With training camp only a few short days away I can't help but to be excited for what may happen this season. In a recent online chat Buffalo Bills owner and Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Ralph Wilson Jr. stated that "... I think we have the talent now."
With that being said, I still cannot help but to wonder about the future of these different members of the Bills organization based on the results of the upcoming 2009-2010 NFL season.
If the team does poorly this year, there is a chance of some front office shakeups. I think Russ Brandon is safe for another year or two, so instead Tom Modrak could become the victim.
Modrak is carryover from the Tom Donahoe years, and runs college scouting. If this years team doesn't prove to be successful a lot of the blame will rest on his shoulders for having poor drafts.
Right now Modrak's drafts over the past few seasons appear to be strong because so many of the picks have turned into starters or promising players from late round picks. That's all swell, but it is one thing to become a starter and an entirely different thing to perform well as the starter.
If the team still doesn't prove to have enough talent after all, Modrak will be the one to blame.
I list them all as one player, because to me they really are the same type of player. The three defensive ends are considered "high motor" guys that always give it there all.
If Schobel isn't back to top form I have a feeling he just may retire based on an interview he did with BuffaloBills.com journalist Chris Brown.
Kelsay is making far too much money and hasn't put up the numbers since his contract to back its worth. The team supposedly tried to trade him in the off-season. What does that say about his future with the the team?
As for Denny... well he might be the only player worth his value. He plays just fine as a back up and he's a great special team player. He was the first Bills player last season to catch for a touchdown. I think he still has a future with Buffalo.
I was much more excited about Poz initially, and now I really don't care much about what he does. However, I do have a feeling that he will turn into the play maker he was expected to be now entering his third season.
I believe that he will be a staple in Buffalo's defense for years to come.
There were trade talks during the offseason regarding Parrish. Unless the Bills rework his contract, Parrish is making way too much money for the amount of playing time he gets at WR.
He's an amazing return man, but he's also not happy with his role on the team. I can't disagree with him. When he does get the ball it usually turns into good things, but I still don't believe with the depth the Bills have at WR that he would ever crack the top four on the roster anyhow.
I wouldn't be surprised if Buffalo traded him to a team like the Ravens before the start of the season. If not, then expect him to be gone following this year.
Whitner is very underrated by fans and extremely valued by his coaches. He has been forced to play five different positions throughout his tenure in Buffalo and that has caused him to lack the typical statistics that top safeties generally have. Despite flashy stats Whitner was rated number nine in a ranking of the leagues best safeties.
Fans may not agree, but I suspect that he will be on the roster for a while.
Despite his Pro-bowl appearance, I don't believe that Lynch has a future with the Bills. Players say he's a great guy and a wonderful teammate, but the fact is that he is producing about as well as any running back but carries baggage off the field.
Don't get me wrong, I love to watch the guy play. His "never-quit" attitude is inspiring. But I've heard about his adventures in downtown Buffalo. The guy is a professional athlete and he smokes Newport cigarettes. The last few games when he was injured, he was rumored to be in box seats getting hammered. Even if those allegations are just rumors it still doesn't help his credibility considering his other legal problems.
He just seems immature and unappreciative.
I believe Jackson will prove to be the running back the Bills really need. Do you think his role on the offensive is increasing because he's viewed as just a backup? He's far more versatile than Lynch. He ran 136 yards on New England's defense and catches the ball down field and not just on swing passes. He also shares Lynch's never-give-up attitude and is the type of hard-working, underdog player that Buffalo fans love to cheer for.
When Lynch's contract is up, he will move on... or if the Bills are smart, they would try to trade and receive some compensation for him. He's not producing nearly well enough to cancel out the bad image he has made for himself and for the Bills franchise.
When T.O. signed with Buffalo he instantly became the face of the franchise on a team with essentially average players, some of whom are waiting patiently to break out into stars. There is no question that T.O. brings an impressive resume with him to the Queen City, but what does one season really matter?
Don't get me wrong, I want the Bills to win a Superbowl as much as the next Bills fan, but I also want a team that's going to be good for more than one season and for more reasons than because of one player addition. What happens if TO gets hurt? What happens if Lee Evans gets hurt? Doesn't it all go to waste then? It seems pretty obvious that it does.
Supposedly T.O.'s agent Drew Rosehaus has said that he thinks T.O. will remain in Buffalo for more than a single season. The idea makes sense to me. T.O. is old, and despite his physical abilities there is still a good chance that he doesn't have too many years left.
It works for T.O. to stay in Buffalo.
In Buffalo he can finally be "the man", something he could not be with Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo wanting to hold the same title. In Buffalo he can continue his stardom, instead of fading out by traveling from team to team much like his predecessor Jerry Rice did going from the Raiders, to the Sea hawks, and lastly to Denver. I believe, (providing that Trent Edwards can keep his end of the deal), that TO and Lee Evans are a formidable WR tandem and TO can find that he will be more relevant here than just about anywhere else.
I really wish for him to stay next year... but my gut tells me he's gone.
There is no longer time to develop young quarterbacks in the NFL anymore. I was surprised when Buffalo drafted Edwards in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft. It did make sense though, every GM and coach wants their own QB.
I grew to be very excited about Trent Edwards for one reason... he was going to be able to sit behind J.P. Losman and learn the game without the pressures to succeed immediately. I assumed that the worst case scenario was that he'd have to play a few games here or there for an injured Losman who would finish playing out his contract and then the organization could decide whether to keep J.P. or move on with Edwards.
To my dismay, Edwards saw time way sooner than I expected and performed admirably as a rookie... and then the Bills went at did it. They named him the starting QB. Sure, I think he's better than Losman... but unfortunately not by much yet. They are just incredibly different types of quarterbacks.
I was hoping that Edwards would be immune to the pressure he has since recently received. He's now expected to perform at the highest level and the organization will be forced to make a decision on him sooner rather than later if they should want to sign him to a contract extension or a new contract. He's entering year three on a four year rookie deal. If he does not perform well this season the Bills are in the exact same situation they were in with Losman.
Luckily with all of the weapons he now has Edwards should be posed for great success, but who knows... I'm sure many thought the same of Losman a few years ago and now he's out of the NFL entirely. Its scary to think how quickly the Bills were able to give up on a first round pick in Losman...how will they treat a third round pick in Edwards?
If he has anything less than an average season this year, history says (unfortunately): consider him on the outs.
If the team does any better than last season, he'll be back. There is no doubt about it in my mind.
If the organization didn't get rid of him after last season's collapse then there is no reason for me to believe they would do so if he provides any type of improvement in the win column.
If the team gets at least an 8-8 record, consider him as Buffalo's coach for the following season.