In stores this September.
It’s alright. I know your heart is telling you it’s too soon to fall again, but it’s ok. There’s reason to get excited, to believe. You’ve been hurt before, but this time, it really is different. We’ve truly never seen anything like this. So it’s ok to already be excited for the Bills’ season to start.
In the 20 years leading up to last Thursday, since the NFL implemented an unrestricted free-agent system, the most money Ralph & Co. had ever handed out was $7 million-a-year to Derrick Dockery. You know, the Derrick Dockery who has started four games in the last two seasons.
Ok, bad memory. But seriously folks, this time it’s different. The Buffalo Bills, owners of the longest playoff drought in the NFL today, went out and signed the top free agent at his position in the market to the largest contract for a defender in the history of the league.
Aside from the lift this gives the entire defense, Buddy Nix gets a huge boost in stature from this signing. In my eyes, this deal legitimized his leadership. All Foghorn Leghorn jokes aside, it cements his position as a straight shooter who sticks to his guns.
I say, I say, I gone and done it.
Maybe he won’t be able to keep that up. Life as a coach or GM in the NFL, or any other sport for that matter, seems to preclude the possibility of standing by your word (right, Boeheim? …too soon?). But he said he was going to find someone who had head coaching experience. He said they would always use draft picks to find the best athletes. He said he wanted Stevie Johnson back. He said he would make every effort to sign Mario Williams.
Done, done, done, and done.
Will he be able to keep it up by restructuring Fred Jackson’s contract and finding difference makers in this year’s draft? Only time will tell. But for now, you can’t find much to fault in the Bills’ GM.
But enough about the signing itself. After a while the luster of all those zeroes at the end of Williams’ contract will wear off and the big questions will still need to be answered. How good can this defense be? Will the 4-3 mask the fact that our linebackers & secondary are less than great? Is Dave Wannstedt the answer at defensive coordinator? Are we really going to pay Shawne Merriman $5 million to salvage his reputation?
I’m not sure I’m smart enough to answer any of these questions well. Obviously adding a player as talented as Mario Williams will only make us better, but how much better is impossible to determine with any certainty. No sport exists with more variables than football. Serious speculation is simply a waste of time. (Peter King’s 2011 Super Bowl Prediction: Falcons over Chargers. Oops.)
Simply let the excitement wash over you. Your Buffalo Bills made the biggest splash of the NFL off-season.
Hey. Mind if I take your job? / Ummm...
Ok, maybe not the biggest splash. But still, think back to where you were when the Bills’ season ended. Luckily for me, I don’t have to think too hard, because I vented all my rage here
. I was distraught and depressed. A few days after writing that, I had basically stopped thinking about the Bills. I refused to look at a single draft board or even consider the Bills’ chances of reaching the .500 plateau, let alone the playoffs.
Today? I’m excited for the draft. I’m excited to see what our schedule looks like. I honestly believe the Bills have a shot at a playoff spot.
Foolish? Probably. Fun? Definitely.
As I’ve said time and time again, sports should be about fun. Splitting the hairs on Mario’s head is pointless until games are played. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the feeling that the organization finally cares and maybe, just maybe, has a clue. Yes, that says more about the level of my standards than anything else, but still, improvements were needed and they have been made, with more coming on the horizon. It's hard for me to find bad things to say about a team I shredded to the best of my ability two months ago.
Are things definitely going to be different? I don’t know how much, but they already are. The Bills of the last 12 years never made moves like this. These Bills resigned a true #1 receiver, then went out and got one of the two biggest jewels in the free agent market. And neither of them ever entertained offers elsewhere.
No one saw this coming. But it happened. So go ahead. Let yourself fall in love all over again.
For once, there’s a really good reason.
I started with a cheap shot foot joke at Rex Ryan this week. So what? I don't want to be original. I want to be a mean spirited guy that makes fun of other's shortcomings, so I say fuck him and his clogged arteries. I WANT VICTORY!!!
In my week 9 Bills preview, I have decided to very simply break down all the things I LOVE about the Bills so far this year and HATE about the Jets. After last week's performance, the Bills deserve no animosity from me, however, that could all change this week BECAUSE IF THEY LOSE TO THE JETS I WILL DISOWN THEM AS A FRANCHISE AND MOVE TO CANADA! NOTHING LESS WILL BE ACCEPTED AAAAAAHHHH RAAAAAAAAAAGE STOOOOOOOOOOORM I HATE THE JETS!!!!
Before I blow a gasket, let me count the ways I adore the 2011 Buffalo Bills:
1. Fred Jackson is arguably the best running back in the NFL this season and should be a legitimate early MVP contender. Of course Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, and Patrick Willis are getting all of the attention, as well they should be, but blowhards on the radio and ESPN are talking up Eli FUCKING Manning as an early candidate. Just stop. Seriously.
Jackson has already rushed for 721 yards, with 1074 yards from scrimmage in ONLY SEVEN GAMES! Toss in a 5.5 yards per carry average and 6 TD's and that's pretty fucking incredible. The only other RB's that even touch him this year are AP (Vikings suck), and Matt Forte (Mike Martz). As mentioned on this week's CrapTastiCast
, Freddie is by far the best RB this team has had since Thurman, and the organization needs to lock him up NOW! If the team makes the playoffs, hence lifting my ban of purchasing Bills merchandise, #22 is an easy purchase....after he extends his contract.
2. Marcell Dareus is going to be a beast for years to come. Yachtsman touched on this earlier
in the week, so I won't exhaust it, but JESUS H. CHRIST did you see him move out there last Sunday? I don't give a shit if it was the Redskins or any other team, franchise players dominate bad teams. That's what he did, and I want to kiss him on the mouth. Picture that....go ahead, do it. You know you want to.
3. The collective of random players making big plays is mind blowing. Fitzy and Stevie Johnson have become quite the impressive combo, but how about Scott Chandler and his 6 Touchdowns? How did Chan and Buddy find this guy? CHANDLAARS!!!!
Throw in David Nelson, Naaman Roosevelt, George Wilson, Kirk Morrison, Bryan Scott, and I could keep going. Gotta love the Goonies.
4. The offensive line is the most ridiculously over-achieving group of players I have ever seen. Even with Demetrius Bell resting, the group has created a fortress of solitude around the Amish Rifle, the likes of which no one has seen in Buffalo since 1994.
Can you name all the starters? Here they are: Andy Levitre, Jim Richter, Mike Ludders
, Fred Dukes
, and a marble pillar. The more you know.
Now onto the Jets hate. Fuck 'em.
1. The fans (for the most part) are cut from the mold of satan's asshole. Besides a few close friends who know football, it is next to impossible to have intelligent conversations with these monsters. Every time I travel to the Meadowlands or watch football in New York, I get Johnny Pepperoni and big Sal telling me how great the Jets are, and how the Bills and everybody else in the NFL suck, despite them only knowing that Mark Sanchez is their QB, Rex Ryan is the coach, and bunch of black guys they would normally hate are the rest of the team. Yes, I'm calling many of them racist. Head to the Meadowlands, you'll see.
Remember how much these guys loved Eric Mangini? The Mangenius? Remember all of the shit talking these fuckheads did when he was the coach? Another rage storm approaching....
The worst part is that this fat fuck Rex Ryan has bumped up their sense of accomplishment. I don't mind fans being confident in their team, BUT ONLY IF THEY CAN BACK IT UP!!!! If you can't name the starting defense or even know the name of your coordinators, then get the fuck away from me and go back to watching Soprano's re-runs and talking about how you could beat up Ronnie from Jersey Shore. Uh oh.....RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE STOOOOOOOOOOOOOORM!!!!!!!!!
This Deeg interlude brought to you by a crying, steroid fueled d-bag
Alright, I"m better now. I swear. Deeeeeeeeeeeep breath, and here we go:
2. Darrelle Revis is so fucking good it makes me angry. I'm not sure how to justify this, but the guy is the game changing coverage corner that I have always wanted the Bills to find. Having him on the field gives the Jets an insane boost, no matter who they are playing. I WANT HIM ON MY TEAM GOD DAMMIT! Oh wait, we have Leodis. Joy.
3. Mark Sanchez is slightly better than Trent Dilfer. He is not a star QB. He is a good looking asshole who knows how and when to say the right things, but as a player he does "just enough". The reason that Baltimore won a Super Bowl in 2001 was their defense and running game, and that's how the Jets manage to succeed (although the running game has struggled the last couple of seasons). Trent Dilfer's job was to not screw up; same as the role Sanchez has taken. Sure, he has shown flashes of star power, but overall the guy is mediocre. This isn't a bad thing for the Jets, but the fans, media, and his teammates need to stop treating him like super star. He's no Browning Nagle.
4. I hate Rex Ryan. I hate his fat face. I hate his dumb foot fetish. I hate his loudmouth predictions that nobody holds him accountable for. I hate his doofy smile. I hate his brother. I hate the fact he gave up on his team and talked shit about them
, yet when THEY turned it around, he took all of the credit. I hate that he is a known horse rapist. I hate that he laughed when Steve Jobs passed away. I hate that he drinks Cosmopolitans. I hate that he runs a dog fighting ring. And finally, I hate that he never even considered coaching the Bills.
But that no longer matters because Chan is the man!
Until a blowout loss tomorrow, and then of course I move to Canada and start my new Toronto sports themed blog, Dear Lord, what aboot us, eh?
(Or enter your own bad Canadian joke here)
I guess this is our week two preview of the 2011 Buffalo Bills season, but I'm not sure how much of a real preview it is. If you want your typical pre-game rundown, you can go to forty other Bills sites to get all your links to the same articles and posts about injuries and all that other bullshit. I could care less.
First things first. Everybody needs to calm the fuck down. I was just as excited as anybody else to see the madness that occurred last week, and I'd be a damn liar if I said that it had no effect on my outlook this week, but the Bills are a team that is still a looooooong ways away from making a major impact. I'm not trying to be a purveyor of doom, in fact, I pray to God that I'm wrong and this team cruises to a 11 - 5 season and a wild card birth. But this is still the same exact team that the majority of knowledgeable fans were predicting to go anywhere from 5 - 11 to 8 - 8 only a week ago. This team still has major issues, so sit back, take a deep breath, and R-E-L-A-X.
Are they better than we thought they were? Fuck to the yes. Am I telling you not to enjoy the game Sunday and be feel hopeless? No sir. All I am saying is stop with all this "Chan is taking us to the promise land" Bullshit, or even better, let's lock up Fitzpatrick to a long term deal. I love Fitzy. He is a goddamn gunslinger. He has a beard that makes Brian Wilson jealous (not the beach boy, Mom). He has maybe the greatest nickname in the NFL, "The Amish Rifle". However, Fitz has been anything but consistent in his career. Take a look at his stats from last season.
Take a look at week 3 and 4. Memorable games where Fitz looked like the man even despite the loss, right? Now look at week 5 and 6, where his numbers dip, and if you remember correctly, the offense was giving fans seizures of frustration with their inability to move the ball. Now remember back to the shellacking they gave Cincy in week 10. The following three weeks, Fitzpatrick was less than impressive. Sure, Buffalo almost won the Pittsburgh game, but the Amish Rifle also made some key mistakes that could have helped Buffalo avoid overtime, and thus the loss. Also keep in mind how awful he looked in week 15 against New England. Still has to face them twice this year.
My point, if not already painfully obvious, is that I think everyone needs to wait a few weeks before we start anointing this guy the next Jim Kelly. As fans, we jumped the gun with Flutie and Johnson. We jumped the gun with Bledsoe. And disgustingly, we jumped the gun with Trent Edwards. Let's all agree to just keep our feet on the ground for a few weeks before we go make some rash decision like trading Philip Rivers straight up for Fitzy in fantasy football, or maybe buying that $300 authentic game-day jersey from the Bills store. Baby steps people, baby steps.
This all brings me to my next point. IF this team continues to over-achieve and win big games, they are doing so IN SPITE of Ralph Wilson, not because of him. When he tries to take credit for any success this team might have this season, fans should drive to his office at One Bills Drive and collectively give him the finger....then drive home and mail him a box of human feces. Take a look at this gem he dropped on the Buffalo News yesterday
:"Buddy and Chan have done a fabulous job in identifying players that have been cut by other teams and working with them," he said. "They're doing a heckuva job. I'll tell you, we wouldn't be where we're at today if we had Buddy 10 years ago."
No shit, Ralph, you senile son-of-a-bitch. Maybe if you had any idea how a professional sports team is run we wouldn't be in this situation. GGGGRRRRRRRAAAAAARRRRR! Every time I read that quote I feel like smashing my head through a brick wall. I need scotch, hold on.......
Back. Now that I'm alcohol infused, I will try to get to the positive crap. After all, we are 1 - 0 and just got done beating a division winner 41 - 7. Not too shabby, and better than any realistic fan could have hoped for. Last week as the DGWU crew gathered in Yachtsman's man-cave, we watched in complete shock as this team looked like the real deal. On several occasions, captain naysayer himself repeated the lines "I don't like this. I'm not supposed to be this happy on Sundays".
The best thing to come out of the whole game was the sheer effort the entire team put forth. You could see how hard the team was playing on every down. That hasn't been present on a Bills team in years. Dicky J's lackadaisical attitude screwed this team up big time, but now they finally appear to be moving on. Marcell "Biggie Smalls" Dareus and Kyle "random white rapper name" Williams were pushing lineman all over the field, Freddie Jackson tore up the ground like a starting RB should, and the receiving corp, oooooooooh the receiving corp! Fuck Lee Evans. Stevie Johnson is a stud, plain and simple. That is one comment I will not hold back on after that win. Lock that that kid up now. David Nelson is a mini-stud. The 6'5" bad-ass made some fantastic catches and should easily fill my prediction of over 50 catches and 6 TD's
. Finally, Scott Chandler is everything I have hoped and dream of since Pete Metzelaars left, and I'm begging for big things from the waiver wire pick-up. Again, not getting too excited. everybody remember Mark Campbell's big, three touchdown game?
This week's home opener should be interesting. Saying that Oakland is a much better team than Kansas City defensively is an understatement. Richard Seymour and Matt Shaughnessy are beasts off the line, and despite no Asomugha this season, veterans Chris Johnson and Michael Huff (if he plays) force QB's to take the secondary seriously.
On offense, Jason Campbell is nothing more than serviceable, but worse QB's have smoked our Bills before. It does help that top threat, Jacoby Ford is ruled out for the game. At least I think he is. I'm too lazy too check. The real problem will come from Darren McFadden and Michael BUSH BUSH BUSH! (Disclaimer: you will only get that last joke if you attended Binghamton University from 1999-2003. So that means maybe three of you) Both players could give the defense fits. Keep in mind that Buffalo's offense last week allowed their own defense to face mostly pass plays due to K.C. being so far behind. Depsite that, Jamaal Charles still gained 56 yards on 10 carries. 5.6 per carry from the Raiders duo would spell doom for Buffalo. Best to avoid it and let Chris Kelsay take one for the team on the first play from scrimmage, and take a knee shot on McFadden. I'm O.K. with it if you are. Actually, I'm O.K. with it no matter what you think. I also asked the rest of the partners at DGWU for some pre-game comments. At the time I was ready to post, I only received a response from the Barrister. Surprise. The guy who has written our last three posts comes through again. Many similar, yet superiorly written thoughts follow:"Scizz wants a pregame comment from the Barrister, huh? Jesus, dude, how lazy can you get? And if you cite work, I swear I will smack you right in that pretty face of yours.
Moving on, as I must, I think this Bills game will come down to whether the Raiders run defense can be contained or, more to the point, whether the Raiders actually stick with it enough to give a talent like McFadden a chance to get going. Maybe the Bills run D is actually worlds better, but we don't know, because KC basically abandoned it (though, when you're down 20 in the 2nd quarter, you kind of have a knife to your throat....or a tomahawk...fucking racist fucking team name...eat a dick Kansas. And you too, Missouri). Oakland's O-Line is much better than the Chiefs, and if they start running all over the Bills, this could be a shit-show of an afternoon. However, I think its pretty clear that the Bills offense is clicking in a big way, and I expect that it will be able to put enough points up on the board to give the team a chance to win. If those points go up early, the main test for the Raiders is going to be whether they stick with the running game enough to hurt the Bills, or whether they start relying on Jason Campbell's arm. If they choose the Campbell option, Bills win. If they choose the running option, we'll see what kind of impact Dareus and Barnett actually have on this team.
And finally, it should be noted that last time I went to McFadden's for a Bills game, I had seventeen beers and five plates of wings. I was 25 years old. Sunday is going to be an exploration in how badly I've aged. Can't wait."
Aw, he thinks I'm pretty! On to my prediction for this week: 14 beers, 4 shots, 2 lbs of wings, and a hangover at 9pm. I don't make football predictions, but I usually have a pretty good handle on how drunk I'll get. Which reminds me! On Sunday, the DGWU crew will be recording episode 15 of the CrapTastiCast from McFadden's Saloon
on 42nd and 2nd in NYC. Matt Kabel of the NYC Bills backers
is an old friend, and has been awesome in making this happen. Get ready for another on location podcast! If you live in the tri-state area, we fully expect you to stop by and say hello. Don't look Yachter in the eyes though. He will either bite, scream obscenities at you, or both. And definitely DO NOT mention if you are from Rochester. Bottles will be thrown.
The recording will start around 11am for pre-game and we will be staying after to watch the game, and perhaps get some fan reactions. We will be the old guys in the front of the bar staring awkwardly at younger women while getting aggressively intoxicated.
I leave you with one of my favorite Rap Groups of my college years, The Beatnuts. Enjoy the entire video, however skip to the 2:32 mark to see my man Greg Nice dancing the same exact way I fully expect the Barrister to be dancing by halftime. That right there would be worth the price of admission.
Marcell love you long time
Apologies. The last time I posted was the August 12th preview of our insane road trip to Watkins Glen. Since then I have spent little to no time in my actual apartment. After retuning from the Glen, I spent a full day editing Ep. 14 of the CrapTastiCast
and then left for six beautiful days (and one shitty one) in the Dominican Republic. That was awesome and much needed.
While I was gone, the Barrister not only won a trial, but kept this site up and running, so a huge thanks goes out to him. (Which by the way, where the fuck are Yachtsman and Apologist? Do they even write for this site anymore??) The plan was to return and start throwing up some posts about football, hockey, NASCAR, and even soccer. Hit the ground running if you will. But due to some bitch named Irene, the plan changed. You see, while I was in D.R., Irene started to develop in the Atlantic and on August 22nd she hit the resort I was staying at. It was more of a grazing rather than a direct hit so I'm not going to whine about it. The only inconveniences were having to stay in my room all day drinking beer and then a delayed flight the following day. No big deal. However, after putzing around Wednesday and Thursday by watching Dr. Who and catching up on laundry, I was forced to realize that the SLORE Irene had followed me back to the mainland. Ugh.
So began my adventures this weekend of preparing my apartment for the SAME hurricane and heading out to the girlfriend's parents to take up shelter. Upon returning last night, this is what my street corners looked like:
Fun times. Luckily there was minimal damage to the apartment building and everything is fine. So here I am Monday morning, one week left in my summer vacation and I have not posted any ramblings or rants in over two weeks. Brace yourselves for this statement.
I'm excited about football starting. There I said it. I know the rest of the crew is going to give me shit for this but I can't help it. I talked college and pro football all weekend with my girlfriend's family and now I am legitimately excited about football coming back. I just love the sport too much to not show any emotion before opening kick-off. It's like a drug that was introduced to me at a young age, and although the new version of it is watered-down and leaves me feeling strung out, I just can't help myself in the long run. I need it. But let me make one thing clear; I'm excited about FOOTBALL, not necessarily the terrible coverage I will have to endure and I am certainly not getting over-excited about....
The Buffalo Bills. Oh lord the Buffalo Bills. Pre-season has shown exactly what I expected to see from this team. The offensive line is arguably one of the worst in the NFL. The run defensive is equally as embarrassing (ran over by Chicago and Jax who rested their starters). The offense that looks the exact same as last season; at times electrifying and dominant, and at other times anemic and unable to accomplish the simplest goals. Preparing my best Denny Green impersonation aaaaaaaaaand, THEY ARE WHO I THOUGHT THEY WERE!!!! Scene.
Yet as angry as I am about Ralph still owning this team, the pathetic run-defense, and the consistently neglected O-line, I will take this time to mention THREE positives I have taken from the team thus far. I am reeeeeeeeeeally trying here people.
1. Marcell Dareus is a beast and we have a pass rush. Dear lord do we have a pass rush. I'm not getting my hopes up too much, but the worst thing about watching the Bills of the last several seasons has been QB's sitting in the pocket, taking their time to pick our secondary apart. Dareus has been pushing linemen out of his way, Merriman looks to be all roided up again (metaphorically of course - *loosens collar*), and young players like Antonio Coleman and Alex Carrington have the potential to be major factors. On top of it, throw in the Kyle Williams extension and I am loving what I am seeing out of this group. Now if we can only find a way to implicate Chris Kelsay in an illegal cock-fighting ring.
2. Fred Jackson is the starter. Bottom line. Thank God Chan didn't screw that situation up anymore than he already did. Freddie has been one of the lone bright spots on this team the last few seasons and he could be an All-Pro on a team that used him correctly. If I was still purchasing Bills Gear, his jersey would be an easy choice. The whole situation should have never happened and I totally understand that they need to give C.J. Spiller more confidence, but c'mon! Jackson has shown time and time again
that he deserves to be the starter on the squad, so let's keep it that way.
3. Marcus Easley? Really? Wow. I know it was only one game but he looked great. Running strong routes, moving DB's out of his way, and even throwing a key block on a big Freddie Jackson run. He looked exactly like what James Hardy was supposed to. Then again, I don't believe Easley ever pulled a gun on his father.
If you listen to the CrapTastiCast then you know my love for David Nelson, but maybe he needs to stay as a #3 or #4 if Easley can show some consistency. Fingers crossed, but not holding my breath. And for the love of God don't start with the "Marcus makes it look Easley" bullshit. He hasn't actually accomplished fuck-sake yet. Relax Berman-ites
There you have it, a quick and mostly positive look at the 2011 Buffalo Bills. A first here on this site. I am so proud of myself....or is that shame? I can't tell yet but I'll get back to you. I also may have written this only because I am fearing for my life from the Bills Mafia. Although I have a feeling that if they attempted to carry out a "hit" it would just involve a teenage girl yelling at me and saying I support Cancer. But more on them another time....
I shall battle Irene with Dark 'n' Stormies. You all should, too.
It's been quiet here of late. The Scizz, typically dependable for frequent musings on the trashy side of sports and entertainment, was on vacation last week and into this one. He's truly blessed with good luck, as he'll get the chance to be hit by Irene twice as a result of these travels. Good job, buddy. Serves you right for your hiatus.
I, too, have been quiet, as I was forced into submission - finally - by the needs of my first trial this past week. I had the urge to write Tuesday night, inspired by the bizarre events of that afternoon... dramatically giving my closing argument only to feel the earth shake below us minutes later, leaving me with a lingering sense of wonder at how we, as people, choose to live our lives when confronted with a daily threat of diaster - both by acts of man and God (if you believe in that sort of thing...which I do sometimes, depening on the day). Without going into the entirety of those thoughts I was having after the quake while waiting for the jury to render its verdict, I do think it bears mentioning that it is truly something special that we so routinely choose to seek out shared moments of joy and hope through sport, even when a life of self-preservation above all else might be the smarter move. Smart we are not, but committed to seeking joy we always are.
In any event, the trial is now over and, victory in hand, I have opted to take today off and be productive with non-work-related things, including ending DGWU's lull in content. And, as New York City and the Atlantic Coast prepare for what may be one of the worst storms to hit this area in the past 50 years, Mother Nature provides a suitable theme to at least focus some of the thoughts going through my head as we enter the weekend.
Of course, I'll be talking about our Buffalo Bills.
I start with the news about Freddie Jackson. CHAN! BUDDY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GUYS DOING?? I mean, Jesus H. Christ, I could not be more confused about the decisions coming out of the Buffalo Bills management and coaching staff these days. The season hasn't even started - a season no one expects to be successful anyway - and Chan, et al. have already gotten a full roster and full fanbase scratching their heads or worse. Reports this week that Freddie is uphappy and uncertain about his role, about his desire for a trade. Un-fucking-real.
“I feel like a No. 1 back, and I should be treated like one. As far as what’s going on, you would have to ask them. I’m going to come out here and compete. I feel like I have been competing. I feel like I have done everything I can. It’s been like that for two or three years, and nothing has changed.”
Freddie, you're right. Nothing has changed. Same old hapless Bills. Why would any of us excpect talent and productivity to be fairly and objectively evaluated? (Though, to be fair, Freddie's a #1 back on a shit football team. He's being treated like a #1 back on a shit football team, and that's part of the problem...but, I digress).
Listen, I get that CJ Spiller needs touches in preseason. In fact, I think it's completely appropriate that he gets most of the touches during preseason, because he needs some work. Everytime I see him run the ball, it's a disaster, and I figure it has to get better with work, right? But, with all that being the case, how is it that Chan hasn't made it abundantly clear to Freddie that he's the #1 RB? How is it that Tim Graham from the Buffalo News has heard that it's Spiller's job to lose? WTFFFFF. Even if CJ has a great preseason - which has already been shown not to be the case - the changing of the guard can't happen until he shows it during real games, and until that happens Freddie has to be your guy. He's been one of the only bright spots on this team over the past couple years, not to mention that he's a fan favorite and is one of the hardest working guys on the team. He has earned everything he's gotten in the league including the respect of everyone in that locker room - I mean, hell, I feel like I'm in crazy town that I even have to write this. Think back to those off-season, player-run workouts. Fredie was there, CJ was not. THAT MATTERS. If CJ is the future, fine, no argument. But why put the cart before the horse? Why not, at a mimimum, promise Freddie equal touches going into the season, as so many teams are successfully using multiple backs on individual Sundays these days?
This is turning into a serious morale issue, and it just shouldn't be. The only thing the Bills ever have to bank on is that they're underdogs who, despite being so overmatched in talent and skill, want it more than their opponent. With these reports coming out of camp, it looks like Chan might be losing that x-factor as well.
Contibuting to this is the fact that it comes on the heels of Lee Evans's trade to the Ravens. Honestly, I didn't mind this deal when it came down a couple weeks ago - Evans was barely productive last year and, while he was an asset in terms of drawing double coverage, I wanted to believe that this reason was not enough to keep him. However, after seeing the shit with Freddie this week, and after seeing Evans tear up the secondary in the Ravens' latest preseason game, my gut is telling me that Evans wasn't useless, he just wasn't being used. An under-utilized talent on the field, probably due in large part to the chemistry that Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson had developed in their second team roles on the practice squad, it may soon become apparent that the issue with Evans was not his waning effecitiveness on the field, but the Bills' waning effectiveness in getting him the goddamn ball. If Evans has a decent year - 10 touchdowns, say - it will prove what the rest of the league knows about Buffalo...that this Bills team is an embarassment. And, as soon as that happens, the players in the locker room will start to feel it, too. What we all want to be a two or three year project will get extended yet again, and we may not see a playoff team for five years or more.
Like many Bills fans, I was really looking forward to this season. I liked what Chan Gailey did last year, and I thought the team had a pretty good draft. Things were looking up. These days, though, I'm yearning for those days of locked out football when we didn't have to dread another season of embarassment for our team, our fanbase and our City.
Let's Go Buffalo?
The ScizzThe Buffalo Bills lost last night, 17 - 6 to the Detroit Lions,
in a game that best can be describe as "slightly more exciting than watching paint dry".
The Bills rested all of their defensive starters, and most of their offensive starters against an equally weak set of starters from the Lions.
I won't jump into this much because, well, let's be honest, the game was pretty much in place to determine who would get cut and who wouldn't, but here are some quick thoughts:
The AP is reporting that the extension the Bills and Fred Jackson
agreed to today is for the next four years
. The exact dollars still haven't leaked yet, but as long as it's not too much, it's a smart move by a team that doesn't make many of those.
Originally the Bills had offered Jackson a joke of a one-year deal at $460,000. Granted Jackson started on the practice squad, but over his brief professional career, he has averaged 4.6 yards a carry and 8.6 a catch. It'll be very interesting to see how he responds to the opportunity he'll have in the first three weeks of the season.
Assuming Marshawn is set and ready to go in Week 4 (not to mention rested), the Bills figure to have a solid rushing attack in Lynch, Jackson and Rhodes.
With Jackson signed and happy, this is the part where you start to tell yourself the Bills could threaten for a playoff spot if all the right pieces fall into place on offense. Go ahead. Let it happen...