowledge. He’s coached Peyton (Manning) in the last two years, so being around a guy like that, one of the greatest to play the game. Maybe he got some input from Peyton on his offense and watch some of the film when they were in Denver.”
“I was very impressed with his work habits and study habits (in Baltimore),” said Dennison of Taylor. “We’d quiz the quarterbacks every Saturday before a Sunday game and go through the whole game plan and he was always on task with that. He’d do everything we’d ask.
“Obviously he’s a very gifted athlete. Obviously he’s had some success here the last couple of years.”
The task now for Dennison is to accurately assess where Taylor has made the biggest strides in his game as a starter for the last two years and assimilate that into his offensive scheme making use of play calls that best suit his skill set.
“We’re still working through that,” Dennison said. “I think he’s done everything I expected when I worked with him in Baltimore. He knows what he’s doing. He knows where everybody is and he’s a good leader in the huddle and I think he’s doing a good job. His work habits are as great…