Buffalo Bills working in different personnel formations early in training camp

Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle)
Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle) /

Early in training camp, it has been a little bit of a learning process for the Buffalo Bills offense. Not only are there new players on this side of the ball, like James Cook, Khalil Shakir, and O.J. Howard, but they have a new person calling plays.

Ken Dorsey is entering his first year as offensive coordinator for the Bills and is taking over for Brian Daboll, who had been in that role for the prior four seasons but is now head coach of the New York Giants.

Buffalo Bills working in different personnel sets to figure out what works best

On Wednesday, Dorsey spoke to about where they are as an offense and what the focus is. According to Heather Prusak, Dorsey said that right now they are trying to find what works best and the best personnel groups.

This aligns with what Dawson Knox said earlier in training camp, where the Bills are playing more 13 personnel, which is one wide receiver, one running back, and three tight ends than he can remember with the team. He also said they are playing more in that formation than 22 personnel, which is two wide receivers, two tight ends, and one running back.

According to Sharp Football Analysis, the Bills played 79% of their snaps in either three or four wide receiver sets. In fact, they didn’t have a single snap in 13 personnel and only nine snaps in 22 personnel all of last year.

For the Bills, this was likely due to the fact that Brian Daboll constructed an offense for the players that he had. While the team did have Tommy Sweeney, he is not on the same level as someone like O.J. Howard.

The addition of Howard should give Buffalo more flexibility in terms of personnel and that can only help this offense as they can give defenses different looks during the course of a game.

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In the end, the Buffalo Bills may not ever utilize 13 personnel but it is smart at this point of training camp to work through all these personnel sets to try and find something that may not have been used previously that could be effective this season.