Let me start off by saying I am a huge fan of Greg Roman. I love the scheme that he brings when it comes to the ground game. The concepts that he was able run with a somewhat unknown offensive line in 2015, was quite impressive. After the season, he along with many fans were curious as to why he wasn’t getting interviews for Head Coaching gigs. He mentored a first time starter in Tyrod Taylor to a successful season by many standards. But still no calls…Fortunately for the Bills, the spots were filled and we were able to head into the off-season with him and the offensive line in tact.
During Super Bowl week, former Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer was speaking about Tyrod Taylor. He made some comments to the Buffalo News in regards to whether Taylor is a franchise QB and he even shared his opinion on Greg Roman’s passing game:
“I think they need a little more expansive drop-back game. I’m not a fan of what they do schematically in their passing game. I think it needs to grow a little bit. They’re very predicated off play-action and their run game.We forget these coaches are supposed to be teachers, and when they’re not, it affects the players. And unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t have all good teachers. There are a lot of guys who have coached and have ‘OC’ by their name—it doesn’t mean they can teach. Usually you can tell if a quarterback’s being developed right by what his eyes and feet are doing. That offense doesn’t have a real flow to the passing game. The feet and the eyes don’t always match what’s going on downfield. That’s not a Tyrod Taylor issue. That’s a coaching issue.”
The last few sentences really resonated with me. As productive as Taylor was in 2015, the Bills still struggled through the air. It couldn’t all be because of Tyrod Taylor’s inexperience.
So I looked at the career stats of Greg Roman’s offenses and of course he dominated on the ground but was quite terrible through the air. The 2015 season by Taylor was pretty much on par for yards and touchdowns scored. So was the lack of a passing game really because of the inexperienced Taylor?
Everyone knows how complicated Roman’s running game is, specifically the run blocking. I am sure a majority of the practice time is spent rehearsing those concepts. It’s only natural that the passing game suffers. Don’t get me wrong I love the old school, pound the rock, shorten the game mentality. But if your running game is that dominant you would think that the passing game would at least be more efficient, especially on third downs. But that isn’t the case, the Bills were the worst team in three and outs according to Football Outsiders. Third down tendencies are studied by defensive coordinators and they game-plan to stop what offenses do best. So if you have an inefficient third down play-call or simple scheme, defenses will win those plays more than not. It is no coincidence that Roman’s passing attack struggled on third downs in my opinion.
When you study the Bills’ offensive advanced stats it backs up their domination on the ground and in early pass downs. But they also show their inability to convert on third down passes.
Based on the comments made by the Super Bowl winning quarterback and from looking at the statistics I wanted to see if the inept passing game was primarily due to an inexperienced quarterback.
So I took a sample of Taylor’s two best graded (Miami, Washington) and two worst graded (New England x2) passing games according to Pro Football Focus. Coincidentally, two of the games were in the first half of the season and two in the second half. I highlighted his limitations and improvements in the Greg Roman passing game. I wanted to see what Greg Roman was designing for Taylor and to see how Taylor evolved over the course of the season. Remember how fans were saying that Tyrod seems like a one read and done QB? Was it his fault? The film makes me very nervous long term…
After watching this video, are you nervous?
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