But you know what?
I would rather have this, where I know the team is actually trying to build for the future and shed the mistakes of the past while being assured we will have a high pick in the draft next year, instead of another middle of the road pick between No. 8 and 13 where it's that awkward phase of not the top but not the bottom and you could potentially whiff big-time and reach.
Granted, the C.J. Spiller pick was not the best thing in the draft to do, but the Bills do need skill players. Look at the Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins on offense—they have Randy Moss, Wes Welker, LaDainian Tomlinson, Braylon Edwards, Brandon Marshall, Ronnie Brown, and Ricky Williams. The Bills need to match that offensive firepower when their divisional opponents have lineups like that.
Buddy Nix also often gets a lot of credit for his drafting skills during his time in San Diego with A.J. Smith. Nix has received credit for several of the draft picks who have become Pro Bowlers, and I am confident that he can do that here.
The 3-4 defense needs to be fixed big time here. Kyle Williams is a very solid NT, but frankly he is small, and we need a big-time stuffer. The Bills have been run over this season, which puts huge pressure on the pass defense to step up and help because there is no trust between the LB/DL and DBs.
For instance, on Mark Sanchez's one TD pass from essentially the goal line, there were no Bills in coverage. Why? Everyone was concerned with stopping LT. Once this season is over, I am confident Nix and Chan Gailey will realize the mistakes and get the right personnel in. It also hurts when three of your leaders are out for the game (Terrence McGee, Marcus Stroud, and Andra Davis).
Then there is the issue of the offense.
As a lacrosse goalie I always went by the mantra, "If you know you aren't going to make the save, at least look good missing it," because that way it is not that ugly to watch and you can make yourself look like a decent goalie. Trent Edwards should have gone by something similar: "If you know you are going to get hit, GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE."
Ryan Fitzpatrick, for God's sake, yesterday was the leading rusher because he understood the concept of people coming at him, and if he can't pass it, then run till there's nowhere left to run.
Obviously the offensive line is a mess as well. The interior of the line is young and getting better, especially Eric Wood and Andy Levitre. Now the tackles problems needs to be addressed with Demetrius Bell and Cornell Green being much worse than expected, though Bell has stopped the penalties. Hopefully Nix addresses that in the offseason as well.
But Gailey and Nix finally accomplished what the previous regime was incapable of doing: admitting mistakes in drafting and cutting players who did not deserve to be here. James Hardy was injury prone but when healthy was unspectacular to say the least. He did not even make out of training camp. Finally.
And then the unthinkable: Trent Edwards was gone after Week 3. SEE YA! Captain Checkdown is finally out after getting a billion and one shots to do something.
So although there are still 12 games left, it is hard to imagine the Bills turning this season around, but at least we have identified key problems early. Unless by some act of God (or Satan), this team will finish 7-9 for the fourth consecutive year. But judging by performance, behavior, and attitude of this team, I am already looking forward to next year.