Buffalo Bill's Talk
Football is around the corner and hope springs eternal, except here. I am as realistic as they come about the Buffalo Bills. This season, I see a valiant run at the playoffs, a few playoff wins and a superbowl appearance. (Note my modesty and realism here-I did not say they would win.)
Offense-wise: It is clear that this is a much improved unit. J P Losman has emerged as a very good quarterback. This year will show if he'll attain elite status. Many think he can. He was touted by some as the best quarterback of the 4 drafted in the first round 3/4 yrs ago which included Roethlisberger. I don't know about that , but this is a very bright spot for the Bills.
Lee Evans is the new star wideout and is unstoppable. The question is the number 2 and 3. This is where it gets interesting. Peerless Price may still have a 700 yard season in him, it remains to be seen. J P has gotten more comfortable with him, so we can look for good things. Josh Reed the 7 yearish veteran is more of a blocker/ first down machine. He is a great utility player to have. But the real revelation has been Roscoe Parish, the little guy drafted out of Miami last year. He was primarily a return specialist last year and was thought unlikely to make the receiving corps this year due to his small frame. However, he has shown himself unstoppable and is capapble of 1000 yrd season. I don' think he is the 100 catch type player, because he will wear down. The thing with him is if he is kept in motion he cannot be jammed at the line of scrimmage and will get huge chunks of yardage.
The TEs are also looking decent. We drafted a Kevin Everet from Miami about three years ago who is only now showing flashes of his vertical threat ability. The Bills will be keeping 4 TEs and no H-back. Two of the TEs will double as H Backs and the hope is that the versatility of the TE will cause formation problems. The bottom line is that they still have to catch and block. It's as simple as that.
O Line--it is actually going to be very, very good. Why? significant upgrade thru free agency and more maturity.
Defense--Now this is the yellow flag on this team. No one knows what we'll get. The D-Line will get sacks, we have two sack specialists. However, Schoebel and Kelsay are not known to get sacks at critical junctures in games. Besides they are not constant pressure guys who force QBs to thrown interceptions. The D Line is smallish, so it is very hard to say what we'll get. The Bills rotate their DLine to keep them fresh. Everything hinges on John McCargo, who was the Bills 2nd first round pick. If the McCargo and Kyle Williams, our 5th rounder last year, can show some run stopping acumen, things could look up.
Linebackers--This unit will be very good.
Defensive Backs--The real problem. Besides our two young star safeties, we really don't know what we'll get. We lost Nate Clements to San Fransisco. Replacing him will be impossible. However, you can game plan to cover DB weaknesses.
Overall, I think the Defense will rank between 15-20. So if the offense can be a top 10 offense, we'll be in good shape. If the offense can average 25 points again and defense average giving up 20, we're good.
The AFC East is tough this year and the Bills have gotten no national respect. We could be a sleeper team that sneaks up on everyone. We'll see.