There were plenty of moments during the 2012 season when it felt like the Buffalo Bills‘ coaches were holding their players back. Whether it was Chan Gailey inexplicably benching C.J. Spiller right when he was getting hot or Dave Wannstedt refusing to call blitzes despite the fact that he had at his disposal one of the most talented front lines in the NFL, poor coaching decisions were a persistent theme.
Both coaches were fired, and for good reason. These types of decisions are not only incredibly frustrating for fans, but costly to the overall success of a team. It’s no coincidence that Gailey has yet to find another NFL coaching gig, and Wannstedt has only been able to wrangle a position as a special teams coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fortunately for Bills fans, the organization has brought in an entirely new coaching staff and with it, a vastly different philosophy. Rather than placing arbitrary limits on their personnel based on some rigid and ineffective game plan, Buffalo’s new coordinators seem determined to implement an adaptable, fluid system that plays to the strengths of it’s players and puts them in a position to succeed.
It’s been evident for a while now that Mike Pettine‘s defense and Nathaniel Hackett‘s offense will both be up-tempo and aggressive, but the extent of this new strategy was a point of emphasis in a recent sit-down interview between Hackett and Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. Speaking on the parameters of the new offense, Hackett had some encouraging things to say.
“We like to be multiple. We like to slow it down and speed it up, and I think it’s always about what the players can do. I think that when they realize the power of it themselves, that’s when it gets great. When they’re asking to go fast, when they’re asking to go slow, you want to try and do what’s right for them. The key is for the players to feel it. It’s their offense out there, they’re the ones that are out on the field,” said Hackett.
All this might seem like common sense, but it’s still a far cry from the Looney Tunes-esque antics of Gailey and Wannstedt. It should be cause for optimism that these new coaches are looking to put their players in the best possible position to succeed.