by Pat Freeman
The Buffalo Bills season opener is upon us, and it marks the beginning of one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory. This year marks the first full year of Kim and Terry Pegula as new owners of the Buffalo Bills. Their purchase of the hometown team has brought back a sense of security that Western New York ’s favorite past time is here to stay. This year also mark’s the beginning of the Rex Ryan coaching era as he replaced embattled head coach Doug Marrone. Our new head coach has already distinguished himself by hiring a large, but experienced staff which is very different from his predecessor. Doug Marrone ‘s staff was made up of mostly neophyte NFL coaches with some college experience. This is not the case with head coach Rex Ryan who brought over many of his tenured coaches from the New York Jets.
The Bills open their season at home against the Indianapolis Colts on September 13th at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This initial test of the year brings in one of the best young quarterback’s around Andrew Luck who has some well proven weapons in TY Hilton, Andre Johnson , and new running back veteran Frank Gore. They will face one of the best defenses in the NFL from Buffalo , but they will be without All Pro Defensive Tackle Marcel Dareus who is serving a one game suspension. The player that will have to step up in his absence is Corbin Bryant who by the way has had one of his best training camps to date. Our defensive backs will be heavily tested especially rookie cornerback Ronald Darby who at times struggled during the preseason.
On the offensive side of the ball we have a new starting quarterback in Tyrod Taylor who was signed during the off season from the Baltimore Ravens. This 4th year pro prepares to start his first regular season game and could be deemed as one of the best pure athletes in the NFL. What will presently surprise many of you will be the accuracy of his passes, and a keen knowledge of knowing when to use his legs wisely. During the beginning of the week a false rumor was coming out that he ordered a diamond studded mouth guard for his first start. My honest opinion on this false rumor is that it was fueled by the uneasiness of having a quarterback of color in the NFL. You would think with so many of them out there that have been successful that this type of stereotypical rumor would not come out in 2015. Well sorry there are still many among us that are just having a hard time of identifying with the hip hop generation athlete, and often times embrace ignorant innuendo without valid sources.
This is especially true with the popular media that still seems to pounce on subjects publicly without a basis for making such accusations. We witnessed this also when Fred Jackson was released, and a media person stated from so called reliable sources that General Manager Doug Whaley went rogue, and just released Fred Jackson. The nature of the structure of the NFL in most cases absolutely makes such a statement impossible to have occurred. The head coach chooses the 53 man roster, and game day along with his coaching staff. It’s obvious this is not the way the Buffalo Bills are set up because both the GM, and head coach ultimately report directly to Terry Pegula. So what was reported was in no doubt another instance of irresponsible journalism that helped to ignite an already difficult decision in releasing one of your more popular players in recent history.
In closing my prediction for the first game is Buffalo Bills 31 –Indianapolis Colts 17.
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