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VW82

We're building the offense around the passing attack

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10 hours ago, VW82 said:

Ok, ok...but seriously, nobody wants to talk about the apparent change in philosophy to becoming a passing team? The evidence is all over the roster. We were still a run first team last year even though we didn't really have the personnel. I'll be shocked if we're a run first team this year. 

 

I think it stems from having a QB whose strength it’s the vertical game.  You gotta have an OL to effectively pass block while receivers get deep.  One of my biggest complaints early last season was about the OL.  It wasn’t just that they were bad in general and bad at pass blocking in particular, it was that the coaches quickly stuck a raw rookie QB behind it.  A raw rookie QB whose strength is the deep ball.  The defense and Allen’s athleticism carried us to those 6 wins. Without him buying time for throws and scrambling for yards after the pass pro broke down we wouldn’t have made it close to 6 wins.

 

I've said before that Allen needs to get the ball out in rhythm on his drops more.  He does, but the think I don’t mention is that he got a very raw deal last season and that he still found a way to produce.  That is highly commendable.  It was far from the learning environment he should’ve been afforded.  This season should provide a much better situation for Allen and I look forward to seeing what he can do with it. 

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8 hours ago, I am the egg man said:

 

Maybe a Princely price paid ?

Well the fact we got Allen and Edmunds without giving up too much, I'd call it a Viscounts discount. 

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Agree with other posters who say balance is key.  The run-pass balance in the NFL is part of what makes it so much harder than other levels of football.  Even the most pass-happy teams understand the value of running the football at the professional level.  

 

If you are equally good at running and passing, you make your offense much more difficult to defensively scheme against.  

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I thin play action is going to be a huge part of the offense, which means we need an effective running attack. He does have 2 world class rb behind him and plenty of depth behind shady and Gore. I think the upgraded OL is going to have a positive impact on every facet of our offense.

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13 hours ago, VW82 said:

Ok, ok...but seriously, nobody wants to talk about the apparent change in philosophy to becoming a passing team? The evidence is all over the roster. We were still a run first team last year even though we didn't really have the personnel. I'll be shocked if we're a run first team this year. 

I think if thats what you want to discuss, there were too many bullet points that people are likely to disagree with. I get that you were trying to reinforce your point but it made that point a bit lost in the clutter imo

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Welcome to what the rest of the league has been doing for the last 20 years...better late than never I guess...

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13 hours ago, VW82 said:

Ok, ok...but seriously, nobody wants to talk about the apparent change in philosophy to becoming a passing team? The evidence is all over the roster. We were still a run first team last year even though we didn't really have the personnel. I'll be shocked if we're a run first team this year. 

 

 

There is little evidence of that.

 

Ford is an absolute mauler in the run game. They grabbed an RB in the third despite already having three RBs. The first two offensive picks of the draft lean run game rather than pass game. Their running back group looks a lot better than their WR group.

 

If that would shock you, you might want to wear insulated rubber shoes and gloves, avoid standing in water, install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, turn off the current at the switch box, use a fiberglass ladder, avoid power lines and go inside the instant you hear thunder.

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"You need to be able to run it when they know you're going to run it and throw it when they know you're going to throw it"

- Sean McDermott

Just look at who our offensive coordinator is and where he came from. I believe the Bills want to get to the point where their offense can be that multiple from week to week, just like the Patriots. Some weeks they'll be a run-first attack. Some weeks they'll go 5-wide all game and spread the defense out. Depends on the opponent. This is the best way to have consistent offensive success in the NFL, as the Patriots have shown.

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4 minutes ago, Logic said:

"You need to be able to run it when they know you're going to run it and throw it when they know you're going to throw it"

- Sean McDermott

Just look at who our offensive coordinator is and where he came from. I believe the Bills want to get to the point where their offense can be that multiple from week to week, just like the Patriots. Some weeks they'll be a run-first attack. Some weeks they'll go 5-wide all game and spread the defense out. Depends on the opponent. This is the best way to have consistent offensive success in the NFL, as the Patriots have shown.

 

 

I would love this, though over the years it's not what the Pats have done. It certainly was what they did last year, though, and when Brady was a young QB, they were absolutely making it a priority to have a run game teams had to respect.

Edited by Thurman#1

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13 hours ago, TJC34 said:

We did not give up a "Kings Ransom" to draft Allen. 

 

Yep. When no future picks of any kind, let alone high ones, are used to acquire your QB high up in the first round, it just doesn’t qualify as a king’s ransom. Beane parlayed 2018 picks acquired in trades into two first round picks. He invested in draft capital and spent that draft capital on targeted prospects. No ransom involved.

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35 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

Welcome to what the rest of the league has been doing for the last 20 years...better late than never I guess...

 

...with "F Troop" runnin' the show for SEVENTEEN years, what the hell would you expect O'Rourke??..................

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The running game is the heart of the Rams offense. Gurley's unavailability the last few games killed them. FWIW, I think McBeane are building a team more in the Rams mold.

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11 hours ago, VW82 said:

Mitch Morse and Cody Ford are both known as much better pass blockers than run blockers. If you disagree with that, you're going against the majority of scout takes and draft profiles out there for whatever that's worth. If someone wants to claim to be a Morse or Ford aficionado I'm prepared to listen and update my thinking. 

 

We paid a lot of money to Cole Beasley who is a slot receiver. Generally you're picking two of a TE, FB, or slot WR. That probably means a few less play calls involving a TE + FB. 

 

We brought in Frank Gore who is a noted pass blocker at the RB position. McCoy has always been a little small for that though he was an incredible runner for years. 

 

There are a lot of signs that we're going to lean much more on the passing attack this year. I'm surprised to be getting this much push back. 

I don't have any doubt they looked at pass protection first when signing players. Morse, Spain and Ford are all very good pass protectors.

 

Spain was actually a pretty good run blocker when he started and Russ Grimm was the Titans OL coach. But Grimm retired and they went to a zone blocking scheme. He's not very good at reaching for players and diving for ankles. But he CAN move people. Not surprisingly, I think the Titans OL fell off as a whole when a new OL coach came in and they decided to change the blocking scheme.  Another great NFL coaching move.

 

I've watched Morse nearly weekly for most of his career with the Chiefs. Yeah, he's a very good pass blocker, but he's not a bad run blocker. He holds his own in the middle of the field and he can pull or get out in space. Remember, people thought the Chief's run game would fall off when Kareem Hunt was kicked off the team. It really didn't. The reason was the scheme and the talent on the OL.  Morse was a big part of that.

 

Oklahoma did have a good deal of ZBS in their game plan. But if you've ever watched Cody Ford cave in the right side of their line, he can understand that he's capable of moving people.

 

There's nothing wrong with making pass pro a priority, but it doesn't mean the run game will suffer. It really should improve this year if these guys are used correctly.

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11 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

I dunno what "run first" means exactly, but Seasnakes and Ravens tend to break about even on rush attempts vs pass attemps, or even rush a bit more than they pass.

Seasnakes have won and played in a SB and had consistent playoff appearances 6 of last 7 seasons (looks like success might be fading though?)

Ravens won a SB what, 7 years ago? and prior to that enjoyed good success with a rush-heavy offense.

 

A number of teams would never be described as "run first" but they noticeably improve their success when they balance their passing attack with a better rushing game.  Rams, N'Orleans, and Da Bears would all be  examples.

 

It's been said that a successful rushing attack is a young QB's best friend, and I do believe it.  So I hope our plan is balance.  Somewhere between 45% - 48% rush attempts/(rush+pass) would be about right.

 

 

I'll wait to discuss a change in philosophy to becoming a passing team, when it's seen to be changed.

One can find equal evidence that we're trying to upgrade our rush game as well.

 

This, and apologies for the long post.

 

We all hear it is a passing league, but a solid run game is still essential and NE put on a clinic last year that a strong run game coupled with short possession passing can still be pretty effective - added bonus of preserving Brady's 40+ year old noodle arm while keeping that other team's high-flying offense cooling their heels on the sideline too. Their defense, like ours was also good at limiting opponent TOP and creating turnovers.

 

They rushed for 1st downs an average of 131 to opponents 93, passing attempt for 1st down averages were too close to call which tells you that NE was able to possess the ball and run more rushing plays on average than their opponents. Now their average rushing plays (and this is where the contrast with the rest of the league can be seen) NE rushed 478 times while the average for the rest of the league was 367. Sony Michel was their workhorse for most of that. Passing they only attempted 574 to the league average of 605, BUT NE completed 378 to the league average of 370. So on average teams try 30 or so passes more than NE, but they have nearly 40 more fall incomplete. They were 10+ in turnover ratio. 

 

Not to be Captain Ahab tilting at whales with my NE comparisons, but it seemed fitting when folks get so enamored with high flying offenses that you look at the team that has been able to bring those teams down and learn something from that.

 

Running the ball is still effective strategy, but you have to keep the sticks moving and maintain possession of the ball (as one can see with the increased number of plays on average NE was able to run). They are efficient in the passing game having far fewer passes fall incomplete, but not in the traditional sense of having a clear #1 WR diva-type that some on this board seems so determined to find; rather the ball is spread around to guys who do not drop it with the average yards around 15 - Gordon was their guy for stretching the field but only by a bit... note White who had the most reception but averaged 8.6 yards - evidence of that short possession game that the coaches want Allen to master over time.

 

James White 87 751 8.6 42 7
Julian Edelman 74 850 11.5 36 6
Rob Gronkowski 47 682 14.5 42 3
Josh Gordon 40 720 18.0 55 3
Chris Hogan 35 532 15.2 63 3

 

All this being said I don't think there should be any specific offensive philosophy the Bills fall into, rather being proficient running and passing and tailoring game plans for the next opponent. The only guiding principal that I think they stay committed to is working strategies into the game plan to wean Allen away a bit from the "hero ball" he plays to leaning a bit more on his team mates. That means having some patience with the short high-percentage game and working the running game that did not exist last year. 

 

This does not mean that Allen will not take his deep shots, if he sees Brown or Foster singled up or uncovered he is going to use his cannon arm - as he should. His arm strength is an advantage that the Bills should not ignore. Also does not mean that Allen will not take off some times, he was pretty dangerous with his legs and gradually was learning to head for the sidelines or slide to avoid the big hits. If a defense gives up 15 yards of green in front of them, Allen is going to take off (and should) if he is confident he can get a 1st down or more.

 

More effective balance in our offense (rushes and short high-% passes) less turnovers or "3 and outs", just means it is going to be a nightmare for defensive coordinators to game plan the Bills. Of course we also need a defense that does not bend so much that teams can simply eat up the clock moving slowly down the field keeping our offense off the field (the flaw of that bend-don't-break nonsense) - statistically we have a very good defense, but teams with a good rushing attacks were able to move the sticks on us while we feasted on teams with poor offensive lines and passing attacks. I think those feasting games inflated our defensive averages and ranking enough to create some misleading assumptions. Lastly the wild card that cost us a few games where the offense and defense played tough, we need a Special Teams unit that can kick the ball, notch field goals when needed, cover to protect field position, or tilt field position a bit in our favor which was largely missing last year. 

 

A lot needs to come together this year and not just the offense, and maybe Vegas is right, but they lean on metrics so much and can be blind to teams that are on the crux of breaking out. The Bills could be that team this year and I can't wait to see what the coaching staff is able to do.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Logic said:

"You need to be able to run it when they know you're going to run it and throw it when they know you're going to throw it"

- Sean McDermott

Just look at who our offensive coordinator is and where he came from. I believe the Bills want to get to the point where their offense can be that multiple from week to week, just like the Patriots. Some weeks they'll be a run-first attack. Some weeks they'll go 5-wide all game and spread the defense out. Depends on the opponent. This is the best way to have consistent offensive success in the NFL, as the Patriots have shown.

 

That quote comes across as basically out-execute your opponent, which is very Jauron-esque.  

 

I see far too much emphasis on the OC and his pedigree and not enough on the HC he works for.  Sean McDermott creates the the game plan and the OC and DC implement that.  It doesn't matter where Daboll or Frazier came from when it comes to what they want to do in a game.   

 

Nothing about McCoach screams to me that he's innovative or ready to throw the ball 35+ times each week.  Sure, the offense may throw deep now and then, but the HC is a play it safe guy who's looking at field position, ball control, and the like.  Former DCs turned HCs (cue the Belichick reference) typically tend to coach from their way of thinking and McD is no different.  Dude isn't changing his spots in year 3.  Maybe he does start the season throwing it all over the field, but the likelihood is he doesn't, and the offense remains predicated on the running game.  

 

The other factor is McD is in year 3 of his tenure.  Think he's going to become a pass happy guy with more talent? Doubt it.  He knows they need to show results and he'll go with what he knows - run the ball and get a strong defense.  

Edited by BillsVet

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So far, I see no proof that we’re moving to a passing attack, not that I wouldn’t be happier if our new O-line and WRs allow Allen options to spread the defense and stretch the field - that opens the field for the running game, which Beane has also vastly improved, IMHO.

 

If we’re planning a Spread/Air-Raid type offense, McDermott needs to do what Belichick does - sit down with Mike Leach.

 

But I don’t see that.  (Wish I did, since it seems to have caught on with most NFL teams, and certainly throughout the NCAA.)

 

I see a plan to protect Josh, give him more time in the pocket,  WRs/TEs who can both stretch the field and catch a football, and - at the same time - improve our running game.

.

 

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16 hours ago, LSHMEAB said:

How many run first teams are successful in the NFL? This is a passing league.

 

Castillo's scheme was a disaster as was the overall talent. They didn't acquire true road graders, but combined with a shift from zone to man, I expect the run game to be quite a bit better. 

 

The key to the offense will be Allen's improvement or lack thereof. If he progresses, it will take care of itself.

 

Everyone calls it a passing league but the Pats smoked the Chargers and Chiefs in the playoffs by running the ball against their pass-stacked dbacks.  In the KC game alone they had 50 run plays.   Sprinkled in some play action throws here and there, but controlled both playoff teams (and whipped us badly for 300 yards on the ground in NE) by handing off and pounding.

 

When I see guys like Dawkins and Ford on the Oline it's hard not to think we could get back to the same ground attack we had with Shady and Touchdown Mike.

 

 

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2 hours ago, CookieG said:

I don't have any doubt they looked at pass protection first when signing players. Morse, Spain and Ford are all very good pass protectors.

 

Spain was actually a pretty good run blocker when he started and Russ Grimm was the Titans OL coach. But Grimm retired and they went to a zone blocking scheme. He's not very good at reaching for players and diving for ankles. But he CAN move people. Not surprisingly, I think the Titans OL fell off as a whole when a new OL coach came in and they decided to change the blocking scheme.  Another great NFL coaching move.

 

I've watched Morse nearly weekly for most of his career with the Chiefs. Yeah, he's a very good pass blocker, but he's not a bad run blocker. He holds his own in the middle of the field and he can pull or get out in space. Remember, people thought the Chief's run game would fall off when Kareem Hunt was kicked off the team. It really didn't. The reason was the scheme and the talent on the OL.  Morse was a big part of that.

 

Oklahoma did have a good deal of ZBS in their game plan. But if you've ever watched Cody Ford cave in the right side of their line, he can understand that he's capable of moving people.

 

There's nothing wrong with making pass pro a priority, but it doesn't mean the run game will suffer. It really should improve this year if these guys are used correctly.

 

Good post. I agree the run game should be better as it was awful last year. Perhaps I'm selling our Oline short and they'll all be maulers, and we'll have a top ranked run game. Guess we'll see. I'm very optimistic they'll be able to pass protect though.

 

Again, it was some of the other clues - Beasley and Gore signings, overhauling the WR group, coupled with what looked like an emphasis on better pass blockers - that made it look like we're planning on throwing it more this year, or at least play calling based on the threat of the pass. As others have said, a balanced attack is best.   

Edited by VW82

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40 minutes ago, The Senator said:

 

So far, I see no proof that we’re moving to a passing attack...

 

 

Besides the vast improvement in pass blocking talent across the line and at running back, paying a slot receiver in Beasley a lot of money is definitely one clue. Often you're stuck choosing between a slot guy and a fullback. It's obviously not as simple as saying one is for passing and one is for rushing, but I do think that choice says something about the identity of your team. We've been a full back team for a while now and it looks like we intend to be a three WR team more this year.  

Edited by VW82

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