Before the 1990 season, the Buffalo Bills acquired James Lofton, a finesse, deep threat WR known for gaining big yards and having a high average yards per catch, but in the twilight of his career, although he was still able to be productive in a "co-starring role" on the Bills WR corps next to the Bills' number one receiver Andre Reed, whose production and athletic ability were in their prime, and he himself was a tough, possession receiver who made the tough catches over the middle, but also had the break away speed and escapability to take any catch to the house.
In 2009, the Bills have a number one receiver in Lee Evans....a deep threat who is known for big plays with a high yards per catch average. Going into his sixth year, he is at his peak and while the Bills offense overall doesn't have big numbers, he has been consistent, and while his numbers are not high next to many in the league, it can be said that other problems on the offense and the lack of a consistent number two may be contributing to his lowered numbers. Then comes the obvious move, the Bills get TO, a strong over the middle threat, whose athletic ability enables him to take any catch the distance and scores alot of TDs.
It is a similar move, as was made with James Lofton in 1990, but the types of receivers on each roster between the different Bills team rosters 20 years apart, are the exact opposite. So Lets look at the stats.
James Lofton, first four years
|1982||Green Bay Packers||9||--||35||696||19.9||80T||4|
|1981||Green Bay Packers||16||--||71||1,294||18.2||75T||8|
|1980||Green Bay Packers||16||--||71||1,226||17.3||47||4|
|1979||Green Bay Packers||16||--||54||968||17.9||52||4|
|1978||Green Bay Packers||16||--||46||818||17.8||58T||6
Lofton grabbed 277 catches for 5,002 yards with a 18.05 avg and 26 TDs
Now Lee Evans
Lee has caught 296 balls for 4,744 yds a 16.0 average and 32 TDs
Now for the "Running Man" Andre Reed's career stats over 16 seasons (one year in 1995 he played only 6 games for 24 catches and his final year with the Redskins, he only caught 10 balls)
|REC 951||YDS 13,198||AVG 13.9||TD||87|
And Terrell Owens' career thus far (in 2005 he only played 7 games with the Eagles, but still managed 47 catches for 763 yds and 6 TDs)
|REC 951||YDS 14,122||AVG 14.8||TD||139|
Well, if those are some similarities to be excited about, and I think the perfect match for two WRs on one offense. Two different styles of receivers on the same team can make a big difference on an offense that isn't very productive. What's also interesting is that both Andre Reed and TO came from small schools, Kutztown and Tennessee-Chattanooga respectively, and both Lofton and Evans came from bigger, even though not elite football schools in Stanford and Wisconsin.
As for the QBs, Jim Kelly did become more efficient, even if his overall yardage did not go up from '89 to '90.
|1990||Buffalo Bills||14||--||219||346||% 63.3||yds 2,829||avg 8.2||td 24||int 9|
Yet, Kelly's rating went from 86.2 to 101.2, his highest rating of his career and his production then skyrocketed in 1991 with more yards (3844) more TDs (33) both career highs, and his rating stayed up there with a 97.6.
Trent Edwards' 2008 season was similar to Kelly's '89 season
|G 14||245||374||% 65.5||yds 2,699||avg. 7.2||td 11||int 10
He obviously could have used more TDs, but his percentage was higher. And i think TO is just what he needs to boost his production. He has an above average pair of runners in Lynch and Jackson, that together can produce like Thurman Thomas (yet to be seen if Lynch, or Jackson for that matter, can do what the Thurminator did on his own) and with the possible addition of a TE (Pettigrew?) and a restructured O-line, it might just bring us the productivity needed to compete and possibly beat the hated Pats and the rest of the AFC East and make our first playoff run in nearly a decade.
Now if only Bruce Smith could come back for our defense. But either way, as always, its GO BILLS BABY!!!