I decided to separate my look at the Bills into two parts. Look for the defensive preview later this weekend.
I remember the day in March when it was announced that the Buffalo Bills had signed Terrell Owens to a one year contract.
I was traveling westward to California and was caught in a layover in Detroit. In the midst of watching college basketball, I finally saw a news update cut in telling the news of the T.O. signing.
I was shocked, baffled and impressed. It was a move so very out of character for the Bills, but one that I instantly approved of.
It was genius. It significantly upgrades a group of wide receivers that ranked 20th in the NFL in receiving yards per game last season. As a team the Bills caught just 14 touchdown passes in 2008, T.O. had 10 by himself.
Not to mention the Bills lacked bright star power, now they’ve got all the wattage they can handle.
It appeases fans that felt the team wasn’t doing enough to help out its promising young backfield, and the move just makes everyone in red and blue better.
Speaking of the backfield, while the suspension of Marshawn Lynch for the first three games of the season really hurts, the Bills made a move to bolster the running backs that flew largely under the radar.
Signing veteran Dominic Rhodes adds versatility and proven depth. He can likely carry the rushing load along with Fred Jackson while Lynch serves his suspension.
Once Lynch returns, the Bills could have some potent combinations in the backfield to help ease the pressure on Trent Edwards. Look for Rhodes and Jackson to continue to get carries as the season progresses.
The Bills should take advantage and throw to the running backs a good bit as well. Lynch had 47 catches for 300 yards and a touchdown last season while Rhodes had 45 grabs for 302 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson was no slouch either tallying 37 catches for 317 yards.
The group gives Trent Edwards three viable options in the passing game and potentially a solid running game to boot.
There are some questions up front however which could be the only thing keeping the offense from reaching its full potential.
The Bills traded tackle Jason Peters to the Philadelphia Eagles and they released centers Melvin Fowler and Duke Preston this offseason.
The Bills used the 28thoverall pick (obtained in the trade for Peters) to select Eric Wood, a center from Louisville and picked up Oregon State guard Andy Levitre in the second round. Those are two solid pickups, but it puts youth in big spots up front.
Levitre is one of only two guards on the Bills roster, the other being 11 year veteran Jason Whittle. The Bills need to develop some depth along the O-line if they expect to open holes for the talented backs and keep Trent Edwards vertical.
This will no doubt be an interesting and exciting unit next fall. If the offensive line can gel and the platoon of running backs can ease the strain on the passing game, the Bills could give defenses headaches in the AFC East.
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