of course it is too early to draw any dramatic conclusions after one preseason game. but what is clear to this observer is that the buffalo bills are making serious progress on a number of fronts. i want to tip my cap ahead of time: here's to gailey's mind and nix's sixth sense.
gailey has a vision for the offense which is dramatically different from anything the buffalo bills have ever done. the current wildcat on display for the first time last night indicates his constant desire to create strategic advantage and reduce offensive liabilities. the quick passing attack is designed to get away from the offensive line weakness, while playing to fitz's strength as a reader of defenses and short and medium accuracy. we are seeing role players emerge with spiller, freddie, nelson, smith etc. to make these strategic innovations work effectively.
nix seems to know what he is doing: the defense showed dramatic improvements last night at the point of attack. merriman and dareus, a beefed up carrington and troup have suddenly made people ask themselves the amazing question: could this defense be above average? both gailey's mind and nix's sixth sense deserve credit for bringing on Dave W., the savvy defensive mind with Super Bowl credentials, to help transform the defense under George Edwards.
nix is bringing in players he knows, from merriman to chandler and davis, because he trusts his scouting judgment and closely follows ex picks in san diego as they move through the league. chandler may yet become the tight end the bills have long been looking for, having served as an apprentice under antonio gates (undrafted free agent under nix) and dallas's world class tight end jason witten.
nix said we are committed to the 3-4 and within one year we are seeing that commitment unfold positively. the williams/dareus/troup/carrington/edwards/merriman/kelsay run stuffing/pass rushing front may end up becoming one of the most impresssive defensive lines in bills history, precisely because it reflects a wonderful mix of steadiness (kelsay and edwards) with explosiveness and pro ball caliber playmakers (williams, dareus, merriman). if training camp reports and first preseason game results are worth taking seriously, not to mention physical appearance, troup and carrington have made major advances from their rookie seasons, and have good chances to become players worthy of praise and extensive playing time as the season unfolds.
of course it is early, but there is something happening. even gailey's mind was led to say, in an interview, this team could be "pretty good," and word is, if we are to believe steve tasker, there is "privately," he said, a lot of confidence in this team going forward, among bills brass and veterans.
clearly, the lee evans trade was depressing, but we have no alternative but to trust nix's sixth sense. right now, if merriman's nine play introduction to buffalo was any indication, and if brad smith's wildcat cameo is worth its weight in bills red, white and blue, then gailey's mind and nix's sixth sense is onto something special.
now as hungry, arguably desperately deprived fans of our beloved tackle football team, we need to keep the faith in these two leaders, and let their combined 100 yrs plus of football experience take us to the promised land.
see you at The Ralph for the Raiders...