Entering his ninth NFL season, all with the Buffalo Bills, Eric Wood knows a thing or two about change.
He is on his eighth head coach, counting the interim coach (Perry Fewell) who guided the team through the final seven games of his rookie year in 2009 and the one that was in place for the final game of last season (Anthony Lynn). Offensive coordinators and systems have come and gone.
‘I’ve had really positive impressions of everyone they’ve brought in’
But the veteran center is still around, and he finds himself adjusting, once again, to different people doing things a different way. Not only did the Bills change coaches, with Sean McDermott replacing Rex Ryan, but they also changed general managers, with Brandon Beane taking over for Doug Whaley, and overhauling the entire player-personnel staff.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of new faces in the building, from staff to coaches to players,” Wood told Tom Pelissero and Bill Polian on Late Hits. “But that happens when you’re not winning. And we’ve been close, but close isn’t what the Pegulas (Bills owners Terry and Kim) are looking for and that’s not what we’re looking for, either. So they’ve made a lot of changes and, hopefully, they’ll all be for the good. I’ve had really positive impressions of everyone they’ve brought in.”
‘I’ve seen this offense on film a lot of times throughout my career and, honestly, I’ve wanted to play in it’
One of Wood’s biggest adjustments is to the new offense being installed by new coordinator Rick Dennison. It is different than any other scheme in which Wood has played and will challenge him and the Bills’ other linemen to be more mobile because of the movement involved.
“I’ve seen this offense on film a lot of times throughout my career and, honestly, I’ve wanted to play in it,” Wood said. “They do a lot of running, a lot of play-action. The play-action looks so similar to the run that you’re going to run a lot of pass reps throughout a game that the defensive line is generally reading run on. For me, it’s a little more wide zone, a little more lateral movement from the start than what I’m used to.
‘I’m excited to see where we can go as an offense’
“But I’m familiar with it and lot of the plays, the Xs and Os, I’ve ran at some point in my career here. We may call them something a little bit different, we might have a little bit different technique, but this offense, I’ve had a lot of respect for with the Shanahans and it’s held up really well over time. And probably the most potent offense in the league last year, Atlanta, Kyle Shanahan was running a version of this system, so I’m excited to see where we can go as an offense.”
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