Buffalo Bills Featured Columnists Forum: 15 Topics Worth Debating

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IOctober 17, 2010

Buffalo Bills Featured Columnists Forum: 15 Topics Worth Debating

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    As you probably can imagine, an exciting Buffalo Bills story is not easy to come by these days. 

    It's never fun trying to cover a team when they're the worst team in the NFL, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more unenviable situation than the one in Buffalo. 

    The Bills Featured Columnists, Dan Van Wie, Robert Quinn, and yours truly, Chris Trapasso have come together during this bye week, selected the 15 topics worth debating and have given their takes on everything Buffalo Bills.

MVP Offense

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    Robert's Take

    Steve Johnson: The Bills have desperately needed a deep, downfield threat at the receiver position, and Johnson has stepped up to the plate. He has had at least three receptions in every game this year and has scored four touchdowns in the past three weeks. As long as Lee Evans keeps getting extra coverage, Johnson will have big numbers this year.

     

    Dan's Take

    Ryan Fitzpatrick: It is clear that the Bills offense became much more relevant once he stepped in for Trent Edwards. The Bills moved the ball with more regularity. He plays with heart and makes plays with his legs. How long can he sustain it is the question. He should relish this time with Edwards gone.

     

    Chris' Take

    Steve Johnson: It was a tossup between him and Ryan Fitzpatrick for me. Both he and Johnson have better statistics than we expected, but are MVPs of garbage time football. Johnson is leading the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns, so he gets the nod.  

MVP Defense

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    Robert's Take

    Kyle Williams: He was doubted the whole offseason regarding his ability to transition to the new 3-4 defensive front. He has stepped in and been great in his relentless run stopping and is constantly collapsing the pocket while taking on double teams. His stats on paper don’t show it, but he is a key piece of the Bills defense.

     

    Dan's Take

    Andra Davis: Came up with the only interception so far. Usually a sure tackler. Created a forced fumble. Is there really an MVP on the Bills defense? If so, Davis appears to be the closest thing.

     

    Chris' Take

    Leodis McKelvin: I know, I know...he got burned by Braylon Edwards against the Jets, but all overly aggressive corners get beat on occasion. He's stepped up for the injured Terrence McGee and has been the best player in the secondary. Still, it was hard to find someone on this historically bad unit. 

Most Disappointing Player on Offense

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    Robert's Take 

    Cornell Green: Veteran right tackle Cornell Green was signed as a free agent in order to add experience and skill at a much-needed position on the Bills' depleted offensive line. However, all he has brought are shots of him on his back while Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick were on their backs and the ibuprofen they make him bring to Monday’s practice.

     

    Dan's Take

    Trent Edwards: He was supposed to be given a new lease with Chan Gailey and instead regressed and morphed back to the player that we were afraid he used to be. Too bad he didn't take the job by the reins and run with it.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Demetrius Bell: Cornell Green gets a lot of the bad press, but Bell hasn't been much better. The Bills have given up a lot of sacks, with Ryan Fitzpatrick seemingly under pressure on every play. Bell's an average right tackle at best, and his performance thus far has been brutal. 

Most Disappointing Player on Defense

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    Robert's Take

    Chris Kelsay: He is obviously not a fit as an outside linebacker for the 3-4 defense and has displayed that by giving up over 340 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends that he is supposedly covering. He plays at his best with his hand in the ground and rushing the passer, but now with the “heavy 4-3” he can’t do that either.

     

    Dan's Take

    Jairus Byrd: I thought by now he would have been able to make more of an impact, but he has yet to really make any big plays to speak of. He is almost proving that his rookie season was a fluke, because he hasn't been close to any interceptions at all.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Jairus Byrd: Where has the Byrd-man been? After a nine-interception rookie year, this safety has been out of position and has made no impact through five games. In 2009, he was in the right spot at the right time, but this year he's been a few seconds late. 

Rookie of the Year for the Bills to Date

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    Robert's Take 

    C.J. Spiller: Spiller has not seen as many reps as many of us Billievers had hoped to see, but when he touches the ball, he usually takes it pretty far. He scored on a 95-yard kick return, earning him the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. He caught a touchdown pass in that same game, which shows his versatility. He only has 19 carries for 80 yards, so maybe Coach Gailey will give him some more carries with Marshawn Lynch out of the picture.


     

    Dan's Take

    C.J. Spiller: Scoring on the kickoff return and scoring as a receiver split out wide are just two of the ways he can elevate the Bills offense. Chan Gailey needs to do more to bring his skills out in to the open field. He deserves more touches, not fewer.

     

    Chris' Take 

    C.J. Spiller: I was fishing for another rookie to slot here, but we all know how "great" Buffalo's drafts are. Spiller's got two TDs but otherwise has been quite the disappointment. None of the other 2010 draft picks have done anything, so Spiller gets my vote.  

Rookie That Has Surprised the Most

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    Robert's Take

    David Nelson: This guy game out of nowhere.  An undrafted free agent out of Florida, where he did not have any major numbers, came into the Bills' preseason workouts and balled out. He was the team’s leading receiver in the preseason and made the final roster. He continued his success through the regular season and is getting opportunities to succeed.

     

    Dan's Take

    David Nelson: He had a strong preseason, just like Jonathan Stupar did in 2009. The difference was that he was able to carry it over into the regular season and continue to show the skills that allowed to make the team. Great hands, sleek runner, and solid route runner. He was a major find for the Bills.

     

    Chris' Take 

    David Nelson: No brainer. How'd this guy go undrafted? Nelson hasn't been Marques Colston, but he's demonstrated that he may have been kept out of the limelight at Florida solely because he played behind wideouts like Percy Harvin and Riley Cooper. He'll continue to get better with time.  

The One Coach From the Entire Staff You Want To See Fired

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    Robert's Take

    Defensive Coordinator George Edwards: Edwards has over a decade of coaching experience as a defensive line coach, linebackers coach and a defensive coordinator, and all with successful teams. You can’t place all the blame on him personally due to the roster he inherited, but you’d think he’d find a way to bring at least some pressure on opposing offenses.

     

    Dan's Take

    Defensive Coordinator George Edwards: Easiest decision for me. Shows a lack of creativity, is not able to make the necessary adjustments, and is in over his head. We need to be on the prowl for an upgrade at defensive coordinator.

     

    Chris' Take

    Defensive Coordinator George Edwards: Buffalo's given up 30 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time in team history. What else is there to say?

The One Player The Bills Released You Wanted to Make/Stay on the Team

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    Robert's Take

    Chris Ellis: When tight end Shawn Nelson was available to play after serving his league-mandated suspension, the Bills were forced to release Chris Ellis. The linebacker played exceptionally well, given his lack of experience in the defense, and started for Reggie Torbor the first game of the season, recording the team’s first sack of the year. He was producing far more than fellow outside linebacker Aaron Maybin and defensive end Spencer Johnson, who is another candidate to be released.

     

    Dan's Take

    John Wendling: Was a fan of his play on special teams. With the problems we had on special teams now, I felt he was a solid guy you could count on. The Bills miss him not being there now.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Joique Bell: He did make the team, but was stolen off the practice squad by the Philadelphia Eagles. We were griping about a loaded backfield when Marshawn Lynch was around, but the Bills definitely wish Bell was still in Buffalo. 

The One Player You Want to See Activated from the Practice Squad

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    Robert's Take

    John Russell: An undrafted free agent out of Wake Forest, Russell is athletic and versatile. As a defensive tackle and defensive end for the Demon Deacons, he finished his collegiate career with 10.5 sacks and made 46 tackles last year. He’d be great on special teams and could slowly be worked into the defensive line rotation.

     

    Dan's Take

    Naaman Roosevelt: Looking forward to seeing what he can do on the next level. It will take an injury to one of the other receivers for him to become activated, or if Donald Jones does not have a strong second half.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Naaman Roosevelt: The Bills' receivers have performed admirably through five games, and I feel that Roosevelt could fit right in at this point. He's behind Donald Jones, who was the most surprising Buffalo Bill to make the final 53-man roster and is only used as the secondary kick returner. He's invisible out there. Give Naaman a chance. 

The One Player You Can’t Wait to See Them Make Their Season Debut

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    Robert's Take

    Danny Batten: Loved this kid at South Dakota State, but he was placed on Injured Reserve, so we won’t see him until next season. In that case I have to go with Ed Wang. At Virginia Tech, he played tight end, right tackle and left tackle, and the Bills are working him at guard. Hey, if Cornell Green keeps up his dismal play, we may see him at right tackle. Either way, I’m excited to see the first Asian-American player in the trenches for the Buffalo Bills.

     

    Dan's Take

    Ed Wang: Been looking forward to his debut to see how he fares in the trenches. I admit to also wanting to see Shawn Nelson, but Ed Wang gets my vote. He was thought to have potential and I want to see him turn that into solid play.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Shawn Nelson: Buffalo has received essentially no production from the tight end position, and Nelson is one of the more physically gifted athletes on the roster. I don't remember the last time I saw a Bills tight end make that 20-yard catch down the seam. Nelson could be that guy. 

Most Likely to Get Released

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    Robert's Take

    Aaron Maybin: Coach Gailey continues to openly state that Maybin simply isn’t making the necessary progress to get on the field, and that he cannot stop the run. He is viable in passing downs but when he gets his chances, offensive lineman knocks him on his butt. Just another bust on the list of Buffalo Bills draft picks.

     

    Dan's Take

    Aaron Maybin: He continues to take less and less snaps with each passing week. Despite all of these great players that he has worked out with, with all of the coaching, watching tape, etc., he just doesn't get it. Not able to learn the moves to elude tackles, and not strong enough to overpower other blockers to find his way to the quarterback. A huge disappointment so far.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Donte Whitner: OK, probably not, but he should be. Whitner's a vocal "leader" but is a wannabe La'Ron Landry. He's too small, is a terrible tackler (despite what Dan Dierdorf might tell you) and is certainly not a playmaker.  

Most Likely to Get a Contract Extension

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    Robert's Take

    Drayton Florence: Florence has beaten out Leodis McKelvin, who was supposedly an up-and-coming Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback, week in and week out and is the only player in the Bills secondary with the intelligence or ability to break up a pass, rather than simply make the tackle.

     

    Dan's Take

    Roscoe Parrish, followed by Drayton Florence: Parrish has made some great catches, showed that he is a force at wide receiver, and been tough over the middle. Is still effective at returning punts as well. Florence has proved to be invaluable in the secondary. 

     

    Chris' Take 

    Kyle Williams: This defensive tackle plays hard every play, regardless of the score. He's undersized and not overly strong, but constantly creates pressure up the middle. Williams' is balanced; he's a good pass rusher and is consistent against the run.  

The One Free Agent You Want the Bills to Sign

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    Robert's Take

    Shawne Merriman: Although his career has spiraled ever since he stopped juicing, he would still be an upgrade over Aaron Maybin. He could be had for a low price, considering his decline in production, but getting him to come to Buffalo may be difficult.

     

    Dan's Take

    Shawne Merriman: Want to see if he can revive his career with a fresh start. The Bills are desperate for playmakers on defense and generating a pass rush, and Merriman was a beast in his first three years. Sign him to an incentive laden contract and see what happens. If anyone knows him, general manager Buddy Nix does.

     

    Chris' Take

    Shawne Merriman: Merriman isn't "lights out" anymore, but with Buddy Nix's familiarity this deal should really get done. He'd help the Bills' putrid pass rush and would aid Paul Posluszny and the rest of the timid linebacking corps. 

The One Player You Want The Bills to Draft in 2011

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    Robert's Take

    Andrew Luck: If he does enter the draft, we will finally have our franchise quarterback, and our curse will be over! As a sophomore for Stanford, he is already well-versed in the pro-style offense.

     

    Dan's Take

    Andrew Luck: He brings a number of intangibles with him and everything I have seen so far tells me that he will be a successful NFL quarterback. Now if he only will declare for the 2011 draft, we are already in position to be there to take him. The one player I don't want us to draft is UNC defensive end Robert Quinn, and that is for obvious reasons. 

     

    Chris' Take 

    Jake Locker: Andrew Luck apparently has all the "tools" to be that franchise guy, but Jake Locker is a more athletic Jim Kelly in my eyes. The Washington QB would be an ideal fit in Buffalo and the hard-nose way in which he plays the quarterback position would make him a fan favorite from day one. The senior gets my vote over Luck because of his experience. 

The One Player That Should be Getting a Lot More Press

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    Robert's Take

    Steve Johnson: The guy has four touchdowns in the last three games and is a deep threat on every play. No one notices him, or any of the Bills for that matter, but when you are 0-5 you can’t expect a lot of publicity.

     

    Dan's Take

    Steve Johnson: He makes difficult catches and continues to score touchdowns with regularity. He disappeared in the preseason but has emerged as a solid receiver in the season so far. Let's hope his game continues to advance.

     

    Chris' Take 

    Roscoe Parrish: Steve Johnson's the easier pick here, but after being sent to the doghouse last year, Parrish has rebounded this year very well. He's not a dynamic receiving threat, but rarely makes a mistake and is one of the more sure-handed slot guys in the NFL.