Firstly, a quick shoutout to hal184 for inspiring me to post my thoughts on the Bills. I’m always looking for the next "NFL musing and observations" to read, and then lurking through the comments. Thanks, hal!
Here are my quick notes on different players. In no particular order.
I’m hopeful he takes a step forward this year by improving his technique and mental processing in the moment. Athleticism has gotten him to this point, but he still needs to turn the corner. Currently, his most memorable highlight in my mind remains that time he mocked a player for being shorter than him. We need more. With the recent competition they have added to the roster at the position, the atmosphere is prime for him to improve. Whether he does…we shall see.
Things were left on quite an awkward note, last we saw him in a Bills uniform. It’s a long season ahead that will undoubtedly have its ups and downs. Does he have the stamina for another season chalk full of tribulations? While it’s likely a 20% chance (at best..?) that the Bills land Hopkins, what makes me want them to do so most is how his presence and body of work could help keep Digg’s pride and ego as an asset to the team, rather than the source of distraction.
My gut combined with a little bit of recent research tells me that when the season is said and done, he will end up being the most impactful non-rookie new edition. It appears most are pointing to that being Poona Ford. However, the defensive backfield seems to be something McDermott hangs his hat on. And with him calling the plays this year, perhaps he will be able to maximize Rapp’s effort and contributions.
These guys fall in the same category in my mind. Each need to step it up and be consistent this season for me to think the Bills should keep paying them. At least Oliver, who will likely command a salary beyond his current worth of production. Granted he got hurt in the first game last season and never really seemed to bring it together after that. But I remain unenthused by any of these three.
Is it me, or this guy really good and just hasn’t gotten enough snaps? In the little I’ve seen of him (live and up close last season in Chicago) and a smattering of snaps in other televised games, he seems to have a solid motor and good discipline in space while in pursuit along the line. Obviously, I’m no expert, but there is something I like about him.
Feels like he needs to reduce his average time to throw. Maybe this is more on Dorsey. However, in the toughest games the last few seasons (playoffs), his competition and contemporaries, mainly Mahomes and Burrow, seem to survive on more quick, short to intermediate timing throws. And not so many air yards beyond 10 yards. I know Mahomes is a great improvisor, however he seems to rely on that less the deeper into the playoffs he goes. I looked at Burrow’s Next Gen stat graphic from last years’ divisional round game…20 of his 26 completions traveled no further than 5 yards. 11 of them were caught at or behind the line of scrimmage. Now by no means is Allen far behind or not making those kinds of throws. But I think he can take it a step further in taking what the defense gives him more often than he has until this point in his career. Thankfully "hero ball" is more so in the rearview mirror these days. However, there is a sill some room for refinement and craft.
Few things about this team make me happier than the pairing of these two the last several seasons. Taking a moment to stop and smell the roses in anticipation of the start of yet another season with the both of them on our side. So grateful.
He is one of my favorite players on the team. Love the way he comes across in interviews, and how is has produced with limited opportunities. I have higher hopes for his future than any other player on the team with under 3 years’ experience. It’s a bit of a crowded group of pass catchers, including TEs and RBs coming out of the back-field, so I hope he gets his chances over the next few years and doesn’t fly under the radar only to be picked up and maximized by an AFC competitor by the end of his rookie contract. Maybe I shouldn’t anoint him just yet. But looking forward to watching him this season.
Well…I’ll spare you all any more of my thoughts.
Please share your thoughts in the comments!