2011 Regular season just hours away, I’m pumped. Finally got a DVD of the Denver preseason game so I was able to catch up with you guys a bit. But, rather than bore anyone with a late analysis of a meaningless game, I thought I’d follow suit of several other Rumblers with a brain dump.
1. Owners and players came together and settled their differences without missing any regular season games. I didn’t think that would happen. Good on ya.
2. The comments after the Buffalo News story entitled, “Bell tries to find his rhythm…” (linked on today’s BR page) are filled with the old refrain about Ralph Wilson being a miser. I guess this is just one of those bulletproof ideas. But, since not challenging an idea is the same as tacitly agreeing with it, let me say: Ralph is not a miser. He spends more than a lot of owners, and Buddy Nix stated just this week that Ralph is antsy to make a big splash in free agency. It’s Nix that is charting the course of slow, steady growth thru the draft.
Fact is Ralph Wilson has chosen to keep his team in WNY for 52 years. Surely there have been ample opportunities for him to cash out. He hasn’t.
3. Other comments after the above-mentioned article centered around us winning the “Andrew Luck derby”. Forget it. Ain’t gonna happen.
Steve Tasker stated during the Denver game that the 2011 Bills are already better than the 2010 Bills were at any time last season. Say what you will about Tasker being a homer, I consider him credible. He pointed out that our defense is the difference: the addition of Dareus, a healthy Merriman (please!) and Danny Batten (looked like he was running downhill), more depth and playmakers among the D-backs, and being the second year in the 3-4 system...
Any way you slice it we are not going to be the worst team in the league this year. Here’s a list of 12 teams that I think we’re every bit as good as: Miami, Clev, Cinci, Oak, Jax, Wash, Det, Seatt, SF, Ariz, StL, Car.
4. Off-season losses.
Posluszny leaving really surprised me. Our LB play hasn’t been that good lately, so losing the centerpiece seemed disastrous. But, watching Nick Barnett play against Denver has calmed me down considerably. Two plays I loved were (1) his sniffing out a reverse and darting in to tackle the runner for no gain (2) drifting back into coverage and tipping a well thrown ball away from the receiver.
Evans leaving also surprised me. Chris Brown suggested that Evans himself initiated the move, and there is no one in the media that I trust more for Bills info than him. So, if Lee wanted out, what could Nix do? Were we properly compensated? Well, I think about it this way: if I bought a nice, new $20,000 car in 2004, and wanted to trade it in now, should I expect to get $20,000 back? No way. I’d expect about ¼ of that which is what we got. With respect to Lee, I do think his absence will hurt the most among the free agent defections.
Whitner…Oh well. Hopefully we replaced a tackler with a playmaker in George Wilson.
5. Overall, I’m a big believer in continuity. That’s why I’m high on this year’s team. Remember one year ago: new coaching staff & GM, new defensive system, soon-to-be quarterback upheaval, Wood and Bell coming back from major injuries, Marshawn being auditioned for a trade, etc. It was a mess. We were a goose egg for the first half of the season then finished 4-4. Let’s hold that positive thought in our heads as we go kick some KC butt. Or, as Chan says, “Be smart, but don’t you ever back down.”