ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – We haven’t seen Bills running back Zack Moss 100% healthy since the Wild Card Game against the Colts.
That’s where he got a little taste of the playoffs last year but only a little after suffering an ankle injury in that game that cut his season short. He had surgery in the offseason and that’s why he wasn’t a full go during spring workouts. Moss was in the red, non-contact jersey but he is expected to be ready for training camp.
The Bills running game has been a big topic of discussion since the season ended. Even at their end of the year zoom calls, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane both talked about the importance of running the ball more efficiently, something they didn’t often last year.
Moss split time with Devin Singletary last year and don’t expect that two back system to change. It doesn’t seem like they’ll go with a feature back, rather lean on that 1-2 punch. But their production was underwhelming in 2020. Part of that is because of run blocking and another is play calling.
“I think the best thing I could say without giving away strategy is you have to evolve. The word balance gets thrown out there, at the end of the day what does it take to win the game, what does it take to develop the offense, what does it take to close out games,” McDermott said in June.
With the way Josh Allen played last season and how explosive the passing game was, that was the focal point of the Bills offense so they didn’t need to rely on a dynamic running game.
“It’s always moving in terms of that bullseye, depending on the opponent, the situation, there’s other ways to be balanced without being balanced. Without getting into strategy and inside the walls here, I do believe you win up front, got to be able to control the line of scrimmage whether you are throwing it or running it to put up points,” McDermott explained.
And the way they won games last year was with their passing game. But they do still need some sort of running game to compliment that and it doesn’t necessarily mean running more just running more efficiently.
Moss rushed for 481 yards and four touchdowns his rookie year after the Bills drafted him in the third-round out of Utah in 2020. He also had 14 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. His best game came in week 8 against the Patriots where he rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
With Moss having a year under his belt, being healthy and with all five starters on the offensive line finally able to play together, the running game should be able to take steps forward in 2021.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.