I am what you would call a NFLN junkie. Doesn't matter what time or what show as long as the wife isn't around my TV is on NFLN. Last week there was a show called The Number Ones (or The Number 1's, or something like that) that was about the successes and failures of the first overall QB picks.
There was one recurring theme throughout the entire show that kept getting mentioned. It was how guys like Carr and Couch were destined to fail because they were put in awful situations. Teams that weren't ready for a QB and teams that weren't prepared to give a QB everything he needed to succeed. The players and coaches on the show would mention how guys like Peyton Manning are the exception, not the rule and that a ton of NFL QB's failed because of teams around them and not necessarily the QBs themselves. This mind you is coming from former and current players, coaches an analysts. Time and again they would mention how teams ruined QBs confidence by not grooming them properly and giving them the supporting cast they needed to succeed and how they were doomed from the beginning.
Go back to Buddy Nix's comments earlier in the year (or late last year) in which Buddy said that he thinks the Bills are ready for a QB. Why would Nix say that now and not 3 or 2 years ago? Hasn't Buffalo had the need for a QB for a long time? The answer is yes, but that need has to also be supported by the entire team to make sure he doesn't fail. Or to at least give that QB a fighting chance.
People all over talk about the plan and never seeing the plan and that Buddy doesn't have a plan. In hindsight you see heavy investments in the defensive and offensive lines. You see an emphasis on the defensive side of the football so hopefully they will hold up their share of the bargain. They haven't up until this point but the idea remains.
Buffalo also is setup for a solid running game that Buddy put together. Glenn, Urbik and Hairston are all large road grader type run blockers and there is only one C.J. Spiller.
If you put that all together you have a team that was built for running the football (even though we ran spread, Chan) and an investment in the defense. The investment in the defense was evident this year in the Pettine hiring not just because of his background, but because of Russ Brandon's comment that they targeted him aggressively and went after him. Don't undersell the impact Pettine will bring to this team. Also, regardless of the past coaching failures the investment in both the lines has come in every draft except for this one when the majority feel they are both good to go with impact players.
I spent a part of this morning reading a bunch of fanposts about how Buddy reached on Manuel and that there is no clear plan and the QB pick certainly doesn't show a plan but I just don't buy that. Buddy put a lot of resources into building competent offensive and defensive lines. Games are won and lost in the trenches as they say.
So when Buddy said that now is the time for Buffalo to take a QB it's because he felt the team is ready. He is building this team the way, as he put it, knows works. It's about making sure that you put a QB in a good situation that gives him a chance to succeed. That way he doesn't make it to a show like The Number Ones as a bust when the team around him was awful and gave him almost no chance to succeed.
Also, this years draft was good for Manuel because he can grow with these receivers. It'll be fun to watch them get a rapport with each other but I like the planning behind it.
I hope this puts to rest the lack of a plan mantra. When Buddy said that this team is ready for a QB we should have been able to pick apart why he said at this time and not 3 years ago. Obviously he didn't want to put a QB in a no win situation. Now Manuel has good players surrounding him and solid offensive and defensive lines with a scary run game. That's how you put a QB into a position to succeed.