by Pat Freeman
The regular season for our beloved hometown team is upon us again here in Western New York. Once again each fan base in the NFL finds themselves in the same position for just a few more days which is being undefeated. After the Thursday kick off game there will be at least one team with a blemish on their record.
Well it’s time to preview our Buffalo Bills with their new management, coaching staff, and a lot of new players on their roster.
Coaching- What I’ve seen from head coach Doug Marrone is very positive, but I will wait until the sixth game of the season to evaluate this staff. One thing that has to be noted there are many on this staff with very little NFL coaching experience. This point will become more a factor as we evaluate the season.
Offensive Line- This part of the team has been my major concern all off season with the Bills management failing to address this critical part of the team at all. Both Guards and Right Tackle positions are terrible period. Let me say this right now, Head Coach Doug Marrone knows that this is the Achilles heal of this football team this year. Cordy Glenn and Eric Wood are solid NFL performers, but after that it’s mediocrity with this group.
Defensive Line- This should be a group that dominates each and every opponent this year. On paper this is as good a collection of athletes of any team in the NFL. The Bills have put together a group that should make life miserable for their opponents this year. This group led by a group of sturdy veterans Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Alex Carrington, and Marcel Dareus. Please, no team in the league should be able to handle this group.
Linebackers- The Inside linebackers are the unproven commodity of this group, because of the lack of NFL playing experience but this group could surprise a lot of people if they stay healthy. Kiko Alonso has been an excellent performer all training camp.
The Outside backers led by Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes should bring a lot of pressure against opposing quarterbacks this year. Both of these players have been impressive so far this season during training camp, and pre-season.
Safety- This could be a position that we need to keep our eyes on but Aaron Williams, Denoris Searcy, Duke Williams, and Jarius Byrd could be a very impressive group by year’s end.
Cornerback- Well the problem here is quality proven depth. Outside of Stephon Gilmore who happens to be out for 6-8 weeks this position is going to be an issue. Leodis McKelvin playing to his capability could alleviate many of the questions surrounding this group but that remains to be seen.
Tight end.- This might become a surprise position of strength on this team with the addition of free agent rookie Chris Gragg. This young man might become one of the surprises in the NFL this year as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas. I like Chris Gragg keep your eyes on him as this season progresses.
Quarterback- This position depends on the maturity of EJ Manuel and how quickly he is able to lead this football team period.
In Closing, I left these two positions for last because it’s my belief they are by far some of the most exciting athletes in the NFL. The Bills possess top level quality at the running back, and wide receiver positions from the veteran leadership of Fred Jackson, and Stevie Johnson to the incredible world class speed of CJ Spiller, Marquise Goodwin, and TJ Graham. Then there is the poise of rookie Robert Wood this could be one of the best tandem of offensive weapons in the NFL.
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