Bills aren’t getting much out of their Wildcat package


For the Bills, their offensive wrinkle is more house cat than Wildcat.

For all the talk about what they might do out of their special sets, with receiver/quarterback Brad Smith taking snaps, the Bills haven’t actually accomplished all that much.

They’ve run 17 plays for a grand total of 74 yards in eight games. They’ve only throw once from the formation, and that one was intercepted. Of the 16 called run plays, 10 have gone for fewer than 4 yards.

I just hoped it would be a little bit better, what we’re doing with it,” Bills coach Chan Gailey said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “I was hoping it would create a little more of a problem for people, but I think having it, they have to work on it and I hope that as time goes on we’ll be able to use it more and more.”

Having Smith, a remarkable run-pass college quarterback, should give the Bills more of a chance to do something with it. But as much as it takes time away from opponents having to game plan, it takes time to game-plan it yourself. The Bills haven’t shown enough offensively to make you honor their regular scheme, and if they’re only going to use Wildcat plays twice a game, it’s hard to argue it’s worth whatever time they spend.

“That’s just one of the wrinkles of our offense,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “I think every time we’re in it, everybody expects to see a 30-yard run. Sometimes, even though it’s kind of a gadgety thing, getting 3, 4 yards on a run isn’t a bad thing. It might not be flashy, but that’s something I think we’re always going to carry.

“I think Brad’s a pretty dynamic player. You saw it on the kickoff return [for a touchdown] and you’ve seen it a few times where he’s been able to get in space. That’s something for us that’s not always a ‘OK, let’s get a big 50-yard play.’ Sometimes it’s just looking to control the ball and run it versus bad boxes.”

If they’re trying to put a damper on the expectations, they’re doing a good job so far.