Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Monday, June 15, 2009
K-Gun architect likes Bills' choice to go no-huddle


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Over the phone from Weems, Va., I could tell Ted Marchibroda was smiling when I mentioned the Buffalo Bills returning to a no-huddle philosophy.

 
  Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
  Lee Evans gives the Bills great depth at receiver.

"I think it's a great offense for them," Marchibroda said Monday night. "I don't think people totally realize how valuable it is."

Marchibroda was Buffalo's offensive coordinator when they instituted the renowned K-Gun offense for quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas and receivers Andre Reed and James Lofton.

The Bills have decided to dedicate a significant portion of their offense to the no-huddle to deploy their abundance of talent at the skill positions.

Trent Edwards still is trying to find his way in the NFL, yet no-huddle pioneer Sam Wyche explained the main traits required of a no-huddle quarterback are intelligence and accuracy. Edwards, a Stanford graduate, completed 65.5 percent of his passes last year.

But what really makes the no-huddle intriguing for Buffalo is its skill players. They have three quality backs in Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes, one of the league's top 1-2 receiving tandems in Terrell Owens and Lee Evans and slot receivers Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish.

"The no huddle does many things," said Marchibroda, who served as head coach of the Baltimore Colts, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. The graduate of nearby St. Bonaventure University was on Marv Levy's staff from 1987 through 1991. "No. 1, defensive coaches now have to make their decisions this particular week a little faster than what they normally have to. No. 2, you have a chance to keep substitutions off of the field."

The Bills biggest question mark is their offensive line. None of their five starters from last year is back at the same position. They traded Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters. They might have a rookie at each guard post.

But Marchibroda recalled the players who enjoyed the no-huddle most were his linemen.

"The people who love the no-huddle most are the offensive lineman," Marchibroda said, "because of the fact the no-huddle tires the defensive line out tremendously, very quickly."