Nah just kidding. You should see the look on your face right now. You were totally going to skim a few sentences then jump right into the comment section and blast me with insults. Don't worry, this isn't a fanpost dedicated to bringing in Tebow. I haven't been able to comment as much as I would like to on here so this post is a summary of my thoughts on the state of the Bills currently and moving forward. I'm looking forward to having some great discussion with everyone. Well let's get started shall we?
First I want to discuss our record overall. Raise your hands if you though the Bills would have a winning record at this point in the season? Now put them down because you're either a liar or just insanely optimistic. I personally expected a losing season. What i didn't expect was how competitive we would be this year. This is a team that truly is a few plays away from a winning record. Sadly, moral victories don't equal actual victories. It does however give me more hope for this team's future than I have felt in a while. It's still too early for me to make a judgement call on the Marrone hire but if the team can take that next step and win those close games then he will be a successful hire. Time will tell.
Ah Nate Hackett, our rookie OC. He's been the subject of a lot of vitriol this season. Some of it is rightfully deserved (goal line play calling) while some of it is rather baseless in my humble opinion (poor execution of plays). I don't know what kind of expectations everyone else had for him coming into the season but I expected some growing pains. If the team can execute plays better I think he wouldn't catch as much flak as he does. Though it is his job to make the team better prepared so it's a two-way street for sure. Needless to say, I don't think he should be fired. At least not yet. We were one of only two teams to put up 20 plus points up to the New Orleans games and we were still semi-competitive while using our third string QB. No team has that kind of depth and to put up over 400 yards of offense with an undrafted third string QB is impressive. I'm willing to give him more time.
On the defensive side of the field the Pettine hire seems to be paying off. For the most part this year the defense has performed better than I've seen in a while. Doing so while missing multiple players in the secondary is even more impressive. The amount of bad luck we've had with injuries this year is really unfair. I really hope Pettine sticks around a while because I feel like this defense could become something special in short time. Not getting blown out is definitely nice. As for special teams I got nothing. Seems like we've been worse in that department this year. I know next to nothing about Crossman so someone else will have to break that down.
The year's rookies have gotten me really excited for the future of the franchise. Kiko Alonso is an absolutely phenomenal player and should get DROY in my opinion. I love everything about this guy and feel like he is without a doubt the best pick in the draft (for the Bills at least). Woods has been impressive and I feel like he's going to be a good wideout for us for a long time. Goodwin is also been rather good this year. His TD against KC was especially awesome. With a little work we could have one of the better WR corps in the NFL.
Figured I'd make my next rookie player his own paragraph. Time to talk about EJ Manuel. I've seen a lot of talk around here about how he's a bust. This just blows my mind. How can you call a player a bust after six games? Did Colts fans call Manning a bust after his rookie season? And no, I'm saying Manuel is the next Manning. I think people have gotten spoiled by players like Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan who have come in and done well their rookie season. Now everyone expects that kind of play from their rookie QB. Isn't that setting the bar a little high? I already know at least one person will make a comment about accepting mediocrity. It's not about accepting mediocrity it's about having realistic expectations. Manuel's a rookie who has missed a good amount of playing time. Giving up on him six games into his career seems a tad stupid to me. The one thing I loathe though is the people who use every Manuel mistake to toot their own horn about how we never should have drafted him and how they just knew he was a bust. As for drafting another QB early in the first round? No. Just no. We have other holes to fill than burn a pick on yet another QB who we will have to groom. But what about Manz... NO!
Now I'll move on to some of our non-rookie players. Mario Williams has been absolutely fantastic this year. Which is awesome because all those people who were saying we should cut him or trade him after only getting 10.5 sacks last season look really silly right now. Bringing Moorman back was awesome. I've always liked him and it's awesome he gets to finish his career in Buffalo. Manny Lawson also has been a solid FA signing. McKelvin still needs a little work. TJ Graham however needs a TON of work still. I'm not going to advocate cutting him, but he definitely needs to show some improvement because he's been dreadful. Chandler as well. I wouldn't be hurt if we don't bring him back next season. Spiller should have been sat a while ago when he first hurt his ankle. Playing through it seems to have made it worse. He could have used the recovery time sooner. Fredex still delivers. Carpenter has been a pleasant surprise. The offensive line definitely could use an upgrade. I didn't think losing Levitre would have hurt us this bad. I still think the Titans way overpaid for him but the FO should have made a move to address the guard position before the season started.
Byrd gets his own paragraph too. I, like many of you, are frustrated by the Byrd contract situation. Hurt feelings aside he needs to be in a Bills uniform forever. I don't care what it takes, we need him on defense. As for the people who have said we should cut him, that's absolutely a dumb idea. If he must leave Buffalo its after we franchise him a second time and then trade him for everything he is worth. Best case scenario though they hammer out a new contract this offseason.
Sadly, it's time to talk a little draft. I don't have a mock yet and won't until next year around March. What I do have is a list of things I think Buffalo should draft. We definitely need to draft Man...I said NO dammit! Anyway, I'm thinking LB, CB, OL, and WR are positions we should draft for. Not necessarily in that order mind you. I wouldn't be opposed to using a 4-7 round pick on another QB if the FO really feels the need to. Definitely need to address the O-ling and probably early. Another great LB prospect would really help. Our secondary certainly needs more depth. I could talk about how bad Rogers was but I'm out of tissues and don't feel like crying tonight. I still think we also need another good WR prospect to round out the WR corps because contrary to the opinion of some i think it still needs some work.
Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic for the future of this franchise. I'm not going to waste mine or anyone else's time with any woe is me I'm a Bills fan talk. I expected to stink this season anyway so the losses don't really bother me as much. I strongly think we'll be a much more competitive team here in the not too distant future. I do apologize for the length of this as I got a little long winded. I hope you enjoyed reading this and look forward to the discussion this generates. Happy Veteran's Day to all my fellow Vets out there and as always GO BILLS!!!!