We spend a lot of time here at Buffalo Rumblings analyzing the Buffalo Bills for potential weaknesses. After ten years without seeing playoff football, that behavior is hardly surprising; by diagnosing the problem areas before the season starts, we soften the blow when the inevitable November disappointment appears on our doorsteps.
I imagine we'll spend a great deal more time over the next several months worrying and nit-picking. This afternoon, I wanted to talk about something a little more comforting. Therefore, after the jump, you'll find three positions and three more Bills players, that I'm just flat-out not worrying about heading into the 2010 season.
Three Positions Bills Fans Shouldn't Worry About
For the record, no, I did not find it difficult to find three positions for this section of the post. That does not, however, mean that I seriously considered any other positions; I didn't.
Running Back. There'd be a very, very serious problem if running back weren't listed here. With two former first-round picks and one of the NFL's great diamond-in-the-rough stories on the roster, the Bills had damn well better be worry-free at running back. With Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch and rookie C.J. Spiller on board, the Bills likely won't be facing any depth issues at this position - and all three of these players are capable of hurting NFL defenses. This is the team's clear strength; now Gailey just needs to figure out how to utilize all three of them.
Inside Linebacker. I'll say it right now - barring injury, Bills fans are going to be very happy with the performances of Paul Posluszny and Andra Davis in 2010. These are two dependable, consistent performers, and they're lunch pail types - very workmanlike, and they'll bring it with all they've got down in and down out. Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor might be asked to assist with the pass rush, but both provide solid veteran depth on the inside - and I'm bullish on the long-term prospects of end-turned-inside 'backer Arthur Moats, who is just a solid football player.
Strong Safety. We may have officially reached "he is what he is" territory with 2006 No. 8 overall pick Donte Whitner, but what he is isn't terrible - he's a solid athlete capable of doing a lot of different things in any defensive backfield. Bryan Scott has proven himself a very capable run defender, and George Wilson is coming off of a tremendous year in which he stole a lot of playing time from Whitner at strong safety. This is a diverse group with complementary skill sets, and unlike at different positions, it's not imperative that the Bills name one starter; all three should see significant playing time this year.
Three Players Bills Fans Shouldn't Worry About
This section became slightly more difficult, as I thought it'd be cheap to use Fred Jackson, Paul Posluszny and Donte Whitner here. But again, I was able to find three players without much trouble.
Geoff Hangartner. I suspect that everyone's biggest point of contention with this post will be with No. 63, but I like Hangartner. Buffalo was actually a decent run-blocking team in 2009 - a fact often overlooked because of how desperately pitiful they were protecting the quarterback on passing downs - and Hangartner deserves some of the credit for the former. At his best, he's probably a middle-of-the-pack starting center, but I like his smarts, his grit, and his intangibles. Buffalo can do far worse, and while I worry about what might happen if Hangartner succumbs to injury (which he gratefully avoided last year), I don't worry about the player at all - particularly if he improves as a pass protector alongside second-year guards and .
Kyle Williams. Again, some might point out that Williams doesn't have a true position in the team's new 3-4 defense, but that's less important to me than what Williams is capable of doing when he's on the field. One could argue, taking the last four years (Williams' entire tenure in the NFL) in one lump sum, that Williams has been Buffalo's most consistent and durable performer anywhere on the roster (kickers and punters notwithstanding). Williams is an excellent player and one of my favorite members of the team, and while I worry about how George Edwards will put him to use, I don't doubt Williams for a second when he's on the field.
Garrison Sanborn. So what if I'm putting a long snapper on this list? People don't notice long snappers until they cost your team games; when they're on, they're the epitome of NFL afterthought. Sanborn, an undrafted free agent just a year ago, excels at what he's asked to do - make accurate snaps for the team's kickers, and bust his butt on punt coverage. If we never mention Sanborn's name again from this point in time until next July, he'll have validated his place on this list.
Any positions and/or players that you aren't worrying about heading into the new NFL season?