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Buffalo Bills news, 1/2: end of year evaluations

As the new calendar year dawns, the Bills are out of the playoffs with writers around the area writing their epitaph.

Jim Rogash
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Bills’ Byrd says critics ‘wanted me to fail’ - Sports - The Buffalo News

"I’d be lying if I said I didn’t acknowledge the criticism and the pressure that was there," the Pro Bowl safety said. "I felt people, because of the negativity, almost wanted me to fail at that point. They wanted to say, ‘I told you so.’ "

WGR 550 SportsRadio - Bills Potential Off-season Needs

Joe Buscaglia runs down who is under contract at each position and how he would generally handle the offseason acquisitions at each spot. Hint: he goes offense in at least the first four rounds.

End of Year

Spiller confident with role in offense -
"C.J. Spiller's high ankle sprain was the main culprit in compromising what he hoped would be the best season of his career to date. But it hasn't changed his optimistic view of his role in Buffalo's offense."

Bills Focus: 2013 Rookies Exceeded Expectations - VIDEO -
"Despite missing the playoffs, the Bills had a rookie class that provided contributions on the field that gives hope to ending their playoff drought soon."

Inside The Bills | C.J. on his pass game role
"We’ll bounce ideas off each other and try to see if we can split me out wide and do certain stuff," Spiller said. "If we’re able to do that then that’s fine, but if not I can’t sit around and holler about it. I have to just do what’s asked of me and first and foremost I’ve got to run the ball effectively."

Inside The Bills | Whaley: Need 16 games for baseline on EJ
"I think you have to go case by case basis," Whaley said. "You would like to have a guy at least have 16 games under his belt, and one year of continuity with receivers and practice time to get a baseline. That’s going to be tough to do with EJ right now. I can’t give you a specific timeline, but I think you know when you know."

Inside The Bills | Where does QB Lewis stand?
"Knowing the collective lack of experience at quarterback in 2013 for the Bills, which was compromised when Kevin Kolb was lost for the season, Buffalo seems likely to try and add a veteran quarterback to their ranks in the offseason when free agency opens in mid-March, especially if Kolb does not intend to resume his career in 2014. The free agent pickings however, appear slim"

Spiller looks beyond the numbers - Sports - The Buffalo News
"I don’t have any concerns or any doubts what my role will be," he said. "I think we just had an obstacle in the road when I got injured in Week Four. I think it kind of hindered some of the things that we was able to do with me. Like I said, we keep coming in and out of games, it’s hard really to get a guy going like that. . . . I know these coaches, Coach Hackett, Coach Wheatley, we do a great job of communicating, telling me what I need to do and what I need to work on, and I’m definitely looking forward to it."

Power Rankings: No. 25 Buffalo Bills - ESPN
"The Bills' preseason Power Ranking placed them at No. 30. Their final Power Ranking has them at No. 25. There's a good consensus among our voters, too: All six voters placed the Bills between No. 24 and No. 27. "

WGR 550 SportsRadio - Bills Season In Review
Howard Simon spends the majority of this article focusing on EJ Manuel. Not exactly a surprising development but he also gives props to the front office for their late veteran additions and the rookies who performed exceptionally well.

PFT’s defensive rookie of the year | ProFootballTalk
Kiko Alonso is winning the fan vote on PFT, but Mike Florio gives the nod to Sheldon Richardson. It's hard to argue as Alonso's impact declined as the season progressed.

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Bills Focus: Jackson and Williams Wired for Sound - VIDEO -
"Bills captains Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams were wired for sound in the season finale against the New England Patriots."