Archive for the ‘Buffalo Bills’ Category

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The expectations for E.J. Manuel are soaring. He’s on the verge of leading the Buffalo Bills to a 2-1 record that competes with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East, and he’s doing it with great efficiency. A three-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 95.9 passer rating make Manuel two of the league’s best by those metrics. But it’s important not to forget that he’s still a rookie despite his early success.

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In a stadium filled with natural light and designed shade all across the 30-yard line, the Buffalo Bills’ defense lines up in a three-man front on the 20-yard line for what is the first play of their first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. This is what’s expected to be the Bills’ base line this season, but as any American football fanatic knows, it only goes as far as its name suggests: the first level of a defense. There’s always more.

When the first play is over, a five-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Luck to an out-cutting Reggie Wayne, the second begins at the 25-yard line and the defense lines up again. Unsurprisingly, it’s a different look. A four man front. This is Mike Pettine’s defense: versatile and multiple.

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If you take C.J. Spiller with your first overall pick in a draft this year, you’re either crazy, or you’re a pioneer.

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2013 NFL DraftThe NFL Draft has its good moments. Kids who’ve worked incredibly hard for free in the gulag known as the NCAA are rewarded with guaranteed money and a chance to make a good living as a professional football player.  Kids who’ve overcome family issues and “you’re too small!” epithets from bitter coaches can celebrate making it in front of the world. The night is for them.

For fans of certain teams, the draft is an excuse to lose it over players they’ve seen on Youtube a couple times. All caps non sequitur on twitter, angry texts to confused friends who don’t follow the NFL, a 1,000 word screed on a message board frequented by 13% of Western New York’s prison population — the gamut of negativity. As E.J. Manuel emotionally talked about his mom’s battle with cancer, I was one of those guys. The NFL Draft has its terrible moments. Mainly because of people like me. And this guy. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Bills are connected to pretty much every quarterback in this draft. Expect for, of course, the supposed best quarterback in this draft. Don’t worry, we still love you Geno.

Along with the Jets and their two picks, the Bills will be one of the most intriguing teams tonight, mostly because if both of those teams pass on our boy Geno Smith, he’ll fall. And then he’ll fall some more. He could then have to wait for a team (likely the Jets or Bills, again) to trade back into the round, and take him somewhere in the vicinity of 25th overall.

If their reported draft board means anything (and as we all know, reported draft boards mean EVERYTHING eight hours before the first round), the Bills could be set to do their part and start Smith’s fall. But surprisingly, they won’t be doing it by taking a quarterback.

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Matt Barkley to the Bills?

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There are a few maybes and could haves that surround Matt Barkley. Most notably, this one: had he declared for the draft last year and both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III didn’t exist, he could have been the first overall pick. Therefore, since Luck and RG3 are real people, there was a damn good chance that he would have been a top 10 pick last spring, or at the very least top 15.

Barkley may have even changed the NFL and our universe forever, because at No. 12 the Seahawks would have been tempted to take him in the first round, and the Russell Wilson in Seattle show would have then just been something for our imaginations. I can’t live in that world.

Now, Barkley has fallen due to arm strength that’s good and sufficient, yet far from great. Although there’s still a faint chance his name will be called tomorrow night, the far more likely outcome for him is being a second-round pick Friday, which is just fine. Some lucky head coach and general manager will get a quarterback with a bright future who just needs a bit of development and seasoning, and he’s not quite ready to start right away. So ideally, a bridge QB will be in place until Barkley is ready.

The Buffalo Bills have that in Kevin Kolb, which is why they’re continuing an effort to confuse the hell out of us. They want Barkley.

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Draft Preview: 8. Buffalo Bills

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A year ago in this exact same space during this exact same exercise with Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings, I wrote about the the value of selecting a player at a certain position in the draft, and the role that value plays in determining whose name gets called, and when.

Now that concept of value will still highly influence the Bills’ draft plans, and it’s why they likely won’t be drafting a quarterback in the first round unless he’s named Geno Smith. Or maybe even if his name is Geno Smith.

The Bills are on the clock with the eighth overall pick, and with his scattered projections, there’s a chance — albeit maybe a slim one — that Smith will still be available. But as a likely top 10 pick, is he really that far ahead of, say, Ryan Nassib and E.J. Manuel, who will be taken at the very minimum about 20 picks later, and they could fall into the second round?

Maybe, but probably not, and that’s one element that could lead to the Bills passing on Smith, even if he falls. This year in the 2013 edition of our Bills draft prognosticating, Galliford thinks Nassib should be Buddy Nix’s primary target.

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