|AFC East becoming fast, furious offensive division||06.13.14 at 12:07 am ET|
Looking for fast football? Then the AFC East may be your cup of tea in 2014.
The Dolphins are making a lot of noise this season about pushing the pace for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they have imported Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor as their new offensive coordinator. And given the fact that Lazor was with Chip Kelly and the record-setting Philadelphia offense in 2013, there are bound to be comparisons to what Kelly and Philly did.
“It’s reminiscent of Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia, with the tempo and style,” said one Dolphins player who asked not to be named when he was quizzed about the look of Miami’s offense this spring. “There are some West Coast offense concepts. … Some shotgun, some under center. They’ve discussed having both no-huddle and huddle. It’s fast tempo.”
For what it’s worth, Miami has been a little quicker than the average NFL team over the last two years under Joe Philbin. Measured using situation-neutral offensive pace — a formula from the site Football Outsiders that eliminates things like two-minute drills and late-game clock-killing situations to get a truer idea of the offense’s intentions when it comes to offensive pace — the 2012 Dolphins were ninth overall at one play every 29.23 seconds, and last year, on average, they ran one play every 30.08 seconds, 14th quickest in the NFL.
But a Kelly-style overhaul would certainly take things to the next level, and could jump start a Miami offense that had been bogged down at times the last few seasons under former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
“Bill has done an excellent job,” Philbin said of Lazor’s work in a radio interview in April. “We’re going to be stressing the tempo of our offense, the play speed.”
Of course, when it comes to the AFC East, fast football is certainly nothing new, and more often than not the uptempo approach starts with New England. While last year’s Patriots eased off the uptempo style that helped to define them offensively over the previous two seasons, New England still was faster than most of the rest of the league in 2013. Using situation-neutral offensive pace, the Patriots ran one play every 26.59 seconds last season, the third-highest rate in the NFL. Only Philadelphia (23.88) and Buffalo (24.92) were faster.
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|Chan Gailey had no doubt Bills ‘were going to score and win the ballgame’||11.11.12 at 9:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For the first time in a long time, it appeared the Bills had the Patriots right where they wanted them heading into the final minute of a game at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots held a 37-31 advantage with just under a minute to play when the Bills took over control and began to march the ball into New England territory.
The drive began with just over two minutes to play at the Bills’ 20 yard-line. Big gains to Steve Johnson and Donald Jones brought the Bills to the Patriots’ 44 yard-line, but two injury timeouts left Buffalo with none remaining.
As running back C.J. Spiller hauled in a dump off pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, took it 14 yards and ran out of bounds, it seemed like the Bills would steal one away from the Patriots for the first time at Gillette Stadium. All they needed was a touchdown.
‘I had every idea we were going to score and win the ballgame by one,’ Bills head coach Chan Gailey said after the game. ‘I mean, that was my total thought. I just knew we were going to do that.’
But that thought was spoiled on a miscommunication between Fitzpatrick and rookie receiver T.J. Graham, as Fitzpatrick was intercepted in the end zone by Devin McCourty with 23 seconds remaining in the game. A Patriots kneel down was all it took to rip the hearts from Bills.
Gailey said that Graham breaks the rout depending on the look the defense gives him. He chose to try and sneak behind McCourty, while Fitzpatrick threw for a rout across his face. Gailey said he’ll have to go back and look at the tape for more analysis.
With the win, the Patriots not only kept an unblemished record at Gillette Stadium against the Bills (now 11-0), but they also completed the 22nd sweep of the AFC East foe all-time in a series that began in 1960.
The Patriots have won 64 times over the Bills in history, which is the highest win total against any single opponent. And Tom Brady now has 20 regular season victories over the Bills ‘ his most against any team in his career. Read the rest of this entry »
|Chan Gailey: Bills can’t be concerned with history this weekend in Foxboro||11.08.12 at 10:02 am ET|
FOXBORO — Bills coach Chan Gailey says he and the rest of his team can’t worry about history as they head into this Sunday’s game against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Despite the fact that Buffalo’s last win in New England came on Nov. 5, 2000 (with Doug Flutie leading the Bills to an overtime win at old Foxboro Stadium), Gailey said his players can’t worry about Buffalo’s historic struggles in New England.
‘I don’t think that is something that is thought about by the players and the coaches as much as it is by the outside people — that is what you all do is gather statistics and put them out there,’ he said of the Bills, who have lost 11 straight in Foxboro. ‘The majority of this team has been here for less than three years, so they don’t know. They just know that they have a big job in front of them as far as going in there and winning a tough game on the road.
‘We have been able to win on the road a couple of times this year, so that is not something that is new to us — being able to go and try to win on the road. We played pretty good for the first quarter last year, so if you can turn that into three quarters, you give yourself a chance.’
One thing that continues to weigh on the minds of the Bills is the way that the Patriots were able to close them out the last time they met. Back on Sept. 30 in Buffalo, the Bills had New England on the ropes ‘ they were holding a 21-7 lead in the second half. That was before the Patriots responded with 45 second-half points on the way to a 52-28 blowout.
‘We let them run the football entirely too successfully in the second half of that ball game,’ Gailey said of the Patriots, who had 247 rushing yards as a team on the afternoon. ‘That is something we know we have to handle going into this next game. If we do not handle that, then all of the rest of it is a moot point. We have to be able to keep them out of the end zone.
‘It looks like their offense has hit their rhythm and they are all in sync now. It looks like they are running the ball better. It probably started with our game. They’re probably running the ball better now than they did coming into our ball game. I think they are just as good defensively and I think their offense has kind of hit a stride and that has allowed the whole team to play better.’
Here are a few other highlights from the media’s Q&A with Gailey:
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|Bills coach Chan Gailey impressed by fast start of Patriots defense||09.26.12 at 2:40 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Despite the downturn in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, Bills coach Chan Gailey believes that this year’s Patriots defense has made a big leap since the end of the 2011 season.
“They are a much-improved run defense from last year and really overall defense,” Gailey said in a conference call with New England media on Wednesday morning.
“I think they finished last year last or next to last. This year they’re 14th. So they have done a very good job of improving their defense. They are playing physical run up front and playing the pass coverage when they have to. They got caught a couple of times last week, but overall, they’ve played much better defensively.”
On the other side of the ball, Gailey knows he has to have the Bills prepared for New England’s no-huddle. Through three weeks, the Patriots have been in no-huddle for 70 of their 222 plays from scrimmage, a rate of 31.5 percent. That including going no-huddle for 34 of their 77 snaps Sunday night against the Ravens, a rate of 44 percent.
“You do the best you can to try to simulate that in practice,” Gailey said of the Patriots’ no-huddle offense. “It’s not easy because they can get to the line and snap one in four to five seconds. They can go to the line, make you show what you have got and then make an audible of some sort. They do a good job of handling that and communicating with each other. That is one of the things you have to practice for, and like I said, it is not easy to get ready for.”
Here are a few other highlights from Gailey’s Q&A from Wednesday morning:
|Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis will present Tom Brady on NFL Network’s ‘Top 100′ Sunday||06.30.11 at 12:06 am ET|
The Patriots announced Wednesday night that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will present Tom Brady on Sunday’s final edition of the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players” countdown, a list compiled by a players-only vote that features the best in the game.
Brady will be part of the Top 10, and the fifth New England player on the list ‘ Vince Wilfork (35), Logan Mankins (39), Wes Welker (50) and Jerod Mayo (62) were all previously a part of the countdown. Mankins and Mayo were presented by Patriots coach Bill Belichick, while Wilfork had New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma present him and Welker was presented by Buffalo coach Chan Gailey.
The show airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.
|Wes Welker listed as No. 50 on NFL Network’s list of ‘Top 100′||06.06.11 at 12:24 am ET|
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker checked in at No. 50 on the list of the NFL’s “Top 100″ Sunday night, a feature running on the NFL Network that counts down the best players in the league as voted on by the players. Presenting Welker was Bills head coach Chan Gailey. Here are a few highlights of Gailey’s presentation (click here for the complete piece):
‘A lot of people think he’s just an underneath threat, but he gets it in so many different ways. He can get it on the quick screen. Short in-routes. Short out-routes. Double juke route. He can get down the field in the seam. People don’t probably give Wes enough credit for his down-the-field stuff because he is so known for the underneath.’
‘He has this great understanding of the game and of route-running and where the holes are in the defense, and how to get a guy off-balance and create just enough opening for Tom [Brady] to get him the ball. That little motion stuff he does allows him to set a guy up and keep a guy off balance. If he gets a half-step, that’s all he needs.’
‘Yards after the catch are probably one of the most underappreciated stats in the NFL ‘ he breaks a tackle, runs through a tackle, makes somebody miss. Sometimes you say ‘How did he outrun that guy to the corner after he caught the ball?’ But he does. You don’t know how he did it, but he did.
‘Now with the development of Wes, and what he’s done in the short area ‘ inside, especially third down ‘ he’s the guy that everybody compares the next guy to. Can he be the next Wes Welker?’
Welker is the second Patriots player to a part of the countdown thus far ‘ linebacker Jerod Mayo came in at No. 62.
|Video: Chan Gailey talks quarterbacks and all things Bills||02.24.11 at 10:38 am ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Bills coach Chan Gailey kicked things off here at Lucas Oil Stadium, fielding questions about his team’s quarterback situation, the direction they may go in with the third overall pick, and multiple other subjects.
Quarterback was the most popular topic. Gailey said he regrets not handing Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting job out of camp, and that he has been to the playoffs with less capable quarterbacks. Even so, he the coach is “anxious” to see Auburn quarterback Cam Newton throw. He added that he’d rather have a less experienced QB who knows a pro-style offense than someone who has spent multiple years in a different offense. Check out the video below of Gailey discussing signal-callers.
– Last year’s first round pick, C.J. Spiller, made minimal impact as a rookie. The ninth overall pick rushed for just 283 yards on 74 carries and no rushing touchdowns (he did catch one).
“It didn’t work out like any of us planned,” Gailey said. I still think he’s going to be a very good to great player for the Buffalo Bills. There’s no question in my mind on that.”
– Gailey said the Bills will be going with a “little bit of both” defensively next season, running both the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes going forward.
“Multiple, hybrid,” he said, “whatever term you want to use.”
– When asked to assess his job with the Bills thus far, Gailey responded “four out of 16 is 25? Twenty-five percent.”
“This is a win business,” he added. “That’s the bottom line.”