Inside The Bills

Thurman called defensive plays

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2016 – 9:53 am

It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last, but defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman called Sunday’s game for Buffalo’s defense and Rex Ryan could not have been more pleased with the results.

“Dennis Thurman did a great job of calling the game,” said Ryan. “Then my brother’s contribution in the red zone looked pretty decent I think.”

Buffalo’s unique 1-3-7 defensive formation, used most on third down, with Kyle Williams the only defensive lineman, three linebackers and seven defensive backs including four safeties had Arizona’s offense thoroughly confused. The Cardinals did not convert a third down for the first 20 minutes of the game and finished 5-of-15 on third down conversions. They were also just 1-for-3 in the red zone after Rob Ryan did a two-year study on Arizona’s red zone tendencies under Bruce Arians in preparation for the game.

When asked if Thurman calling the plays was a change from the norm, Ryan simply explained how everything went down in terms of delegating responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball.

“Yeah, he was calling it,” said Ryan of Thurman. “Here’s what happens, we present it. So I came up to Dennis and said, ‘Look, we’ve played this guy a long time, this is what in my opinion we need to go to.’ So we put in a turbo package that we were ready with. Then we dialed them up on down-and-distance what we wanted to do. So his (call) sheet has everything specific to the plan. It was a joint effort of the entire defense. Some of the contributions that some people made was absolutely huge.”

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