ORCHARD PARK NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Roscoe Parrish #11 and Steve Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills react to Parrish's 31 yard touchdown catch against the Miami Dolphins during the NFL season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 12 2010 in Orchard Park New York. Miami won 15-10. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Nearly a month ago now, I wrote a short piece on how Buffalo Bills wide receiver Roscoe Parrish is entering a make-or-break year. The 2011 season is a contract year for Parrish, who will turn 29 next month and landed on IR after just eight games last season.
At the time, I wrote that Parrish would get pushed for playing time by the team's young contingent of receivers, and that he'd have to fight tooth and nail to remain with the Bills beyond next year. It didn't take long for Bills safety Donte Whitner to disagree with me, saying that head coach Chan Gailey has "big plans" for Parrish.
Having re-watched just half of the eight games Parrish played last year, I'm here to change my stance, and to acknowledge that Whitner is absolutely correct: there were times when Parrish was clearly Buffalo's best receiver last season. He is their toughest receiver, willing to sacrifice his body both as a downfield blocker and in making the difficult, often spectacular catch. He's still very difficult to defend out of the slot, and can hurt defenses in a lot of different ways.
In short, this guy can flat-out play, and the rhetoric that Gailey got the most out of him wasn't fluff. The only question mark, to me, is whether or not Parrish can stay healthy. If he can, he'll blow his career year numbers out of the water in 2011.