Bills Inside Report: Week 4

Gregg Williams is in the final year of his contract, and there is no extension on the horizon. The Bills' performance this season will determine whether he is offered a new deal at the end of the year, and his performance the last couple weeks hasn't helped his resume.

The biggest knock on Williams during his first two years was that he wasn't a very good game day coach. His decisions left a lot to be desired, and that continues to be a prime issue. His decision to have Rian Lindell attempt a 51-yard field goal with a crosswind blowing against the Eagles in the second quarter was dubious. The Bills trailed 10-0 and while they needed points, the chance to get points there was negligible. The prudent move seemed to be to go for the fourth-and-2. If the Bills failed, fine, because they probably weren't going to score anyway. If they made it, they had a chance to score a touchdown or at least try a more manageable field goal.

Williams also used a challenge late in the game to determine whether Dave Moore crossed the goal line after catching a pass. It was obvious Moore was short, but Williams explained the Bills were going to call time anyway to discuss their play call on the upcoming fourth-and-goal from the 1. OK, but what took 20 seconds to decide to ask for the challenge?

Williams isn't always in line for the blame. He has delegated power to his coordinators, and Kevin Gilbride and Jerry Gray have laid eggs lately.

Gilbride called for a deep pass to tight end Mark Campbell on a third-and-1, a play that failed. He also refuses to stick with the running game, even when it's going bad, which it has in recent weeks. Gilbride quit far too early on the ground game against Philly and in the second half the Eagles weren't even looking for runs.

Gray's contribution to the loss against the Eagles was notable. On a crucial third-and-7 play late in the fourth quarter, the Bills needed to make a stop in order to get the ball back for the offense. Gray went with a three-man rush and a spy on Donovan McNabb, and covered with seven men in the secondary. Two of the three rushers were backups Ron Edwards and rookie Chris Kelsay along with Aaron Schobel. There was no pressure, McNabb had all day to throw, and he found James Thrash for a 14-yard gain.

  • RG Mike Pucillo has struggled badly the last two weeks against bruising run stuffers Tim Bowens of Miami and Corey Simon of Philadelphia. Pucillo has three holding calls the last two weeks (one was declined), and he has been one of the reasons the Bills haven't gotten any push in the running game.
  • RB Travis Henry, who missed Sunday's game with torn rib cartilage, could miss a couple more games. He did not practice last week and was still very sore on game day when the Bills ruled him inactive. If he remains sidelined, the Bills might have to sign a veteran free agent running back.
  • WR Josh Reed isn't making anyone forget about Peerless Price. Price hasn't exactly done anything to help the Falcons thus far, but he'd look awfully good in this Buffalo offense right now. Reed had one catch for nine yards, and on the last 25 Drew Bledsoe passes against Philly, not one was intended for Reed.
  • DB Kevin Thomas had excellent coverage to break up one pass play, and he made two tackles on special teams, but he also allowed James Thrash to catch a 14-yard pass on a critical third down late in the fourth quarter that helped the Eagles put the game away.
  • FB Sam Gash, who was brought in to provide an extra battering ram for the running game, has been almost useless in the offense. The Bills have quit on the running game two weeks in a row, and all Gash can do is block, so he hasn't been able to contribute anything.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "The defense needs to get off the field and the offense needs to keep drives alive. We have a great defense and pretty good offense. Teams are going to try to keep our offense off the field." -- Eric Moulds on Buffalo's struggles the last two weeks.

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