Josh Reed, an eight-year Bill, enters the 2009 season as the most experienced wide receiver that's been on the roster outside of Lee Evans. At 29, he won't wow anybody with his average speed and quickness, but he possesses strong hands and is not afraid to go across the middle.
In the revamped Bills offense, Reed will benefit from the attention drawn on the outside. Coming out of the slot, Reed will have the chance to utilize his effective route running to find the cushions in zone coverage.
Let's face it, Reed is a possession receiver, but almost every good ball club needs those second tier players to produce.
Last season Reed caught 56 balls for 597 yards. He missed three games in the middle of the season from week nine to week 11 after straining his achilles tendon. All three games ended in losses for Buffalo. During that three-game setback without Reed, the Bills were outscored 75-54.
Despite the lack of scoring, Reed is a guy who averaged over 10 yards a catch in all but three games he suited up for in 2008.
This season, Edwards will look to Reed in critical third down situations and Reed needs to move the chains. As explosive as this team looks on paper, sometimes the Bills will need to march their way down the field rather than go up top to Evans or Owens.
Defenses will force Edwards to be patient, and Reed will serve as a security blanket in addition to the backs and tight ends.
Reed won't again be a player teams game plan around, but he may become the Bills' hidden secret, a quiet Tiger (pun intended) waiting for his time to pounce on the opportunity.