I am a fan of Chan Gailey. I am not sure if it is because he is the best of a sad lot over the course of the last decade or if it is the man himself, but he has won me over… mostly. He comes across as more honest, open and knowledgeable than the last three Bills coaches who came before him combined.
I am also a fan of The Fitz. A big fan. Smart guy, personable guy, a great leader. I also believe he is inconsistent in his performance. He makes up for that with his even style. I have yet to see him act like Jim Kelly would at times, chewing people out in the huddle. It is Ryan’s sort of demeanor that holds teams together when the going gets tough. Is he the guy who can make the big play 9/10 times at crunch time? I hope so, but I have concerns.
Chan Gailey has been a proponent of a more open/pass centric offense. Of course the league has also become more pass oriented, but I believe Chan would still take a pass driven offense onto the field even if every other team was playing Tight I-form sets. If his choice to be so passing friendly were driven by a mediocre talent pool at running back I could understand the move, however nothing could be further from the truth.
The Bills have Fred Jackson at running back. Yeah, the one from Coe College. The guy who played his way from NFL Europe to the NFL. Freddy was on his way to All-Pro last season before he cracked a bone in his right leg. He accounted for an obscene amount of the Bills offense. He accomplished this despite getting less than 20 rushes in 6 of the 9 games he finished.
The Bills just shored up their defense this last off-season. If you look at how well the Bills defense performed without a pass rush these past 5 years (yes well is relative in this case) imagine how the defensive backs will look when they have someone pressuring the quarterback. I have the privilege of attending four to five games every year at the stadium and watch the line play attentively- we have plain sucked for years. The Redskins game from last season was so fun to watch on TV because the Bills looked like they were cashing in IOU’s from the last half decade.
We may see the likes of that for a full season, but in order to get the most out of your defense you have to give them an opportunity to rest and also take some time off the clock when you do have the ball. Running the ball affords the best opportunity to accomplish this. The Bills have one top level and one very good option at running back. I would go so far as to say Freddy Jackson is the best and most important player on the team.
For the Bills to succeed to the highest level Freddy Jackson needs to be a key member of the offense. He should be touching the ball 25-30 times a game between rushes and pass receptions. In Freddy I trust and so should Chan.