Pro Set Fits Bills to a T-Gun

Justin CatesCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 23:  Marshawn Lynch #23 of the Buffalo Bills gets ready on the field during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 23, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I’m a big believer in getting all the talent you can on the field at once.

You can effectively rotate players in and out in a platoon system, but whenever possible, giving the defense more skill position players to defend at the same time is critical to creating mismatches.

With the Bills moving to their new “T-Gun” this season, a fast-paced offense meant to harken back to the Bills glory days under Jim Kelly and the “K-Gun,” Buffalo will be in prime position to do just that.

The most intriguing story line for the Bills this season, aside from integrating Terrell Owens into the offense, has to be what they will do with the stable of running backs they’ve assembled.

Marshawn Lynch is suspended for the first three games, but when he returns he will join a log-jam in the backfield.

I’m in favor of leaning heavily on a pro set, using two-back formations that utilize different combinations of the backs.

Rotating combinations of Lynch, Fred Jackson, and Dominic Rhodes gives you two rushing options, as well as one to two more receiving choices depending on blocking assignments.

I also like the pro set because of the options for lining up. You can line the backs up traditionally in the center, or you can offset them to the strong or weak sides. You have the option to switch between with audibles depending on the defensive package and what Trent Edwards reads with regards to blitzes.

With T.O. and Lee Evans lined up as the outside receivers, you can rotate Roscoe Parrish and Josh Reed in the slot. I look for Parrish to have a big season this year as he looks to shake off his reputation as being “just a return guy.”

You can switch one of the receivers out for a tight end and move his position around depending on which side you’ve offset the formation in the backfield.

Derek Schouman and Derek Fine should get the bulk of the looks.

At this point, I’m afraid fans hoping for Shawn Nelson to get significant playing time as a rookie are probably deluding themselves. Nelson has reportedly been struggling with his route running and blown assignments early.

Though there is still a lot of time until the season starts, making the transition from a spread attack in college to an elaborate, often-shifting, pro style attack presents a daunting task for any rookie and Nelson is no exception.

Running the offense with the personnel combinations I’ve outlined will be far more effective at a fast tempo, and that’s what the Bills plan to do.

Keeping the pace up and switching formation orientation will make it that much harder for the defense to keep track of the personnel on the field as well as coverage assignments.

I think the Buffalo offense is poised to have an explosive season, and this is just one way to utilize all the talent they’ve assembled on that side of the ball.


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