As the calendar turns over to June it appears that the Buffalo Bills are content, whether they like it or not, in going forward with their current roster.
Bills fans were curious to see how the Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey regime would attempt to reshape the Bills in their own image.
They signed free agents Dwan Edwards, Cornell Green, Chad Jackson and Andra Davis to add to the mix. They drafted a promising rookie crop that fortified the front seven on defense in addition to adding deep ball threat C.J. Spiller to the offense.
During this off—season, the Bills have been rumored to have been involved in trade discussions that included players like Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Jason Campbell, Jared Gaither, and Bills' players Marshawn Lynch, Roscoe Parrish and Donte Whitner.
The reality is that the Bills' front office has not pulled the trigger on a single trade and until a deal is consummated, you have to wonder if there is some sort of disconnect involving Buddy Nix's perception of market value and the rest of the NFL GMs.
Everyone that starts a new job has some sort of learning curve, and I suppose that Nix is no exception.
Maybe the rest of the GMs tried to take advantage of the "rookie" Nix, or maybe Nix wanted to make sure he wasn't perceived as being a soft GM that could be worn down by taking less than market value.
So, if we can assume that no other major additions will happen between now and the start of the season, does Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix have enough weapons on offense to be a consistent winner in the NFL week in and week out or are the Bills kidding themselves in believing that the offense has enough weapons to contend this year?
What Can The Bills Do To Make Their Offense More Dynamic?
If the Bills are serious about wanting to end their playoff drought this year, they had the opportunity to address their three biggest weaknesses on offense before OTAs began.
1. Strengthen the Tackle Situation and Surrender the Necessary Combination of Draft Pick(s) and/or Players to Baltimore to Acquire Jared Gaither
The Bills will enter the season with three lineman coming off of surgeries or injuries—Eric Wood, Geoff Hangartner and Demetrius Bell. They are hoping that all three will come back healthy enough to hold their own and that new free agent Cornell Green will be able to manage the other tackle slot. Rookie prospects Ed Wang and Kyle Calloway are both taking reps at tackle in OTAs to provide some level of depth.
This line has the potential to show some promise but until everyone sees Wood and Bell performing at 100 percent, there are some serious red flags surrounding this unit.
Speaking of red flags, that could have been the nickname for Cornell Green, based on the bashing he took on the way out the door from Raiders fans.
2. Pick Up an Experienced Winning QB That Can Take Over the Bills Offense.
There is really not much available talent left to bring in at this point to challenge Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brian Brohm. The current free agent veterans are Marc Bulger, Dante Culpepper and Jeff Garcia. It is assumed that Trent Edwards will win the QB competition in training camp and that this will be his final chance to show that he deserves to be a NFL starting QB.
If Edwards can find a way to lead the team to a strong start as he did in 2008, then they may have a chance. But the Bills face a crazy-hard road schedule this year, so the resolve of the team and coaching staff will be put to the test early on. If they start out 1-4 or 1-5, then Gailey has no reason to stick with Edwards and may turn to Brohm or Fitzpatrick to try to salvage the season.
3. Add a Proven WR That Can Help Out Lee Evans and Stretch the Field
Well, the Bills basically had the prototype definition of that in Terrell Owens, but they do not want him back, and he remains unsigned and unemployed as we speak.
With the unproven wide receivers opposite of Lee Evans and the rotating QB shuffle, I am not convinced right now that all the right ingredients are in place for a playoff caliber offensive unit. Personally, I expect to see either James Hardy or Shawn Nelson step up to have a solid year. If neither one does, the Bills are in for a long season.
None of the major three question marks have been upgraded sufficiently to ease my concern for this offense to shine.
I realize that Chan Gailey is a mastermind in his ability to customize an offense around the talent that he has available to work with. He will need to be creative and use formations and motion to try to confuse defenses because he will need smoke and mirrors to keep the chains moving every Sunday.
4. When All Hope Fails, Draft a Franchise QB
In the event that the Bills will miss the playoffs again, and based upon their track record, they will have a reasonably high draft choice in the first round of the 2011 draft where they will have a chance to add their franchise QB.
But if you are lucky enough to land a franchise QB with that pick, that means that you are passing up any chance at adding a franchise left tackle. Because, as we witnessed this past draft, with a talent rich tackle pool, the Bills shunned all of them with their first four picks. So, logic suggests you trade for Gaither now, and if you have to surrender a second round pick to make it happen, then go for it.
The offensive line would be that much further developed and have the chance to gel with Gaither already being on board for the full season.
Unless I am totally misguided about the value of Gaither, this appears to be a no-brainer.
What do you think Bills' fans?
Is there enough talent on offense for the team to make the playoffs this year, or will we see a repeat of last year when the defense is on the field for too many snaps game after game?