Will there be a sack resurgence?

Will there be a sack resurgence?

Overview

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Canio Marasco Contributing Correspondent

The Bills pass rushing exploits have regressed the last two seasons. Can they recapture their league-leading QB harassment capabilities under Sean McDermott?

Camp Countdown presented by M&T Bank will examine some of the more pressing issues facing the team on the field as they make their final preparations for the regular season. We also focus on a few different areas that impact the team off the field. We’ll address these subjects one at a time until training camp begins. Here now is the latest daily installment as we carefully probe for some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between July 27th and the Sept. 10th opener at New Era Field against the New York Jets.

Just two years ago, the Bills boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL. With the addition of Rex Ryan, many thought the Bills defense would reach an even higher-level of success. Paradoxically, the Bills defense regressed under Ryan. The most notable change was the precipitous decrease in sacks. After two years of low sack totals, the Bills have made big changes on the defensive side of the ball. Here are three reasons why the Bills will shake off last season and enjoy a sack resurgence in 2017.

Just two years ago, the Bills boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL. With the addition of Rex Ryan, many thought the Bills defense would reach an even higher-level of success. Paradoxically, the Bills defense regressed under Ryan. The most notable change was the precipitous decrease in sacks. After two years of low sack totals, the Bills have made big changes on the defensive side of the ball. Here are three reasons why the Bills will shake off last season and enjoy a sack resurgence in 2017.

PREVIOUS 4-3 OUTPUT
In 2013, under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the Bills built one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. The star-studded defensive line decimated opposing teams, and totaled 57 sacks on the season. In 2014, under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, the Bills defense continued their dominance, totaling 54 sacks on the year.

The common denominator between those two productive defenses was the scheme. Both Pettine and Schwartz used a 4-3 system. Ryan, however, used a complex defense that was based in a 3-4 front.

Under Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the Bills will be returning to the 4-3.

“We’re implementing a 4-3 scheme and the guys have really bought into that and that’s what we’re practicing and that’s what we’re looking forward to,” said Frazier. “[It’s] what we’re both most comfortable with, and we think it fits our players well.”

The production of the Bills defense in 2013 and 2014 can’t be completely attributed to the 4-3 scheme. However, as Frazier stated, the Bills’ current personnel fits the new scheme better. With players enjoying better fits and roles they’re familiar with, sacks could certainly be on the rise next season.