Bills RB Henry feels underutilized in red zone

Updated: October 28, 2003, 5:47 PM ET
ESPN

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills are having trouble scoring and Travis Henry has a simple solution: give him the ball more often near the goal line.

The Bills leading rusher questioned the team's play-calling decisions on Tuesday as Buffalo began a three-day stretch of bye week practices.

Henry was feeling left out in an offensive scheme that has had a tendency to pass instead of run in short-yardage situations -- including near the opposing goal line.

"Man, I don't know. I'm searching for answers myself," Henry said. "You would think I would get the ball in certain situations in which I'm not getting it."

That was evident in Sunday's 38-5 loss at Kansas City.

Trailing 21-2 in the second quarter, the Bills settled for a field goal following two incomplete passes, including one in which Drew Bledsoe overthrew a wide-open Dave Moore in the end zone. That was after Henry's 7-yard first-down run put the team at the 2.

It wasn't the first time that's happened this season.

The Bills have failed to score a touchdown in 10 of their 23 trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Four drives ended with interceptions, including one in which Henry passed on a halfback option in a 17-7 loss at Miami.

That's one of the main problems for a team that's lost four of its last six and is averaging a little more than 12 points a game.

In comparison, all of Henry's nine team-leading touchdowns have come from inside the 14.

"I'm consistent in the red zone," Henry said. "So in situations like that, I want the ball at least once or twice. I want the ball because I feel like I can make the play given the opportunity."

Henry said, "I think so," when asked if he supported offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

"It's plain and simple," Henry added. "I think everybody knows what we should be doing but, like I say, we're not doing it. And why we're not doing the things that we're good at, I don't know."

Head coach Gregg Williams defended passing the ball in the red zone against Kansas City, saying it wouldn't be a topic of discussion if Bledsoe had hit Moore.

"It's hard to get anybody more wide open than that," Williams said.

Last year Henry finished fifth in the NFL with 1,438 yards rushing. Despite missing one game and part of another with torn rib cartilage this season, he's close to the same totals -- 149 carries for 551 yards -- he had midway through last year.

And his production has been steadily increasing, rushing for a combined 291 yards in his last two games -- including a career-high 167 against Washington.

"These last couple of ballgames, they've been using me a lot," Henry said.

But not, it was pointed out, on second-and-goal from the 2 against Kansas City.

Henry responded with a long laugh, before adding: "You're right. I agree."<

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index