December 5, 2016

Trading Places – Chatting with BillsHerd.com

This week we took a few minutes to chat with Jon Munoz of BillsHerd.com.

The Bills did a lot of hurry-up and no-huddle offense in the preseason, will there be any change with the switch at OC?

With the recent firing of OC Turk Schonert, his replacement Alex Van Pelt has the task of fixing what was a very unproductive offense throughout the preseason. Van Pelt will not stray away from using the no-huddle offense but will make some changes in formations and routes. It is far to close to the start of the season to scrap the entire offensive playbook and start from scratch. Van Pelt is making a good choice to tweak the no-huddle offense rather than scrap it. There is not enough time this year for Van Pelt to install a brand new playbook so from here on out it’s no-huddle or bust. The Bills will have the unfortunate task to try out their new offense against a very game opponent in New England.

Fred Jackson looked great against the Patriots last season, how’s he looking for the opener?

Fred Jackson will still have a sore left wrist going into this game. But, no one should look to that as being an issue as it is something he can play through. Jackson has played well against the Patriots but it should be noted that, when given a chance, Jackson has produced fairly consistently.. Jackson is a diverse back who is just as good running the ball as he is receiving. He poses a big threat because he will be QB Trent Edwards check down guy. So expect the biggest production to come from Jackson which will also mean expect the Patriots to focus a lot of their attention at silencing Jackson as well. Due to Marshawn’s suspension, Fred Jackson’s backup is little known and little used Xavier Omon. Jackson should break 100 total yards be it on the ground or combined with his receiving yards.

What expectations do you have for T.O. this season?

Terrell is a great player who suffers from lapses in judgment. I expect he will still be productive as long as OC Alex Van Pelt can fix the problems with Qb Trent Edwards grasp of the no-huddle offense. I have called my shot and am looking for a T.O. meltdown by week 6, but in all honesty I think he knows he is on his last legs in this league and needs to be on his best behavior. Expect a decline in Terrell’s touchdowns but he should still be good for 5-7 TD’s and 1000 yards receiving.

On defense, what changes have the Bills made this offseason?

Well, there are some that say if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it. That would lead me to believe if it broken than fix it. Buffalo does not believe in that school of thought. Buffalo’s pass rush has been terrible for the last several years. DE Chris Kelsay offers little to no support for his partner on the other side Aaron Schobel. It has been a long standing concern of mine why Kelsay is still employed by the Bills, let alone being allowed to start. Buffalo has attempted to fix this by drafting preseason holdout Aaron Maybin. Although he has had his moments in preseason, he still has some questions surrounding him as he is a little small to be playing DE. The Pats can expect roughly the same pass rush they saw last year which had its moments but was mostly very stale.

What was the biggest surprise on the field during the preseason?

The biggest surprise this preseason was the complete lack of execution on offense. The offense was so bad it was actually very difficult to judge if the defense had made progress or not. Nothing was in sync when watching the offense. The offense line had gone through so many changes going into the preseason that the Bills decided to release their most accomplished tackle on the team in Langston Walker before the start of the season. Although I am against his release it does make sense for the Bills to make this change. Buffalo appears to be thinking that if the offense has already hit rock bottom when it comes to efficiency and execution, they might as well make wholesale changes now because they can’t get any worse. Hence, the firing of Turk Schonert and release of Dominic Rhodes and Langston Walker.

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