Evolution of a roster (Part 1)


In a recent post, I described the "offensive" players that had been added by the Chix regime.  That post drew the ire of many a reader, and so I have gone back and taken a second look at the the roster decisions made by Chix.  My second look has yielded a result that hopefully paints a more accurate picture of the roster decisions made by Chix on the offensive side of the ball.  For me, it resulted in a more balanced opinion of the decisions that have been made; like many, I am not completely satisfied with the moves that have been made, but do not view the current roster as being any less talented than the one they inherited.  The analysis lies after the jump. 

In order to get the most accurate representation of the roster moves, I looked up the entire opening day roster of the 2009 Bills.  I placed that in the first column.  In the second column I listed the players Nix elected to keep, since keeping a player is just as much a "roster decision" as cutting a player.  Finally, in the 3rd column, I listed the players that have been brought in over the past 2 years to develop what makes up our current roster. 

2009 Roster 2011 Roster 2011 Roster
Remaining Players New Additions
QB Edwards Fitz
Fitz Thigpen
Hamden Brad Smith
RB Jackson Jackson
Lynch Spiller
Omon White
McIntyre McIntyre
WR Evans Stevie
Owens Parrish
Hardy Jones
Stevie Easley
Parrish Nelson
Reed Martin
Justin Jenkins
TE Stupar Chandler
Fine Martin
Nelson Smith
OL Bell Bell
Levitre Levitre
Hang Wood
Wood Urbik
Butler Pears
Scott Rinehart
McKinney Brown
Chambers Hairston


Position-by-position analysis:

At QB, Nix has elected to ditch Edwards and Hamden, and replaced them with Thigpen and Smith.  Edwards was unable to make it work in either Jacksonville or Oakland, so his career may be nearing its end.  Smith is a decent pickup for running the wildcat, but has little additional value.  Nix could have chosen to make a run at Vick (before his fantastic season last year), Kolb, Orton, Hasselbeck, etc.  Or, he could have reached to draft someone in either of the past 2 drafts. But he has chosen to stick with Fitz.  A questionable decision we all hope works out.

At RB, they have chosen to trade Lynch in favor of Spiller.  They are very different backs, and Spiller certainly has a ton of potential.  Hopefully he turns into the next Jamaal Charles or Chris Johnson.  It is a position we didn’t really need to upgrade and is the only position on the offense which received attention in the first 3 rounds of either of the first 2 drafts.  Another questionable decision.

At WR, I can admit that I like the 6 WRs we currently have a lot better than the 7 we used to have (with the only exception being that I don’t think we’ll be a better team for losing Evans).  Our depth at the position is quite remarkable, and was found at very little cost.

At TE, we dropped 3 mediocre players in favor of 3 new mediocre players.  Hmm…

At OL, we kept 3 players from the previous regime (Bell, Wood and Levitre).  The experiment that is Demetrius Bell comes with a lot of risk, and losing Butler hurt our team a lot -- hopefully Pears succeeds at replacing him.  On the bright side, Urbik and Rinehart seem to have some potential.

Ultimately, in my view, the success or failure of our offense rests in the hands of 2 relatively mediocre and inconsistent players that were inherited from the previous regime.  If Fitz or Bell fails to perform at an exceptionally high level, the whole team will suffer.  Few, if any, "game-changers" have been brought in.  Gailey has done a lot to develop the talent of the WRs on the squad, but many other positions still need a lot of work.  Admittedly, they have paid a LOT of attention to the defense (and I will address that in a subsequent post), but I personally wish they had done a little more (especially at LT and TE).

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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