Sheridan: Stopping Buffalo’s Run CriticalDecember 6th, 2013
It doesn’t take a guy walking around with a white cane to see the best way to stop the bungling Bills is to stop the run. The Bills have two damned good running backs, but also have a rookie quarterback.
If you were a defensive coordinator, what would you rather take your chances with? If you are Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, you’d roll the dice and let that rookie try to beat the NFL’s leading interception squad.
“The biggest thing I would say, is that first of all, they’re very committed to running the ball and they do a very good job of it,” Sheridan said Thursday. “They have two very, very good running backs; they execute their running game plan very well; they can block all the fronts; they’re not complex but therefore very good at what they do in their zone blocking patterns and they have to outstanding running backs who, eventually, they keep giving it to them, they crack the line of scrimmage and they’re out in the secondary and they make the four-yard runs turn into 20-yard runs.
“The other thing is, on the perimeter, they’re very explosive, they’ve got dynamic vertical threats and they’re more than willing to throw it down the field and all parts of the field and all down and distances. Third-and-short to coming off their own goal line, they have no hesitation of throwing shots down the field, and they have really good skill in straight line speed guys on the perimeter. It’s a little surprising; we only go back five or six games to get ready for people and so I can’t speak to their whole season and why they find themselves – maybe with the record they have, I’d like to say the same about us – but you watch them on offense and to me, they’re a very dynamic offensive team for those two things, the running game and the explosive athletes they have on the perimeter and their willingness to throw the ball down the field. All you have to do is catch half of them and there’s, those are 50-yard shots down the field.”
Now should the Bucs be concerned with receivers like Steve Johnson? For some reason Jackson has had a lot of success against Bucs stud cornerback Darrelle Revis, and averages over 11 yards a catch? Sure. He can burn you.
Still, Bills quarterback EJ Manuel is a rookie. And it’s not like he’s making anyone forget Jim Kelly. The way Joe sees it, the more Manuel puts the ball in the air, it’s a win for the Bucs.
The way the Bills like to feed C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, if the Bills turn to Manuel, that tells Joe the Bucs either have a good lead or have suffocated Buffalo’s rushing attack.