Even before the news today of head coach Dick Jauron’s firing, it was painfully clear that the 2009 Buffalo Bills season was a complete loss. The offense had regressed which I was pretty sure was impossible after last year. The defense has struggled in the fourth quarter of games, but when the offense isn’t staying on the field, that’s no surprise.
So I’ve been thinking about what positions need to be overhauled for next season. Three come immediately to mind: quarterback, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle. The first two will be addressed in later articles. This is about defensive tackles and why the Bills need to get another one.
I was thinking about the need for another defensive tackle yesterday, but in Michael Lombardi’s article on National Football Post, he talks about the need for the Bills to get bigger, faster, and stronger because they have to deal with the elements especially as the season wears on.
I also think that the Bills need to get bigger on the defensive line to help shore up the run defense. A big, dominant defensive tackle would help all levels of the defense. He would consistently require double teams.
That would help the other three defensive linemen, but also help free up the linebackers currently on the roster. If they didn’t have offensive linemen always in their faces, they’d probably do a better job against the run.
So I spent some time looking at possibilities for a dominant defensive tackle, and one name keeps popping into my head. Now before anyone who is a fellow Bills fan or a football fan who hates dirty players starts foaming at the mouth, I will say this. I cannot stand the man who I am about to mention. He’s a dirty player who’s been punished on more than one occasion.
However, he also happens to be one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league. He consistently demands a double team and still causes havoc for offensive lines. I would know, I’ve seen him in the Bills' backfield way too often.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about upcoming free agent defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
Now, I’m not necessarily advocating the Bills go out and sign him. However, they NEED a dominant player with his skills and size. If he simply stopped being a dirty player, he would be a perfect fit. He’s shown the ability to play in both the 3-4 and 4-3.
Adding a player like him would go a long way to replacing the long-since-departed Fat Pat Williams. The defensive line has never been the same since he left.
Do I think he will be on the Bills next season? No. However, I’m not exactly sure what to expect out of the Bills after today. Things are changing. We’ll have to wait and see how much.
No matter what, though, the Bills are definitely in need of a dominant presence on the defensive line. That much is for sure.