Thursday, February 18, 2010

AFC EAST Special Report - What Is Buffalo Thinking?

You know how it is.  Everyone has that cousin, or mutual acquaintance of a friend of a friend, who just always seems to be in trouble or has problems they never seem to be able to pull themselves out of.  In my family there are at least 2 dozen cousins, and only about 3 of us have never been to jail or in a serious crash or in Juvie or in some kind of 'program'.  Hell, I even have a cousin who's a correctional officer who's dating one of the prisoners!  I can't make that stuff up.  Of the several hundred people who read this Blog every day, I'd be willing to bet at least 10% of them are currently in trouble with the law or are constantly having problems paying their bills.  It happens.  Everyone takes their eyes off the road from time to time and hits a speed bump.  And at that point, it's up to the family, friends, and co-workers to help guide that person back onto the road.

Now, I'm in no way suggesting that the Buffalo Bills (yes this is an article about Buffalo, hence the title) are our friends or co-workers, but they are the neighbors who you constantly complain about behind closed doors, but ultimately you don't want them to stop mowing the lawn or park the lime green pinto on the lawn.  

The AFC East is the Miami Dolphins' neighborhood.  The Patriots are the snobby folk who live in the middle of the cul-de-sac and have the pool/jacuzzi combo and have the landscapers out twice a week.  The Jets are the loud, obnoxious party crowd who are constantly upgrading their subwoofers and squealing their tires.  The Dolphins are the laid back folk who have been re-tiling the roof for 2 years, with a cooler on the wrap-around porch.  The most noise they make is the occasional hammering and the once a month debris removal truck.  And then there's Buffalo.  Buffalo is the neighbor who's constantly looking through the blinds in case they have to bolt and move on at a moment's notice.  They don't bother with the grass, and eventually cover it up with artificial lawn.  Instead of investing in a long-term fix for the broken back door, they board it up with plywood.  They don't pay for cable, but spend $250 on cat food every month.

The Bills had some serious woes on their Offensive Line at this point last year.  Rather than try to develop a line that included some of the good ingredients they had in stock, they decided to just replace everyone, including their best player, Jason Peters.  They then drafted Eric Wood and Andy Levitre.  They added a couple of free agents, including aging vet and constant distraction, Terrell Owens.  They had a couple of head coaches, now on their 3rd in a year, and they had more injuries than can be counted on all your fingers and toes.  On top of these most recent issues, they have not been able to replace a head coach who retired over a decade ago.  They have drafted only two quarterbacks in the 1st round in the last 40 years.  The first was Jim Kelly in 1983.  The second was in 2004 and his name was JP Losman. 

This is a team that doesn't make good decisions, at least they haven't since the glory days of the mid 90s when we as Dolfans suspended our collective hatred of the Jets and focused all our distaste on the Buffalo Bills.  Are they moving to Canada?  Are they looking for a franchise QB (last I heard they were thinking of trading for Donovan McNabb who will be 34 this season) or did they have a plan to replace Peters?  They got 3 draft picks for him and did not pick up a single starting-caliber tackle after the trade or in the draft.  They drafted 2 cornerbacks and 2 safeties, a 3-4 rush linebacker (despite playing a 4-3) and a tight-end in addition to two interior linemen.  Ironically, they traded 2 draft picks to Dallas in order to draft Levitre, and Dallas used one of the two to draft a Tackle.

Buffalo also hired from Dolphin linebacker coach, George Edwards, and he immediately announced that Buffalo was switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme.  Then he looked at the roster and immediately backtracked.  As it stands now, Buffalo is planning on using a hybrid 4-3 with some standing up DEs sprinkled in, at least until they have the personnel to do a more traditional 3-4.

There's been a lot of back-tracking, shaky decisions, and bad luck around this team recently.  Not much one can do about the luck, but maybe getting a new training staff is the best place to start.  And here's some advice for Chan Gailey and friends from his neighbors in the AFC East:
  1. When you don't have a replacement in place, you shouldn't trade the best player on the team away, especially if he is the only Pro-Bowler on the team.
  2. Don't draft 4 players in the secondary when you already have 3 or 4 starters.  Use those picks on hard to find positions, like Offensive Tackle, especially when you haven't followed suggestion # 1 above.
  3. If your team has a hole on the roster or on the staff, fill that hole with conviction.  Don't jump to get a stop-gap player when you could have the same hole again next year, or halfway through the season. 
  4. Don't make decisions that you may have to back out of.  Figure it all out before you make the call.
  5. Do not start the 2010 season with Edwards, Fitzpatrick or Brohm as your starter.  Or even McNabb.  Make a trade for a legitimate mid to late 20s QB who can start immediately and can manage the game.  You have too many things to coordinate and improve without having to worry about gunslinging your way through games.  Take a look at Jason Campbell, or wait until after the draft to see who may become available in trade.  Bottom line is you gotta spend the picks and money on QBs and Tackles, not on cornerbacks.
Now, I open up the forum for suggestions and criticisms for the Bills.  Whereas the Dolphins went 1-15 and have spent the past two years trying to rebuild and improve, the Bills seem unwilling to take the leap of faith, or worse yet, have put their faith in the wrong place.  This is easily where the Dolphins could have been had we not brought the Trifecta in when we did.  So, please, let them know what they should be doing, or what they shouldn't be doing, but by all means, don't go as far as to instruct them how to win the Division!


  1. The Knight who says NiFebruary 18, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    The Bills are not close and they have no direction. They should blow it up and gather as many picks as they can and rebuild.

    They can probably get one of the two QBs at #9. if those QBs are off the board by then, that's good for us. Add a couple of the OTs, Bryant and Spiller and there should be a top defender there for us.

  2. Despite all the talk
    Could never see McNab "the big game choke artist" ever leaving Philly

    And $250 is alot of money for cat food  LOL

  3. The Knight who says NiFebruary 18, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Tin, you should do a blog on why we should trade up and get Suh. He would probably be the most dynamic NT in the league in a few years. People say, oh he's not a NT. Really, why? Because's he's too strong, powerful and athletic to play NT? LOL

    The guy is a natural beast. He will force double-teams regardless of what position he plays. Who cares if it's at 2 or 3 technique DT or NT? He's the type of talent where you could move him around anyway. Let's say 15-20 snaps at NT, 4-5 in a 4 man line which everyone uses from time to time even if you play a 3-4, and 10-15 at DE. Who cares? If he creates havoc I don't care where it comes from. The guy is a beast.

    He would make our DL one of the best in the game. We'd have real good talent and depth on the DL and they would be very young.

    Do it!

  4. The Knight who says NiFebruary 18, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Rumors are the Eagles want to go with Kolb. McNabb is on the trading block and there is nothing he can do about it. They can get a good pick or a couple of valuable draft picks for McNabb. He still might have 4-5 good years left. Not saying he's going to Buffalo but he will be traded. Think AFC though. Oakland? LOL

  5. Tin, Buffalo is just taking Miami's advice by doubling down on positions.  They just don't have the right mindset in terms of rebuilding.  This year they'll take 2 tackles and 2 QBs and maybe even 2 punters, because they'll be punting the ball a LOT.

    I resemble your DOLPHIN neighbors,and 30 yrs ago resembled the the guy your cousins currently dating...

    Hope you'll still respond to my letters,(I was young and dumb),LOL!! Been good since,LOL!!!  GOFINS!!

  7. lol
    good for them, I've always wanted a team with two punters. Of course we
    laugh, but didn't the Colts *and *the Saints have 2 punters on their rosters
    for parts of the season and make it to the Superbowl? I keep telling you
    guys the key to success in this league is to have two punters....

  8. As long as you're reformed and pay taxes, 13kvFINS, I'll cut you some
    slack. For the record, I wasn't making an example of the inmate, but my
    cousin, who is clearly creating a 'conflict of interest'.

  9. Good idea. I'm not feeling very creative today though. Maybe it was having
    to wait 2 hours at the airport to pick someone up late last night. I'll
    have to wait until the juices are flowing because obviously to trade up to
    #1 you need to be creative.

  10. The Knight who says Ni!February 19, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    I've been working on deal. Not ready to release it though.  =-X

  11. You got my vote, Tin!

    And I think you're whistling in a graveyard by seeking sympathy for the Bills! Several people I know from Buffalo are rabid Bills fans and they told me that they thoroughly enjoyed beating up on the Dolphins in the Levy/Kelly days. I have no sympathy for the Bills, none at all! Good thing the Baloney Defense is gone, Edwards has no idea what defensive strategies and personnel groupings Nolan will deploy!

  12. "whistling in a graveyard" - never heard that one before....
    I was a Dolphin child of those days, and actually went to a couple of
    Bills/Dolphins game at Joe Robbie Stadium, and the Bills fans often
    outnumbered the Dolphins fans in the stadium. And they were horrible
    people. Kind of goes with the bad neighbour analogy.
    Good point about Edwards not being able to use our schemes against us. But
    the Bills' issues are very relevant to Miami. There's the issue of having
    to compete for 3-4 players, the harsh reminder of how you have to be smart,
    firm and aggressive in making personnel moves, and there's also the
    indication that we will now have to gameplan for a different sort of Buffalo
    team in 2010. The defense will be different, the gameplan will be
    different, the QB will be different (probably), basically the entire offense
    will be different too with at least 5 or 6 starters being different.
    This off-season really is a make or break deal for the Bills' season, and
    despite the fact we want to sweep our divisional opponents every year, we
    also don't want to play in a soft division. Doing so gets you no respect
    from the media, fewer televised games, and can lead to lower standards,
    which could hurt when you play against tougher competition.

  13. The Knight who says Ni!February 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    I would whistle in a graveyard, but it would be a very sad song in a minor key of course. LOL

  14. Wouldn't the whistling be drowned out by the organ grinding?
    The shotgun blasts directed at the zombies would also be hard to whistle

  15. If only my wife could understand how amusing I am, I would die a happy man!

    ...then you could whistle by my grave and I wouldn't mind! :-D

  16. The Knight who says Ni!February 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Tin, I've whistled many times while having my organ grinded. But I agree I can't whistle over the shotgun blasts. Then again just because you can't hear it doesn't mean that there isn't any whistling going on. Kind of like if a tree falls in the woods.

  17. The Knight who says Ni!February 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    We could always dig you up and give you a proper Indian burial and burn your remains, all along while whistling.  :-E

  18. I have been thinking of that move also. IMO he is the best player in the draft. Would we move up to #1 or #2. The Rams might have to take a QB, so it would cost us a little less (Picks and money) to wait and trade with the Lions.

  19. First of all, if a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to SEE it,
    does it really fall or gently lie down in a nice bed of dried leaves?

  20. We Have Playmakers???February 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    As for the Buffalo Bills I wouldn't change a damn thing.  Why would I want to fix them?  They're perfect the way the are--pathetic & incompetent.  After the way Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, & Co. broke my heart year after year I'm happy to see them flounder.  If they weren't so horribly organized & mismanaged we would have gone from first place to last place this year.  And as for the city they play in??? Well I'll take the high road & just say that I'm very happy that I don't live there. 

    I only wish that the Jets & the Patriots could be equally as irrelevant as the Bills.

  21. We Have Playmakers???February 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    BTW--Thanks for giving us all kinds of great insight into your family.  A cousin who is a corrections officer who is having an affair with an inmate???  That's pretty strange on a lot of levels (male/female, female/female, female/male, male/male???) but I wonder if the inmate is just taking advantage of your cousin just so he/she can get an extra dessert every night.  LOL!

    For the record, although I'm fortunate that I've never been to jail or had problems with the law, I haven't heard a lot of great things about inmates &/or corrections officers for that matter.

  22. The Knight who says Ni!February 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    So what you're saying is a tree makes their own bed?  ;)

  23. The Knight who says Ni!February 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM


    I also wanted to know the gender relationship between the officer and the inmate. Please do share?

  24. Ok are we having confession here or something?  I've never been arrested however I get pulled over for speeding more than the average person.  I think I have gotten more warnings than actual tickets. :*

    Sadly, I can't whistle, at least not the get a cab in New York kind.

    And if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, a man is still wrong! LOL

  25. Well since you're all so sexist, the cousin is female. There are such
    things as female correction officers AND inmates, although I suspect if it
    were a male C.O. and a female inmate, they wouldn't allow it.

  26. and then they lie in it...

  27. Damn, I'm wrong even when she didn't hear it!

  28. <p><span>Tin you must be bored writing about Buffalo in reference to your derelict cousins. I seem to remember that we got our asses spanked by Buffalo when we needed a win to get in the playoffs. It had to be all Joey Porter’s fault!</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>Speaking of Buffalo games during the 90’s… I know what you’re talking about; those fans were the most obnoxious, even worse than Jet fans if that seems possible. I guess losing to the Dolphins 20 consecutive times left them with a very bad taste in their mouths.</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>I was at a Buffalo Game at JRS, AFC championship game I think and we were losing and they Bills fans were just being unbearable. There were fights breaking out all over the stadium. I walked in to this bathroom and guys were lined up 10 deep when this Buffalo idiot starts yelling, “the Dolphins suck! The Dolphins suck!” Those people in that bathroom beat the living hell out of that guy. I was left to wonder what was going through that guy’s mind? Did he think he could beat up 100 people? </span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>Alcohol, making men stupid since 1200AD!</span></p>