A popular topic earlier in the offseason was the prospect of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller lining up simultaneously in Buffalo's backfield this season. Head coach Chan Gailey didn't deny it is an option in their offense, but he strongly indicated it's only a small part of what they'll do this fall. The case sounds very much the same for the no huddle approach taken by the first team offense in the Bills preseason game against Washington.
"This is something we did against Washington," Gailey told Buffalobills.com. "We may not do it at all against Minnesota or Pittsburgh. It's an element of our offense. Like last year against New England we did it. We didn't do it the first series, but we did it the second and third series and we tried to come back and do it again and we didn't get it going. But there are some positives about doing it that we like that we want to keep exploring."
The positives in doing it involve Ryan Fitzpatrick. An extremely sharp signal caller that can recognize mismatches quickly and make pre-snap adjustments, the no huddle approach made sense as an option to Gailey.
"Yes, that's part of it," said Gailey of Fitzpatrick's football smarts. "The other thing is if we can get the matchups that we like we create great matchups. If they want to leave their seven man front in there and we go to empty (backfield) somebody is not in a favorable matchup for the opponent."
Mismatches like Scott Chandler on a linebacker or safety or Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller on a linebacker or safety is an advantage for the Bills. The no huddle prevents the opponent from subbing base defensive players out for subpackage players.
"And we've worked on what to do if they try to sub and getting up there and running a quick play," said Gailey. "But I don't think we've progressed to that yet. To me if you're no huddle for 75 percent of the game you're doing stuff like that."
At this point Gailey doesn't see the no huddle being utilized all that frequently in his offense. It sounds as if it could be used as a change of pace in a game. One of the main reasons is the offense has evolved enough already in its third year under Gailey.
"We have more options available for players," he said. "When we first came in we were very black and white about exactly what we wanted, how we wanted it run and what we wanted to do. As we have evolved we say, 'Okay if you get this leverage you can do this. If you get this coverage you can do this.'
"So we've evolved to adapting to the defenses and adjusting to what they're doing to give us the best chance instead of it being black and white. If it's black and white anyone can come in and do it."
The more diversified options off of the route schemes makes it harder for opponents to get a read pre-snap on what the Bills offense is trying to do as well as when the play unfolds. But it's only possible because the majority of the players on offense have been on the roster since Gailey was named head coach.
With the players more comfortable within his offense Gailey has given them more decision making power out on the field in terms of what they run.
"It's the receivers and everybody," he said. "If you didn't have the guys that could do it you wouldn't be doing it, even your quarterback."
Fortunately for Gailey and the Bills offense their quarterback will allow them to move full steam ahead with some no huddle perhaps sprinkled in every now and then.