Alright, so we all know the season just ended on a somewhat high note. I'm extremely excited about 2010 for our Buffalo Bills and here's my first look at how I think the offseason should play out.
Out of the candidates rumored around the team right now, my early guess is that we'll end up with Marty Schottenheimer. While he hasn't necessarily endorsed the job, he hasn't flat-out denied it either, and I think his style of football would fit really well with our identity. Run the football, good defense, dominate physically.
For an offensive coordinator, I love the idea of Marty's son, Brian, coming along. With the way the Jets have been able to run the ball this year (especially with three different backs and even some innovation with Brad Smith) and protect their rookie QB after a rough start, I think he'd bring the same kind of thing that Marty does - an attitude that we will be better physically than anyone else and we will be able to run it down their throats whenever we want.
For a defensive coordinator, I'm not exactly sure who Marty would look at, but I'm comfortable knowing that he'd bring in someone solid to run the dominant defense that we can be.
Unrestricted free agents
Ryan Denney - gone
Chris Draft - bring back as a reserve
Todd Johnson - gone
Seth McKinney - gone
Terrell Owens - I'd try my damndest to bring him back to Buffalo. I really think with the right offer (monetarily speaking), he'd return, though I'm not sure how he'd feel about Marty-ball in Buffalo. That might turn him off right there.
Josh Reed - I say let him walk. He's been solid (and to use a Galliford term, unspectacular), but I think we've got the horses to let him go and give a young guy a shot.
Bryan Scott - I love his versatility and playmaking ability. Bring him back and give him a shot at a starting safety spot next year. Great run defender from the defensive backfield.
Kendall Simmons - gone
UFAs that will be RFAs w/no new labor deal
Keith Ellison - if he wants to be a backup, I say keep him, but don't let him go into next year starting.
Gibran Hamdan - sorry #10. Go do a TV show or something.
Richie Incognito - love his toughness even if his attitude is a little overblown. try to bring him back, especially if Wood's injury keeps him out for next year.
Joe Klopfenstein - gone.
George Wilson - veteran leader. great personality and ST captain. gotta try to keep him.
Ashton Youboty - talented but our defensive backfield is full and he's injury prone. gone.
I'm not terribly attached to any of the rest of these guys, even with Harris' two picks on Sunday. Use these guys or others as fill-ins and PS players.
I'd love Clausen, but at 9 he's good as gone. I'd also like Suh or McCoy, but they're out, too. At 9, I think our best bet is either Russell Okung (if he's available), or, my favorite pick at the moment, Rolando McClain.
I say take McClain at 9, which would give us a stud Mike to go into 2010.
Second round I think we try to take a shot with McCoy or Tony Pike. Personally, I like Tony Pike as the pick there.
I like the idea of moving Lynch for a possible 3rd rounder if we could get that and taking a RB sometime in the middle rounds to be our #2 back. I'm not sure where Jahvid Best is expected to go but I wouldn't mind taking a chance on another Cal back.
To round out the offseason, I think we should make a play for Jason Campbell. With Zorn gone in Washington I think Shanny will want to bring in his own guy there and Campbell has really got some talent in my opinion.
If we don't get Owens back and we lose Reed, I think we also need some WR help into next year. Out of the possible free agents, my personal favorites are Malcolm Floyd, Kevin Walter, and Michael Jenkins. All would come fairly cheap and provide a target opposite Evans in TO's absence.
QB - We'd have Campbell going in as the starter, with Pike as the developing #2 and Brohm sitting at #3. We'd have a really young corps with some good talent I think.
RB - Jackson and our draft pick would be the primary carriers.
OL - I don't think Wood will be back in time. It's Bell, Levitre, Hang, Incognito, Butler.
DL - I think Schobel will come back and not retire. Schobel, Williams, Stroud, and Kelsay/Maybin.
LB - Poz, McClain, Mitchell
DB - Drayton Florence, Terrence McGee, Leodis McKelvin, Reggie Corner at the corners. I'm extremely comfortable with this. I love the way Florence played this year. Byrd and Whitner at the starting safeties with Scott the backup/blitzer/play on run downs guy.
All in all, I think this team would be a fringe playoff team. Would it get us a championship? No, but I think it would be a large improvement from this year.
I'm sure you guys have opinions. Let's hear 'em.