Good morning Rumblers,
The off-season is here and that means that I'll will be starting the Morning Joe series once again.
For those of you are unfamiliar with the Morning Joe Series; I started it last year during the off-season with the intention of giving you something different to discuss other than the normal draft/free agent talk. At times I can be a bit controversial and critical, but it all stems from my undeniable passion as a Bills fan. I will attempt to post something every day, typically in the morning, thus the "Morning Joe" reference, from now up until the start of the first regular season game. I'll try to bring original content, and provided topics that are both meaningful and insightful.
This is probably my third post since the whole site has changed, so I don't know how to do some of the tricks, like capitalizing the first letter of the paragraph, insert pictures, etc. So for now, you'll just get an original piece until someone teaches me :).
So without further ado, lets go to post shall we?
When I ended the Joe series at the beginning of the football season last year, I haven't posted much or commented. I just read the well written posts by BG and Matt, as well as some of you guys. I never really expressed my opinion on last season and what has occurred since then. So I decided use this first post, as a way to hopefully lay the foundation for the upcoming Joe series. Instead of a complete brain dump of my feeling/reactions to last season, I will just attempt to answer some of the bigger questions going in to last season, and my sentiments towards what happen.
Can we win with Fitzpatrick?
No, I'm not going to destroy Fitzpatrick. I've been highly critical of Fitz in the past, not because I dislike the guy, but only because of the blind faith that some fans had in him. Now that the season is over, I'm hoping that we can move on from the Fitzpatrick experiment. I will not blame him for this 6-10 season. Yes, he wasn't great and yes he missed tons of open passes, but he was who we thought he was. I will argue with those folks who said that Fitz wasn't consistent. I will have to disagree. Unlike seasons of the pass, Fitz didn't have his typical up and down season. He played average the whole season; not too high and not too low, in other words consistent.
Can this be a top 5 or 10 defense?
I must admit, this was the biggest surprise to me. I just knew we were going to have a top flight defense, especially if guys were healthy. This unit under performed all year, and I made the mistake of giving guys too much credit. This might surprise some of you, but I don't put this failure of a season on Fitz. This 6-10 record lays solely on the defensive unit. This team was built on the assumption that defense was going to be great; thus the huge investments in both free agency and the draft. The game plan was designed to take advantage of the strengths on offense (CJ and Fred), and rely on Fitz managing the game and protecting the football. Because of the defense shortcomings and its inability to get off the field; the game was left in Fitz hands, which should have never been the case
What impact would Dave Wannstedt and the new 4-3 defense would have on this team? DC?
Wow!! What a huge disappointment. The defense was vanilla all season and lacked aggression. 4-3/3-4 it doesn’t' t really matter if you don't have the right players. Some will say that Wanny sucked at DC, I'll tend to agree. But I will also have to admit that, we was horrible in pass coverage. He couldn't blitz, because he didn't trust our secondary and linebackers in coverage, leaving too much responsibility on an overrated DL unit.
Will the addition of Mario Williams gets us over the hump?
Unlike some, I was pretty content with Mario this season. At times (first 3 and last 3 games) during the season he went missing. I'm not sure if he could ever live up to that contract. Fans and the media was really hard on him, for reasons I'll never understand. I'm just hoping for another productive and fairly healthy season.
Is Gailey and Nix on their last leg with the Bills?
I wrestled back in forth on whether Nix and or Gailey should've been fired. I came to the conclusion that yes Gailey should've been fired, but Nix should've been fired right along with him. Nix is responsible for hiring Gailey, he is responsible for the construction of this team, for the QB situation, and the mind boggling decision to switch back and forth from a 3-4 defenses to a 4-3. I hear my fellow Rumblers talk about Nix and his "plan", sorry to disappoint, but a plan doesn't exist folks. Like Gailey; Nix is a man with no idea what to do at this point. He is perplexed, confused, and way over his head at this point. He is a lame duck GM, with a younger and motivated guy who is ready to replace him.
Now the decision has been made and we are moving on with a new staff, I really don't have an opinion at this point in time. I guess I'm in a wait and see mode. I don't really no if this new head coach is going to be successful or not, but then again I really don't think it makes a difference on who the head coach is. I feel like this franchise is doomed, and I really don't see it improving any time soon. A complete overall from top to the bottom must go; from the owner to the little old lady at the concession stand. There is no hope, nothing to look forward to. No new QB, no new stadium, no new uniforms, a crappy draft for a QB. I think I might throw up in my mouth if see a QB battle between Fitzpatrick, T. Jackson, and the QB from Miami-Ohio, Zac Dysert. Is this what I have to look forward to next season?
But oh well, we have more holes to fill and no one to fill them with. Maybe something magical will happen between now and the start of the season, but then again maybe not. I'll patiently wait either way.
Cheers to the best time of the year for Bills fans; the off season.