Hello fellow Rumblers, emotions are still very raw after that dreadfully uninspiring effort put forth by our Bills in the playoff beat down to the Bengals yesterday. The pitchforks are out today calling for the heads of just about everyone in management and the coaching staff. While yesterday’s performance was a huge disappointment, the sky is not falling. We did, after all, go 14-4 on the season with the 2nd best point differential in the league, despite numerous on and off field obstacles the team had to overcome. Six years ago we all would have been elated to have a season like this, however, this isn’t 2017 anymore and the bar is a lot higher now. I don’t think we need to blow up the whole thing and start from scratch, however, the status quo isn’t going to cut it either. Here are some changes that need to happen and others that warrant consideration along with some opinions on the roster moving forward:
1) Leslie Frazier absolutely needs to be terminated. His defense is effective against bottom feeders and mediocre NFL offenses, however, it just doesn’t work against the game’s top signal callers. And in case you haven’t noticed, the AFC is littered with young elite and up and coming quarterbacks. His stubbornness to not alter his system as needed vs the opponent or game conditions, and inability to learn from his mistakes will ultimately be his downfall. I thought he should have been canned after 13 seconds and that thought was solidly confirmed in the week 6 against those same Chiefs. Gabe Davis scored. TD with 16 seconds left in the first half and my thoughts immediately went to that awful playoff loss last year. So what does he do ? He serves up the Frazier Special. Soft coverage on the outside allowing the receivers a free release off the line of scrimmage and the half ended with a Chiefs field goal (all be it a 61 yarder, but still). I blew my stack on this and knew from there we’d be in trouble. It was ultimately brushed under the carpet because we won the game, but this should have been a major red flag. I just couldn’t believe he’d call that defense in his first opportunity after last season’s playoff meltdown.
2) Dorsey: I’m on the fence with him. On one hand, I just think he was in over his head being hired as OC. He had no or minimal experience with play calling and play design & concepts. It should be the expectation that he would takes his lumps while trying to learn the job on the fly. This is what happens when you leave the keys to the Porsche to Joel Goodson (for younger Rumblers, this is a reference to Tom Cruise’s role in the 1983 film Risky Business). I’m not opposed to giving him another year to grow into his role and learn fro this year’s shortcomings. He needs to get something that resembles some sort of effective run game and show an actual commitment to it to take some of the pressure off JA17. He also needs to get more creative with his route concepts. Maybe they need to go out and get him an experienced passing/run game coordinator to help this process along. I’m also open to taking a real look at hiring an experienced and accomplished OC as his replacement. Top OCs should be chomping at the bit to lead a JA17 offense.
3) McDermott: He stays, he’s earned it. For all of his in game deficiencies, specifically with regard to situational awareness, clock management and use of challenge flags… credit must be given for his overall leadership and steady hand. He’s well respected by the guys in the locker room and usually has them focused and ready to play (last game withstanding). I just don’t think a total tear down is warranted at this point.
4) Beane: He stays, but seat should be getting warm. He needs to hit on this years draft. He’s had some good picks and free agent/trade acquisitions particularly on the offensive side of the ball, however, the defensive side has been a whole different story. We simply aren’t getting the returns we should expect given the money and draft capital spent on that side of the ball. Not sure if it’s bad coaching or scouting but this needs to be figured out (which is why a new DC is a must)
5) Edmonds: I’d slap the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. I don’t think he’s been put in the right role to play to his strengths in Frazier’s defense. I’d hate to see him released for nothing and blow up next year somewhere else playing in a system that better suits his strengths. Of course, we could part ways for the right price under the tag if the situation presents itself. Hoping we can move to more of a traditional 4-3 base defense under our new DC. Draft a true MLB toward the top of our draft and turn Edmonds and Milano loose on the outside and coverage.
6) O-Line: Needs significant overhaul this offseason. We need to invest early and often on the interior in the draft. At pick 27, there won’t be any worthy players at the premium positions, but you can find top level interior linemen here (also ILB here as a possibility at 27)
7) WR2: Gabe Davis underwhelmed this year but still under contract next year. I’d try to bring in a free agent vet on a prove it deal to compete. DJ Chark comes to mind in particular. He turned down a multi year detail with Detroit to take a 10 million prove it deal with Goff last year, but an ankle injury kind of derailed his season. He’s big (6’4") and would likely be willing to take the same kind of deal to play with JA17
8) D-Line: Wouldn’t do much here as we’ve already expended to much resources on this unit. Would like to see if a new system and coaching can get more out of this unit.
This was my first article post on Rumblings. Thanks for reading. Interested for your thoughts. Go Bills !!!