In the latest edition of the Buffalo Rumblings Podcast, John Boccacino and Anthony Marino recap the latest news from One Bills Drive, including talks of a new Buffalo Bills stadium.
The duo also assesses the state of the quarterback position heading into the second week of organized team activities (OTAs), handicapping the three-man race between AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman, and Josh Allen.
The biggest news out of Orchard Park from the last week concerned speculation over a potential new stadium for the Bills. During an interview with Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News, Pegula admitted they “don’t have a billion-and-a-half dollars sitting around. We used it to buy the team,” which seems to be a strong indicator that stadium renovations, and not a completely new venue, will be the direction the Pegulas take with any stadium talks.
The Bills’ current lease is in place until 2023, and the team has the opportunity to opt out in 2020.
Boccacino is a proponent of keeping the stadium in Orchard Park because it affords fans a unique tailgate experience (along with lower average ticket prices), while Marino sees the positives in a downtown stadium, but also acknowledges the benefits of keeping the stadium where it is currently located.
Up next on the podcast: a thorough analysis of the quarterback position. McCarron is viewed as Buffalo’s veteran bridge quarterback, and while he signed a two-year, team-friendly contract in March, McCarron is still an unknown, having only three career starts in his four-year career, and 11 career regular-season appearances.
Although McCarron has started a playoff game in his career, an 18-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers when he replaced an injured Andy Dalton down the stretch of the 2015 season, McCarron is seen more as giving Buffalo a veteran presence at quarterback than being the team’s long-term answer at quarterback, but seems (barring an injury) to be the front-runner for the starting gig.
Nathan Peterman, Buffalo’s fifth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, is even more of a question mark with four career regular-season appearances and one historically bad NFL debut (five first-half interceptions in his first career start vs. the Los Angeles Chargers).
Allen, the highly touted prospect out of Wyoming, was tabbed with the No. 7 overall pick following an offseason full of trades designed to acquire the draft capital necessary to move up and select the team’s next franchise quarterback. Allen has all the physical tools in the world to succeed at quarterback, but questions linger about his accuracy.
Whoever emerges from the open quarterback competition, which during the first week of OTAs saw McCarron and Peterman splitting first-team reps and Allen playing with the third team, will lead an inexperienced collection of signal callers.
The Bills possess the least experienced quarterbacking duo in the league with only 15 regular-season appearances between McCarron (11) and Peterman (4). The Los Angeles Rams (29 regular-season games), San Francisco 49ers (30), Dallas Cowboys (34), and Houston Texans (42) round out the bottom five least-experienced QB teams in the NFL, though all four of those teams feature promising young QBs in Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dak Prescott, and Deshaun Watson.
When the Bills open the 2018 season Sept. 9 at the Baltimore Ravens, both Boccacino and Marino feel McCarron will be under center, though neither would be surprised if a strong pre-season performance buoyed Allen to the starting role.
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