Buffalo Bills: The New Raiders?
With the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft the Buffalo Bills select...
I fully expect to hear that come draft day next year. As Mike "the situation" from the Jersey shore would say, Buffalo looks like a "grenade".
The 4-3 scheme of old is out, in with the 3-4! Trent Edwards was called salvageable by head coach Chan Gailey, is that good or bad. My guess is that Buffalo employs the vaunted quarterback carousel technique, often utilized by perennial losers.
The Bills managed to win while being a wreck going six & 10, per se with a decade of mediocrity. With three of their scintillating wins coming from Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Indianapolis in week 17. While beating the Colts in the last game of the regular season, would give most fans a sense of optimism towards next year, not quite. Curtis Painter was quarterbacking Indy that day and the closest Manning and the other starters got to the field was the run to the tunnel during halftime.
Many thought they might select Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen or an elite offensive or nose tackle prospect (all were available). In the draft this year they selected Clemson running back CJ Spiller, with the ninth overall pick, surprising many. Now Spiller is a dynamic playmaker, I want to get that out right now, the man can play ball. Running backs have a very short shelf life though, and are the easiest to find. In my humble opinion, the position is a little glorified, they look great on your fantasy team and in highlight reels. Spiller will forever be compared to the elite players that the Bills passed on.
The luxury pick can only make sense to me one way, that general manager Buddy Nix and company are biting the bullet and the organization just plain knows they can't compete 2010 or 11. There is a chance that the team could go 0-6 in the division, the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots are simply eons ahead of the Bills. The organization is clearly not living for today, and focusing on the future.
Saying the defense was mediocre last year would be very kind. The loss of Kawika Mitchell devastated the linebacking corps, creating an almost funnel up the middle. The run defense was terrible, third worst in the NFL, 1.2 yards off the top spot. The secondary could be the lone highlight of the defense. Jairus Bryd is a star at the safety position, Leodis McKelvin, Drayton Florence, George Wilson and Donte Whitner aren't bad either. Okay maybe Whitner is a reach. A 3-4 switch should not affect this area, but the front seven is in trouble.
Aaron Schobel who led the team with 10 sacks last year does not fit in the new scheme. Very similar to Aaron Kampman's struggles in Green Bay last year. In switching to the 3-4 defense this year there should be major growing pains. By not having all the pieces, Buffalo was forced to reach on some players to fill these voids in the eyes of the Mel Kipers of the world. Now I don't think that Torrell Troup and Alex Carrington were a reach. But the whole draft class will hinge on Troup, that's for certain. Nose tackle is too critical of the position in the 3-4 scheme to just be average. They chose two projects with upside to rush the passer in Arthur Moats & Danny Batten.
The good news is that maybe Aaron Maybin has a home now as the strong side OLB.
Now on to the offense.
The definition of the word flux according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is: A continuous moving on or passing by (as of a stream).
Sounds like the quarterback situation to me. As of today Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Levi Brown, and Brian Brohm. Enough said. Now if I were the GM, would I of drafted Jimmy Clausen, no (the talent evaluation seemed pretty consistent, when 30 teams pass on your services) but I would've prepared the offensive line to draft one next year. If you believe the Ed Wang or Kyle Calloway are anything more than revolving doors or developmental projects, then as Mr. T. would say "I pity the fool".
The laundry list of needs is quite large the left tackle, right tackle, quarterback, center, and maybe tight end. Eric Wood was arguably the best offensive lineman on the team, but suffered a Joe Theisman like leg break.
It seems to me that they are trying to cut corners rebuilding. I fully expect the team to be in the Jake Locker and or Ryan Mallett, Andrew Luck sweepstakes next season. If Buffalo chooses a top quarterback, it's very possible he could be shellshocked right out of relevancy, similar to what happened with David Carr. The Bills have a great fans and deserve a better product than what they have. As a Detroit Lions fan, I feel their pain.
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