I've done some thinking about what I feel the Bills priorities are this offseason, particularly with regard to the Bills defense. Previously, I had the priority list as follows: DT, DE, CB, and LB. I decided to do a little research (and please, let me stress the word "little"), and jumped on Wikipedia to look up the Tampa 2 Defense. The link is right here:
Two things I found interesting in that article. The first was about the DT nose position. To me, it really stressed the importance of having a guy in the middle of the line to stop the run. This reassured me that I was on the right track, assigning priority #1 to this position. So, I am still highly in favor of using the available resources (cap space, draft picks) to acquire a guy to fit this spot. As much as I like McCargo and even Kyle Williams, they need help. And Tripplett is on the downside of his career, in my humble opinion.
The second thing that caught my eye was the importance of an intimidating secondary that can cover ground. We really don't have that. I really think now that a #1 CB needs to be brought in. I'm still okay (temporarily) with the safeties, but if Simpson comes back and doesn't cut it, or if Wendling doesn't develop, I would address this spot next year.
Speed in the LB unit, along with tackling ability, is also very important in this defense. I think Crowell and Poz are two cornerstones with which to build on. However, a major improvement needs to me made over Ellison, and I think it needs to be done this year.
As far as the DEs go, I'm going to say, we have to stick with what we have this year. Schobel, Kelsay, and Denney are all serviceable. I may have chastised them in the past, and rightly so. But, two of the three were hurt last year, and they really didn't have any support on the inside of the line.
I know I'm going to get lit up for these comments. It's a copycat league, and everyone is clamoring over what the Giants did, and fawning all over "speed rushers" and the like. Would the addition of a skilled DE help this defense? Sure it would. But it seems to me that the guys who are available to the Bills really don't fit this defense. I see a bunch of tweeners who are more suited for a 3-4.
So, I'm adjusting my rankings a little. I'm still sticking with a #1 DT. I'd then like a #1 CB. Next up is a solid LB who can complement Crowell and Poz. We still have to leave some room for offense, so I'll leave the rest of the resources for that side of the ball. In other words, DE and Safety can be addressed next year. Sure, they still have to get a DE for this year to fill out the roster, but I wouldn't use any of the cap room available or even a day one pick on the spot.
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it. Unless of course, one of you can make an argument to change my mind...