Inside The Bills

Van Pelt, Edwards talked about deep pass game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2009 – 10:00 am

Among the many things that were covered by the players and coaches on offense during the bye week was the deep passing game. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt mentioned that he addressed the subject with Trent Edwards, who is re-entering the lineup this week at Tennessee.

“I think we have the receivers that can go and make the plays on the ball,” said Van Pelt. “If we get in a situation where it is one on one we don’t have to be wide open, we can give those guys a chance to go up and get the ball and make the plays and that is one thing we talked about.”

At times this season Edwards has been reluctant to take a risk by throwing downfield and the results have been more throws underneath. ESPN blogger Tim Graham has some of his network’s statisticians crunch some numbers in comparing Ryan Fitzpatrick’s willingness to throw downfield and Edwards’. It revealed that Fitzpatrick ranks third in the NFL when measuring how many yards in the air his attempts travel. Fitzpatrick averages 10 yards per throw while Edwards averages 7.5 yards in the air per throw. That ranks 34th among passers with at least 50 attempts according to ESPN’s statisticians.

What should also be taken into account is the fact that Edwards has thrown more than twice the number of passes that Fitzpatrick has this season and the more passes a QB throws, the lower that average usually gets.

Still it’s good to know that Van Pelt is encouraging Edwards to take more risk in an effort to make some more big plays because the Bills offense has shown it’s very hard for them to string an effective point-producing 11 or 12-play drive together. So getting some yardage in big chunks is important so those scoring drives only require five or six effective plays to put points on the board.

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