clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills 2015 snap count notes: too much Mario and Jerry?

New, comments

Two games into the regular season, a few things have stood out about how the Bills are doling out playing time on offense, defense, and special teams.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

As the Buffalo Bills turn their attention to a Week 3 showdown with the Miami Dolphins this weekend, let's talk about the team from a playing-time perspective. Every week, we update our 2015 snap counts page with the totals from the previous game and the year-to-date figures, and a few things stand out about how coaches are utilizing players this early in the season.

Shady on schedule: Despite playing at less than 100 percent with a hamstring injury that left him questionable on last week's injury report, LeSean McCoy has taken the vast majority of the Bills' running back snaps through two weeks. He's coming in at 69.5 percent participation, while rookie Karlos Williams is way back at 27.5 percent. As long as McCoy stays healthy, that workload split should remain in that wheelhouse for the foreseeable future, despite Williams' early-season success.

Harvin usurping Woods: Throughout the preseason and straight into the regular season, the Bills have listed both Percy Harvin and Robert Woods as starting wide receivers. Right now, however, Harvin is a bigger part of the offense, taking 96 snaps (73.3 percent of total) in the first two games, compared to Woods' 81 (61.8 percent). Both rank among the top five Bills skill players in terms of play-time participation, so Woods shouldn't feel neglected, but it's nonetheless interesting that Harvin - who is playing well - appears to be the true second receiver on this roster.

Edge-rushing overload: Flash back to 2013, when Rex Ryan understudy Mike Pettine was running the Bills' defense. Jerry Hughes was still a part-time player, while Mario Williams played a whopping 87.2 percent of snaps. Jim Schwartz tweaked that in 2014, relying more heavily on rotation, with Williams and Hughes playing in the 71-72 percent range. Through two games this season, Buffalo's pass-rushing duo has each played 94.5 percent of snaps. It'll be interesting to see if those two players start to receive more in-game breaks at some point; for now, they've basically been on the field constantly.

Down on Duke: Duke Williams was the Bills' third safety in 2014, and played well enough to draw praise from Donnie Henderson as a projected starter earlier this offseason. When Corey Graham moved to safety full-time, however, Williams became an afterthought, and now his situation has worsened, as Bacarri Rambo has taken 102 snaps as compared to Williams' 12 as an injury fill-in during the first two games. Ryan even called him out as a liability this week. If he's forced into action in Week 3, he may be playing to keep his job.

Special teams staples: It's always interesting to keep track of which players are seeing a lot of playing time on special teams, because it lets you know which squad members are highly valued by the club even if they're not involved on offense or defense. The Bills have seven players that have played on at least half of the team's special teams snaps so far this season: running back Boobie Dixon, wide receivers Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan, tight end MarQueis Gray, edge rusher Randell Johnson, cornerback Ron Brooks, and safety Duke Williams. Right now, those are your core special teams players.