Doug Marrone stood in front of the media Wednesday discussing the lack of a running game, getting Spiller and Watkins more involved and showing his annoyance at the self inflicted Mike Williams issue. The offensive vision Doug Marrone had for his football team is gone and it’s time for him to go back in Bills history to see how Marv Levy handled a similar situation.

The year was 1990 and the Bills were coming off the “Bickering Bills” season and a narrow loss playoff to the Cleveland Browns. In that game the Bills rallied from a large second half deficit utilizing the hurry-up offense only to lose 34-30 as Ronnie Harmon dropped a winning TD pass in the final seconds. The loss was tough to swallow, but the ability of Jim Kelly to run the hurry-up no huddle offense convinced Marv Levy that it was time for a change.

Marv Levy’s philosophy of “run and stop the run” was nothing new, Doug Marrone still believes in it 25 years later. To Levy’s credit however was the fact he changed his offensive strategy when he realized his players were better suited to a more wide-open aggressive attack. It’s time for Marrone to do the same.

When Marrone came in last season with young Nate Hackett as his offensive coordinator there was talk of bringing back the no-huddle of the Kelly era and the Bills having a wide open, spread em’ out NFL offense. Hackett was hailed as a wiz-kid,  a highly intelligent football prodigy with a west-coast offense pedigree. Fans expected the Bills to not only continue the offensive success that Coach Chan Gailey had, but to improve on it. Now over one year later the Bills have a multitude of problems offensively and hardly resemble the Bills of 2012 let along 1990.

Even with running back CJ Spiller, who has demonstrated that he can be one of the most explosive backs in the NFL and highly touted rookie receiver Sammy Watkins in the lineup, the Bills struggle to move the ball. Having an inexperienced quarterback in EJ Manuel under center didn’t help, but Kyle Orton has found the going tough as well. The insistence by Marrone to pound the ball between the tackles has had zero success over the past month and Hackett has been unable to get either Spiller or Watkins loose “in space”.

One of the biggest problems facing the Bills offense currently is the poor play of the line. As a former offensive lineman Marrone has been hands-on with this group, but it’s a far cry from what the Bills had.

Prior to Marrone’s arrival the Bills had an outstanding Offensive line coach in Joe D’Alessandris. The Bills gave up the fewest sacks in the NFL in 2011 and had one of the most productive rushing attacks as well. D’Alessandris’s unit continues to excel in san Diego where he now coaches and by contrast the current Bills line is struggling.

Perhaps the offensive line is incapable of providing protection in a spread offense. It’s also possible that Kyle Orton, who missed all of training camp, does not have enough of a grasp of the offensive scheme to run a wide open attack. Either way one thing is certain, the current plan is struggling.

If Marv levy, who was in his 60’s when he took the Bills coaching job, could change his philosophy to fit his players then it’s time for Marrone to bite the bullet and do the same.




Filed under: Koshinski's Korner

Tagged with: , ,

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.