Already miss watching your Buffalo Bills play on Sundays? Still have the itch to talk about your favorite team incessantly, even though nothing is going to happen news-wise with the team for another month? You've come to the right place. Welcome to what we'll call "An Interactive Buffalo Rumblings Off-Season"!
First and foremost, this posting is a welcome to any Bills fans out there who frequent this site but haven't commented or created an account here before (I fondly refer to y'all as "lurkers"). We would love to hear from y'all on a much more frequent basis! You'll find that we're not a cutthroat community; we may disagree, but we're all friends united by a common bond: the Buffalo Bills. So if you haven't yet, create a free account, drop us a line in the comments, and become a part of this off-season's events. The more the merrier!
With the Super Bowl less than a week away - and the start of free agency following less than a month after that (go Giants!) - it's time to start our preparations for the changes that are coming to the Bills this off-season. I'm going to keep some of the developments secret to preserve surprise (such as the site upgrade I keep alluding to); everything else is open to community participation. Here's what you can expect to see on this site - updated daily - right through the NFL Draft in late April:
Roster Recap: If you missed any of the posts over the past three weeks or so, we've recently wrapped up a series called "State of the Bills Roster", in which we took a look at every current Bill and where he may fit on next year's roster. With that series completed, we'll be using those discussions to facilitate phase two of our interactive off-season.
Community Needs List: Starting with discussions this evening, we'll begin to put together a community-based needs list for the Bills this off-season. We know y'all already have opinions on what the Bills need to do to improve, so bring those opinions to the table with you over the next week or two as we break down, then build up, our very own needs list (based as closely on the consensus approach of Buffalo's front office as possible). We'll prioritize first based on positional groups, then units, then combine those into one master list - this will encourage the most fluid, highly-debated list possible.
Bills Free Agents: With the needs list in place, we'll break down Buffalo's 2008 crop of free agents and decide who's worth re-signing and who going to walk. We'll match these "re-signings" up with our needs list, then move on to the first fun part of the off-season...
... free agent bios! Probably the best part about this blog is that we're lucky enough to be a part of SB Nation, the best sports blog network on the 'net. That means that we have year-round access to interaction with experts from other teams. As we take a look at available free agents that would be good fits in Buffalo, we'll work harder than ever to get quotes and opinions from some of SB Nation's finest other team writers to see exactly what we'd be getting ourselves into. You won't find content like that anywhere else.
Free Agency Begins: These bios and other related discussions will take us through the end of February, when rumors and speculation will kick into high gear before the start of free agency. I'm a college student, so I'm certainly busy, but this is a vibrant, active community (y'all rock) that will keep this site as up-to-date on free agent news, rumors, etc. as possible. We'll keep you up to date, as well as provide analysis on all of the signings the Bills make in March.
Draft Preparation: Once free agency settles down, we'll be mid-March and full throttle into NFL Draft preparations. We'll update our needs list with the changes that free agency will bring, then we'll begin community scouting reports on dozens of draft prospects that would "Fit the Bill" (get used to hearing that). We've also got a few surprise interviews planned for that time period as well.
We'll also be running what's called the SB Nation Mock Draft during this time period as well. You'll all be GMs (or COOs, in this franchise's case) during this event, as I'll be seeking as much community input as possible while making mock picks for the Bills.
One last draft note: if you haven't seen it or utilized it yet, be sure to check out our very own Mock Draft Tracker, updated on a daily basis with the very latest draft prognostications for our Bills.
The 2008 NFL Draft: Be sure to keep Rumblings bookmarked in late April, because I'm just nerdy enough to park my butt on the couch with my laptop for an entire weekend of live-blogging the events from New York City. Want immediate draft analysis on the Bills? Better yet, want to make some immediate analysis yourself? This is the place for you.
That's it. That's what we've got planned for the off-season; we'll also be emphasizing community input more than ever. Here's the deal: if any of you feel the need to write a long-form article about something that's on your mind, or a mock draft, or anything else, I'll be promoting as many diaries to the front page as possible - because your voice is just as loud as mine at this blog. So get writing, get those opinions ready, and if you haven't, get your free account - the Interactive Buffalo Rumblings Off-Season begins now!