Inside The Bills

Pundits predicting heavy run year for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on July 14, 2014 – 11:26 am

The Bills were one of the most run heavy offenses in the league last season. They led the league in total rushes and ranked second in rushing yards per game (144.2). The pundits in trying to predict the run-pass balance of the league’s 32 teams believe the Bills will be one of the most run heavy teams in the league this year.

Rotoworld predicted the passing percentages of every team in the league and categorized teams as pass heavy, balanced and run heavy. Not surprisingly Buffalo was predicted to be run heavy after being very reliant on the run game in 2013. Here’s what Mike Clay wrote in his prediction for the Bills.

Bills – 2014 Projection: 56% pass (2013: 54%) 
In Doug Marrone’s first year as Buffalo’s head coach, we saw a clear inclination to lean heavily on the running game. The Bills ended up calling pass 54 percent of the time, which ranked them as the league’s No. 3 run-heaviest team. Of course, had they been more competitive, no team would’ve called run at a higher rate. Adjusted for game flow, the Bills called pass seven percentage points below expected.  With an underwhelming quarterback (EJ Manuel) and a strong one-two-three punch at tailback (C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown), the Bills will, once again, contend for the league lead in rushing attempts.  

In our Camp Countdown on we profiled how OC Nathaniel Hackett might take advantage of the improved depth at running back and believe it or not Buffalo may throw a bit more to their backs either out of the backfield or when they’re lined up as wideouts. The Bills will certainly be run heavy, but with Buffalo’s backs expected to be scattered all over the formation it’s hard to say all their touches will be carries.

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Manuel expecting better play thru minicamp

Posted by Chris Brown on June 18, 2014 – 10:09 am

EJ Manuel would be the first to admit that at times they had their struggles with consistent execution in OTA practices the previous three weeks. Part of that was due to the large volume of plays being thrown at the offense at that time. Now, according to Manuel, the volume for minicamp isn’t nearly as large, leading him to believe their collective performance will be better this week.

“We were a little frustrated, I know I was, throughout the OTAs, but I like the fact that (offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett) put more on us,” said Manuel. “We have young guys at skill positions, and that just puts the onus on us to put the time in and really study. This week, it’s easier because we know all the plays, we’ve done it a bunch of times, so there’s not going to be any surprises as far as play calling goes.”

Manuel also believes their execution on offense will be helped with most everyone together on his side of the ball again this season.

“We’re all used to each other now.  The O-line is used to hearing my voice, they’re used to how I make a call, how I call cadence,” he said. “How I get in and out of plays as far as checking into different plays. I think our rapport overall as an offense has gotten a lot better. We’re a year older together. It’s good to have the same OC, the same Head Coach, all that stuff, to not have a bunch of new changes.

“With everybody having that rapport, it’s easier to hold each other accountable.  If somebody’s not doing the right thing, they’re not going to take it the wrong way if you point them out and let them know.”

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