They've seen it, run it – and even have its innovator in-house. Yet the Bills still aren't quite sure what to expect from the Jets on Sunday.
Chan Gailey has picked the brain of his quarterbacks coach David Lee, the guy who introduced the Wildcat to Tony Sparano during their days together in Miami. But Gailey admitted Lee's expertise of the formation won’t account for all of the wrinkles Sparano will throw at them in Sunday's opener.
"I think (David) has a fairly good idea of what Tony wants to do, likes to do and believes in," the Bills coach said in a conference call Wednesday. "They'll be some new wrinkles as well, so you're trying to cover all your bases. But you're trying to make sure you've got all your basic concepts down defensively because you're going to see something you haven't seen."
Gailey is confident his defense will do a "sound" job defending Tim Tebow and the Wildcat. But still, the secrecy surrounding Sparano's plan for the offense makes it somewhat difficult to prepare for.
"Until you see something a couple of times, they may get a few yards," he said. "But hopefully once you see it a few times your players will adjust and react accordingly. When you don't know what you're going to see, it creates a little bit of a problem. It does."
In his defense of the Wildcat -- a formation several teams/players consider a gimmick -- Jets coach Rex Ryan had said it's effectiveness is seen not only on game day, but in the days leading up to it.
And it appears, he's right.
"You have to pay attention it," Gailey said, when asked about the Jets keeping the Wildcat under wraps. "They've got a good weapon in Tebow, so you have to expect it. You have to work on it. You're getting what they're going to do a little bit, but you have to spend time on it."
Here are some other tidbits from Gailey's conference call with the New York media:
* The Jets former Wildcat specialist WR Brad Smith (groin) is expected to practice Wednesday. "(He's) getting better," Gailey said. ...He'll be ready to do a little more tomorrow, a little bit more Friday. And hopefully we'll get him for Sunday."
* Gailey is just as unsure as we are about the state of the Jets' offense and how Tebow fits into it. "You don't know exactly what his role is," the Bills coach said of Tebow. "He's certainly a very good athlete and has been very productive as a quarterback. So I think that really he can do a lot of things for you as a football player. He's proven to be a winner and leader, so I think he gives them a lot of options. I don't know if they'll limit him or create a big package for him. We don't know which way it's going to go right now."
Gailey also noted Mark Sanchez has played well against the Bills in the past, but he said it was hard to evaluate how the starting quarterback looked in the preseason because of the uncertainty surrounding the Jets offense.
"I don't know what this offense is going to be like exactly," the coach said. "We've seen some things in preseason, but we all save things for the regular season. Everybody does. So what it's going to look like actually after two or three weeks. ...It's more of the offense than it is him I should say."
* Could this Bills defensive line be among the best in the NFL? "Could be," but only time will tell, said Gailey. "It's not what you have on paper. It's how you play on Sundays. We could be there, yes. But you've gotta go do it. You can't just talk about it and you can't just name people. They've gotta get the job done."