My optimism and realistic views are always different, but this year they were somewhat similar. Optimism tells me 10-6 and realistic it's 8-8. The problem is so much is dependant on very young players that even 8-8 seems hard to believe in. Defensively we need Kiko, McKelvin, and Hughes to be at least what they were last year with no drop off from every other player. Offensively we need CJ to be better, our WR and TE group to show exponential growth, and EJ to prove he is smart and accurate enough to throw a ball that may be forced but to where only out WR can get it, not just check down when "that's what the defense gives him" plays. I know everything changes once pads go on, but knowing the simplicity of OTA's especially for veterans, no one on offense made us look better then last year. I just want to see EJ establish himself enough to be able to make that decision and that throw. Having our running backs I don't care about EJ's stats, but my optimism fades with every rep he gets that he doesn't challenge in practice. Those types of throws challenge our WR's as well which I think helps trust. If I was a pass catcher for Buffalo I'm not sure what to do, or if I trust a QB who either doesn't trust himself to make a throw, or won't make that throw because he doesn't trust me. In mini camp I want to see our WR's challenge EJ. We didn't draft EJ in the first round to be a game manager and as much I'm sure coaches say minimize mistakes, he was drafted to be a Franchise QB and Franchise QB's know the feel of the game and know when a chance has to be taken, but know that chance is only acceptable if it helps us, not a check down to try for a change of field position or a midfield throw up to where it can be intercepted, it's a sideline shoulder fade to where either our WR can get it or it's out of bounds or hope for an interference call. A franchise QB knows when we need to score, have a sustaining kill the clock drive, or an immediate bomb TD to kill the others team momentum. Some of this depends on Hackett and Marrone and play calls, but if EJ can show the ability to know the moves to make then coaching is less necessary. I'm always a Billiever, but this season has that overwhelming hope leading to what I don't want, losing record and coaching change.
Inspire me to think playoffs