Wednesday, June 5, 2013

YAC-savvy Reed ready for Bills to 'open it up'


The Buffalo Bills' young offense is building some buzz, at least from one of the most electric players to ever don the uniform.

Former wideout Andre Reed, who knows a thing or two about making big plays, is intrigued by the potential of his team's new skill players and system. (photo: Neon Tommy, Flickr)

"I’m real excited about what Doug (Marrone) wants to do there, and the offensive coordinator and what he wants to do," Reed told Chris Brown of "A big, strong quarterback in E.J. (Manuel), really mobile guy and in Buffalo you’ve got to have a strong arm and he has a strong arm.

"It’ll be interesting to see. It looks like on paper they want to open it up with that West Coast style offense and get the guys the ball early so they can do something with the ball. It should be an exciting year. I think C.J. Spiller is really exciting. He’s got to be."

The seven-time Pro Bowler certainly knew what to do when he got the the ball in his hands. Heck, the fact that YAC (yards after catch) statistics weren't tallied for the first nine years of Reed's career couldn't even stop him from earning the nickname.

From 1994 (the year YAC record keeping began) to 1998, Reed averaged 4.12 yards after the catch. In comparison, Hall of Famer Jerry Rice averaged the exact same amount of yards in that time span.

Though YAC stats aren't kept in college, the Bills' mix of size, speed and big-play ability certainly adds a bit of appeal to the youthful group.

The team's second-round pick, Robert Woods, averaged 11.5 yards per catch his senior year for the Trojans. Marquise Goodwin averaged 13 yards. And Da'Rick Rogers, before leaving Tennessee, averaged 15.5 yards in 2011. Combine that with C.J. Spiller's 12-yard YAC average from last year and the threat seems pretty legit.

The big question has been and continues to be who will throw those passes. Coach Marrone has given the majority of first-team snaps to Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson thus far, but he's also made sure that rookie E.J. Manuel gets his due in the early stages of the offseason.

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