As new GM I’ve relieved Buddy Nix of his duties as he’s “retired” but I’ve retained Doug Whaley’s services and given him the task of putting together our draft plan. In addition, I’ve expanded some of his duties in order to continue to groom him as the future GM of the Buffalo Bills. He’s my right hand man and I discuss all personnel decisions with him before executing. We are still going to continue building through the draft, but I want this team to be immediately playoff worthy in 2013, so a few key veteran additions through free agency will occur.
As for coaching, Gailey’s time with Buffalo is up. I’ve decided as new GM, continuity is not what will get the Bills to the playoffs and I don’t want to see Gailey failing in his 4th year like Jauron did. I’m desperate to get results quickly to keep the fans interested and the players morale up so I would like a defensive minded coach to be Gailey’s successor but I would settle for a offensive coach if he’s got a good game plan for the defense. Also, I’d like to overhaul the offense from horizontal timing to a vertical offense that is run heavy.
As for potential replacements, I’m going to interview current Washington Redskins DC Jim Haslett but really I want Mike Zimmer, current Cincinnati Bengals DC for the job. Zimmer may be able to go to a bigger market or just stay with the Bengals depending on how many coaches are fired in the off-season. The sleeper candidate who I can call, that has already expressed interest in coming to Buffalo is Brian Billick former head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. He’s a bit long in the tooth but his coaching tree is impressive (Del Rio, Nolan, Lewis, Rex Ryan, Singletary, Mike Smith) and he’s reached the playoffs with Kyle Boller as his QB, so enough said. The dark horse candidate is Mike McCoy, OC for the Denver Broncos. He’s the same guy who accommodated his offense for Tim Tebow during his time with Denver but also ranked in the top 15 half of the league in passing offense with guys like Kyle Orton and now Peyton Manning. He’s used to cold weather and shown he can adapt, it may be time for him to spread his wings and show what he can do as a head coach, but only if he can give OBD an awesome presentation on his ideas for the defense. Lastly, Jay Gruden will get a call from OBD but I remain skeptical due to his lack of experience.
In this order, this is who I want as head coach- Zimmer, McCoy, Billick, Gruden, Haslett
*Head Coach Wishlist- These coaches can decide when and where they will coach in 2013. I of course will make attempts to get them to Buffalo but realistically they will probably not be with us: Chip Kelly, David Shaw, Bill Cowher.
OC-Whisenhunt, Turner, A. Reid.
DC- Singletary, R. Herring (LB coach of Houston), K. Greene (LB coach of Green Bay)
Note: I’ve tried my best to be as close to the real salary cap as possible. If anyone has any input as to what I may have overlooked please let me know!
Re-signed: Jairus Byrd (franchise tag-$7 million), Andy Levitre- 5 yrs/$30 million (first year $5 million), Kyle Moore-3 yrs/$4.5 Million (first year $1.5 million), Marcus Easley (vet minimum-$595,000), David Nelson 4 yrs/$3 million (first year $750,000)
Free Agents: Manny Lawson 4 yrs/$15 Million (first year 3 million), Bruce Gradkowski-2 yrs/$5.5 Million (first year 2.25 million), William Moore 3 years/$12 million (first year $3 million), Delanie Walker (first year $1.75 Million). Overall $8.25 Million spent on new free agents.
Total Cost of Re-signed/Free Agents: $24.845 Million
Total Savings through Cuts: $16.56
Rollover from 2012: $9.25
Total: $970,000 of available cap money heading into 2013 draft.
-Salaries of players who were not re-signed were not re-figured in total (therefore cap would be higher than $970,000)
-Kraig Urbik and his deal were not factored into the figures above either.
Rd 1- QB Mike Glennon (NC State): It’s a bit of a reach I admit, but if we don’t take him now we might have to settle on Aaron Murray/Logan Thomas in the second round and that’s just wishful thinking at this point.
Rd 2- LB Nico Johnson (Georgia): Solid player who will not surprisingly win the MLB job by the end of pre-season upgrading a LB unit from average to above average.
-OR- (depending on if one is taken before the other)
Rd 2-LB Khaseem Greene (Rutgers): Can line up anywhere, has good coverage instincts, and is a tackling machine. At times I wonder if theres anything he can't do.
Rd 3- CB Tyrann Matheiu “Honeybadger” (formerly LSU): Somewhat of a reach as well. However the talent level proves to be the ultimate deciding factor and eventually the pick will be looked at as a steal a few years down the road if he can be kept on the straight and narrow. He’s reunited with former LSU teammate Ron Brooks and they push each other to win the starting job going into 2013 while upgrading a young DB unit at the same time.
Rd 4- WR Da’Rick Rodgers (Tennessee Tech): Can get downfield but is not a true vertical threat. He’s a bigger wide-out who can fight for the long ball Glennon is going to be delivering and has the weight to go over the middle. He can still put on a few lbs. of muscle for the pros and it should not impact his speed.
Rd. 5- TE Jake Stoneburner (Ohio St.): a big bodied pass-catcher who played in a spread offense under Urban Meyer. He resembles Scott Chandler in many ways but is probably faster. He could be a good depth option and a plan B while Chandler recovers from his ACL injury.
Rd. 6- C Matt Stankiewitch (Penn St.): High character guy who needs some work in his passing game technique. Some time studying under both Eric Wood and Joe D'alessandris should prove he’s got what it takes for the pros but he is a project.
Rd. 7- RB Beau Blankenship (Ohio): As I’m typing this the guy is making Louisiana Monroe just look foolish. He plays a lot like Toby Gerhart just smaller. Not afraid to run inside and dishes out punishment like a fullback, will fight for extra yards and fall forward.
2013 Basic Buffalo Bills Depth Chart-
QB- Glennon, Gradkowski
HB- Spiller, F. Jackson, Blankenship
TE- Chandler, Stoneburner, L. Smith
WR1- Johnson, Easley, Rodgers
WR2- Jones, Graham, Nelson
RT- Pears, Sanders
DE- M. Williams, K. Moore
DT- K. Williams
DE- M. Anderson
MLB- N. Johnson/Greene, Sheppard
SLB- Lawson, Bradham
FS- Byrd, A. Williams
SS- W. Moore, Searcy