Very delayed finally got a day off after 2 week project at work finished.
End of the Season Summary/Review:
Basically it was a seesaw season. We had a competitive team and our record could have gone quite a few various ways based on key plays. Overall we can see potential and need to break through to the next step. We are the type of team that if we get in the playoffs with these offseason moves we could be dangerous to be that dark horse team no one counted on being in that final game to begin with. Anything goes when you get to the playoffs.
- When considering my moves, I don't assume just because we may have strengths in certain statistical areas this past year that those results will automatically be duplicated the following year.
- Generally it seems most think (before the Pettine move) "well we just need to fix the run defense and we will have a great defense"...since we got sacks and ints. Now with Schwartz many are trying to key in on how our defense will look all together.
- My thing is, scheme doesn't matter as long as you have someone competent running the defense(which I believe Schwartz has proven that with multiple teams) and as many fresh playmakers on the field at all times because the season is long & teams adjust and plan. So you have to throw different types of punches to win these battles series to series, week in to week out.
This is a key year for the Bills in general. The 2nd year in the regime you have to go from training wheels to qualifying and competing for that championship. In a nut shell, the defense has balance between players in their prime to young, promising overachievers. The offense on the other hand is completely being driven by our young guns who we are still trying to see if they pack some fire power or are just blowing smoke.
Front Office or Coaching Changes:
I would keep all the coaches for this year around. I echo the thinking of surrounding Crossman with his core specialists and prove that it is him that is keeping us from reaching our desired results. Coach Marrone is a straight shooter it seems when it comes to his communication with his staff hopefully this year will prove his instincts were right and our special teams doesn't cost us games. Though I do wish a reporter would ask him if core specialist were such a need why not try to attempt to re sign Chris White after he cleared waivers.
Only change I would make is with the training staff that is led by Bud Carpenter. Now what I would do as a compromise if it is the huge issue between the old and new by making it mandatory to have a successor in place and giving Carpenter an offseason or season depending on how much each side panders to get his affairs in order. Basically creating a situation for Bud to leave gracefully perhaps even copy the formula they set up for Buddy Nix.
Trades: None. Between Jairus Byrd , Jerry Hughes. I can't see any players being traded for picks. Draft picks are extremely valuable I can see a move involving player for player trades a lot more. I think Buffalo stays the course with the Defense with Schwartz trying to patch up the weaknesses we had the previous year.
Scott Chandler: He is someone that is still in his prime. A hard worker who fought back from injury. He had some bad drops this year but considering that was from an off-season of rehabbing from an ACL injury I think Chandler can improve his chemistry with our QBs even further. I am a trusting guy by default I think if we compensate Chandler similar to how we worked out Fred Jackson, that would mean more to him then trying to earn bigger dollars some place else since he has stability here. Our offense was weak in two areas 3rd down efficiency, and red zone offense I believe Chandler is an asset in both those areas. He isn't Vernon Davis but at 6 foot 7 260 pounds and runs a 4.7 40 that is something I rather have on team than not. Right now Chandler is the #10 on list of overall salaries for the Bills, behind Pears and similar to Urbik's deal. 3 years 9 million with 1.8 million worth of incentives.
Jairus Byrd : I'm one of the few still hopeful that he will sign with the Bills at the end of the day. I think it is a health move all the way around how things played out with the Bills letting Jarius see the market. However in my BROP the draft is significant given what happens to Bryd.
Exclusive Free Agents:
As we know they tendered all the exclusive free agents which is great. Summers, Hogan, Brandon Smith and Antonio McClain. All of them are stop gaps that are adequate depth.
Let Them Walk:
Arthur Moats: Just hasn't produced and has had plenty of opportunities. He is a great guy like Mooreman he has done a ton for the community but time to let him walk.
Dan Carpenter: He was another last second roster move that maxed out last season. He did great on field goals however again with the kickoff he wasn't that strong. Our special teams is not good enough to let kick off returns be a possibility. Hopkins has some credentials he isn't a wash up kicker or no name guy from a small school.
Alex Carrington: If they bring him back that would be intriguing on the defensive side. I think he fits and is more impressive in a 3-4. I think Carrington's game is more likely to develop into what we get out of Alan Branch then the threat we get out of Dareus, Williams & Williams.
Mike Caussin: He just can't be healthy. He is a decent receiving tight end but think we can bring in someone better.
Offensive Line and Linebacker will be to our two biggest areas to address in free agency
Shaun Hill: He is the only 30+ Free Agent I can see the Bills targeting. He is use to the back up role. A lot of people love Thad Lewis he is tough and was on par with the same skills of Manuel. However if it comes to a meaningful game and if Manuel can not play. I would take Hill over Thad to win us that game or if we need him for extended time. Hill doesn't lose games...he can throw the ball with accuracy down the field. In short Lewis's goal is to get better and take advantage of an opportunity on the field to possibly become a starter for another team. In Shaun Hill you have a guy whose role he knows is to be ready as a back up option and in the meantime help Manuel, and could work as a translator between Manuel and Downing. Another plus of a veteran like Hill he doesn't need a lot of reps. Which I believe Lewis still needs the reps to develop.
RB: consider but probably wouldn't sign
Toby Gerhart, Minn Vikings, 26: The only real free agent running back the team should go after. He would provide the power the Bills could need out of a 3rd running back who could develop into the next RB to split carries with CJ. It would be tough though because Gerhart may want to start after being in AP's shadow.
1. Jameel McClain, Bal, 28:
McClain: He just works hard. An undrafted free agent he worked his way into starting lineup of the Ravens. Played great on special teams. He stands 6'1'' 250 and plays downhill. He came from North Philly and became a student of the game. Solid tackler who can certainly come back from surgery he had. He was on a playoff, aggressive, no nonsense defense and I think any time you can add that attitude you are better for it. He doesn't shy away from competition he goes out and wins it.
*I would say Perry Riley Jr. but being so young and the fact the even the Redskins can not come up with a contract for him tells me that he will probably get paid somewhere big some place else. If we could land him though I'd welcome him with open arms.
1.Pat Angerer, Colts, Age 27: He just loves to hit people. He racks up tackle and an intense player is putting it lightly. He is on the small side however he has proven production. He is a guy whose name wont jump out at you and certainly fits the bill as an "As the Dust Settles" type of value add. Angerer can handle the starters role but also gives you time to draft a LB late to develop behind him. He hasn't been healthy the past two seasons but Manny Lawson came to us in similar situation and we capitalized. If we stay in a true 4-3 he could be the MLB or back up Alonso on the weak side. Sign to a one year deal let him prove he is healthy so perhaps he can get bigger contract in a year
2. Dekoda Watson,Tampa Bay, 26: 6'3'' 245. Had best season of his career this past season with 44 tackles 2 sacks 1 FF and 1 Int. He also plays special teams. Would provide depth and more impact on special teams with the potential to develop further. Intense player out of Florida State University he has added on some weight but can still fly around and tackle with the best of them. Same deal give him a one year deal.
OL: Bills want someone that is at least 6-4 320 pounds. Bigger size = Better for Bills line. Legursky & Pears both are not powerful or the size that the Bills covet.
1. Marshall Newhouse, Green Bay 25: 6'4'' 320. There are many intriguing names Austin Howard, Anthony Collins, Rodger Saffold . Newhouse is someone that wont get a ton of consideration off the bat but he did play left tackle for Green Bay after they invested a high pick in a tackle who ended up getting hurt. Marshall himself was a 5th round pick. He has a superbowl ring and that type of experience in the playoffs can't hurt us.
TE/WR:None. With Lee Smith, Chris Gragg, Moeki, and Chandler we have plenty of depth.
#9: DL Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh: With Byrd we add to our strength by getting a versatile defensive lineman. At first I thought of trading #16 to Cowboys who as a team are as desperate and confusing as they come but Donald I can't see lasting till 16. Donald despite his measurable attributes really sealed the deal at the combine being one of the more explosive defensive linemen and displaying strength. He has a high motor and when watching him on film is similar to Kyle Williams in terms of being in the back field. Many would say we have enough invested in the DL. However we have a lot invested in few players Mario Williams, and Kyle Williams are not getting any younger. We are unsure about Dareus in some ways, Alan Branch is a run stopping great veteran depth. We win games through our run game and Defensive pressure. That is our profile as a team. If we have the chance to add the most productive, consistent player than we should. He makes impact on special teams and in our DL you couldn't double team him. The fresher and healthier our DL the better we are to make playoff threat. Donald played in a 3-4 and 4-3 either system he was productive.
#41: Kyle Van Noy, BYU: Impact players immediately and all phases of the game is my theme. Some may think OL or TE but they take years to create an impact. If you look at even Vernon Davis or may of the top names in free agency for OL many were undrafted or late round picks. Sideline to sideline type player who is intense and aggressive. Our Linebackers would be set with balance of veterans Manny Lawson, Jameel McClain and youth both elite with Kiko and developing depth with Nigel Bradham. Van Noy would give us another potential elite prospect.
#73: Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss: I believe Jordan Matthews will be chosen in tail end of 1st round or beginning of 2nd round. If we had two 2nd round picks I would select him but Moncrief isn't a bad consolation prize. 6'3 221 and 32 3/8 arms 39.5 vertical and 4.4 speed. He is a better route runner than Mike Evans in his 3 years of college with 20 tds, 159 catches, 15.2 yards per catch, 62 yards per game. Manuel's best WR in college was a great route runner. He needs to develop that chemistry with a WR if we can't get Jordan Matthews I think Moncrief gives us that ability, while being aggressive in 50-50 catches.
#105 E.J Gaines, Missouri: He is physical corner back. With 4.4 speed and 5'10'' 190 pounds was able to produce 15 reps at combine. He shut down Mike Evans despite the size difference. He is great in run support.
#137: Andre Williams, Boston College: 5'11'' 230 pounds and 33 1/2 inch arms. He would be a safe fall in case things don't go smoothly with CJ Spiller and if Fred needs a week or two to rest. So we can have him closer to 100% each week.
#169: Justin Britt, Mizzo: 6'6'' 325 physical, gritty. He was left tackle but could be right tackle or guard
#201: Xavier Grimble, USC: He measures similar to Eric Ebron. At 6'5'' 250. 33 5/8 arms. It will be interesting to see his pro day.
1st pick: Justin Gilbert. Ok State. 6'0'' 202. If we don't have Byrd I would like Gilbert as a possible Cornerback/Safety mold. Him paired with either Stephon Gilmore or even Aaron Williams would be lethal. He runs 4.3 speed but also has power of 20 reps on the bench. He is a dangerous return man so we can let McKelvin stick to being a dependable CB.
#105: DE prospect like Will Clarke WVU or Kareem Martin UNC. Both 6'6'' 272. They are pass rush specialist. I favor Martin slightly due to run stopping ability.
1. Zach Moore DE, Concordia University. 6'6'' 280. The 1st guy I would call since he could have been our 7th round pick. Career stats: 26 sacks in 28 games. 35.5 tackles for loss.
2.Chris Young, Arizona State University, MLB: He is short at 6ft and 244. Played for ASU 2 seasons. Improved each year. Accumulated 194 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 6 pd, 3 ff, 2 recoveries. Safety/Linebacker hybrid player. Runs 4.5. physical hard hitting player. plays special teams.
2. Pat O'Donnell, Punter, Miami: 6'4'' 220. He is an athlete and would be great competition for Mooreman.
3. J.C Copeland, LSU FB. 5'11'' 271. Special teams ace competition for Frank Summers.
4. Kenarious Gates, Georgia OT/G: 6'4'' 327.
5. Chris Boyd: Vandy, 6'4'' 205.
6.Reggie Jackson. 6'4'' 240.
7.Jordan Lynch RB. Developmental RB that was a QB. NIU. 6'1'' 220. 4.5 runner.
|QB||EJ Manuel||Shaun Hill||Thad Lewis|
|RB||CJ Spiller||Fred Jackson||Andre Williams||DJ Adams|
|FB||Frank Summers||J.C Copeland|
|TE||Scott Chandler||Lee Smith||Tony Moeaki||Chris Gragg/Xavier Grimble|
|WR1||Donte Moncrief||Stevie Johnson||TJ Graham||Chris Hogan|
|LG||Chris Hairston||Mark Asper|
|RG||Kraig Urbik||JJ Unga||Antonio McClain|
|RT||Marshall Newhouse||Justin Britt|
|WR2||Robert Woods||Marquise Goodwin||Marcus Easley||Chris Boyd (PS)|
|DE1||Mario Williams||Zach Moore|
|DT1||Kyle Williams||Aaron Donald||Stefan Charles|
|DT2||Marcell Dareus||Alan Branch|
|DE2||Jerry Hughes||Zach Moore||Kourtnei Brown|
|WLB||Kiko Alonso||Nigel Bradham|
|MLB||Jameel McClain||Pat Angerer||Chris Young|
|SLB||Manny Lawson||Kyle Van Noy||Dekoda Watson|
|CB1||Stephon Gilmore||EJ Gaines||Ron Brooks||Mario Butler|
|SS||Aaron Williams||Duke Williams||Da'Norris Searcy|
|FS||Jarius Byrd||Jonathan Meeks|
|CB2||Leodis McKelvin||Nickell Robey||Brandon Smith|
|P||Brian Moorman||Pat O'Donnell|
I don't think Schwartz or our defense will change completely. I think we will be able to produce on the defensive side of the ball while being more responsible in the run game when it comes to our aggressive nature.
The key is Manuel and him building a rapport with new target Donte Moncrief who made Bo Wallace look great at times during his tenure. Manuel needs great route runners so it is important that him and Stevie get on the same page. Our run game becomes lethal with new bigger more physical OL. We really make strides in our LB depth and secondary. All our draft picks have the ability to help on special teams as we add speed, physicality and also talent to each position.