Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Bills prepping for the great unknown
By Matt Ehalt
It's not easy to prepare for something you haven't seen.
That's the situation the Bills are facing as they get ready to battle the Jets and try to defend against a Wildcat formation the team did not showcase in the preseason.
"It's tough because you really haven't seen it up to this point with the preseason and being that you are facing them the first game, you kind of don't know what to expect," Bills defensive end Mario Williams said on a conference call Wednesday. "They could do anything. It's one of those things you just kind of have to get your feet wet in a certain area, or multiple areas, and then come out and try to adjust to it and see what's going on and see what they are trying to do and how they attack you."
While the Bills have seen how other teams have used the Wildcat, such as the Miami teams coached by new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and even the Jets in years past, they don't know how the Jets plan to use their package with their current personnel. Tim Tebow gives the team a dual threat at quarterback to run the Wildcat.
Buffalo coach Chan Gailey said his team has to pay attention to it, knowing the success Tebow had with it in Denver, and is thankful his team has extra time to prepare. He's picked the brains of ex-Jet Brad Smith and quarterbacks coach David Lee, who used to be the quarterbacks coach for Miami when Sparano was a Dolphin.
"I think he has a fairly good idea of what Tony wants to do and what he likes to do and believes in but there will be some new wrinkles as well," Gailey said of Lee. "So you're trying to cover all your bases and trying to make sure you have your base concepts down defensively because you're going to see something you haven't seen."
While the Wildcat will be a new package for the Jets to utilize, Gailey added that there are also questions about what the Jets offense will be with a new coordinator. Mark Sanchez, who had a shaky preseason, will be running a new system with new responsibilities that may be different from what the Bills have seen from him in the past.
"He's definitely being a vocal leader and he's trying to get the team in the right direction," Williams said of Sanchez. "Any time you have a competitor like that you know you have to be careful because at any given moment he can come out and play lights out and come out and be that guy that can lead them to touchdowns and lead them down the field. You have to go out there and be on top of your game to try to contain him."
And if Tebow decides to throw? Williams believes his defense can track him down.
"That's the plan," Williams said. "We wouldn't be on the field if we didn't."