Running Game Will Be a Focus for Bills This Offseason

Devin Singletary

Getty Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary gets taken down during Buffalo's Week 8 matchup with the New England Patriots.

In order to take the next step, the Buffalo Bills need to improve in a number of ways and over the course of the past week, both general manager Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have discussed areas of the team that they need to improve this offseason.

When McDermott met with the media for his end of the season exit interview, he gave some insight into how the Bills need to attack the offseason.

“Here’s what I know from experience. If you sit here and say all we need to do is this much more to make it to the Super Bowl then you’re wrong,” McDermott said via Spectrum News Buffalo sports reporter Jon Scott. “You carry a lot of things forward, but you gotta start all over. You gotta rebuild the football team, you gotta grow as an individual. You gotta take it upon yourself, just because we had success, you gotta ask yourself the hard questions. I can start off and say that we need to run the football better.”

Being able to run the football better is one thing that both McDermott and Beane touched on during their recent media availabilities, but they know it’s something they don’t need to be able to do all the time. With the high-powered passing offense that they put together this season, the Bills will be able to beat most teams by leaning on the arm of Josh Allen and the slew of his receivers.

The Bills finished the regular season with the second-best offense in the league behind the Kansas City Chiefs as they averaged 396.4 yards per game. They also had the third-best passing offense in the NFL, averaging 288.8 yards per game while also rushing for 107.7 yards as well.

So although they don’t necessarily need the running game, Beane knows that they need to be able to run the ball in certain situations throughout the season.

“In certain games, certain situations; whether it’s weather, the opponent, they’re really good at pass rushing, they have an outstanding defensive backfield, whenever it’s going to be harder to throw, those games we want to be able to run it,” Beane said during an appearance on WGR 550 this week. “We want to be team-specific. If this team we’re [playing] coming up is not a good run defense, then we should try and exploit them a little bit if they’re strong in the pass. … Balance doesn’t mean running it 50 times, throwing it 50 times. Whether it’s 2-to-1, whatever, just being able to do it when you need to do it to affect the game.”

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The Bills Showed the Ability to Run This Year

The Bills weren’t completely hopeless in the running game this year though either. During four different games this season, the Bills ran for 130 yards or more as a team and recorded a season-high 190 rushing yards against the New England Patriots in Week 8.

They also tallied 182 rushing yards against the Denver Broncos in their AFC East title-clinching win. But the Bills still struggled to run the ball for most of the season and Beane believes that it’s not just something that should be placed on the running backs, but the entire team.

“Running the football is very complex and it’s obviously the offensive-line, it’s the tight ends, and it’s the receivers,” Beane said during his end of the season video conference call. “If one guy doesn’t make his block the play is probably dead and there were plays this year where we were one guy away.”

Second-year running back Devin Singletary and rookie running back Zack Moss combined for 1,168 yards and six touchdowns this season while Allen rushed for 421 yards and eight touchdowns.

Bills Connected to a Running Back in Mel Kiper’s First Mock Draft

When the offseason comes, draft speculation starts, and although they may have two talented running backs in their backfield the Bills have already been connected to Alabama running back Najee Harris.

In his first mock draft of the offseason, ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had the Bills picking Harris with the No. 30 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

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