clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bills News from Around the Web

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

It's been a slow week in Orchard Park - which isn't surprising considering the fact that it's May 19th. There aren't any mini-camps, no roster moves, and training camp is still two months away. So, in light of this lack of activity, here's some of the interesting things that I've been reading on the Internet the past few days:

Coy Wire to challenge for starting WLB spot?
This is the most interesting Bills-related info this week, and it comes to us via Realfootball365 writer Connor Byrne. Byrne is questioning whether or not Keith Ellison's starting role is as set in stone as many believe:

For the most part, the belief among the Bills' coaches and those who follow the team is that Ellison will get even better in his second NFL season. However, that doesn't mean he won't be forced to deal with some healthy competition during upcoming mini-camps, the Bills' summer training camp and four-game exhibition schedule. Ellison, in fact, may have to battle a surprise candidate for the starting position as Buffalo's Will linebacker.

That player is expected to be Coy Wire, a five-year veteran.

Late last season, Bills head coach Dick Jauron elected to move Wire back to linebacker, and that's where he's been since. Wire, at 6-0, 220 pounds, still seems too small to be a starting LB, but all bets could be off if the 28-year-old adds some more weight to his frame and continues to maintain sub-4.6 speed. The Camp Hill, Pa., native certainly has the character, on-field smarts and tackling ability that Jauron and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell look for, but that doesn't mean he has the skill to be an effective linebacker at the NFL level.

This wouldn't be utterly shocking to me - Wire has about the same build as Ellison (he weighs only eight pounds less at the moment) and is likely a bit faster. He also has the advantage of experience, something that Ellison has only a year of. I'm not counting on it, but it would not surprise me a bit to see a starting LB trio of Crowell, Posluszny and Wire next season.

RB's and the Receiving Game
A report from CBS Sportsline has some interesting quotes and observations on the Bills' moves at RB this off-season:

In (McGahee's) three years as a starter, he wound up with 68 catches and no touchdowns. Last year, McGahee caught a mere 18 passes for 156 yards and never found the end zone.

Compare that to the reign of Thurman Thomas, who finished as Buffalo's third all-time receiver with 456 catches for 4,341 yards and 22 touchdowns when he played for the Bills from 1988-99. In 1991, when Thomas was named NFL MVP, he rushed for 1,407 yards but he also caught 62 passes.

Nobody's expecting Lynch to be Thomas in his rookie year, but he has that kind of potential to catch the ball.

High praise for a player many people still feel was a "reach" at #12. It'll be fun to watch Lynch prove those doubters wrong this year.

"It'll be a tough transition as far as play calling, but the objective of the offense should be easy for me to pick up since I've played in it for years," Lynch said of the pro style system run at Cal. "Being versatile will help a lot, being able to put me in the slot, to run routes against linebackers, that will be a good match-up for us."

Coach Dick Jauron said he and his scouts liked Lynch because of his pass receiving skills, but tried to downplay that aspect of his game.

"I'd say to some degree but the primary reason we drafted this man is for running the football. The fact he can do the other things is a bonus," Jauron said.

As I said the other day in my complementing Lee Evans post, the secondary skill positions will be a major focus of our offense this season, and a lot of people are starting to realize it. Here's an off-the-wall prediction: Marshawn Lynch will be the Bills' second-leading receiver next season behind Evans. This wouldn't be a bad thing - let's get the ball to our two most explosive offensive playmakers. It wouldn't surprise me to see it go down that way, and a small part of me hopes it does.