ESPN.com's Tim Graham reported Thursday night, citing a 'team source', that the Buffalo Bills are on the verge of implementing the no-huddle offense as a significant portion of their base offensive scheme.
Rather than break it down from a personnel standpoint and talk about why it could work, you'd be better served reading Graham's article. I'll say right now, at the outset, that I'm squarely in the 'I'll believe it when I see it' camp - we have heard promising items like this about our offense for the last two years, and in those two years the Bills have sported some of the league's most boring and unproductive offensive attacks. But there is one reason why I'm hopeful that Graham's report is true:
The no-huddle offense demands that Trent Edwards become a more assertive field general.
I'm as big a fan of Trent Edwards as anybody - he has some flaws, sure, but I like the kid because - as I mentioned earlier this morning in our 'State of the Roster' piece on Bills quarterbacks - he genuinely wants to be, and his working his butt off toward becoming, the quarterback that finally, mercifully, ends Buffalo's nine-year-long playoff drought.
But Trent isn't an assertive quarterback. He is hesitant at times with his decision-making, and though he's considered a good leader and a great teammate, he's obviously not the most vocal quarterback you've ever seen. A no-huddle offense would push Edwards closer to the 'alpha male' status that makes great quarterbacks legends, good quarterbacks great, and so on. Those players are leaders. Trent has that same type of quality about him, but after two seasons as a starting quarterback in this league, he's been far more passive than you'd like to see your quarterback be. It's almost as if he's been more concerned about not overstepping his bounds as a team leader than doing all that is necessary to command his offense successfully.
The no-huddle offense would force Edwards' hand - it would mandate he assume more on-field control. He can most certainly handle it from the mental standpoint. He's a smart kid. He can handle making quick calls, overseeing on-the-fly substitutions, and getting his guys lined up and ready to roll. The rest will come with experience, but if this offensive attack gets Trent talking more on the field - 'commanding his troops', so to speak - then the experiment will have been worth it. This season is all about Edwards getting better - without that, the team isn't going anywhere.
We can talk about Buffalo's skill players, its re-tooled offensive line, or the team's offensive coaching staff all we want in relation to the no-huddle (nominations for a new nickname, akin to the 'K-Gun', are welcome). I remain solely focused on Edwards. This offense could make him a more assertive quarterback - and that's the most important thing that can happen this year. This needs to be Trent's team, through and through.
Notes on O-Line, LB, Peters and more from Two Bills Drive
One other article I wanted to turn your attention towards today, folks - Lori Chase, a staff columnist at the excellent Two Bills Drive, attended a private media session with Bills COO/GM Russ Brandon and head coach Dick Jauron on Thursday night and came away with some candid and to-the-point responses from each man. We absolutely suggest that you check out the entire article here - it's a tremendous read. We wanted to highlight a few important quotes here, however, for discussion purposes.
Jauron on Brad Butler moving to RT...
"There’s a really good chance that we will move Brad Butler out. Brad’s a very unselfish player. He may be more suited to tackle than to guard, and he’s a good guard. We’ll just have to see how it all goes with the young players, and Kirk Chambers can play guard, too. We’ve got some other guys we can see at that position. But at this point, I would say that we’re kind of counting on that to happen. We’re kind of counting on Brad to take that spot. We’re counting on Langston to take that left spot, to be the defender, the pass blocker that he is. And then compete inside. That really solidifies us. I think it gives us a cohesive group of guys, tough guys."
Jauron on the situation at SAM linebacker...
"I really like our starting (linebacking) corps, but I’d like to be able to stay healthy for the year. That changed before we played a game last year, when Angelo left on the Thursday before the opening game. Keith did a terrific job filling in all year at that spot. Kawika upgraded us; he’s tough, he’s big. Paul will take another step this year. Paul Posluszny’s a guy who loves football, he’s very smart, and he’ll be even more confident this year. I’ve got a lot of faith in those guys."
And, perhaps the quote that will hijack this entire discussion, Brandon on behind-the-scenes with former OT Jason Peters...
"We told Jason – I personally told Jason – that we would not renegotiate his contract with three years left on it, because he was not our priority. Lee Evans was our priority. I said, ‘You come back to camp, and once we get Lee done, you become a priority.’ The day that we signed Lee, I had him come to my office, and I said, ‘You are now the priority.’ We worked on that for five or six months, and we offered Jason an enormous contract – the largest contract in Bills history – and he had no interest in it. None. That was right at the conclusion of the season."
Be sure to check out the article, linked above, for more in-depth information. This was one of the better pieces of journalism I've read in probably about a year. Terrific article - don't miss it, folks.