Reincarnating the K-Gun?

One report last week said the Bills are installing a no-huddle offense for this season a la Jim Kelly of the Super Bowl years in the early 90s. Would such a switch be smart for Trent Edwards (left), Terrell Owens and the new-look Bills? Analysis inside...

So you've already replaced the "K" with a "T" in "K-Gun."

Ever since ESPN.com's Tim Graham reported that the Bills may be on the verge of unleashing a no-huddle offense, incessant this-is-too-good-to-be-true daydreaming has certainly consumed Western New York.

Reign in the exuberance for a brief moment. Just two years ago at this time we all thought Steve Fairchild was building a carbon copy of the Greatest Show on Turf. The Martz pupil was turning J.P. Losman into his Kurt Warner. Marshawn Lynch into his Marshall Faulk. Quick, deliberate passing with a multi-faceted running back. Heck, even John Clayton was buzzing.

But you know the rest. Losman was miserable and the offense imploded. Buffalo scored 252 points – not exactly the 500+ that St. Louis produced. So let's take a deep breath and count to 10 before anointing Edwards as Jim Kelly.

That being said, this wild idea might work. The rhythm-based, no-huddle attack plays right into Buffalo's strengths. Rather than trying to force-feed a scheme onto players that don't fit it (i.e. Fairchild), this would play right into the Bills' personnel.

Without a true fullback, the Bills will be featuring Terrell Owens, Lee Evans and Josh Reed all at once anyways. Evans will feel like a blind man that suddenly gains eyesight. With T.O. gobbling double-teams, he'll see consistent 1-on-1 coverage for the first time in his career. Drops haunted Reed early in his career, but last year he proved to be a gritty, third-down receiver with 56 catches in 13 games. This trio would spearhead a pyrotechnic, no-huddle attack. All three have different intrinsic skills that attack defenses in different ways.

Buffalo appeared to be leaning toward a power-based offense last year with its oversized line and two-back attack. But now the receiving unit is suddenly crowded with talent, so the coaches are adjusting. Good move. Beyond the Big 3 there is also Roscoe Parrish and a pair of promising sophomores in James Hardy and Steve Johnson. Owens will demand plenty of attention, which should benefit the other receivers against defenses scrambling in their alignments between plays.

The always-accelerating tempo that a no-huddle offense demands would be ideal with Buffalo's rich receiving corps.

Such an offensive change would also help hide the team's flaws on the offensive line. With a reworked interior and no real left tackle, Buffalo has major concerns up front. An upbeat, no-huddle offense could camouflage this weakness. If Edwards is able to process information quicker and deliberately deliver the ball – definitely a big "if" – than the Bills should be able to coast through this season with a B-rate line.

Ideally, Edwards isn't plodding through multiple progressions play-in and play-out in the no-huddle. He must be decisive. If he is, then rolling with Langston Walker at left tackle isn't the Jamie Nails-sized disaster you'd expect. Everything will move faster and with pass-catching backs and a stable of receivers, someone will be open with regularity.

Is Edwards, in his third year, capable of commandeering a controlled-chaos offense? That's the key. The Stanford graduate's intelligence is undeniable. Digesting the playbook and mental side of this philosophical switch in one offseason shouldn't be a concern. Overcoming his occasional hesitation may be, though.

That's where T.O. could help most. His knack for finding crevices in defenses should help eliminate Edwards' cold feet. J.P. Losman's dizzying field presence was unfixable – Edwards' problems are definitely correctness.

And this whole no-huddle bonanza may actually deliver on the hype. Unlike Fairchild Fever two years ago and unlike every other flashy offense to sweep through Orchard Park since the K-Gun.

thdunne@gmail.com


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