Ok so I have been doing some thinking in the past week or so. I haven't posted anything for a while but I realized that the Bills this year could be very similar to the Saints in 2006. Obviously there is nothing compared to the Katrina disaster that made the team bad last season but we were in disarray last year with the firing of the offensive coordinator, the no huddle disaster, Firing Jauron, and the ridiculous amount of injuries at several key positions. After all of that I have been thinking about the similarities between the Bills this coming season and the Saints of '06.
Spiller and Bush
The Bills drafted CJ Spiller 9th overall this year in the draft. Before the 2006 season, the Saints took Bush at 2nd overall. The Saints at the time were a bit criticized because they already had a very good runningback in Deuce McCallister. If I had to compare Spiller to any runningback in the NFL it would be Reggie Bush. Look at his speed, quick moves, and college stats. He was a great college runningback like Reggie, and has the ability to take it to the house on every touch. Similar to Reggie his rookie year, I see the Bills giving him a good amount of touches, plus kick and punt returns. Also, Reggie was a diversion a lot of times on offense and it worked out pretty well for them. I see CJ having a very similar role in the Bills offense this year which brought the Saints a lot of success in 2006.
Easley and Colston
The Saints had a rookie receiver in 2006 who was 6'4", 220 lbs, a good route runner, pretty good speed, and great hands. Anyone see a similarity there with the Bills' 4th round draft pick this year, Marcus Easley? 6'3", 210 lbs, a good route runner, pretty good speed, and great hands. Now I'm not saying that Easley will get 1000 yards his first season, but he could very well be the #2 receiver opposite of Lee Evans on opening day. If that is the case, he could have a very productive first season.
Edwards and Brees
Now I am not going to pretend that Trent is anywhere near Drew Brees status. However, look at Brees's first few seasons in the NFL. He had a QB rating of 76.9 in 2002 and 67.5 in 2003. After that, everyone had counted Drew Brees out as a good quarterback in the NFL. After Trent's last few years people have counted him off as having the possibility of being a successful NFL quarterback. But he has shown potential at times (the first 5 games of the 2008 season). I seriously doubt Edwards will become the passer that Brees is, but I am just saying that the beginning of their careers were kind of similar.
Gailey and Payton
Sean Payton was hired before the 2006 season, and you all know the rest of that story. He has been a very good offensive minded coach for the Saints and has had a lot of success. Gailey is an offensive minded coach as everyone knows pretty well by now. With the addition of Spiller and Easley maybe he can turn Edwards into a decent quarterback in this league.
Here is the big difference in the teams. The Saints' defense in 2006 was 11th in the NFL. The Bills' defense this year will be very good. Judging from the Bills excellent pass defense last year that is already covered. The run defense, because of the switch to the 3-4 and the free agent additions to the front 7, will be not just improved this year, but very good. I think the Bills' defense will be in the top 10 in the league, and possibly even the top 5.
I don't know if the Bills will be able to be quite as successful as the 2006 Saints because of the division that we play in. It will be very tough for our offense because of the question mark at the quarterback and offensive line positions to be as good as the Saints #1 offense in 2006, but our offense will be better than last year, that is certain. The way it could even out is because of the defense. The Saints in 2006 had a pretty good defense, and a great offense. The Bills I see as having a better shot at having a great defense and a pretty good offense. However, with the offensive mind of Gailey and hopefully a few less injuries than the last few years, our offense can be surprisingly good this year.
My good friend who knows me as the crazy optimistic Bills fan that is always talking about the Bills having a great year next year was actually on board with this idea when I was explaining it to him.