As many teams believe, the key to having a great team is having great men in the trenches. With an O-line that was elite last year when it came to pass blocking, and average in run blocking, things are only going to get better as the same group of men should be starting this year and have had a whole year to build chemistry. On the defensive side of the ball, the bills have added a few great players to their rotational defensive line. As things get better for the bills in the trenches, it should help their "skill positions" thrive.
The bills offensive line is going to get such a boost from just growing together and creating chemistry. This is one reason why the Bills need to make getting Jason Peters to the OTA's and mini camps, by giving him the money he deserves, priority number one. They cannot let him hold out all the way until training camp if this lack of presence is indeed him wanting more money. To me, Peters is more valuable than Lee Evans, and I wouldn't mind arguing that point with anyone, so just leave a comment if you feel the need.
The O-line's rushing numbers were not as high as expected last year, but will hopefully go up this year, partially because of the new offense (including a real fullback), and because they have had time to get their line calls, which is half the battle out on the field, together and they will know what each other are thinking.
The new offense will feature less predictable play calling, a true fullback we have desperately missed since the departure of Sam Gash, and also more creative ways of getting the ball into the hands of some of our great play-makers. Overall, I think we will be looking at an elite offensive line for at least the next five years to be here in Buffalo.
As most avid football fans know, a great defensive line can make all of your other players look like pro-bowlers. Last year we couldn't get to the quarterback much because we had two young players in at defensive tackle that were not quite ready to become solid starters in the NFL. Now five months later, with the addition of a three-time pro bowler, and a great rotational pass rushing DT we are looking at a very solid D-line. We now have a definite number one, attention-drawing DT in Marcus Stroud, A solid up-and-coming player to start at the second spot in John McCargo, a third down pass rushing DT in Spencer Johnson, and a jack-of-all-trades in Kyle Williams to relieve the starters and keep them fresh. This group of linemen went from below average to great with the combination of playing time for young players, and nabbing fresh meat from around the league.
The great play that I am anticipating from our group of DT's is going to create a domino effect for good in this way:
Double teams on Stroud will free up our other pro bowl D-lineman, Aaron Schobel, and help the other men so we can create pressure on the QB once again.
Pressure on the QB will be key because the opposing quarterbacks will not be able to wait for our coverage to break down before they throw the ball. Throwing the ball in more questionable windows will help our great CB's/Return men (McGee, McKelvin) make big plays on the ball and possibly put points on the board on defense.
The newly added talent at DT is also going to help our great group of LB's stop opposing rushing attacks from cutting us to pieces as we got slashed many times last season.
I am truly, very pleased with what the Bills invested our off-season efforts into getting the past two years (Dockery,Walker, Johnson, Stroud) and we will surely see the benefits of investing our money into the big men.