Three games into the 2010 NFL season has looked about what I expected from the Bills - they actually probably looked a little worse than I had thought the first two games and then moved better against the suspect Pats defense this past game - but I think it's a perfect opportunity to get some thoughts out there.
Apologies for offseason comments
During the offseason I blasted Lindell for his inability to be effective over 50 yards - but you know what? That boy is money more or less within 50 yards. I had no right to call him out when he's as good as he is in his range. He'll never kick a 55 yarder to win a game - but he's about as consistent as you can be within 40 so I don't know what I was thinking.
All offseason I defended Edwards. I still think he'd be at least average with a good/great offensive line in front of him but he's certainly not a "gamer". I think that's really all that needs to be said - sure he smart and is accurate against guys in shorts - but when the bullets are flying for real he doesn't step up to the challenge. I still think he has the tools, just not the moxy to be a consistent winner in the NFL.
Thoughts on Gailey
To be honest - I fully expected us to look real bad the first few games of the season - I even thought we were going to play worse against the Pats than we did. I know their defense is suspect - but we definately looked competent on offense for once - while the defense looked pretty bad.
I'm not sure people around here are giving our coaches enough time to get players accustom to the scheme changes. Also, the coaches to get use to the players. Changing schemes can be very difficult for players because they are use to playing positions one way and now you're telling them to go against what they are use to doing. Think Stroud at DE - he's never played DE in a 3-4 and if he takes the wrong shoulder of an O-Linemen then a gap is exposed.
It's going to take time for players to adjust and the coaches to know what the players are good at in their respective schemes. I think Gailey will continue to put players in a position to succeed like he did this past week in N.E. - but we have to give him some time. I usually put my over/under at 8 weeks for new coaches until I expect to see some serious improvement - which judging from the first 2 weeks of the season isn't going to be difficult.
Thoughts on Offense
I thought the line looked much better this past week - is NE's defense that bad that they really can't get consistent pressure or did our o-line just look markedely better? I know one thing - we're going to find out next week against the blitz happy and talented Jets defense - were going to find out a lot about any improvements we think we saw this week when we play that nasty Jets defense.
Spiller is faster than most players and probably 99% of defensive players - he's gonna score a lot.
Roscoe's having a nice year so far - I loved that 3rd down catch where the caught it and 3 NE defenders ran into eachother - that was funny.
We need Nelson back at TE - Stupar is o.k. - but we have zero threat there.
I thought the play calling for offense was good as well - I think we got away from the run in the 2nd half but their secondary isn't very good and they weren't getting much pressure on Fitzy so I can understand that. With that said - let's run the ball more.
Thoughts on Defense
I don't think there's really much to say other than we can't get pressure on the QB at all and our run defense is not very good.
Edwards needs to get pressure on opposing QBs - that's a must.
Why was Urbik out there?
The interior of our line looked like they actually controlled Wilfork - were my eyes deceiving me?
Our LBs all suck right?
Is Leodis going to be starting soon?
Will Byrd learn how to play the run?
To me it seems like we're evaluating talent each and every game and trying to find what works. That's why players are being moved around and the offensive game plan seemed (the first 2 weeks) to change so heavily. I truly beleive this is an evaluation year so you're going to see a lot of players moving around until the coaches find what the players are good at.
I think it was very difficult to evaluate our offensive players because of the failure of our past offensive coordinators. Which is probably why Edwards was given one last shot - I hope I speak for everyone when I say I hope Edwards never starts for the Bills ever again. That ship has sailed.
Here's what I expect for this season, the remainder of the season:
Continue to evaluate players and find what they are good at.
Continue to adjust schemes based off of what the players are good at (let's be honest, even if Gailey is an "offensive guru" - it's going to take him time to find out what he has in his players - anyone thinking otherwise is delusional).
Be more entertaining - but ultimately lose more games.
Get a top 5 pick, possibly top 3 pick, and possibly 1st pick.
I see enough talent on our offense to make me think we're a QB and tackle away from being much more efficient - so let's hope that one of the college QBs distances themselves enough so it's a no brainer and we can get that franchise signal caller we've all been waiting for.