As we all know the Bills made another big personnel move this week moving Marshawn Lynch in a trade with Seattle. Personally I was glad to see it. I know from the outside looking in it looks like another first-round draft pick that didn't work out, and when your high draft choices don't pan out it can set a team back, but the Bills in this case could afford to move Lynch because they were dealing from a position of strength.
They had three very talented backs and Marshawn didn't really want to be in Buffalo anymore so they got something in return for him. More importantly it will give Fred Jackson a chance to be the lead running back. It's a role that he showed he's more than capable of handling. Having only two backs will also keep Fred from looking over his shoulder. I know they have C.J. (Spiller), but he's going to work with Fred, not steal carries from him.
It looks a lot to me like a Thurman Thomas, Kenny Davis situation where you know you have a quality running back behind the starter, but you know he's not looking to be the starter right away. He's a guy that can learn a little bit along the way.
It's good to see Fred get his due. He earned it last year to be the number one back. He's done nothing to make you think he can't do it again this year. So why not let him be the lead guy again?
I know Buffalo's offensive line loves blocking for Fred because he does a good job of making them look good even if they might not block something up exactly how it's drawn up. Offensive linemen want to know what kind of running back they're going to have behind them for the majority of the time. Marshawn and Fred are two totally different running backs in terms of style, and that doesn't make it any easier.
It's the same thing for linemen with their quarterbacks. Kent Hull loved having me or Frank Reich back there because there was a level of consistency. They knew we were going to be set up 10 ½ yards deep and the tackles knew how they had to block for us. As long as they pushed a pass rusher 12 ½ yards deep we were able to step up in the pocket.
When you have a running back that drops back and he's looking for a place to run a lot of offensive linemen don't know where to block. But if you have a guy that solves that problem it's great and that's kind of what Fred does when he's carrying the ball out there. As long as the linemen get a hat on somebody, he's able to find those little creases and get past the first level and out to the linebackers. That's what you want. Fred has shown every time he touches the ball he makes something happen.
He's one of those running backs that can pretty much do everything. You want a running back that can do that where you don't have to pull him out on third down. It enables that back to get a better feel for the game.
Run defense needs a fixWatching the Bills performance on defense last week, stopping the run was a monumental problem. Everyone has their opinions on what led to such suspect run defense, but I think it's as simple as the Bills got totally outplayed from start to finish in that game. It was embarrassing and I know the players were embarrassed.
The Jets had a lot of their success with just a couple of running plays. That was similar to what we did. We didn't have a lot of plays, but we practiced to perfection the plays we were going to use in the game. And there were times when our opponents knew what was coming, but how do you stop it?
If you want to put eight in the box then we're going to throw the football. There weren't a lot of plays in our playbook. We just made sure the ones we did have we ran to perfection and that kind of execution would carry over to the game.
They've got to get that run defense fixed though because if you can't stop the run, you're in for a long season.
Jaguars matchupWith Trent Edwards now in Jacksonville there is a concern by fans that he'll provide the Jaguars will valuable information about the Bills offense. If you're the Bills you don't want to change up too much to counteract that. You might make some of your dummy calls different. I'm not sure what Buffalo's philosophy is with their cadence, but if you have a certain verbal signals you use to alert to a blitz or to a snap count they will have to change that. I'm sure Trent has told them some things that the Bills use constantly week in and week out.
You don't want to change so much where you confuse your own players, but you want to make sure that whatever he tells them, if it's something you use all the time, you may have to limit how much you go to it during the course of the game.
That being said I think the Bills have a real good chance to get that zero out of their win column. This is definitely a winnable game on Sunday against the Jaguars.