Buffalo Bill’s offensive coordinator Turk Schonert's playbook will look different this year with the addition of Terrell Owens and Shawn Nelson. The additions at wide receiver and tight end allow Trent Edwards to succeed by creating new sections of the playbook with specific plays geared towards the two players.
Owens draws attention away from fellow wide receiver Lee Evans and should help score more touchdowns, along with making the tough catches over the middle of the field. By demanding double teams the last few seasons, Evans hasn’t had a solid No. 2 receiver since Eric Moulds. His numbers should increase from last season.
Schonert thinks his offense can create like the 1980s Cincinnati Bengals under Sam Wyche. It’s a more vertical passing game, creating the possibility of big plays. The presence of Nelson and Owens and that Edwards has one more year in the offense, it should be interesting to see which formations Shoenert chooses.
For the coaching staff, Nelson presents a better potential weapon at tight end because of the matchup problems he creates. He should stretch the middle of the field while running seam routes because of the attention Evans and Owens get on the outside.
Edwards should also have more options when using the spread formation. Evans and Owens on the outside, Roscoe Parrish and Josh Reed using the middle of the field, it’s a scary assignment for the opposing defensive coordinators.
The spread formation also allows running backs Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson the opportunity to run for large gains because the defensive formations will feature less linebackers and more defensive backs, leaving less people inside the box.
Schonert also has tremendous faith in the running game by bringing back fullback Cory McIntyre. McIntyre has the most thankless job in the National Football League. During the November and December portion of the schedule, it’s important to establish a tough ground game in order to play in the tough conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Edwards will have more options on third down with Owens and Nelson. The team will also feature running back Fred Jackson more on third downs. The team could also use the winged T formation because the National Football League is a copycat league and the threat of Lynch and Jackson throwing the ball is interesting.
Also, there’s news coming out that the Bills will use the no huddle offense. I hope it’s as effective as the K Gun days under Jim Kelly, and then the NFL better be wary. No huddle offense used in Buffalo will bring back a lot of nostalgia to Bills fans because of the success during the early 1990s.
Edwards is smart enough to operate the offense, the weapons are there for it to be successful. It’ll be interesting to see as the team enters the preseason to see how much use it gets or what Schonert chooses to save for the regular season.
Schonert has more weapons to create plays around, with the additions of Nelson and Owens. It’s still up to Edwards to make the right reads and throws in order for the Bills to be successful. Whether it be in the spread formation, no huddle or basic two back sets during the harsh winter months, the offense should be better than last season.