I have not posted anything for a while so I figured it was time to give some Bills fans some comfort and hope moving forward. I am an optimistic fan, maybe the most optimistic fan out there. I want to give my take on this season and what we should do in the upcoming months in the draft and free agency. I decided to wait a few days to digest the final game and the season in general before I wrote this so I would be a lot more calm and looking at the positives, so here we go!
Now looking at the upcoming months. A lot of people are calling out Chan and Buddy and I say you need to stop. They are implementing a 3 year plan. 3 years does not mean 2 years, give them another year and see how it goes. If next year is a 7-9 year or 6-10 year again (which I am confident it will not be barring another slew of injuries) then that is a different story. They have been building this team the right way in my opinion, there are a few more pieces that need to be in place for this team to jump to the level of playoff team. First and foremost, we absolutely NEED a pass rusher. We had 29 sacks this year which was tied for 3rd worst in the league and 10 came in one game against a sorry Redskins team with John Beck at the helm so that game was a fluke and a half. We have to draft pass rushers in 2 out of the first 3 rounds. That is how desperate we are for a pass rush. It sickens me to see every quarterback we face have 10 seconds in the pocket. Our coverage down field is generally fantastic but receivers that have 10 seconds to run a route will eventually find a hole and get open. Hopefully with Williams and Darius at full strength next year and putting a good pass rusher and hopefully a situational 3rd down rusher in Merriman we can have a good pass rush.
As for the offensive line now. I have seen a lot of people call out the o line and say that we need another tackle or guard. I just ask you to rewatch some of these games and look at the stats for the offensive lines. We averaged 4.9 yards/rush this year which is 4th best in the NFL and that comes down to the offensive line. We only gave up 23 sacks this year which is 1st in the NFL. 4th best in rushing and 1st in pass protection, NOBODY should be calling out this line and asking for someone in the 2nd round of the draft. If anything I think we need to resign Demetrius Bell, this guy was great when he played. I saw every game this year and he impressed me a lot, especially when he was going up against some really good pass rushers. But with all of the injuries and rotations on the line, to put up those kind of offensive line stats is unbelievable. I for one am VERY excited about this young and very big offensive line.
The last specific topic I want to cover is receiver. I know Stevie has had his ups and downs but I say we get him back. He is asking for 7.8 million a year I believe and that is 15th among receivers. He is a top 15 receiver no questions about it. In fact, he is the ONLY receiver in the NFL who can beat Revis, and not only did he beat Revis, but he OWNED Revis this year. Having to play the Jets twice a year alone should be enough incentive to bring him back. I know he had a couple dumb penalties but this last one I think he really learned from. He saw first hand how his immaturity and stupidity cost this team in 2 games this year. I know the Pats killed us but I think if Stevie is in the game our offense keeps putting up some points. Here is another thing that bothers me though. A lot of people have been saying to draft a receiver in the 1st round. This would be very stupid to me, unless somehow Blackmon falls to us, but even then I think we have more pressing issues on the defensive side. But our receivers were so injured this year and it all started with Easley in the preseason. I honestly think that if this guy can be healthy he will be a very good number 2 receiver across from Stevie. Our other starters were hurt for most of the season. I know people like Naaman, but seriously, he is small, slow, and doesn't have great hands, he will not be on the team next year. I think Johnson, Easley, Jones, Nelson, Smith, FA receiver or maybe 3rd or 4th round receiver should be the roster next year.
Finally I just want to summarize my opinion on the rest of the positions for next year. QB we are set with Fitz at least for one more year, although Thigpen is awful he needs to go. RB we are set with Jackson and Spiller that is a given. I wish we would use a FB more because Mac is a BEAST, hopefully he stays. WR I already gave my view on that. TE, I like Chandler, I think we should grab someone in the mid rounds maybe 4th or 5th, or FA. O Line already talked about. D line, depending on what Wannstedt is running we need pass rushers pass rushers and more pass rushers. 2 out of the first 3 rounds need to line or outside linebackers who can rush. As for the interior, Williams and Daruis are the guys and hopefully Troup can be back healthy next year. Linebackers, I like Shepperd and Barnett but we need some more depth there I would like a young guy in the draft. Safety we are set, Wilson and Byrd are a couple of very good players plus with Scott and Searcy backing them up they have no issues there. Finally, CB is a position I think we need to get in the draft too, Florence is fine, Williams is turning out to be a great pick after a lot of people questioned it, and Rogers has even shown some promise. Mcgee is old and always injured he might even be cut next year. and Mckelvin although he can stick with any receiver he gets beat a lot and can't ever make a play on the ball even when he does have perfect coverage, but I think he can still be valuable as a nickle corner and special teamer because special teams is a place where he thrives. Also a quick note on special teams, we NEED Lindell back, these backup kickers are pathetic.
Those are my thoughts on the season and moving forward, I hope everyone enjoyed it and I welcome all comments and criticism. I will definitely be posting more about the draft as it gets closer too so try not to get caught up in my general off season FA and draft comments because those will get addressed later I promise you all that. GO BILLS!!!!