Inside The Bills

An uptick for screen game?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 9:42 am

The Bills haven’t had a ton of success in the screen game on offense this season. In recent years the offense was pretty efficient on screens. This past week against Miami may be a sign that their getting back to executing it more effectively.

Buffalo ran a handful of screens in the Dolphins game, including the first bubble screen of the season to Sammy Watkins. The more traditional screen plays to backs was also called with Bryce Brown the primary ball carrier.

“It’s definitely something we’ve got to execute a bit better,” said Kraig Urbik. “Early in the season we were not doing a good enough job at that. We’ve got to when it’s not always an obvious screen down. If it’s 3rd-and-15 the screen isn’t always going to be as effective. We’ve been mixing it in on regular down and distance and doing a better job of that and guys have been paying more attention to executing on screens, because it’s been a huge part of our offense the last couple of years.”

Buffalo called screen plays last Thursday night on non-traditional down and distance situations. They called one on 1st-and-10 and Bryce Brown got five yards. They also called one on a 2nd-and-6 play and Brown picked up 16 yards.

“Bryce did a lot of good things and he’s a good running back,” said Urbik. “We have to get that part of our game amped up a little bit more.”

Knowing the fierce pass rushes the Bills have faced this season if they’re able to continue to improve in their screen game execution it could help to neutralize oncoming pass rushers, especially if Brown and/or Fred Jackson can really make them pay.

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Opponents foiling Bills screen game

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2012 – 9:13 am

Buffalo’s screen game has been wildly productive this season, but in recent weeks opponents have been keying on it. Jacksonville assigned one of their defensive ends to specifically look for the screens. St. Louis held back their pass rush on certain down and distances and even assigned linebackers to cover it. Seattle was just as determined to foil it Sunday.

“They’re just putting guys out there, they’re playing a lot of man to man,” said C.J. Spiller. “The whole game, last couple of weeks, teams have been ‘watch the screen, watch the draw.’  They prepare for it, because they know how effective that is for us, so they’re on their toes. When he hear that, other things work for us. There’s nothing we can do when they got us, especially man for man, it’s pretty much just try to sell it as much as you can, and just try to help the offensive linemen out with the blocks.”

Head coach Chan Gailey recognizes opponents keying on it as well.

“People are assigning guys to the screen game a ton now,” said Gailey. “We’ve got defensive linemen that are not rushing in certain situations because of screens. We find they assign a linebacker or two sometimes to the screen game, so it’s becoming more and more difficult because of our success with the screen game to get some screens done.”

When asked what can be done to counter that, Gailey offered the following.

“Right now it takes you out of it until you take their awareness away a little bit,” he said.

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Colts respect Bills screen game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2012 – 10:45 am

The Indianapolis Colts defense has a healthy respect for Buffalo’s screen game, something that had the Dolphins on full alert last week.

“It’s just the weapons that they have,” defensive end Cory Redding said of the Bills offense. “They have two outstanding (running) backs. Both of them are fast, elusive, quick. A quarterback that can get the ball down the field. Receivers that can run deep, intermediate routes that give guys trouble. They pose a lot of weapons and trouble for us. On the defensive side of the ball, we have to stay fundamentally sound, know where we’re supposed to be, be there when the play is to be made and make our plays.”

“They probably lead the league in screen yardage,” said Colts interim head coach Bruce Ariana. “Imean they’ve got every type of screen known to man. Middle screens, running backs are devastating on screen passes and they do a very good job of their screen game. They are the best in the league, I think they’re averaging 11-yards per completion on a screen.”

Eric Wood told earlier this week that on about 40 of Buffalo’s 61 plays in the Miami game, Dolphins defenders were shouting, ‘Watch the screen, watch the draw!’ Looks for Colts defenders to be doing the same on Sunday.

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