I was walking my dogs the other day sporting my Buffalo Bills gear as usual, and a man pops up from his garden and says, “Buffalo Bills?”
“That’s right,” I say. He tells me he’s a Dolphins fan, and I give him a little groan.
We exchange quick notes on our teams. For no more than 30 seconds or so, we share our common grief borne of struggling in the AFC East and express optimism that our teams are turning things around.
But that was about it.
I wanted to explain to this guy exactly why I think the Bills are on the verge of ending their playoff drought, but my dogs had other ideas.
This is the time of the year when football fans can only ponder, speculate, and hopefully get excited about what their teams are going to accomplish in the offseason that will set them up for success next year.
Certainly, the Bills have a lot of holes to fill and needs to address. But they’re also strong in some areas and are starting to produce some excellent young talent.
In 2012, we will all expect big things from the big-name guys: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, Steve Johnson and Nick Barnett, for instance. Behind each team’s stars, though, are younger players who are ready to break through.
Here are five players on the Buffalo Bills who I think are breakout candidates for the 2012 season.