Now a full month after the Bills' acquisition of Terrell Owens, the work of altering Turk Schonert's offensive scheme is well underway. When you add a player of Owens' playmaking caliber things need to be designed to take advantage of such an asset.
"Obviously you have to have plays that fit that player," said Schonert of Owens. "He does a lot of things well. We've got to make sure we have those in our game plan. Each player is different and you try to key your routes or concepts toward what they do well. Josh Reed you gear things to what he does well, Lee Evans, Terrell will be the same way."
Having already sat in on some meetings with the offensive staff, quarterback Trent Edwards sees some noticeable differences in the scheme for this year as opposed to 2008.
"There are going to definitely be some changes and some tweaks that are definitely going to excite some people," said Edwards. "Just sitting with them got the juices flowing."
Determining what it is they want to change, and how effective those changes will be within the scope of the offense can be a lengthy process. And sometimes the answers aren't known until the new plays are executed on the practice field.
"We've got our system intact and we're not going to change the entire system because we have somebody new," said Schonert in reference to Owens. "We're going to put him into our system and then it's kind of a feel thing for us. What do we need to add? What do we need to take away? Maybe he doesn't do something as well. It is a feel thing as we get to know each other and get to see him on the field. We can plug him in and run our offense and not miss a beat."
"He'll bring what he brings to the table," said Edwards of Owens. "And Turk is probably not going to branch away from what he feels comfortable with. There's going to be compromise and a middle ground where he can use (Evans' and Owens') strengths to our advantage and that's going to come with practice and time in the film room and figuring out what they feel best about."
The ultimate test of the changes Buffalo's offensive staff has planned is the regular season, when opponents are genuinely showing their hand as to what they feel will work best defensively against a suddenly dynamic Bills passing attack.
It seems like a long way off, but Edwards is making sure to be on the same page as the offensive staff now knowing that implementing changes effectively on the practice field next month will fall primarily on his shoulders.
"I want to try and get a head start on things," Edwards said. "We're tweaking some things in the offense and I kind of wanted to get a head start in terms of I don't want my first day to be the rest of the team's first day."