A weekly feature from the Buffalo Bills Review where we’ll collect some of the headlines from One Bills Drive and offer our take on the latest Bills’ news.
OT Mike Williams Released
His official title has always been OT Mike Williams, but by the end of last season, and in the depth-chart published at buffalobills.com (and linked here) last week, he was the third-string LG Mike Williams. Third string. And slated to receive $10.8 Million this year. That’s preposterous. Bills GM Marv Levy thought so as well. The Bills made room in their salary cap – and room on their bench – by releasing their 2002 first-round selection on Thursday.
Williams had definitely come under much public scrutiny after several years of unmet expectations. Being drafted higher than any other Bills player since Bruce Smith in the 1985 draft, there were perhaps unrealistic expectations on this former Texas Longhorn. He was a big man, with “great potential”, but now has joined the list of “big busts” like Tony Mandarich and others.
The move may have been purely financial, creating well over $5M of space in this year’s cap. Or, it could be a purging of the former regime. Williams was a big draft pick from the Donahoe era.
The team continues to state its desire to keep Eric Moulds, despite his similar cap figure. Moulds is the only player left from Marv Levy’s previous stint in Buffalo, as the team’s Hall of Fame head coach. There may be more loyalty there to someone like Moulds, as opposed to Williams.
The purging has begun. Soon the 2006 team roster will begin to take shape through future waivers, free agent signings (as well as losses) and the draft. Time to move on to bigger…
BuffaloBills.com (2/23) – Bills Release Mike Williams
Clements Is The Franchise
He may be brash, over-confident, in-your-face and prone to giving up the big play, but the Bills think Nate Clements is a player to build their franchise around. At least, they think he deserved the Franchise Player tag. Marv Levy and the Bills designated CB Nate Clements as their franchise player this week, guaranteeing him an average of the top 5 salaries for his position in the coming year.
Clements has been a big play maker for the Bills over his past five years here. He leads the team in all-time touchdown returns (defensive and special teams), and has led the Bills in interceptions for the past four seasons. His main drawback is that his aggressive play – which gets him the big play – all too often costs his defense a big play the other way.
Levy has clearly stated that the team wanted to keep Clements, and the franchise tag allows them to do that. Levy also has a history of a strong defense. The team he coached in Buffalo in the 90s is often remembered for its offensive fire-power, but Levy constantly preached that “Defense wins championships.” Signing Clements was his first step in that same direction in his second term with the Bills.
There will be great public debate about whether the Bills should have kept Clements, or let him go. You have heard on the Bills Review several calls for Nate to leave town. Now it’s time to see what this boy can do, and if President Wilson’s money is being spent wisely.
Time will tell.
Two New Coaches Join Jauron’s Staff
In what seems to be a weekly part of TheRunDown here, coach Dick Jauron has added more help to his coaching staff. This week, the Bills hired a Linebackers coach as well as an assistant Special Teams coach. Coach Matt Sheldon will take over leadership of the linebacking corp. He comes over from the St. Louis Rams with five years of NFL coaching experience. Cross joins the Bills as their Defensive/Special Teams assistant. He has no prior NFL coaching experience. He was most recently outside linebackers coach for Iowa State University.
The staff continues to come together. You can view the entire Bills coaching staff at http://buffalobills.com/team/coaches.jsp.
Bits and Pieces
- The February edition of the Buffalo Bills Review will be in your podcast box next Monday. We’ll discuss these things as well as other pertinent Bills news over the past month. Call the hotline, or e-mail your comments and join the fun!
- Bills punter, Brian Moorman did an excellent job in the pro bowl (as excellent as a punter can do…) and much of his time there was captured on a well-done video posted to BuffaloBills.com. Check it out.
- Offensive Line Coach, Jim McNally was recently interviewed by the BuffaloBills.com staff. McNally is a well-respected coach around the league (and by the Buffalo Bills Review). He has his work cut out for him with this OL unit. Check out what he had to say here
That’s a wrap for the this edition of TheRunDown. If you have any Bills news from this week, or comments on stuff we covered here, please add your comments below!