In the press conference where Buddy Nix was introduced as the new Buffalo Bills general manager, he announced that the team was going to go through a major transformation, and that the team was going to clean house and slowly rebuild. He thought it would be at least a two to three year process.
While analyzing the current roster of the 2010 Buffalo Bills as they prepare to begin the new season this coming Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, I came across a 2009 roster that I had printed out. Looking at the sheer list of names that are no longer part of the Bills team following the final round of cuts, it struck me how unique it must feel to make the team, considering how many people have come and gone in the house sweeping process.
Also wondered how content Buddy Nix feels in regards to the overall master plan of rebuilding the team. How close are they to where he wants the team to be? This slide show will take a brief look back at what players have left the team since 2009 season, and who is new to the team in 2010.
Counting the new additions this weekend of David Martin and Kraig Urbik this week, there are a total of 20 new faces to the Buffalo Bills roster.
Those 20 new Buffalo Bills are:
Defensive End Alex Carrington - rookie from Arkansas State
Linebacker Antonio Coleman - rookie from Auburn
Linebacker Andra Davis - nine-year NFL veteran from Florida
Defensive End Dwan Edwards - six-year NFL veteran from Oregon State
Tackle Cornell Green - nine-year NFL veteran from Central Florida
Lineman Cordaro Howard - rookie from Georgia Tech
WR Donald Jones - rookie from Youngstown State
TE David Martin - 10-year NFL veteran from Tennessee
Guard Kraig Urbik - second-year NFL veteran from Wisconsin
Linebacker Arthur Moats - rookie from James Madison
WR David Nelson - rookie from Florida
RB C.J. Spiller - rookie from Clemson
Linebacker Reggie Torbor - seventh-year NFL veteran from Auburn
Nose Tackle - Torell Troup - rookie from Central Florida
Tackle Ed Wang - rookie from Virginia Tech
On Injured Reserve:
Linebacker Danny Batten - rookie from South Dakota State
WR Marcus Easley - rookie from Connecticut
On Practice Squad:
RB Joique Bell - rookie from Wayne State
FB Rodney Ferguson - one-year NFL vet from New Mexico
WR Naaman Roosevelt - rookie from U. of Buffalo
What a difference a year makes. There are now a total of 36 players that appeared on the 2009 Bills roster or practice squad that are no longer part of the team, following Saturday's final roster cuts. If Buddy Nix wanted to clean house, I would venture that 36 players equals mission accomplished. The 36 are in no particular order:
Nic Harris, John Wendling, Derek Fine, Derek Schouman, Aaron Schobel, Ashlee Palmer, Kirk Chambers, Josh Reed, James Hardy, Christian Gaddis, Lonnie Harvey, Nick Hennessey, Ryan Denney, Ellis Lankster, Andre Ramsey, Richie Incognito, Chris Draft, Jonathan Scott, Xavier Omon, Terrell Owens, Seth McKinney, Todd Johnson, Justin Jenkins, Gibran Hamdan, Felton Huggins, Corey Mace, Lydell Sargeant, Marcus Buggs, Brad Butler, Justice Hairston, Jermaine McGhee, Marvin Philip, Marcus Smith, Anthony Waters, C.J. Hawthorne, and Bruce Hall.
Obviously Nix and Chan Gailey had a more active role in removing some of the 36 players than they did with others on the list, but this is indeed a very long list of ex-Bills from just nine months ago.
It must be amusing to a degree to Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey when they sat down last weekend to go through the final round of cuts.
Amusing in the sense that there were a total of six players that were not "good enough" to be drafted in the NFL Draft, yet were good enough to make either the Bills final roster or the practice team.
What is also ironic was that any of the six could have easily been drafted with the two picks the Bills held in the seventh round, but the two picks they did have, Levi Brown and Kyle Calloway, were both waived and never even offered a chance to join the practice squad. At least neither had been offered an invitation as this article was published.
In case you need a little reminder—those six undrafted rookies (which I referred to as the eighth round) are: Antonio Coleman, Cordaro Howard, Donald Jones, David Nelson, Joique Bell, and Naaman Roosevelt. That is a tribute to Buddy Nix and his staff to be able to secure those guys when the draft ended. With respect to Levi Brown and Kyle Calloway, not so much of a tribute I guess.
Too bad the 2010 draft class overall evaluation will be incomplete due to the season-ending injuries to Danny Batten and to Marcus Easley. Easley could have provided another whole new dimension to the offense.
Now that we are on the verge of entering the start of the 2010 season, Phase One of the rebuilding job of the organization for Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey is completed. The team will continue to be molded and reshaped in their image.
What exactly is their image by the way?
Chan Gailey talks about toughness and discipline. His team will be long in both, or they will be out the door. Gailey would probably never admit to this, but I suspect that he found people like Derek Schouman and James Hardy to be lacking in some of those characteristics that he requires. Injuries are unfortunate, but you have to be tough to play through pain.
As we entered the names of the new Bills in the beginning of the article, It is a point of interest to see such a heavy influence of players from the southeast part of the country, noting that is also where Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey hail from. Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Central Florida, and Georgia Tech alumni populate the list. In some circles around the NFL, they may be referring to the Bills as Miami North.
We all hope that the major rash of injuries that struck the team last year are a thing of the past. We had our share of injuries during the preseason, and there are a number of walking wounded that are going to be playing at various stages of health this Sunday.
How the team fares this year is up in the air. But, once the season is complete, Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix will have a very clear idea of what players they want to continue to tie their fortunes to, and which ones will be history as the franchise transformation hits "Phase Two" in 2011.
Hopefully we will all enjoy the ride this year. Most Bills fans are optimistic about the team's future. We don't know if the playoff drought will end this year or not, but we like the direction the team is headed in.