ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A generation ago, Bills great Thurman Thomas was the leading man in Buffalo's no-huddle offense, but one of the keys to the success of that offense was that Thomas had a productive and reliable backup in Kenny Davis to give him much-needed breathers, not to mention fill in when Thomas was hurt.
The Bills have an even better situation in 2015 with star back LeSean McCoy and rookie reserve Karlos Williams serving as a dynamic 1-2 punch in the backfield. They have combined for 888 yards rushing, 249 yards receiving, and 10 touchdowns. "I like it," said McCoy. "With any team you need depth. A guy goes down, you need a guy to make some plays. He's in there making plays and stepping up. So I like it. It's doing well for our offense."
McCoy has rounded into shape the last few weeks after being slowed at the beginning of the year by a hamstring injury. He has back-to-back 100-yard games, while Williams has tied an NFL record by scoring at least one touchdown in the first six games of his NFL career. McCoy said he knew early on that Williams, a fifth-round pick out of Florida State, was going to be a contributor this season.
"Just in camp," said McCoy. "I mean the plays he's made. Bigger back. A lot of bigger backs aren't as explosive as Karlos. Karlos has explosion to him and he does different things outside of the box. So he can do a lot and I mean G-Ro (offensive coordinator Greg Roman) will really utilize him in the best ways."
--When the Bills brought in wide receiver Percy Harvin as a free agent in the offseason, it figured to cut into wide receiver Robert Woods' targets, and it did. However, even with Harvin now on injured reserve, Woods has played a fairly minimal role in Buffalo's passing game this season. Two weeks ago against Miami, Woods was held without a catch for the first time in his NFL career, ending a streak of 37 consecutive games with at least one catch. Last week against the Jets, he had just three catches for 19 yards, and for the season, he has 29 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns.
What Woods has been doing more than catching is blocking, and he has played a role in helping the Bills average 142.3 yards per game, second best in the league.
"That's my role here - blocking receiver," Woods said recently. "Get these guys going. Other teams, other roles, everything's different. But this role here for me is to get these guys free." Woods is willing to do it, but like any receiver, he'd prefer to catch passes. When both Harvin and Sammy Watkins missed the Jacksonville game, Woods stepped up with nine catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. "It's a new role, you know what I'm saying?" Woods said. "I'm adapting to it. You have to swallow your pride and keep winning games."