Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bills’ Brad Smith up for any role coach has for him


Buffalo Bills utility man Brad Smith is one of the more versatile offensive weapons in the NFL.

But last season, Smith was given just 28 opportunities to do so last season, not counting his special teams work. In those 28 tries, Smith was split evenly between pass and run, tallying 268 yards and three touchdowns. (photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr)

Much of the blame for last season’s offensive woes landed on former coach Chan Gailey, who struggled to find a successful balance with not only Smith, but the running backs, as well.

And though he may have been underutilized, Smith seemed to make the most of his opportunities, averaging more than 9.5 yards in those 28 attempts.

"I love having the ball," Smith recently told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. "I love having the chance to make plays, but who doesn't? If you don't want to have the ball in your hands and make plays, then you probably shouldn't be playing.

"But whatever coach says. I'll block. I'll tackle. I'll do whatever as long as we're [in the playoffs] next year. That's all that matters to me."

Graham noted that new Bills coach Doug Marrone did use a version of the Wildcat on occasion with Syracuse, and that the option to keep those plays in the playbook in Buffalo still exists.

If nothing else, Smith proved to be an effective special teams contribution last season, ranking in the top five in kick return average among those with 15 or more attempts. Of note, teammate and Pro Bowler Leodis McKelvin was fourth in the league.

Follow Dan @DanBegnoche
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily