And so it goes, my fellow futile fans...
Yesterday, as the Yachtsman so eloquently put it to me, the Bills snatched a blowout from the jaws of a tight game and were defeated 27-7 in front of a hushed crowd at 1 Bills Drive.
Over the course of the 3 hours, the home crowd was treated to a classic Jauron dish ... "Back-Pedaling Quarterback A La Puss". Some of the names and faces look a little different, but make no mistake about it, this was a by-the-book Dick Jauron loss.
It had all the elements. Defense keeping the game closer for a little over three quarters of the game. Special teams giving the team great field position and a bonus touchdown that swung the momentum Buffalo's way early. And an offense struggling to make 1st downs over and over and over again.
But Mr. Apologist, the offense isn't Jauron's fault. He's a defensive-minded coach, he doesn't get involved in the offense.
Oh but he does my fine anonymous friend. You see, in the NFL, the proverbial 'buck' of the coaching staff stops at the head coach. If your offense is bad, and you don't fire your coordinator until the week before the offseason starts, and the new guy still can't get Trent to throw past the 1st-down marker, guess whose fault that is... not the new guy whose only been coaching for 2 years... it's the head coach's fault. Because it's his job to bring in the coaches that he believes will make the whole team run. He's the one responsible for the grand scheme and putting a plan in place to win football games. Do you think when numerous coordinators leave or Tom Brady goes down, it's anyone other than Bill Belichick whose responsible for getting the team to 11 wins?
I mean, who do you think decided who our starting quarterback would be going into this season? Who do you think is in Russ Brandon's ear when we decide whether to go after a Jeff Garcia or a Ryan Fitzpatrick in an offseason? Who decides to cut our left tackle, offensive coordinator and backup running back in the two weeks leading up to the start of the season?
Dick. That's who.
Because let's face it folks, yesterday, Dick, Perry & Co. put together a brilliant defensive plan to stop the Saints dead in their tracks and get the ball into the hands of their weapon-loaded, fast-moving offense. And for a little over three quarters Drew Brees looked totally baffled and the running attack had picked up minimal gains. After averaging 46.5 pts through the first two games, they had only scored 10 points over 45 minutes. Fortunately for them, Edwards and the offense he lead scored none.
I have defended this guy ever since they brought him in, but yesterday he looked no better than anyone else who has played the position since Doug Flutie was benched. His feet rarely looked set. He never connected on a pass for more than 20 yards. He never even got within FIELD GOAL RANGE!
Oh yeah... and the Bills were 2-14 on third down. In the fourth quarter, they didn't get a single first down, including the arguable punt call on 4-and-1 with 7 minutes left, down by 10.
That's why we brought in T.O. for $6 million? For 0 catches in 60 minutes? Oh no, wait. We brought him in to open up the field for Lee Evans. Evans, and his second-string coverage, got 4 receptions for 31 yards.
Yes, I remember the drop T.O. had. I also remember the bomb that overshot him by 5 yards.
Yes, it is hard to get consistency with a offensive line giving up pressure and poorly time penalties. But I'm sorry, if after three years Trent Edwards is still THIS rattled by pressure and penalties, then I don't know that he ever won't be. And by the way, who is responsible for such a young, inexperienced line?
You following the pattern here?
Remember going into last season when people couldn't understand why Jeff Fisher and Ken Whisenhunt seemed so confident in their decisions to start Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner, respectively, over their highly touted (and highly drafted) counterparts? How'd that work out for those guys?
The jig is up, my friends. Pull back the veil. It's Dick Jauron. Once a below .500 coach, always a below .500 coach. He'll keep you in games and then try really hard not to lose.
Yes, we did have an opportunity to win. But guess what, aforementioned friends? Every game is an opportunity to win. And when you've been getting opportunities (and by you, I mean you, Dick) to win for four years, and so far you've capitalized 22 times out of 52 chances, that means you're not doing a good job of coaching.
It should also mean that you're out looking for a new job, but... I'm done waiting for that to happen.
Epilogue...Four Players Leave Game With Injury
In what's becoming a disturbing pattern, four Bills were on the post game injury report yesterday...FS Donte Whitner
- Whitner left the game late in the fourth quarter with a thumb injury and had surgery today. As of now, he is week-to-week.Projected Replacement - Jairus ByrdCB Leodis McKelvin
- Jauron announced today that "Lockdown" Leodis suffered a cracked fibula in yesterday's game and he'll be out indefinitely.Projected Replacement - Drayton FlorenceSS Bryan Scott
- Scott went down a few plays after Whitner with what was called an ankle sprain. Today he'll get an MRI to check the extent of the damage.Projected Replacement - George Wilson or John WendlingLT Demetrius Bell
- Bell also left in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. No word yet as to the extent of the injury, but for a man who is 6-5, 307 ... that could be awfully painful.Projected Replacement - Kirk Chambers
On the plus side, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was on the sideline without a cast yesterday, so hopefully we'll see him back on the field soon.T.O. Watch!
Only a guy like T.O. has to go face the media after getting 0 catches in a loss and breaking his impressive run of 185 straight games with at least one reception. Owens kept his responses short and terse, saving his most meaningful commentary for his twitter page.
Owens was ripped on NBC's Sunday Night Football by newly-hired announcer, known steroid user and cheap-shot artist, Rodney Harrison for being a "clown". (Tony Dungy, who mentors Michael Vick and a host of others, called guys like T.O. "difficult to coach".) T.O. responded on his twitter page by saying...
"I could less about Rodney Harrison! Anybody tht using steroids, yes STEROIDS rodney, is a cheater & cheated the game! ... Is tht Y u used steroids b/c u were worried about ur stats or ws it b/c u were losing it? Lol! U're a loser & a cheater? Got any steroid ... Hey rodney! Send me sum steroids 2 the Bills facility next week!"
I'd rather he be working on next week's game plan with Trent and AVP, than worrying about what the crew at NBC thought of his performance at the podium today, but heck, at this point I'm just hoping he can get Jauron fired.
Today, T.O. was slightly more introspective when he tweeted...
"Sittin n locker rm thinking about wht cn ‘I’ do 2 help this team. A couple of 1sts 4 me, 1st time 1-2, 1st time w/no catches since ‘96"
Again, I'd rather he tweet, "Guess I couldve said tht yestrday insted of 'I just go w/the plays that r called'", but again ... let's let him lay the charges before we start begging him to fall face-first on the plunger. Matter of fact, if this streak hits 1-5, that should be our new chant at games...
"Blow-it-up, T-O, Blow-it-up" *clap clap*
"Blow-it-up, T-O, Blow-it-up" *clap clap*
I think I'm onto something here.
On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills quieted their critics, if only for a while, by riding Fred Jackson
's ever-growing coattails to a 33-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's the first time since 1991 that the Bills have beaten the Bucs and it was sorely needed. Coming off an extremely tough loss, the Bills needed a win (over a team that's clearly rebuilding) to keep hope of a playoff trip alive and to set the tone of home field.
The offense came alive. They were led by the aforementioned Jackson, who gashed the Bucs defense for 163 yards on 28 carries (plus another 25 yards on 6 catches). Trent Edwards
appeased the long-ball fans by connecting with Lee Evans
on 32-yard TD for the game's first score and striking deep again in the fourth with a 43-yard TD pass to T.O.
And for the second week in a row, the defense contributed on the scoreboard as well. Midway through the first quarter, Donte Whitner
returned an interception for a touchdown, stretching the Bills' lead to 14-0.
Of course the Bills, not wanting to make their fans feel too comfortable, did allow the Buccaneers to stay within striking distance for most of the game. Their 17-0 lead in the first quarter, after a 31-yard field goal by Lindell
, was the biggest of the game. But ultimately, they were able to hold the Bucs at bay and come out on top.
I must say, this is an impressive win for the Bills. Not because of the opponent of course, because let's face it, beating the Buccaneers could be this year's equivalent of beating the Raiders or Rams last year. This win was impressive because the Bills were beat badly Monday night and no one would've been surprised if they had hung their heads a little coming into Sunday's match-up. But the Bills came out swinging, racking up 438 yards of offense and picking off Leftwich twice in the first quarter.
Ok, so why aren't we all restarting the long-dead playoff conversation? Because clearly, there are still holes in this team. The offense, ultimately, has only scored 4 touchdowns in the first two games while the defense has allowed 3 touchdown drives in the last quarter of those games. And the usually potent special teams unit has so far ranked in the bottom half of the league in returns.
Also, four players who started the game with the team were no longer playing when the clock ran out. Leodis McKelvin
, Shawn Nelson
, Derek Schouman
and Brad Butler
all left the game with injuries.
Yesterday the Bills announced that Butler will be out for the rest of the 2009 season
. Late in the second quarter, Tampa Bay DE (and well-known friend of the Teen Wolf) Stylez White
rolled onto Butler's right leg and he had to be carted off the field. Jauron said that it was Butler's right knee that would cost him his season, but he did not reveal the specific injury. Fourth-year vet Jonathan Scott
filled in in his absence but he might not be the permanent replacement (Runyan's agent has been waiting patiently by the phone ever since).
As for the rest of the damaged goods, Schouman also injured his knee while fellow TE Shawn Nelson went out with a hurt shoulder. McKelvin left the game early with an ankle injury. Jauron has so far been cryptic about the severity of these injuries, but Nelson posted on his Twitter page, "Thanks for the support. Shoulder is ok," so perhaps he'll be ready for this Sunday's game against New Orleans. The same is possible for McKelvin, who injury isn't believed to be too severe (not that ankle injuries to corners are minor). Either way, these injuries clearly thin the Bills out at important spots on the roster.
It goes without saying that the cornerback position has plenty of depth, but Derek Fine
becomes the lone healthy TE on the Bills' roster. In Week 1, the Bills moved TE Jonathan Stupar
to the practice roster and unless the Bills can sign someone in a hurry, they would presumably promote Stupar again this week against the Saints. (Chris Brown posted a brief list of possible TE candidates
that apparently worked out recently with the team.)
But all in all, the Bills gave we fans plenty to cheer for in the home opener. T.O. got his first touchdown catch, Jackson is drawing comparisons to Squirmin' Thurman and Dick Jauron suddenly knows what it feels like not to be totally hated every second of every day...
(Click here to watch the game's highlights at BuffaloBills.com
A Couple of Notes on a Couple Receivers
On a side note, it's worth mentioning that for the second week in a row, T.O. did not speak to the media after the game.
Owens, who caught one bomb for a touchdown and dropped another, only offered up a tweet of praise for his quarterback.
"Man was the Ralph rockin 2day!! Cn’t wait til next!! Gonna b a good 1! Lovin trent more & more!! Watchin nfl primetime!"
Obviously behavior like this is looked on a little easier after a victory, but it's still not much of a show of leadership for a squad getting younger by the minute. I realize that we didn't sign Owens to set an example for anyone, but I guess I thought he would pretend a little harder and a little longer that he doesn't mind playing in Buffalo.
In other receiving corps. news, Roscoe Parrish
's name has bubbled up again in trade rumors.According to ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio
, a league source has said Parrish could be dealt by the end of the week. The possible recipients are rumored to be the Chiefs, Jaguars and Redskins.
Parrish has no catches so far this season and a 5-yard average on punt returns.
On Friday, the Buffalo Bills and cornerback Terrence McGee agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep the former fourth-round pick with the team through 2013. The terms of the deal were not released, but according to the Buffalo News
, an NFL source says the deal is worth $27 million.
This is welcome news from an organization that has let it's starting corner walk out the door the last few times around (i.e. Antoine Winfield & Nate Clements). Hopefully the added job security for McGee, along with the development of (cringe) Leodis and the other youngin's, will do a lot to improve the condition of a somewhat leaky secondary.
Listen up. I know that here at DGWU Sports we can be sliiiiightly negative. And I know we give this team (and another certain Buffalo sports team) a hard time for their shortcomings. But when it comes down to it, the group of us are three of the Biggest Buffalo marks out there.
We have been waiting for this day for nine, long months, and after reading this Jerry Sullivan column
today, the day could not possibly have gone fast enough. So here we are, the big night, on the biggest stage of week 1 (seriously, are there really still football fans in California?), and we are so fired up, that a savage hit from Bryce Paup couldn't keep us down.
So with that said....ARE YOUR READY FOR SOME A.V.P. BUFFALO BILLS FOOTBALL???
This guy is.
It was just announced that Drew Stafford has re-signed with the Buffalo Sabres
. It is a two year deal, but there is no report on how much money the Sabres had to shell out.
Personally, I'm glad its only a two year deal because Staff has yet to truly prove himself, to deserve a big, long-term contract. But I have a good feeling about him this year. I'm not sure why, but call it a sixth sense. Then again, I also predicted a turnaround season for Jochen Hecht last year, the Bills to go 10-6, and James Hardy to catch 10 TD's....so yeah, there's that.The Sabres also added NHL veteran Brad Larsen
, who will no doubt start the season in Portland. Larsen comes to us from Anaheim, where he sat out all of last year with several injuries (hip and hernia, which would be a great name for a band by the way).
[Editor's Note: The AP would later report that the contract is worth $3.8 million. Stafford is due to earn $1.5 million in the coming season and $2.3 million in the 2010-11 season.]
It's funny what a difference two weeks can make in the NFL. Yesterday's selection of team captains for the 2010 season should have been the simple end to a Bills offseason in which the team drew up a plan to attain their goal and end their streak of seasons without a trip to the playoffs. Instead, it comes across as a fairly meaningless act following a month of turmoil and uncertainty for team with a season probably headed nowhere pretty.
Still, the players got together and decided that Lee Evans
and Brian Moorman
would be two of their team captains for the fourth year in a row. Joining Evans and Moorman for their respective units will be second-year captains Trent Edwards
and safety George Wilson
. Linebackers Paul Posluszny
and Kawika Mitchell
will captain the defense.
If I there's something worth reading into any of these selections, it's the choices on defense. Noticeably absent from the captainship are defensive end Aaron Schobel
and safety Donte Whitner
. While they certainly haven't been big playmakers in the last few seasons, Schobel and Whitner have been seemingly the most vocal leaders of the locker room from a spectator's perspective. But beginning last year and through this offseason, both men have come under fire for not delivering on the expectations they helped build up through their actions and words (or lack thereof).
Could their really be a changing of the guard in the locker room? Have I not just been apologizing as usual for Poz? Remember, this is a guy whose real rookie season was last year. Maybe he'll never be the Urlacher-caliber linebacker we were all hoping for physically, but perhaps he's ready to be closer to it mentally. If there were one unquestionable leader, holding the defense accountable and truly leading this team on the field (which there obviously hasn't been the last three years AND YES, DICK, I'M INCLUDING YOU MOST OF ALL IN THAT HEAD COUNT), then maybe this defense will actually be able to make some of those big stops we've needed at the ends of games over the years!!
[Sidenote: I will probably be typing in ALL CAPS every time I talk to Dick this year since I can't even imagine talking with him without shouting in his face. I mean... You're gonna cut Langston Walker
, then offer a contract to basically the same guy, but not until Tuesday, cuz then his contract won't be guaranteed through the season, so instead you're gonna send some poor rookie out to slaughter, care of one of the nastiest d-line's in the NFL? Say what you will about their linebackers and secondary, that d-line still has Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork.
Nice one, Dick. Why don't we just put billboards up in all corners of our stadium that read: "YOU'RE SPENDING YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT, WHETHER YOU'VE GOT IT TO SPEND OR NOT, BUT WE'RE ALWAYS GONNA BE AS CHEAP AS AN OCTOGENARIAN ON A FIXED INCOME!"? Probably have to pare that down to make it fit though... and they would never openly admit a mistake, let alone pay to have an admission put up in public... oh well...]
Then again... maybe this is just another useless move amongst many for a team looking very lost in a league where rudderless teams go 0-16. Here's hoping it doesn't come anywhere near that bad.
Then again... the draft pick would be nice.
- The Apologist
(AP) - Bills backup tight end Derek Fine
and nickel cornerback Drayton Florence
are likely to miss Buffalo’s season opener Monday night at New England.
Fine has been nursing a hamstring injury, while Florence injured his knee in the Bills’ second preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Both players were held out of practice on Friday.
Reserve defensive tackle Spencer Johnson
was limited in practice on Friday for the second day in a row because of a bruised thigh, but coach Dick Jauron said he’s hopeful Johnson can play Monday.
Sorry. I couldn't help myself with the headline. I sometimes forget what a fantastic movie Half-Baked is. I mean, just look at this guy....
Aaaaaaaaaanyways, former All-Pro Tackle Jon Runyan is flying into Buffalo tomorrow for a visit
. He is coming off a very serious off-season knee injury, and if I can be frank with you, the guy has not looked like a strong O-lineman in years. I mean if they they wanted a slow moving, old veteran, then why did they just cut Walker??
However, if they can sign him on the cheap as an insurance policy for Demetrius Bell/Malone, then I guess it can't really hurt. Then again, is there anything that can really "hurt" this team right now? Fuck it, I say they check out what Pacman Jones
, Travis Henry
, and Rae Carruth
are up to.
Hi! How are you today? Guess what? The Buffalo Bills just released their starting left tackle
, and 2nd year player, Demetrius Bell, is going to start "cold" against New England Monday night.
Dear God. I just threw up in my mouth a little. And you thought Trent Edwards had confidence issues before this...
Please enjoy this video of Mr. Bell's estranged father. Laughter heals everything. Except for the injuries caused by a vomit-inducing offensive line.
Mair To Miss Start of Regular Season
This story is slightly stale, but it had gone unreported thus far here on DGWUSports.
Last Thursday it was announced that forward Adam Mair
will be out a minimum of 6 weeks after having arthroscopic hip surgery. The Sabres say the surgery was successful
, but this translates to him completely missing training camp and at least part of the start of the season.
Obviously this is not a huge loss going into the beginning of the season. However, it is unfortunate for Mair, who statistically is coming off one of his most successful seasons in the NHL with eight goals and eleven assists. Plus, with the influx of Darcy's one-year bruisers and the rookie forwards coming up the pipeline, Mair's spot on the roster is not guaranteed when he's healthy enough to return.