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No more no-huddle offense? Bills coaches, players aren't saying

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills' no-huddle offense has suddenly become the no-comment attack.

If the Bills intend to scuttle the offense they have used since May, no one was willing to say after practice Thursday as the team prepared to visit the New York Jets this weekend.

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A Bills media relations official told reporters to ask only injury-related questions to Dick Jauron, though the coach has often discussed other topics on previous Thursdays. When a reporter asked Jauron about the no-huddle attack, the coach walked away without saying a word.

Bills players also declined to discuss the topic. Lee Evans said he didn't know. Fellow wide receiver Josh Reed said he didn't have time to talk because he had to go to the trainer's room. Running back Fred Jackson would only say, "No," when asked if the no-huddle attack was being pushed aside in Buffalo.

Questions about the Bills' offense came up after Internet reports said the team is overhauling its offense and getting rid of the no-huddle.

The Bills' offense is being blamed for the team's 1-4 start and is under additional criticism following a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. With a young and inexperienced offensive line, Buffalo was flagged nine times for false-start penalties and failed to score an offensive touchdown for the second time in the last three weeks.

Quarterback Trent Edwards also has struggled. In losing the past three games, he has gone 50-of-91 passing for 500 yards and one touchdown with five interceptions. He also has been blamed for failing to involve Evans and Terrell Owens in the passing game.

Owens, who signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Bills in March, has 12 catches for 202 yards and one touchdown, and his 185-game reception streak was snapped during a 27-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 27. Owens ranks 57th in the NFL in receiving yards this season, not a customary place for someone who has nine 1,000-yard seasons and is fifth on the NFL career yards list.

On Monday following the loss to the Browns, Jauron had said the Bills are considering making changes.

"I really don't think it's that," Jauron said, referring to whether the no-huddle attack resulted in the false-start penalties. "But we'll give everything some thought."

Practice sessions are closed to the media except for a 15-minute window while players take part in individual drills. On Thursday, reporters were asked to head for the exit with two minutes left in the session.

The Bills' no-huddle attack wasn't impressive even in the preseason, when the first-string offense failed to score a touchdown in four games. The struggles, in part, led to Jauron firing offensive coordinator Turk Schonert 10 days before the start of the regular season and replacing him with quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.

Jauron introduced the no-huddle attack this offseason in a bid to spark an offense that has ranked 25th or worst in net yards in each of the past six seasons. Jauron hoped an aggressive attack would wear down defenses, who would be unable to make substitutions during drives.

That hasn't always worked.

"We need to win," Edwards said when asked what needs to change. "We're working as hard as we possibly can right now to try to fix that."

Notes: The chances that starting FS Donte Whitner (thumb) and starting LB Paul Posluszny (broken arm) will play this weekend improved after both practiced Thursday. ... Starting RT Jonathan Scott (ankle) missed his second day of practice, opening the door for rookie Jamon Meredith to start against the Jets. ... The Bills have lost eight consecutive games against AFC East rivals.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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