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Happy New Year, Buffalo Rumblings Community!

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Happy New Year! May we hope these fireworks represent the Bills' off-season.

Welcome to 2008, Bills fans! Once again, I'd like to extend my heart-felt appreciation to all of you who make Buffalo Rumblings a routine stop of yours. Trust me - 2007 was pretty good to Rumblings; 2008 will bring exciting new changes (in the next few months, mind you) that will blow your minds. Bank on it.

With the Bills now fully in off-season mode (they cleaned out their lockers yesterday), Rumblings will make that transition as well. Starting (hopefully) tomorrow around the noon (ET) hour, we'll begin our off-season schedule, which I'll lay out below. Along with keeping you all up to date on the latest and greatest from the Bills, here's what our rather analytical approach to the off-season will look like over the next couple of months:

We'll start our off-season by taking a look at the best and worst moments/developments from the 2007 season. It was Buffalo's eighth straight playoff-less season, but as ever, there are positives and negatives to take away from this season. We'll dive into those right away.

Possibly the most important function of the immediate future is our positional analysis. We'll be taking a look at each player on Buffalo's roster - injured or not - in order to pinpoint Buffalo's biggest needs. We're going to take a slow, methodical approach to this to let it all stew and make calculated judgments. And for the record, all of you who visit here know our personnel like the back of your hand - so instead of focusing on players, we'll focus on their roles and how they're used. That's more valuable heading into the free agency period.

13 installments of this series are planned. I told you we're getting analytical!

Following our positional analysis, we'll put together a needs list and start throwing together mock off-seasons. What fun is the off-season without predicting signings, trades and re-signings for our beloved Bills? A contest may possibly be worked into said mocking as well...

Once free agency starts in early March, it will be all new guys, all the time. That's going to be a fun month, folks.

We will also, during the entire stretch from now through March, be orchestrating open threads and discussions of the playoffs and Super Bowl. It may be painful to talk playoffs without the Bills being part of the discussions, but hey - we can all be miserable together, right?

Before we get started with all of our plans, here's some reading material for y'all as I put the final touches on our off-season "opening statement", so to speak:

Trent Edwards post-game interview from Philly

The Bills pick #11 in April's draft. Here's the full draft order, as far as it can be decided right now.

The Buffalo News talks 2008 schedule. If we want to at least break .500, next year is the year, folks.

Lee Evans wants a long-term deal. I, personally, am not sure he's worth it.

Mark Gaughan and Ed Kilgore have it right by my book - Buffalo isn't hiring outside of the organization for their next GM. I have a strong feeling that John Guy is the guy.

Good departing quotes for Marv Levy from Bill Polian and Trent Edwards:

"Any time a man like that leaves the game, the game is poorer for it. And certainly the Bills will miss him and the NFL will miss him," said Polian, who was the Bills GM during Levy's Hall of Fame heyday as the team's coach in the 1990s. "The upside for me is that I can talk a lot more football with him now because we're not competitors any more."
"I was very appreciative that he thought highly of me, and I think highly of him in return," Edwards said of Levy. "He was a great head coach who did some great things in the front office for us and I'm sad to see him go.

"When you think of the Buffalo Bills, I immediately think of Marv Levy and all the things he's done for this organization."