I haven't posted in a while as the semester just start but after reading some of the comments and listening to the Whiner line on WGR, I thought I'd chime in on a few things.
1.) Tuel - The ripping of Tuel has to stop. The man is an undrafted FA QB and he played like one. There were some promising things I saw about Tuel though. He looked like he settled down and stayed in the pocket. I thought his pocket presence was very good and he showed a great deep ball with the pass to Graham (who alligator armed it).
The Browns shut down Andy Dalton and contained EJ Manual. The Browns defense is talented. Tuel had some misfires but that's to be expected for a QB who gets thrown into a game cold in his first NFL action. Even Manual didn't connect on every pass. Stick with Tuel - he showed some promise.
2.) Defensive Backfield - The deep ball is killing the Bills and the thought is once Byrd and Gilmore are back, the problem will be solved. I'm not convinced. I think Williams and Byrd will make for a dynamic safety combo and McKelvin has shown improvement enough to make me think he can be a solid #2 in this league. Gilmore still needs work and he was plagued by penalties last year. Let's see how well Gilmore grasped the defense - everyone expects him to do well but he's a wildcard.
3.) Depth - Everyone is on the GM for not having adequate depth. Please name a team that is stacked at every position? I think the Bills have done a great job stacking quality players in different positions. Free agency doesn't allow teams to have top quality depth all over the field.
4.) Passing Game - I nearly spilled my beer all over my couch when I saw the Bills throw a screen to Freddy. It was a thing of beauty. I think every screen pass went for 10 yards. Keep your eye on this - I think Hackett will dial this up more frequently and this causes the defense to slow down their pass rush and respect the screen game.
5.) Rushing game - Freddy is amazing and timeless. CJ needs to be in a spread offense. If anyone remembers back to the 90s, Barry Sanders got put into a traditional I formation offense and was terrible. Barry needed a spread offense and the Lions figured that out and changed their offense to a spread. I believe CJ is the same - he needs open space and the man is just terrific in the open field.
6.) Playcalling - Hackett has done a good job bringing along a raw prospect like EJ and setup himself for later in the season. I haven't seen two games called the same since the first two games. He's evolving and changing the offense as he grows into his new role. I'm extremely excited for Hackett.
7.) EJ - His poise is just incredible. He looks and acts like a leader. I really hope he sets his feet when he throws more frequently because he has a cannon and is accurate when he sets his feet. I'm worried that he gets spooked in the pocket. I thought that Tuel actually had better pocket presence than EJ at this point.
Overall, I think the Bills' fans (myself included) have a ton to be excited about. We have a great defense which is addressing their flaws each week and what appears to be an evolving offense. Once our injury bug settles itself, we should be able to make a run at the playoffs.
I think the Bills can go 9-7 and make a push - we might fall short but we'll be in the playoff race. Let's stop the doom and gloom today. We lost to a healther team that captialized on our mistakes on offense and special teams. The Browns won the game and were the better team. But our future is bright and who knows...we may see them again in 13 weeks.