Thursday, July 29, 2010

Up To Speed- Buffalo Bills


At the dawn of the 2009 season, there was an alarming surge of non-boringness tainting the most boring franchise in the NFL. Canada's Team made a big off-season signing, bringing in VH1 star Terrell Owens, and had the Patriots taking a standing 8 count in the Monday Night opener before a late game fold job let that one slip away. They followed that up by fulfilling the obligation of slapping the Bucs silly.

Then it dawned on opposing offensive coordinators that the against the run, the Bills defense looked like a semi-comatose water buffalo that was finally succumbing to the venom of a kimono dragon a week after being bit. The Bills in consecutive weeks then gave up 222 rushing yards against the Saints, 250 against the Dolphins, 171 against the Browns?!?, 318 against the Jets, and well, it goes on like this. Dick Jauron was canned, former Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Fewell took over, and things didn't get any better. Add to this that the Bills had Ryan Fitzpatrick playing QB, and TO auditioning for a spinoff series, a remake of "The Invisible Man", and you had a really, really shitty season in Buffalo/Toronto.

The Bills have placed the franchise in the hands of 70 year old whiz kid Buddy Nix and his fresh ideas. Nix is the new GM, with his main resume builder being he was assistant to AJ Smith in San Diego for much of the last decade. In Buffalo this qualifies as a youth movement, compared to when they made 80 year old Marv Levy the GM a couple of years ago.

Nix will oversee a new coaching staff, led by Chan Gailey. Out of all the coaches the Dallas Cowboys have had in their illustrious history, Gailey is one of them, ranking somwhere adjacent to Dave Campo. Gailey will handle the offense, and is faced with the twin challenges of making sure the Bills top pick CJ Spiller does not become a Darren McFadden/Reggie Bush style pro flameout, and the more insurmountable task of being a viable NFL offense with Fitzpatrick as quarterback. With TO gone, James Hardy, who has 10 catches in his 2 year NFL career, is listed as the #2 wideout. My God.

New defensive coordinator George Edwards is bringing the 3-4 defense with him from Miami. This defense, is of course, all wrong for the personnel the Bills have, but what the hell, as long as it gives up less than 250 rushing yards a game it can be considered an improvement.

With a team like this, you have to look at their schedule and see if there are any games they can possibly win. I do see a few. Home games against Jacksonville, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, are all, in theory, winnable. Let's go ahead and say the Bills win half of those, and finish 2-14.

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