With the Buffalo Bills using multiple formations and personnel, quarterbacks coach Jim Shofner calls most of the plays.
When the Bills are in the no-huddle, three-receiver set, quarterback Jim Kelly calls all of those plays, because the package of plays in that mode is limited and much more manageable.
Head coach Marv Levy said this week the offense will be staying with the multiple-formation approach. And getting the calls from the sidelines still is a big adjustment for Kelly, according to Shofner.
"He has prepared himself for 10 years now to actually be the guy running the game on the field," Shofner said. "So now he's kind of got to go in neutral, get stuff from the sidelines, and evaluate it. In a way, it's easier for him because the mental stress of actually calling the game is so great. But I think it's more of an adjustment than he has realized.
"When he calls a play, he knows exactly why he called that play," Shofner said. "It came from his mind. 'I'm doing it because I saw that, and this is what we should do against it.' "
Now, Shofner said, Kelly gets the play from the sideline and he has to stop and think about the reasoning. For instance, maybe it's because of a tendency of the defense or because of something that happened a couple of series before or they're setting the defense up for something to come.
"Now he has to think, 'OK, that play comes in for this reason.' It's different for him."
The Bills' defense is ranked fifth in the NFL in yards allowed. They are first in yards allowed per play. They are 13th against the run and No. 3 against the pass. The Bills' offense is 22nd in yards gained, 12th rushing and 24th passing.
Only four teams have a worse turnover differential than the Bills. Buffalo has made eight more turnovers than it has takeaways. The Bills' 16 turnovers are tied for fourth most in the league. Their eight takeaways are eighth fewest in the league.
Bruce Smith is tied for third in the league in sacks with seven.
Rookie Gabe Northern played pretty well for the second straight week at right outside linebacker, and it's possible he will take over for Sam Rogers at the position. Rogers missed his second game due to a sprained knee and ankle and may miss this week's game against the Jets due to the injury.
Northern seems to have a knack for making things happen. He batted down two passes against Miami, including a near interception of a pass in the flat in the third quarter. He also smelled out a reverse by O.J. McDuffie in the second quarter. If Northern had gone with the fake on the play, it would have been a big gainer. But he threw off quarterback Craig Erickson, who was trying to make a block, and stuffed McDuffie.
Each of Kelly's three interceptions came on forced throws into coverage. Shofner blamed himself on the second one, which came on a throw over the middle intended for Quinn Early with 5:20 left in the game.
"It was not a good call on my part," Shofner said. "We had run the play (early in the game), and he hit it good. We ran the play a second time, and Jim got sacked, but the play was still there (open). Now later on I called it again for the third time, and they recognized it. He kind of had to throw it in a crack. He didn't have any options on the thing. So that was on me as much as it was on him."
The Bills waived nose tackle Ed Philion and activated, from the practice squad, rookie tight end Jay Riemersma, a seventh-round draft pick from Michigan.
The Bills were off Tuesday and return to practice today.