On the Thursday night debacle against the St. Louis Rams, a national audience was treated to glimpses, and appetizer if you would, of Mike Miller's magnum opus. Due to desperate circumstances (see: Cardinals were losing), Miller was forced to unveil some of his unperfected work in an attempt to pull out yet another strenuous Cardinals victory. Unfortunately, his efforts were futile, as his offensive design was not yet honed to perfection. But do not fret poor Cardinal fan, for on Sunday you will witness true beauty as Miller showcases his own masterpiece, in an offensive gameplan.
"But GreaZzy," you undoubtedly ask yourself, "why should we expect anything different from Mike Miller's playcalling, than what we've witnessed during his entire tenure as the offensive coordinator?" Well I will tell you why: foreshadowing, necessity, and a match up against the Bills at an opportune time.
Here's the part where I actually talk about those good plays Mike Miller called in the 4th quarter of the Card's loss. If you haven't already blocked out that loss in its entirety (which I don't blame you for doing), you may recall a few plays in which the Cardinals actually moved the ball with authority. And no, they did not do so by running the "Kurt Warner offense", they did so by utilizing a variety of playmakers and getting the ball out of Kolb's hand quickly. They had a 12 yard draw play, designed running back catches, a bunch of short passes in which the recipient of the pass was able to gain a lot of extra yards.
Unless Mike Miller and Co. are completely oblivious, they will see that this is the best way to run the Cardinal's offense, by not giving the offensive line time to screw it up. Heck, you can even go for deep passes, as long as you're keeping the pass rushers in check with plenty of draws, screens and quick passes.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and fortunately for Mike Miller, his masterpiece (which will likely end up as a one hit wonder) has been born out of necessity. After losing Ryan Williams earlier this week for the season, the Cardinals find themselves without a high round draft pick to rely on. Seeing as the running backs left healthy on the roster are not of the "early round, high talent" variety, Miller will have to get creative to be successful. Expect to see a high usage of Anthony Sherman, and hopefully a properly deployed and healthy Larod Stephens-Howling as the beneficiaries of the creative playcalling, whilst William Powell and Alfonso Smith share the traditional running back duties.
Furthermore, if the Cardinals hope to keep Kolb alive for the remainder of the season, they are going to have to start getting the ball out fast. Keep the pass rushers at bay with screens and draws, and that should keep them out of Kolb's kitchen a bit. Miller's going to have to cut all his seven step drops out of the playbook for this week.
The Bills have been embarrassed the past two games, specifically the past six quarters. They will be looking to come into Arizona, after seeing Kolb sacked 12,000 times against the Dolphins and Rams, and get their pass rush going. Nothing takes the wind out of a pass rusher's sail more than a quick read offense. Mike Miller's masterful magnus opus will frustrate them to no end. Screens, draws, slants, hooks, wheels early and often.
If Miller calls for the normal 5 man protection, 5 step drop the Bills dormant pass rush will awaken and feast on Kevin Kolb. That is why it is imperative that Miller utilizes the timing of the game on both teams schedule, and never give the Bills a chance to get to Kolb. Plus, they'd never see it coming! I mean do you think the BIlls will gameplan for the short passing game, after seeing the Cardinals fruitlessly attempt to channel the spirit of Kurt Warner?
Remember to bring a box of tissues to the game on Sunday, because Miller's gameplan will bring even the most jaded Cardinal's fan (I'm looking at you Arizona Retiree) to tears. It will be a thing a beauty and Kolb will be able to leave University of Phoenix Stadium with a clean jersey and an offensive gameplan to fit his skill set.
Or, you know, I could be completely wrong, and Miller doesn't change anything. Hmm, maybe you should bring a bottle of Advil Kolb, just in case.