Raiders Bills Football

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison checks the scoreboard during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Buffalo beat Oakland 34-14. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Adrian Kraus

The Buffalo Bills will need a new offensive coordinator in 2018.

The team announced Friday that Rick Dennison, who held the position for the 2017 season, has been fired. His successor hasn't been announced. 

The Bills finished 9-7 and snapped a 17-year playoff drought in 2017. But under Dennison's supervision, the offense struggled and finished at or near the bottom of the league in several statistical categories. 

Dennison was often criticized for his play calling. In the AFC wild card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he called for a fade pass on first-and-goal from the 1-yard-line. On another drive, the Bills had second-and-long and he called for a Mike Tolbert run that went nowhere. 

With Dennison as offensive coordinator, the Bills finished 29th in total yards and 31st in passing yards. The team's rushing attack was the sixth-best in the NFL. 

But the Bills' main problem was scoring. The team averaged 18.9 points per game in 2017, which was 22nd in the league. No other playoff team averaged less than 20 points per game this season. 

The decision to fire Dennison may be linked to the Bills' quarterback situation. Incumbent starter Tyrod Taylor has one year left on his contract, but could be cut loose this offseason. The Bills hold the No. 21 and 22 picks in the draft, so selecting a quarterback is an option. There is also the possibility that they could acquire or sign a quarterback on the market. 

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford are among those who could be available if the Bills want to trade for a signal caller or sign one in free agency. 

Before the Bills address their quarterback situation, they will likely look to hire a coordinator. There are some early candidates, including former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who has western New York ties. 

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