Expect an all hands on deck approach to stop Miami's star WRs
Ahead of this week's game against Miami, Bills DC Leslie Frazier acknowledged the challenge of containing a suddenly-explosive Dolphins offense under new head coach Mike McDaniel.
"They are one of the teams with the most amount of pre-snap movement in our league. So, we're gonna see a lot of that. That's who they are, that's their offense," he said. "We're going to work that throughout practice."
Wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill combined for 22 catches, 361 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Dolphins overcame a three-score deficit to beat the Ravens 42-38 in Week 2. By now, Bills fans need no introduction to Hill's talents. But Waddle went under the radar in two appearances against the team last season as the Bills held him to under 50 yards and no touchdowns in both games.
Now, both players are regarded as two of the most dangerous pass-catchers in the NFL who can take it to the house on any play.
"They do a great job - their receivers - with yards after catch. So our ability to be able to tackle and get guys running to the football is going to be very, very important," Frazier said.
With Bills CB Dane Jackson's status (neck) unclear while recovering from a scary collision in Week 2 and CB Tre White still on the PUP list, Buffalo's secondary is getting a little thin. That isn't ideal for a meeting with Waddle and Hill, though two Bills rookies have impressed early.
Rookie corners Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam have been thrust into extended playing time perhaps earlier than expected but both players have been up to the task thus far. In the event Jackson isn't out on the field this Sunday, Frazier believes both CBs are well-equipped to put in a strong week of preparation.
"I think they both would do a good job. They're going to do a great job in their preparation. And that's the key for Kaiir, as well as for Christian," Frazier said.
While Benford and Elam could see more playing time, Frazier envisions more of a group effort to control the big-play ability of the two speedsters in Miami.
"It's never about one guy in our scheme. I mean, it's about a collective effort between our rush and our coverage combined. And there aren't a lot of guys in our league who will stand up and to tell you, `I'm going to take Tyreek Hill one on one. I got him all day long.' It just doesn't happen very often in our league," Frazier explained.
There are injury concerns up front for the Bills as well, with the status of DT Ed Oliver, DT Jordan Phillips and DT Tim Settle all uncertain for Sunday. Frazier shared that he creates his game plans with certain injured players in mind while also being conscious of trusting the depth the team has.
"You're thinking about matchups and what you want to try to get accomplished, but at the end of the day, you have to trust the guys that could potentially step into roles — if someone is not able to play — that they'll be able to handle the game plan," Frazier said.
Allen/Dorsey relationship already shining
If there were concerns about how Bills QB Josh Allen and the offense would fare without Brian Daboll, those concerns have been largely put to test. The Bills offense has scored eight touchdowns in two games and 11 of their 20 drives (55%) have resulted in points.
Further, per Pro Football Focus, the Bills are the most efficient offense in the NFL on passing plays.
Dorsey attributes the offense's early success to the continuity developed with Allen over the previous seasons in which Dorsey was the team's QB coach.
"I think it's a huge plus for us, to be able to just kind of keep that continuity. And any tweaks and adjustments are all within the realm of the system. It's not like you're bringing in brand new terminology, brand new system or anything like that," Dorsey said.
Dorsey explained that he hasn't tried to change too much of the team's offense since taking over play-calling, only exploring ways to help the offense reach new heights.
"It's been a great advantage for us to really kind of pick up where we've left off in the past," Dorsey said.
Diggs' competitive nature
WR Stefon Diggs has been a focal point of the offense in the first two games and Diggs has produced accordingly to a tune of 270 yards and a league-high 4 TDs. Dorsey gave some insight into Diggs' preparation.
"Most players want that coaching and want that coach to correct them when they do something wrong or point out things that they can get better at their game, so that they can continue to get better and continue to make strides. And Stef embodies that," Dorsey said.
Now in Year 3 with the Bills, Diggs seems primed for another massive season. Diggs has praised Allen at every chance he gets through the first two weeks of the season, even saying he hopes the two grow old together.
Dorsey said that not just Diggs talking for no reason, the WR truly does have a unique connection with his QB.
"The longer he's been in the system, the more comfortable he is, and the rapport with him and Josh just keeps elevating," Dorsey said.
View the Best 30 Photos from the Week 2 game between the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium.