Preseason Game 3

Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes!!! We are making too many mistakes on the O-Line. How does a guard line up in the backfield, and a naked tackle that ruins a TD? First, poorly coached teams make these mistakes. Illegal procedure and proper formations are basic football. Secondly, the QB should notice these mistakes. JP, if you have a timeout call one.

Outside of the first drive, which we seem to bend on the first team D looked good.

To me Willis looked average. He ran hard in the first quarter. Then, in the second it seemed every arm tackle took him down.

See Dick Coach – Yes JP looked young. Incredible throws one drive, bad throws and decision making the next drive. Dick your team makes mistakes that teams who are poorly coached make (illegal procedure penalties)…



The astute among us may have noticed that there is a new link in the main navigation at the top of the page. The new link reads: BBR @ That may be perplexing, so I have resolved to clarify that here…

Basically, this page will remain as mostly an archive… or perhaps we’ll post a thing or two here relative to just the Buffalo Bills Review (and not the Bills in general). But, henceforth, any articles or written thoughts posted about the Bills will show up at the BBR @ link. (If you need a direct link, it’s

This is a great opportunity for lots more Bills fans to learn about BBR and to join in the conversation. will feature a link on their homepage to the Bills Blog Squad (which so far consists of BBR and 3 other bloggers). Greg will be the main one to post to the BBR @ page, but you may see the occasional article up there from the other BBR guys.

Stop by, bookmark the page, and feel free to comment. You need to sign up for a Bills Backers account (free, with some cool benefits) to post a comment or do some other things with it… but you can read the blog without signing up. (I recommend you sign up though…)

Thanks to the Bills for setting us up on their site. This is super fun for me – a long-time Bills fan, who is a writer. Hope you’ll join in the fun!

See ya there!



In other news today…

As you are probably aware, I have a Buffalo Bills podcast. Perhaps you also know that I often will post Bills-related thought to that site (rather than here, as I used to do). Well, recently I was asked by the Buffalo Bills to do that on their website!!! (No, I could not believe it either!!) I was thrilled, and gladly accepted.

I finally got it set up and just began posting today. There will be a link from, but you can directly access the page on the Bills site here.

To comment there, (as well as many other things, like subscribe to the RSS feed, or have emails sent to you when I post something there) you’ll need to sign up for a Bills Backers account, but I believe you can read the articles there without signing up.

Anyway, just wanted to share 🙂


Some Excitement at The Ralph

Despite the lop-sided score, I am feeling much more confident this week than last week. And truthfully, I wasn’t that worried last week. The Bills continue to improve over last week, and I keep telling myself that the Super Bowl teams for the Bills would go 0-4 or 1-5 for their pre-season… so maybe there’s good reason for hope for the ‘06-’07 season…

Well, let’s take a look at the good and the bad from Friday night at The Ralph.


  • Defense
    The first unit defense has only allowed two touchdowns in two games. I do not remember if the first team was in at the very end of the first half or not, but even then, there were two amazing goal line stands where they only gave up two FGs when they could have given up much more. There were several three-and-outs by the Bengals, and overall, the unit was amazing. Only way to improve was to get some more take aways to even out the generosity of the Bills’ offense.

    The D-line got some fantastic pressure on the Bengals QBs, and the LBs and DBs were offering good support… swarming to the ball for the tackle. Overall, just fantastic job by the defense.

  • Special Teams
    Special teams were fantastic, as usual. Lindell with a 51-yarder. Moorman and Co. pinning the Bengals down at their own 1 yard line on a punt. And we don’t even get to see McGee returning kicks these days!
  • “Chunk Yardage”
    Jauron was talking after last week’s loss in Carolina about the necessity of what he called “chunk yardage”. If you’re going to win in this league, he said, you need to get chunk yardage. Knowing that, most expected the Bills to push the ball downfield in the game against Cincinnati, and they did not dissapoint. Lee Evans had a fantastic game, with 115 yards on 3 receptions. Willis had a 61-yard TD run. The Bills definitely were doing some great “chunking”.
  • Willis
    As mentioned above, McGahee added to the chunk yardage, but it was more than just one play. Even on the play where he eventually fumbled the ball, Willis looked like he was running harder, stronger, faster. He was making good cuts, good reads. And I think the play calling helped. He wasn’t just banging it up the middle. He was running outside the tackles, and had more room to pick his holes. McGahee had a great game, and I’m hoping for lots more of that this year. One report says Willis looks the best he has since his knee injury in college. That’s very promising.


    You can not win a football game by turning the ball over four times. You just can’t. In both pre-season games so far the Bills have had 21 points scored directly off of turnovers. That doesn’t work. The Bengals scored 20 points total off of Bills turnovers in this week’s game. The Bills made some fantastic plays on offense Friday night, but you can’t recover from that many turnovers. That must change.
  • Penalties
    Like turnovers, if you commit too many dumb penalties you are also not going to win. Dumb penalties will kill you. There were many, mostly by the defense, but one of the more costly ones happened in the third quarter. The Bengals were driving, and had a 1st and goal situation. Bills held to 3rd-and-goal, and then on 3rd down, they stopped the play, forcing a field goal – except for the flagrant defensive holding by LB James Bethea. First down and goal Bengals… easy touchdown followed that call. Dumb penalties and turnovers will negate any good stuff you can do on the field. Those must stop as well.
  • Josh Reed
    What has this guy done to keep his roster spot? He drops two, three, or even five passes a game. Why does he continue to make the final Bills roster?
  • Defensive backfield
    Despite all the praise I have for the Bills D, I am slightly concerned about the defensive backs. Carolina had their way with us on the very first drive, and that was without their top receiver, Steve Smith. Chad Johnson and the Bengals’ QBs had some pretty good success finding holes in our defense. It could just be the youth we have at that spot. Lots of rookies and other young players there. They are also making their share of good plays, but there’s been a lot of guys out of place as well. This is definitely an area that needs to be watched.

    It’s possible that good play by the defensive line will aid the DBs in their coverage as well. So, this might be a moot point if the DL can play as solidly as they have been (and better) as the year progresses.

Overall, the thing to keep in mind is that the Bills would have scored enough points to win had they just not given up the 14 points directly off of turnovers. If we can keep a handle on the ball, and perhaps get more turnovers of our own on defense, there is great reason for optimism in Buffalo this year.

I think it’s good that JP had a solid game (despite the turnovers). I hope they officially name him the starter this week. Putting that behind the team will certainly help not only the QBs to relax and just play football, but it should allow the offense to gel a bit more and come together as a unit.

The regime change has certainly benefitted this team as well. The players are loose. They are much more of a team. There are no individuals – even with a three-way QB battle. That’s incredible. If nothing else, Jauron has done a fantastic job just with the way the team is playing together. I am sure Marv has had a part in that as well.

I am really getting excited for September 10th. I do believe that we will have an exciting team this year. Whether that translates to wins, and/or the playoffs certainly remains to be seen. But there should definitely be some excitement with this bunch of players.


The Drake Evaluates Preseason Game 1

First: The first team looked awful (on both sides), I mean down right awful… No first downs, penalties (negated first down pass from Holcomb), and an interception returned for a TD. First team D got shredded by Delhomme.

Once Carolina went to their 2nd string we started looking better. I guess our scrubs are better than their scrubs… Our scrubs forced some turnovers.

Holcomb should have been given another series or two. He looked out of rhythm. I thought the coaches called lame plays when Holcomb was in. Lets run on first and second down and make Kelly convert 3rd and longs…

Losman played inconsistent. He evaded some pressures, threw some bad balls, and one or two really nice passes. If Losman stands a chance at winning this job he needs to be consistent. I mean you are a 1st round draft pick and on a WR screen you can’t even throw the ball to the guys numbers. Once the scrubs came in Losman should have racked up HUGE numbers, he only got sacked a few times. I mean you are a first round pick!! I hope Craig Noll (sp?) gets healthy.

Gates looked really good running the ball. NO FOOT Lindell booted two 45+ yard FG’s!

SEE DICK COACH: “Dick talks like hick (at halftime). See Dick be conservative :(. See Dick lose…

Overall I give the Bills a C- in this game.

QB – F
OL – D-
RB – B+
WR – B
DL – C
LB – B
DB – C
K – A
P – B (blocked punt?, not really his fault, plus he shanked one)


My Thoughts On The First Pre-Season Game

I finished watching the game around 1:00am last night, following a concert we did earlier that evening. Tape-delayed is not the best way to watch, but I was feeling very thankful for my old VCR last night.

That is, until the game began.

But even with a dismal start, and a loss… there are some positives from this game. Let me share a few.

  • Lionel Gates
    Willis was getting stuffed. The O-Line didn’t seem to be able to open any rushing lanes. But even with that, one of Gates’ first carries was a 1 or 2-yard gain that was actually impressive to me. He hit the guy who was unblocked, ready for the tackle, and drove him forward. With authority. I was impressed, and there was more to come. Gates had several great runs (powerful, fast, good moves) including the games only TD, that incredible flip-over-the-pile run for the score!
  • Kyle Williams
    Wow! There was one series of downs where Williams made EVERY play! The most impressive of that drive was when he stopped DeShaun Foster by himself after fending off TWO Panthers who had him solidly blocked. This guy looks strong, tenacious, and smart. I saw him getting his hands up in the passing lane several times, and I believe he did get one block eventually.
  • Our Kickers
    Speaking of blocks, wasn’t it odd that Moorman had a punt blocked? That is super rare, but obviously this one was not his fault. You can’t not block a guy and expect to get off a clean punt. Other than that, the kickers showed again how they are one of the bright spots on our team. Moorman was booming huge punts and Rian Lindell was kicking 53 yard field goals. He accounted for more than 50% of our scoring (2 FGs, 1 XP). We don’t want that to happen… but we might be seeing a lot of “No Foot” this year.
  • Donte Whitner
    Really, I saw several of our draft picks out there making plays. Granted, it’s pre-season, so they are out there more, able to make more plays. But really, Whitner looked good. Always on the ball. Sure tackling. Smart, tenacious player. Sounds familiar. Sounds like what the Bills were drafting. Looks like the got what they are looking for. Now hopefully we can translate this good work ethic into some wins…
  • The QBs…
    I really felt bad for Kelly Holcomb. Was he just nervous or something? He looked terrible in just about every way. Blame it on the O-Line that hasn’t had time to “gel”, blame it on the Panthers’ #1 defensive unit (which is certainly impressive) … whatever the reason… he definitely looked terrible.

    But, bring on JP, and I was not really impressed there, either. He looked jittery, unsure of himself, and almost as bad as Holcomb. He definitely made some good plays later on, but you could argue it was against the second-string defense. Overall, not a very good showing for the QBs.

You know, it’s just preseason, but it’s Bills football, and I’m not willing to throw in the towel after one game. I was certainly not as impressed as I had hoped to be, but our defense looked fairly solid (only allowed one score, on the opening drive) and I am fairly confident that the O-line will indeed “gel”, and one of the QBs will stop trying to fight for the starting job and just relax and play football. My hunch is it will be JP, but we’ll see what the Bills are thinking after a few more weeks.

Well, those are my thoughts on the game… anyone else?


Takeo’s Leadership

Got an email from Pete today at Here’s what he said:

And the point that was made about Takeo’s return can’t be made strongly enough. It seems you hear the word “leadership” attached to just about every star player in any sport these days, and it’s hard to really understand just what that means. In this case, the Bills’ official site has it on video. On the site, you’ll find a piece that the NFL Network did on the Bills, as they got ready for last season’s opener w/ the Texans. Watch parts one and two, and you’ll hear and see Takeo get the whole defense pumped up for the game just by being his own fired-up self. It’s a really motivating 9:00 piece that shows how he leads by a simple show of personality…along with the fact that he can flatten people.

I watched the two clips. They are great. And I actually forgot how much Spikes adds to the team. I did not forget what his leadership means, but I did forget what a great player he is. If he comes back completely healthy this year… that is going to be a HUGE lift to our defense. Huge.

So, visit and check out the NFL Network media section, or click the two links below to play the files in your Real player.
Clip 1
Clip 2


A Visit to Buffalo Bills Training Camp

Yesterday, Dave & I got to pay a visit to St. John Fisher, along with our families, and several hundred other Bills fans! It was definitely a fun day. Hot, but fun. Training camp is not just about watching a football practice anymore! The whole Bills Store is there, as well as tons of inflatable football fun! We have four tiny people in the family who all had a fantastic day, and so did Dave’s kids (from what I could tell). 🙂 For the money ($1 to ride the public transport to get there) – you can’t beat it.

I put together a slides show (it’s a quicktime movie) of some photos from the day. You’ll see some small Bills fans in there as well. (Doug Flutie and Drew Bledsoe make an appearance or two). Even Jim Kelly. (Though he looks a bit like a 2-yr-old little girl in these photos…) We also got some autographs at the end from Roscoe Parrish (in the photo you’ll see Peerless Price and Sam Aiken… my camera battery died before I could get a photo of Scoe.)

Unfortunately, not much football to report. A bit difficult to get an accurate analysis when chasing around tiny people. But it was definitely a fun, Buffalo Bills day. Hope you get a chance to come out for one!