BUFFALO, NY – The situation for Buffalo Bills was dire. Only 24: 3 Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bills went to the locker room at halftime after the attack showed nothing.
“I think the thing we got into was pretending to be something of a secret we’re doing,” center Mitch Morse said after the game. “Everyone on the same page, even if it’s wrong, is better than four people doing the right thing and one person doing something off-topic.”
Bills came back to the square on Raymond James Stadium on the same page and it was like a switch turned around. Despite a spin on his left leg, quarterback Josh Allen made a 21-point comeback, and the attack seemed unstoppable.
While Bills was short on overtime, the second half of week 14 marked the beginning of a strong offensive show. The team scored an average of 32.9 points and 412.1 yards in the rest of the season (including the playoffs), both ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.
“It was undoubtedly a turning point, and it made us realize that we just need to change gears and really put the pedal on the metal,” said the strict Dawson Knox team during the mandatory mini-camp. “It was time to go.”
With a cutting-edge schedule in 2022 that includes five of last year’s play-off teams in the first seven games, Bills will have to extend its 2021 late offensive line. However, the attack has changed, starting with the first time that attack coordinator Ken Dorsey replaced Brian Daboll. Although Dorsey adds new wrinkles, the consistency of previous years should be based on experience with the system. Dorsey has been Allen’s QB coach for the past three seasons.
“When you bring someone new [from outside the organization at offensive coordinator]you are talking not only about new plays, but also about new terminology, new words and [we] I really didn’t want to get into it if we could avoid it, especially because of Josh, who was already untouched here, “said coach Sean McDermott.
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But Allen has to get used to the fact that another person is playing after Daboll left the head coach of the New York Giants. Daboll was Allen’s offensive coordinator during his first four NFL seasons.
“It’s probably different,” Allen said. “There’s a different voice in the headset. Calling examples is different. The word is still the same, the protections are still the same. Obviously, we’ve exchanged a few things here and there with concepts, thought processes, and so on.”
The changes in the offense start with various weapons for Allen. Bills signed OJ Howard (Buccaneers) and winger Jamison Crowder (New York Jets) and drafted defender James Cook and winger Khalil Shakir. They are working to diversify the attack and allow more creativity in how players are used to support Allen. During the team’s off-season training, returning players sometimes lined up for new locations and ran different routes to interrupt offensive abilities and create better games.
Last year’s list did not include a strong back-end, which limited some of the talk calls and packages they could run. Adding Howard should change that.
“There is so much versatility in this attack now, with 12 and 13 employees,” Knox said. “Bring us in, run the ball, scatter it and have good games for us.”
Knox (6-foot-4, 254 pounds) has worked his career as a plunge-catcher and has become a target in Allen’s Lower Square, but Howard (6-6, 251) brings with it extra size and length to the position.
“[Howard] makes you feel small. This guy is huge, ”Knox said. “He has a great fishing radius, he runs good routes and is strong.”
Seven-year-old veteran Crowder is vying with Isaiah McKenzie for the slot receiver position that Cole Beasley took last season. Cook should bring a reliable passport capture to the reverse position. During his college career in Georgia, he earned an average of more than 10 yards per admission after being hit.
“We have boys all over the field who can play now,” Allen said. “And when you look at the depth from the back players to the narrow-bodied receivers, the men have just shown that they’ve played in the league before. And we have some newcomers coming in and continuing to improve and impress their coaches.
Although Bill’s attack has different components due to the new additions, they do not leave out what has worked and been successful in the past.
“We have the core of our philosophy that has worked for us,” Dorsey said. “But at the same time, you need to be able to thrive in this game. You need to be able to do different things to keep defenses out of balance and make them react to you, not yours.”
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