As Anthony Lynn inherits the role of Bills offensive coordinator there won't be a lot of time to change the design of Buffalo's scheme, but there will be personal choices that he'll be able to pull from Buffalo's playbook over the final 14 games of the season.
Head coach Rex Ryan made it clear on Friday where he feels some of the changes in Buffalo's offense need to be made. Here are the top four items that must change for the better regarding offensive production for Buffalo under Lynn's guidance.
1 - Let the playmakers make playsRyan made it plain that the main reason the change was made at offensive coordinator was due to the inability of the team's most dynamic playmakers to have a major impact on the outcome of the game. Chief among them Sammy Watkins, who though dealing with a foot issue, has played the majority of the first two games.
The problem is he hasn't been utilized nearly enough. Whether he needs to be lined up in different places to create more favorable matchups and keep defenses from easily keying on him, or he has to be isolated more effectively, the bottom line is Watkins must be the biggest part of the game plan in the passing game every single week.
Charles Clay has been called a mismatch at the tight end position, but game changing plays have been few and far between for him as well. Even in the red zone where Clay could be a major threat he has been underutilized. That has to change.
Using LeSean McCoy in different ways, like splitting him out or putting him in a split backfield with Reggie Bush are all options that Lynn will need to consider moving forward to keep opposing defenses off balance.
"I think Sammy Watkins is an elite receiver," said Rex Ryan. "I think we have an elite running back, I know we do in Shady McCoy. I think we have an outstanding offensive line and oh by the way an outstanding tight end. We have a lot of weapons."
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2 - Maximizing TaylorGreg Roman did an admirable job with Tyrod Taylor as a first-year starter in 2015. He finished the year as the seventh-rated passer in the league and had a better than 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio, but signs of progress have yet to manifest themselves in 2016.
Lynn will have to pick and choose the kinds of play concepts that he believes will be most beneficial to revealing the unique playmaking capabilities Taylor has to strike more fear into defensive coordinators and put them on their heels.
Whether it's reading just one side of the field, moving the pocket, designed rollouts or bootlegs, Lynn has to put Taylor in a position where the quarterback has supreme confidence and believes he has the upper hand.
"I think Tyrod is an outstanding player," said Ryan. "I believe his ability as a drop back quarterback, as a quarterback that's athletic that we can do things with. I think he's a rare talent and we have to do things that will showcase those abilities a little bit. He has some unique abilities and I think we need to focus on those strengths and also try to develop what we perceive as a weakness. Instead of talking about it we need to develop some of those and give him an opportunity to get better and I believe (Lynn) will."
3 - Balance on offenseBuffalo was a run heavy team in 2015. No other team ran more than the Bills, and they made it work last season as they were the top rushing team in football. As much as that made sense with a first-year starter at quarterback last season, it's clear that Rex Ryan feels his offense has now become too predictable.
Anthony Lynn will have to make heavier use of passing concepts in Buffalo's offense, even on non-traditional passing downs to catch defenses off guard. Big play ability is one of Tyrod Taylor's strengths with the receivers he has at his disposal. Working more of the short passing game to double as a run game instead of ground and pound will have to be incorporated into the attack.
"I want to be multiple. I want to be able to throw the football," said Ryan. "Ground and pound was something that followed me forever based on my first year (as head coach in New York). We had a rookie quarterback, some good backs, good offensive line, and we weren't exactly the greatest receiving corps. So I just thought it made sense, but that tag has followed me forever.
"I do want to be able to run the football on a consistent basis. I want to be multiple in the running game, but I also want to be able to use the entire arsenal. The quick game, the intermediate game and the deep passing game."
4 - Alternating tempoBuffalo through most of last season and the first two games this season has not demonstrated an ability to change the tempo on opposing defenses. Whether it's quick snapping after a big play or jumping into a no huddle at an unexpected time, the Bills offense has not made use of tempo change as a weapon.
Through the course of the next several weeks, Lynn made need to have a package for a series or two to turn up the speed at which their offense operates to dictate the game to a defense when perhaps the offense is sputtering.