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.

13 responses to “Bills aren’t getting much out of their Wildcat package

  1. The wildcat is a waste of time the only team that did it to perfection was the dolphins with Ronnie brown and Ricky Williams an throw in a little bit of pat white here an there. But the wildcat shouldn’t be used anymore in the nfl teams have figured it out

  2. Not sure why they bother running the wildcat. Maybe they should focus on getting some sort of regular offense first? Quit disrupting what little rhythm they manage to get.

  3. The Wildcat, and specifically the Buffalo Bills Wildcat is a asinine waste of time, at this point its simply a building block of why the Bills are still bad.

  4. I’d love to see what would happen if Bills used a two tight end set and just pounded Freddy and CJ for one game. Just one game is all that I ask Chan Gaily

  5. Getting 3-4 yards on a run isn’t a bad thing. Using a gimmick offense with qb/wr when you have a running back who averages 6.8 per carry out of normal sets is.

  6. If your starting QB is off the field then the team play at a disadvantage.The gimmick offense known as the Wildcat has not had much success recently as professional teams recognize and adapt to it. Use your RB’s for running and if you want to trick it use the WR’s and TE’s to run.

  7. This is just dumb. I don’t understand what’s so “difficult” for other teams to prepare for a direct snap to smith and run it up the middle for no gain. I was at the texans-bills game last week and the few times they ran this play everyone in the stadium knew what was coming…as did the Texans. Not sure what the allure of this play is.

  8. Yeah, I’m sure Gailey hoped he would get more out of Fitz, and hoped he’d get more out of Mario, and hoped he’d get more out of the defense. Well, I hope the Bills keep Gailey!

  9. Wildcat is a waste of time. Please never run it again.

    Haven’t gotten a heck of a lot out of Brad Smith in general really, aside from the one return he had this year.

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