JUST IN: Buffalo Bills OC Joe Brady planning a new-look offense

JUST IN: Buffalo Bills OC Joe Brady planning a new-look offense

The Buffalo Bills officially have a new offensive coordinator in Joe Brady, and his approach to running an offense that on paper looks like the bills came due (and Buffalo couldn’t pay) just might be what helps him navigate a wealth of change in personnel. There’s an almost completely new wide receiver room, and new — or reassigned — offensive linemen, plus a host of new talent at running back.


Brady’s approach could be the impetus for putting the adrenaline back into what, a year ago, was thought to be one of the league’s most high-powered offenses.


Joe Brady isn’t a new face around One Bills Drive. He moved from quarterbacks coach to interim offensive coordinator midseason last year, after Buffalo’s offense fizzled out and looked like they had run out of octane long before they reached the station. They were struggling to put two back-to-back wins together by October, so Brady was called on to try and find some source of fuel and re-light a fire that was quickly smoldering. He did just that, and in January he was given the official nod as the team’s OC and was able to start making plans for a new season.


The plan: “At the end of the day, this is Josh Allen’s offense,” Brady said on Tuesday.


It’s not quite that simple — or is it? Brady discussed the loss of Stefon Diggs who was traded to the Houston Texans this offseason. Brady said that while opponents had to plan for the All-Pro every week, they also had to plan for Allen, and, well, Allen’s a wild card — you never know what he’s going to do.


Of course, Allen takes the field with 10 other guys, and Brady said that he’s using OTAs to determine each player’s strengths so that he can design a game plan that utilizes all of the weapons general manager Brandon Beane has sent his way.


“Your offense is Josh Allen’s offense, but it’s also about what your players do well, do this is the time right now that we’re experimenting with some things, like, ‘can this guy do this? Can this guy not do this?’” Brady talked about his goals for the spring workouts. “We’ll continue to evolve, and come September, we’re hoping that we’ll have a good feel.”


Brady said that the plan is to have a new offensive feel when the Bills take the field in the fall. One that the players believe in. One that he believes in. But he also said that it didn’t mean that he was scrapping everything they’ve ever done. He plans to integrate the things he liked from last year along with things that will showcase the strengths of the personnel he now has.


“There’ll be some elements of things that I believe in, but it’s more of — tell me who we have on our football team and what they can do well,” he said, adding that he wants to have as many guys involved in the game plan as possible. “We’re going to do that.”


But, again, in Buffalo, it’s Josh Allen’s offense. And, so, OTAs are about getting everyone in line with what the plan is — not an easy task given that Khalil Shakir is the only returning receiver from last year’s active roster.


“You gotta be really intentional about it, because at the end of the day, there’s only one guy in the receiver room who’s even caught a ball from Josh in a game,” Brady said about the way he’s asking his offense to attack OTAs. “Every rep in practice, the individual, there’s such an intention behind what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”


Shakir, the ‘only guy in the receiver room’ that Brady was referring to, summed up Brady’s approach for him: “He tells us all the time, ‘everybody eats.’”


September is still three months away. There’s plenty of time for Brady to learn his players’ strengths, and make sure that his plan complements all of them so that they can all ‘eat’. And, of course, for Josh Allen to rise back up and be, well, Josh Allen.




Gideon Canice

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