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IT'S NOT JUST THE TOOLS; IT'S THE WHOLE BLUEPRINT

Over the last five to six seasons, the NFL has become a copycat league with little discernible difference in the talent level between teams. This has forced a shift in philosophy. Defenses have become far more aggressive, offenses more creative. More teams employ zone blitz schemes, the Bills included, to attack an offense instead of the read-and-react style prevalent in the late 1980s and early '90s.

This simple fact has caused offenses to adapt to survive. To run the ball against seven- and eight-man fronts you see teams using stunts and zone blocking to open lanes. The best rushing team over the last five seasons, Denver, has done so with linemen of average size and talent. It's the design that makes it work.

In order for the passing game to be successful, a team needs its quarterback to be mobile, quick-witted and more athletic than in years past. Take a look at which teams are considered to have good pass-blocking lines. The Vikings and Packers come to mind. They both have mobile quarterbacks.

The Bills have none of this. They are trying to win with an outdated philosophy. Gone are the days of the four-man rush and the pocket passer. Patriots coach Bill Belichick knew this when he traded Bledsoe. I'm sorry, fellow Bills fans. Until the coaches and our beloved GM accept the truth, we will be doomed to watch more games like last Sunday in Baltimore and, ultimately, more losing seasons.

Steven Wert

Rome

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