The Buffalo Bills' Best Plays from 2008

Garrett HirschmanContributor IMay 21, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 23:  Quarterback Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills passes to receiver Josh Reed #82 during the first half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 23, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The first week of OTAs are in the book and football is growing on everyone's mind.  OTAs give coaches, reporters, and fans their first look at the team.  With Terrell Owens in town, the excitement is even greater this year.

Fans are wanting to know what the offense is going to look like.  What changes will there be from last year? Will Edwards throw the deep ball more—and to whom: Owens or Evans?

It's still very early, yet. The Bills coaching staff is merely going over the basics of the playbook and getting guys familiar with each other. The goal is to see what you have on your roster, and how much work there is to do.  Chemistry on the team is just beginning.

Buffalo's offensive coordinator, Turk Schonert, is sure to have some new tricks in his bag for the upcoming season, but there are also some old ones he will be pulling out, too.  

Five plays in particular from 2008 stand out because the Bills used them on a more-or-less, consistent basis.  Not only did Schonert go back to these plays in multiple games, but the offense executed them well, Schonert called them at the right time, and the outcome was usually positive.


HB Draw

Despite having one of the Biggest offensive lines in the NFL, the Bills had some struggles in 2008 running the ball when the opposing defense knew it was coming.  However, when teams were playing pass first, the Bills would call a draw every now and then, typically out of the shotgun or singleback formation.  Before the defense could react, Lynch or Jackson would already be to the second level.



The bootleg saw the most success later in the season.  Against Kansas City, the Bills scored three touchdowns off the bootleg.  The bootleg is such a great play because it can be run from nearly any formation.  When you run in a three wide receiver set, it is dangerous because the QB has more throw options.  I would not be surprised to see the bootleg used a few more times in 2009.


HB Toss or Pitch

The toss or the pitch play was especially successful for Buffalo in 2008.  Marshawn Lynch is such a determined runner, and outside running plays are all about quickness and determination.  Effective from the I-formation, or a singleback set, the key for Buffalo was for the offensive line to seal off the edge and keep the defensive end from getting penetration into the backfield.


Josh Reed in the Slot

Josh Reed was superb for Buffalo in 2008.  He did most of his damage out of slot and in the middle of the field.  Whether it was running a slant, a hook, or just settling in the soft spot of the coverage, Josh Reed was Trent Edwards bailout receiver in 2008.  With Terrell Owens in the equation, Reed will not get much attention from defenses in 2009, giving him the potential for a big year.


Deep Ball

The signature of Lee Evans, the deep ball has been one of Buffalo's strongest plays over the last half decade.  In 2008, it had a different look and feel, but was still potent.  Trent Edwards lacks the arm strength to out throw Lee Evans, but he has great touch.  Lee Evans is excellent at running the hitch and go, which is most lethal with play action and out of the I-formation when the defense is expecting a run.  Look for Edwards to throw it up even more for both Lee Evans and Terrell Owens in 2009.