DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30: Brad Smith #16 of the Buffalo Bills returns a first quarter kick off between Ricardo Silva #39 and Reshard Langford #41 of the Detroit Lions during a pre season game at Ford Field on August 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Week 1 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets has been coined the "Wildcat Bowl" in some places, thanks to the presence of men like Tim Tebow, Brad Smith, Tony Sparano and David Lee.
Smith, however, may not be able to play this weekend as he deals with a groin injury - and if he can't go, head coach Chan Gailey says that the Bills won't be running any Wildcat. This was his exchange with reporter John Murphy on Wednesday:
Murphy: "Chan, if (Smith) can't go Sunday, I assume you have a backup Wildcat type guy in mind?"
Gailey: "Uh, no."
Murphy: "So if he can't go, the Wildcat's out?"
When the Bills signed Vince Young in May, many insisted that the team planned to use Young in the Wildcat, despite Young going on record saying that he'd gotten no indication that the package was in the team's plans for him. Obviously, any shred of possibility of that happening evaporated when Young was released, but the talk didn't die when fans noticed that his replacement, Tarvaris Jackson, can also make plays on the move.
It should be very clear now, however: the Wildcat will go as Smith goes in Buffalo. If Smith isn't healthy - or, looking at the bigger picture, doesn't pan out - then the Wildcat won't be a factor in Gailey's offense. Period.
Gailey, however, spoke in a manner that suggests that Smith has a reasonable chance to play this Sunday.
"(Wednesday) is sort of the transition day, and we'll hopefully get him on the field a little bit more (Thursday), and a little bit more Friday, and hopefully we'll have him Sunday," Gailey said.
If Smith can't go, the Wildcat Bowl - if such a thing exists - will be conceded to the Jets and Tebow, as Rex Ryan has confirmed that the Jets will use that package early and perhaps often this season. We're likely going to see a lot of Tebow on Sunday, even if Mark Sanchez is playing well.