Buffalo Bills Review interviews boisterous, fan-favorite, tough-guy LB Darryl Talley. Discussion of Super Bowl days, the Hall of Fame, and more.
Originally posted 11/1/2005
Buffalo Bills Review interviews boisterous, fan-favorite, tough-guy LB Darryl Talley. Discussion of Super Bowl days, the Hall of Fame, and more.
Originally posted 11/1/2005
Buffalo Bills Review interviews former Bills WR, Don Beebe, known for his ridiculous speed, and never-say-die tenacity embodied in the play in Super Bowl XXVII, where he ran down Leon Lett from behind and saved one touchdown from being scored in a very lopsided loss.
Originally posted 9/27/2005
Buffalo Bills Review interviews former Buffalo Bills QB, Frank Reich, who still hold the record for biggest comeback in NFL history!
Originally posted 11/26/2005
After a weekend that saw some pretty bold moves by their division rival, the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills lone first-day trade to move up to the second round to pick Andy Levitre seems a bit lackluster. Time will tell, of course, how the brazen moves by the Jets will pan out on the field, but with a glut of wide receivers, and nine picks heading into the weekend, it seemed the Bills might be a bit bigger wheelers and dealers.
Instead, the Bills were somewhat predictable, and their typical completely unpredictable selves.
Aaron Maybin’s name had been thrown out there as a possible first round pick for the Bills. So that was not too much of a surprise. But most felt that OT was one of the more glaring, pressing needs for the team, and they didn’t draft a single player who was primarily an offensive tackle.
On the other hand, the Bills have a core of four really solid CBs on their roster, yet they chose to spend their first pick in the second round, and their fifth round selections on more cornerbacks? Really?
They did address the TE position by landing a fairly highly rated player in Shawn Nelson, but must not have found who they were looking for at LB, as the only player they found at that position actually played safety in college.
Well, let’s take a look at each guy the Bills added, and their potential fit with this roster.
At the scouting combine, defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, hinted that the Bills might not necessarily be looking for a starter at defensive end, but more likely a pass rushing specialist. He emphasized that the NFL game is very specialized nowadays, so you can afford to spend draft picks on specialty players.
And that is just what the Bills did.
The Bills anticipate Maybin being a third down/passing situation specialist, coming in to add some pressure on the quarterback—something the Bills have been pretty bad at for a few years now. They’re hoping to get 10 sacks or so out of Maybin, plus having a healthy Aaron Schobel back (plus Stroud and Williams in the middle, as well as a healthy rotation of other players on the D-line). They see Maybin as a “piece of the puzzle.”
They needed pass-rushing help on the defensive line, and they are hopeful they found it in Maybin, a player they had their eyes on at the top of the draft.
This one was perplexing. OT Michael Oher—a great story, and most feel a great player, at a position the Bills really need—was still available only a few picks earlier. The Bills could have moved up to get him. OT Eben Britton was still available. Lots of tackles were still available. Instead, the Bills draft a player listed as a center, which is a position they already addressed (first signing, I believe?) in free agency with Geoff Hangartner. Very strange move indeed.
Can look at this a few ways. First, Eric Wood is a very good, solid lineman. He will be a good player. We could use more good offensive linemen, to be sure. So, perhaps he was just the best option available. The Bills were definitely looking to get some more help at guard, but not necessarily center. So, it’s still perplexing.
Maybe Hangartner was not their first choice as a center? Competition is always good… maybe they just wanted to make sure they had two guys they could count on to push each other at the center position? Maybe.
If you take the Bills at their word, they just really liked Wood, and they like the fact that he’s both a center and a guard. At 6’4″ 310, he’s a pretty big fella. They intend to play him at guard (presumably left guard, vacated by the released Derrick Dockery) but really like that they can use him at center if they need to.
OK, I buy it.
My favorite part about Eric Wood (besides the fact that he’s from Cincinnati, land of my genealogical roots) is the following quote:
“It’s all about flipping the switch when you go out on the field,” said Wood. “You can do things on the football field that are severely illegal on the streets. I just kind of flip that switch and try to take it to people on the field. I’m a finisher. The fun part is knocking people down and punishing the guy you’re going against. That’s the joy of football to me.”
OK, I’ll admit it. This one floored me. At least as much as when they chose Donte Whitner at the 8th spot overall. The jury is still out (at least a little) on our friend Donte. Perhaps most evident in the fact that they are moving him to a different position this year, to see if that’s a better fit. I’ll admit it turned out better than I thought, but a CB?? With their second round pick???
If you read my previous articles you’ll see that CB was specifically one of the positions that I said would be a “shocking” choice should the Bills choose to go that way. Well, they did, and I was.
Upon reading further, I discovered that they intend to use this college cornerback as a safety on their roster. That put my mind a bit more at ease as the safety position is a bit more in flux. But still, what about the left tackle?
The thing I like so far is that he is a playmaker. Had 17 INTs in his college career. The Bills are looking for playmakers, and I guess they feel they found one in Byrd.
In their most exciting move of the draft, the Bills traded their third round pick and one of their fourth round picks to move back into the second round at pick #51 and selected… an offensive lineman! Good move!
And, he’s even listed as a G/T! (That is almost like drafting a tackle!)
The Bills obviously like this guy as they gave up two picks to get him. He has decent size, 6’3″ 305. (But more suited to playing guard in the NFL.)
And what I’m noticing even more is that they are really into this “two for one” concept. So far, the Bills have drafted a CB who is a S, a C who is a G, and now a T who is a G (and a T). (Perhaps they feel the more letters they can list next to a player’s name, the better he will be?)
Most are rating this pick one of (if not the) best values of the 2009 draft class for the Bills. Nelson was projected to go in the second or third round, so the Bills being able to land him late in the 4th round was quite a good deal. Especially considering the vacancy they apparently had at TE by releasing last year’s starter, Robert Royal.
Nelson is a pass-catching TE whom Bills scouts say should be able to help the passing game immediately. He’s got good size at 6’5″ 240, but needs work on his blocking. The Bills were really lacking a TE in the passing game, though, so Nelson seems like a pretty good fit. Good pick up at round four.
And, here they go again. Now, as I said earlier, I expected the Bills would look to add a safety at some point in this draft. So, that part is not unexpected. BUT, adding their second S is pretty unexpected.
Until you remember this is the “Year of the Utility Player”.
This college safety is projected to play linebacker in the NFL, and that’s just what the Bills intend to do with him. Linebacker is a position of need for the Bills, so again, this seems to be a good fit for their needs. But why are they drafting these guys who have more experience at a different position than the Bills plan to use them in? Perplexing.
Harris has speed, smarts, and is a good tackler. The Bills are counting on him also being a quick study at his new position. Don’t expect him to be the other starting LB opposite Kawika Mitchell, but he has enough upside to add some depth to the unit.
OK, this is getting weird. Not only are the Bills drafting players who are not experienced at their positions (hoping they’ll “pick up” the position they want them to play) they are also STILL DRAFTING DEFENSIVE BACKS! I really don’t understand this pick.
First of all, this Harris (unrelated to the previous Harris, as far as I know) is only 5’11” 187. Do we need another smurf on the team?? Second… he’s a cornerback!!! He doesn’t have great speed, there are questions about his “durability”… I honestly don’t know what he has, or why we picked him when we already have Terrence McGee, Leodis McKelvin, Ashton Youboty, Reggie Corner, Drayton Florence, and now even Jairus Byrd from earlier in the draft.
“He’s an ultra competitive kid. He really paid his dues playing in a big time conference,” said Bills scout Rashaan Curry. “He started over 30 games and is a really competitive kid. He’s probably average size, but he’s of a tougher brand”
Ooohh… That’s why.
OK, at this point, it’s either a really bad joke, or, the Bills staff knows something we don’t know about the current group of DBs on our roster. Regardless, with their final pick of the draft, the Bills selected another defensive back. That makes four. (The Bills are calling it three, but that’s because they are counting Nic Harris as a LB already. Even though he’s not yet.)
Are they planning to not renew Terrence McGee’s contract? Is McKelvin a bust? Youboty? I know Dick Jauron was a defensive back, but… enough already!
This selection is as baffling as the previous one in that Lankster is 5’9″ 191 pounds, and they are going to ask him to cover guys like Randy Moss. Nice.
One thing that I did consistently see in all of the selections the Bills made (at least, their scouts’ reports about the selections) is that they were looking for smart players, with good instincts who are also good tacklers. And, throw in a competitive mean streak as well. That seemed to be how they described most of the guys. They were not too concerned with the “measurables” as they call them. They just wanted good football players, whatever position.
If I had to grade this draft, just based on finding players to fill positions of need, I’d give it a C- at best. At best.
I hope I’m wrong, and these players turn out to be just what the Bills need. I like Wood. I didn’t at first, since he’s listed as a center, but I think he’s a good fit. I think I like Maybin… will have to see him play at the NFL level. And I like Shawn Nelson. I think he’ll help the offense right away from the sounds of it.
Overall, even though Trent Dilfer says the Bills were big draft winners, I don’t see it. I don’t like taking guys who didn’t play the position, hoping they’ll work into it. I don’t like not getting another OT. I don’t like taking four DBs (mostly CBs!) when you already have 5 on your roster, four who are pretty good (one unknown). Mostly, unfortunately, I don’t like it.
Time will tell, of course. And, I can’t wait to see it all actually play out on the field.
Rookie mini-camp this weekend, then some more OTAs… training camp will be here before you know it!
Bring it on!
Continuing from the previous article where we looked at the Buffalo Bills offense, position by position, where they are solid, as well as where their biggest needs are … let’s take a look at the defense.
The defensive line has been much maligned over the past seasons for lack of pass rush (and previously, a lack of run stopping) and still remains one of the biggest questions on the team. This will almost definitely be a position the Bills address in the draft, especially since they did not address it in free agency.
Aaron Schobel will return after missing most of 2008 with a foot injury. He did not need surgery to repair it, so he should be ready to go when the team comes back together for training camp. He has been a solid pass rusher in the past, but production has tailed off since his Pro Bowl season in 2006. He will be 32 years old this season, so age along with returning from a fairly serious injury mean there are probably more questions surrounding Schobel than answers.
After Schobel, the Bills have a few average-to-good DEs. Chris Kelsay and Ryan Denney are often maligned for not getting enough pass rush pressure, and are mostly deserving of that criticism. Chris Ellis was a third round pick last year who did have some special teams success, but perhaps wasn’t as noticeable as the coaches may have liked on defense. But he figures to be a factor on the 2009 team.
Then there’s a list of guys who so far have only been mediocre at best. Ryan Neill has the added advantage of being the team’s long snapper, then we find Corey Mace, Bryan Copeland, and Marcus Smith. Certainly none of those guys would make the Bills’ brass think, “Boy, we’re set at defensive end!!”
It would be quite surprising, even shocking, if the Bills do not address the DE position specifically in the 2009 draft.
The middle of the line has a couple bright spots. First, the Bills signed big man Marcus Stroud to a nice contract extension this offseason. He is happy to be here, and definitely is a presence in the middle, even if he doesn’t have the stats. He is a player the opposing team must account for. His DT partner is Kyle Williams. Williams has that “motor that never stops” and just seems to make things happen. He’s still a little undersized, but he’s produced pretty well for the Bills since joining the team in 2006.
After the starters there is John McCargo, who was traded to the Colts last season, then sent back! He’s got talent, but doesn’t seem like it’s ever worked out for him. Not really counting on him for much in 2009 accordingly. Spencer Johnson is the other DT on the roster. Johnson came over in free agency last season, along with Stroud, and is a solid backup.
As with the DE position though, the Bills are definitely in need of help on the defensive line. If they draft an interior defensive lineman, it will be to add depth, and will likely mean they have given up on McCargo. (They may have already done that, as demonstrated by trading him away last season.) Either way, the Bills may choose to add two defensive lineman in this draft. DE and DT.
But, no doubt about it, there will be a defensive lineman added this weekend.
The Bills were pursuing a veteran linebacker in free agency this offseason. It doesn’t seem like they landed the guy they really wanted yet, which could mean that we’ll see a LB among the 2009 Bills’ draft class.
2007 starter, Angelo Crowell, signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after missing all of 2008 with a nagging injury. He was a promising young player, and already was a loss to the Bills defense in 2008. There are a few options to fill his spot. After the other two starting LBs: Kawika Mitchell and MLB Paul Posluszny, the Bills have some solid depth in newly re-signed Keith Ellison, and Alvin Bowen who missed all of his rookie season last year with an injury. Ellison has lots of experience as a starter, and Bowen has some great athleticism and potential.
Add John DiGiorgio, Blake Costanzo, and even John Corto and Marcus Buggs to the mix as mainly special teams contributors, and you have a position where the Bills seem to be fairly solid.
So why were they courting so many LBs in free agency?
They did sign MLB Pat Thomas from the Kansas City Chiefs. Not an earth shattering announcement, but does show that there is a perceived need there. The real need is for a clear starter opposite Kawika Mitchell at OLB. Will that be Bowen? It will not likely be Ellison, unless nothing else pans out. Might the Bills spend a draft pick on another OLB? It’s either that, or they may make a trade for an outside linebacker, or pick someone up after the draft weekend is over.
However it happens, I don’t think the Bills are satisfied with their current roster of LBs.
The Bills lost last year’s starting CB Jabari Greer to the New Orleans Saints in free agency this offseason. They were prepared for such an event, and signed San Diego free agent CB Drayton Florence. Florence will be a solid depth player, as CB is perhaps one of the positions where the Bills are the most talented.
By the end of last season, the starters were Terrence McGee and rookie Leodis McKelvin. Both players are very talented. Solid starters. And, many seem to forget, before he was injured again last season, Ashton Youboty was having a very good season. He’s a very solid nickel back. Add the promising play of Reggie Corner to that crew, and it would be at least a little surprising if the Bills draft a CB in 2009.
Safety is a bit different. Donte Whitner is officially moving to free safety, a position he played toward the end of last season. Bryan Scott did well at strong safety – and is a bigger guy, better fit there – so he is slated to be the starter at that position. The Bills may be shopping last year’s starter FS Ko Simpson, so he may or may not return. After those three, there are some special teams standouts who also add valuable depth to the defensive backfield: George Wilson and John Wendling.
Just as with the cornerbacks, it would be a little surprising if the Bills drafted a safety. But with some shifting of positions and a possible trade… there is a possibility that the bills would add defensive backfield help, perhaps in the later rounds.
Special teams remains one of the strengths of the Buffalo Bills. From the special teams coach of the year, Bobby April, to great return guys like McKelvin, McGee and Parrish (and apparently Jackson as well!) to perhaps the most consistently good player on the team, punter Brian Moorman. Kicker Rian Lindell is no slouch, either. This unit is solid, and will likely remain mostly the same. As opposed to the 2008 offseason, they did not see a massive overhaul of their players. Most of the unit are returning, which should be a very good thing for the Bills and their fans.
The Buffalo Bills still have lots of questions. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the team after the signing of future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens. The other additions should add to the success of the team, too. And, they do have the #11 pick in the draft, which could be a really good player.
Overall, if the Bills didn’t trade any of their nine picks, I’d see the Bills taking three offensive linemen, two defensive lineman, a linebacker, a tight end, and two more guys at any position as special teams players. The Bills will likely make some draft day trades, however, so they won’t use all nine of those picks this year.
However it all shakes out, it promises to be an exciting year of Buffalo Bills football!
Is it August yet??
With only two days until the clock actually starts ticking on the Buffalo Bills 2009 draft, I wanted to take a look position by position at who the 2009 Bills are shaping up to be. We have all heard the experts predicting whom they believe the Buffalo Bills will select in the draft, what holes they need to fill, and even possible trades. And they could be right. But let’s look through the roster and see just where the Bills may be looking to improve.
Let’s get this out of the way first. There are a few players whose names are being mentioned as possible draft day trade fodder. Roscoe Parrish is a big one. When Terrell Owens joined the club, there was a possibility that Parrish was on the outside of the bubble looking in. While he is incredibly productive on special teams (league-leader in punt return average in 2007, second in 2008) and consistently provides good field position for the offense, his production on offense hasn’t been what the Bills had hoped. (It’s interesting to note, by the way, that #1 on the list for average yards per punt return was Buffalo’s Fred Jackson with 16.6 yards/return as compared to Roscoe’s 15.3/return. He did that on only a third of the returns that Parrish had, however.)
So, the Bills could potentially move Parrish, but I would think if they did it would be for a pretty good price. He may be near the edge of the bubble as a WR for this team, but I recall a Wall of Fame Buffalo Bill WR who consistently made the team for his contributions on special teams, despite being at the edge of the bubble for his offensive production…
Another player named in possible trades is Ko Simpson, who has lost his starting FS job to the recently-shifted SS Donte Whitner. Simpson is a good player, but was a bit small for the defensive scheme the Bills want to run.
And of course, we all know that Buffalo’s prima donna OT, Jason Peters, was traded for three draft picks from the Philadelphia Eagles. The picks were not as high as I thought they might get for a “two-time Pro Bowler”, but in my estimation, it’s a good move. The Bills can use the two picks this year to add depth, or potentially package them to make a move on draft day.
It might be an interesting weekend just in the wheeling and dealing alone!
J.P. Losman is finally not part of the equation at QB for the Bills, so they went out and signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bengals’ starter last season (when Carson Palmer was injured most of the season). Interesting move, but perhaps Fitzpatrick is a similar player to Edwards, so there is consistency there should Edwards go down with an injury. I had thought they would add a QB with more experience, as there were many out there, but Fitzpatrick it is.
Gibran Hamdan will be returning, and Matt Baker is still on the roster somewhere. Will the Bills pursue a QB in the draft? Probably not. But I do still like Drew Willy, quarterback of the University at Buffalo Bulls in 2008. Would be a cool local story, and he definitely has skills. The Bills wouldn’t take him till very late, and I’d imagine he’d be gone before that.
Marshawn Lynch is apparently appealing his three-week suspension, but the Bills are counting on not having their star running back for the first part of the season. They made a move to ensure some stability there by finally signing the veteran RB they have been seeking since the start of Free Agency. Being turned down by Fred Taylor and Kevin Jones (likely among other candidates) they finally were able to procure the services of Dominic Rhodes. Rhodes will probably occupy the third spot on the depth chart, but will get lots more playing time in the absence of Lynch to start the season.
Fred Jackson is also a bit of a question as he is unhappy with his contract negotiations. He is restricted free agent, I believe, and they are still crunching numbers to get him a new contract. The Bills need to pay the man. He has turned into a super reliable compliment to Lynch, and well, they just need to pay their players!
Assuming Jackson is signed and happy, the Bills are really strong at RB. Marshawn Lynch (Pro Bowler last season, actually, leading rusher in the Pro Bowl, too!) and Fred Jackson, and now Dominic Rhodes… that’s a pretty good trio. Add the potential Xavier Omon has (but has not shown at the NFL level as of yet) and they even have the hard working Bruce Hall on their roster. I’d be surprised to see the Bills select a RB in the draft at all, but if they did, it would be late.
As I mentioned above, the Bills are chock full at this position. Lee Evans signed a big contract extension last year. Terrell Owens, while only here for a year, well, we know what he is capable of. That’s quite a tandem already. Add in Josh Reed back in the slot where he belongs, and he’s likely even better at being “Mr. First Down”, as we like to call him.
Then you have the aforementioned Roscoe Parrish, with his explosive possibilities, and I haven’t even mentioned James Hardy and Steve Johnson! Hardy, the Bills second-round pick in 2008, is returning from an injury and with a year of NFL experience—he has the tools—should be a contributor on this team. Johnson actually produced more than Hardy last year, so don’t count him out of the mix.
The Bills also have Justin Jenkins, Felton Huggins and CJ Hawthorne on the roster. Jenkins and Huggins are big contributors on special teams coverage units, and decent WRs.
Obviously, not all of these guys will be here when the roster is trimmed down to the final 53. You can’t keep nine receivers on a team. The likely candidates would seem to be the last two I mentioned, but Bobby April may say otherwise. That really lends credence to the Parrish trade rumors.
It will be shocking if the Bills add a WR on draft weekend. I’ll go ahead and say right now… they will not!
For a few years now, Bills fans have been complaining about the tight end position on their team. Perhaps the last player we had at this position that really made any impact was Jay Riemersma, and he played with Doug Flutie… so it’s been a while.
The Bills released last year’s starting TE Robert Royal just as the free agency period opened, so that leaves three TEs on the roster: Derek Schouman, Derek Fine, and (Derek) Jonathan Stupar. (He should be named Derek, apparently…) Fine showed some promise last year, and Shouman is a “fine” special teamer, so those guys will make the roster, but are they impact players? Do they make a difference to this offense?
I don’t know anything about Stupar, so we’ll just assume he’s roster depth at this point, that may not even make the team?
The Bills reportedly tried to make a deal for future Hall of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez, but that fell through, with reports saying he just didn’t want to come to Buffalo. His loss.
Now that they have also signed T.O. – who is a bigger WR – do they really need a big play-making TE? Some argue that T.O. was more successful in Dallas because of the great play of Dallas TE Jason Whitten. Another great player can’t hurt, but who’s to say that by adding T.O. to the offensive mix, you don’t automatically free up one of the Dereks to make chain-moving plays across the middle? Defenses have to already cover Evans, Owens, Reed, Lynch, Jackson… that may leave these TEs more open than they have been in the past?
Still, I would not be surprised to see the Bills take a TE in this year’s draft. I don’t think it’s as big a need as some (who think we should spend our #11 pick on a TE) but it couldn’t hurt.
This is probably the biggest question mark on the team. Most people are now focusing on the trade of Peters, and the hole that leaves at what is considered the most important spot on the line, LT. But don’t forget, the Bills released last year’s starting LG, Derrick Dockery, just before free agency began, and they have not attempted to re-sign either of their centers from last year, Melvin Fowler and Duke Preston. That means the entire left side of the line will be different at the start of the 2009 season.
The Bills did re-sign OT Kirk Chambers. They also brought in C Geoff Hangartner from Carolina, and OL Seth McKinney from Cleveland. Not the most sought-after guys, but the Bills are happy with Hangartner for sure.
What does that mean for the whole O-line? At the end of last season, the line left to right was: Jason Peters, Derrick Dockery, Duke Preston, Brad Butler, Langston Walker. Now it looks as though it might be: Langston Walker/Kirk Chambers, Kirk Chambers/Demetrius Bell, Geoff Hangartner, Brad Butler, Demetrius Bell/Kirk Chambers. The only player who remains the same is RG Brad Butler. Every other position has a new player in it. Every one.
That’s not good. There is no doubt the Bills need a larger pool of guys to select from not only for the starters on this unit, but also depth players. This is definitely a position the Bills will address in the draft, and maybe even with the top pick at #11. There are some great players available. Michael Oher, Andre Smith (No, not Big Dre from the BBR!) are two names at the top. But so far every player who has greatness also seems to have some “baggage”.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills go after one of the “big name” OLs, but I’d look for them to add up to 3 guys with their middle to high round picks. They need lots of help at this position, so it may be a “boring” draft of just picking the big, no-name guys. (Who you really need on your team if you want to win!)
That covers the offensive side of the ball, but there’s a whole other side of the team that the Bills will definitely be addressing. In fact, I’d say we’ll see more defensive players selected (other than offensive linemen, really) in the 2009 draft than offensive players.
Will post the remainder of the article tomorrow, the state of the Bills defense.
It’s time to pick your all-time defense for the Buffalo Bills. Voting is now open for defensive players (and head coach, too) at the Bills website. Above are my selections for the team. I tried hard to not just pick guys from the 90s Super Bowl teams. I think I did a pretty good job…
Have fun picking yours!
As anticipated, the signing of Terrell Owens this off-season has increased the national appeal of our small-town gridiron heroes. The formerly uninteresting, middle-of-the-pack nobodies are now one of the teams slated to be showcased on the NFL’s opening weekend. Partly because they are one of the original AFL teams, and the NFL is celebrating the AFL’s 50th anniversary this season, but mostly because of T.O.
Get your popcorn ready, North America.
Think what you will about T.O. – selfishness, “Me Only” attitude, bashing teammates (especially QBs) – he definitely commands attention. Dick Jauron can’t stop parroting his stats in press conferences. His new coach is obviously impressed. And so are season ticket holders. Increased sales and renewals are a direct result of signing just this one player. The Bills Store has also seen an amazing demand for Owens jerseys. The guy commands attention.
The Bills have at least one more showcase game already. They will be on the national stage once again when they play their second game across the border in Toronto, Ontario. (Also known by the locals as, “T.O.” That won’t be exploited at all…) The early talk is that the Bills could play Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in that game. Other possibilities include Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
But I really don’t think that will be the end of it. Thanks to the T.O. factor, NFL fans across the country (and beyond) should be seeing our Buffalo Bills many times this season.
I really like the first game for Buffalo, too. Think about it. The return of Tom Brady. T.O.’s first game. The losing streak is beginning to rival that dreaded Oh-for-the-70s streak against the hated Miami Dolphins. What better litmus test for this T.O.-powered offense (and the whole team in general) than the one team they just can’t beat? (The one possible flaw being the likely absence of star RB Marshawn Lynch, who should be serving the first game of a suspension whose length – and actuality – is yet to be determined.)
The NFL powers that be have decided the Bills are worth watching. Most Bills fans are equally intrigued. If nothing else, you have to admit, Bills’ GM (and former marketing guy) Russ Brandon really knows how to market his team.
So we now have a date. September 14th at 7:00pm EDT.
Get your popcorn ready.
A few days after the Bills dropped the T.O. bomb on the NFL, it’s all anyone can talk about. We figured that at least the Bills would get that out of the deal, right? I’m still wondering if eventually the small market-ness of Buffalo will help the buzz to subside, but at the moment, ALL of the top stories on the front page of NFL.com are about T.O. and/or the Bills. Fascinating.
Here are a few links to videos and articles worth checking out:
Perhaps next year, Marshawn Lynch will be invited for real. In 2008, serving as an injury replacement for Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, Lynch ended up leading all rushers in the game. Lynch had 48 yards on 6 carries (some were pure “Beast Mode”!) which tied Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, who had 48 yards on 8 carries. Lynch wasn’t on the field very much, but almost every time he was, he made something happen.
His first appearance was a long run off the left side. Later on that drive, the AFC offense stalled on third down and short, with the RB unable to pick up the necessary yardage. Offensive Coordinator, Cam Cameron (of the Ravens) sent in Marshawn to pick up the yard, knowing that is what he is good at. The TV crew had him mic-ed, and we heard him say, “Marshawn better get this…” (Perhaps Lynch did a little begging to get in there?)
He did indeed, being stopped two yards short of the mark, he fought and fought until he had it. Beast Mode!
Lynch also had a run on a third down where he carried the pile of players – offense and defense – about six or seven yards for the first down.
It was great to see our Buffalo Bills represented well – in play, if not in number – in this year’s Pro Bowl. Hope to see many more there in the years to come!