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Thread: Great Blog Review By BillsFann: His Blueprint For The Offseason

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    deal Great Blog Review By BillsFann: His Blueprint For The Offseason

    Buffalo Bills

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    Some of you who look for quality discussions are already familiar with BillsFann and what he brings to the table. He is blogging now for BuffaloRumblings, and doing a great job. I wanted to bring this post here because I think it is an excellent starting point for discussing what will soon be another long off season "rebuild".

    Thanks to BillsFann for putting together a really nice summary.

    http://www.buffalorumblings.com/2012...anntastic-brop

    Fanntastic BROP

    By Fanntastic on Dec 29, 2:41p 5

    For this BROP, I’m going to do what A) I think is going to happen in the case of coaching, etc. and B) what I would think is an effective way to get out of the 2013 off-season with a Buffalo Bills team ready to compete game-in and game-out. Since I’m assuming there will be a coaching change, playoffs may not happen; however, I would assume this squad under new management and with a few more pieces could contend for at least into December with somewhere around 7-9 wins overall.


    Staff Changes
    For me, the stability will remain on the Front Office side. By keeping Buddy Nix and his people intact, their plan will now stay "on-track" with the assistance of fresher minds on the coaching side. To that end, Chan Gailey will be fired and replace with Mike Zimmer, Defensive Coordinator of the Bengals. I chose him over some of the other options because of the fact that he’s worked with all kinds of players, coaches and owners. His one issue has been that he’s too honest in interviews and frankly in Buffalo the Head Coach needs to be a straight shooter.

    Also, since he’s been on the tour and has been in the league so long, he has a lot of connections and knows exactly who he can get to come with him as offensive coordinator. I would assume he’d bring for the purposes of this posting his DB coach to be his Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator. Don’t panic – Hue Jackson is a fine offensive mind and has already in the past worked with young QBs, tutoring Joe Flacco his first two years in the league.

    On defense Zimmer is aggressive, knows how to fit personnel into 3-4 or 4-3, though he prefers the 4-3/46 model and as a Bengals coach has spent a long time being his own area scout for defensive players. Guys like Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins are Bengals because he looked at film and jumped on the table for them on draft day. Someone like that is a great get for the Buffalo Bills.

    Contract Work/Cuts

    If Coach Zimmer doesn’t like the guys on roster on the back end, they can always be cut in camp. Right now, getting to 90 on the roster that are capable of playing and are vetted by Nix/Whaley are more important. So, three men are called into the office to re-structure their contracts, with only one leaving truly happy, with a fourth (Stevie) on standby should we need another 2 million in cap space:

    Mario Williams – His six-year contract can only be pro-rated five years thanks to the new CBA. That means right now that sixth year has no pro-rated bonus money on it. I will change that. I convert his 2013 salary (guaranteed anyway) into a bonus (roster) that gets amortized into years two through six. That saves 4.528 million on this year’s cap and Mario gets to buy another Maserati.
    Ryan Fitzpatrick – He knows quite well that he won’t be making what his contract says he will. I offer him 2.5 million and lowering his bonus (roster) from the amended contract or the door. He takes the 2.5 million birds in the hand and leaves relieved. At least until 2014. The Bills get 4 million back in cap space between the salary cut and the lowered bonus. Ryan also knows from his time on the Bengals Hue will give him a shot if he legitimately beats out the rookie, so why not stay?
    George Wilson – I would like to keep George as a backup and as such he needs to take a haircut. Again, another man that realizes his worth is best here, so he takes 2.375 haircut.
    On the cuts side, I let Terrence McGee (injuries) and Chris Kelsay (neck injury) go and Kirk Morrison’s salary from ‘13 was removed when he was cut the first time (1.45 mil). I keep Brad Smith because I believe [new coach] will be able to use him more like the Jets did as a weapon and less like the toy he has been with the Bills.
    Total Money Saved: 18.628 million
    Add in the 8 million or so left on the 2012 Salary Cap and the current projected space (107/121 million) for 2013 and that should bring the total space for re-signings/FA/draft to 40.628 million. Take 4 million out for rookies and that leaves an operating cap budget of 36.628 million.

    Re-signings/Tenders

    Andy Levitre signs a 6 year, 48 million dollar deal with 32 or so million guaranteed. The deal should average 8 million a year. He wants to stay, he’s one of the top guards in the NFL and doesn’t need to be the highest to have his ego stroked, so it’s a win win for both sides.

    Jairus Byrd is a tough nut to crack. I think he may not want to return and as such the Bills would have to blow him away with an offer. I do just that, getting him to sign to a 6 year, 50 million dollar deal with 32 or so again guaranteed. He’s now the highest-paid safety in the NFL (8.3 mil/year) and is worth every penny. He realizes that if he doesn’t sign that, he’d be franchised, so why not take the money and security that comes with it?

    With those two done, I can now re-sign my other players with the knowledge I have 20.328 million to play with between them and FA acquisitions.

    Kyle Moore is signed to a 4 year, 11 million dollar deal. Safe for both sides and he gets more change than he thought. (-2.75m)

    Chad Rinehart is signed to a 3 year, 5.25 million dollar deal. A raise from his tender, and can sweeten it with a decent signing bonus. (-1.75m)

    Leodis McKelvin is signed to a 2 year, 4 million dollar deal. See if he can improve under new staff at CB and his ST prowess should remain outstanding. (-2.0m)

    Bryan Scott I bring back for league minimum, (-940k for 10+ year vets). If he doesn’t make it out of camp no biggie.

    RFA wise, I tender Donald Jones at the right of first refusal (-1.323m this year due to CBA-mandated 5% bump) and David Nelson at the 2nd round level (-2.023m). Since Dorin Dickerson is an ERFA, I keep him and see if he can bring something more to table with new staff.(-540k)

    All other FA (Choice, Jackson, Johnson, Martin, Mcintyre, Merriman, Silva and Thigpen) are thanked and wished good luck in their future endeavors. This should also have the Bills at or around 70 players if I did my math right.

    Total Space Remaining: 9.002 million for Free Agency

    Free Agent Acquisitions

    When I began this exercise, I had done so with the mindset of three things for FA:
    1. If possible, acquiring a top notch wideout to pair with Stevie,
    2. Finding a wave end to pair with Moore for run downs if possible and,
    3. Finding a linebacker for either depth or starting purposes.

    Right off the bat, looking at my budget, number 1 is out of the question. The only target I would want to go after is Dwayne Bowe, and to do so would be deleterious to the cap, as well as the fact he wants to be a "star". Coach Zimmer might not see it that way, especially with CJ back there as the number one back/offensive weapon. I will, however, bring in Derek Hagan for depth at vet minimum and competition in camp. (-715k)

    For number 2, I see a few options, but since I don’t think it’d be smart to put another 6 million a year into the defensive end pool by way of getting a Michael Bennett or Michael Johnson, I throw 2 year, 3 million dollar deal to Lawrence Jackson of Detroit. A draftee of the Seahawks, he’s good on run downs and a solid wave player. He hasn’t hit it big in Detroit, like Bennett and Johnson have done this year in Tampa Bay and Cincinnati respectively, so that should be a palatable "prove it" set up. I also think Zimmer can get a ton out of him ala a few of his wave players in Cincinnati. (-1.5 million)

    I also sign Pat Sims from Cincinnati as a wave player at DT and insurance against Troup not recovering in time to start the season. I’d give him 3 years, 7.5 million. (-2.5)

    For number 3, I will most likely look toward the draft, as there’s no one other than Philip Wheeler I would like in the free agent pool, and there may be June 1 cuts I can’t forsee in this ala Barnett. Since Mike Zimmer was my choice of coach, I could see them offer a one year vet minimum, maybe a little more to Manny Lawson to be Sam linebacker as well.

    After doing what I could in FA, I’m now as ready as I can be for the draft. With 4.415 spent in FA, I have a little left over for any cuts that may come up, as well as re-signing perhaps a player or two during the season (Wood for instance).

    2013 NFL Draft

    Round 1 – Mike Glennon, QB, NC State: The Bills now have their QB of the future and perhaps present if he beats out Fitzpatrick. A new coach most likely would start him, so let’s assume that’s the case. I like his arm and I think the talent around at NC State was sub-optimal. Re-uniting with his favorite deep threat, TJ Graham is a plus. Finally, being developed by Hue Jackson will a Godsend for someone compared to Joe Flacco.

    Round 2 – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee: After being outperformed by Patterson this year he slips a bit, but Hunter fits Buddy’s "open when he’s not" mantra and his size is a boon to the WR corp.

    Round 3 – Chris Gragg, H-Back/FB/TE, Arkansas: The more you can do, the more you can do in this offense. Gragg essentially replaces McIntyre, challenges Dickerson and can be power back in short yardage situations. Also a decent option on draws with both backs out wide/in slot.

    Round 4 - Kenny Tate, OLB, Maryland: He’d be in competition with Scott for Nickel backer and can really provide depth at S and OLB. In Big Nickel defense, he could be the guy closer to the line, letting Byrd and Searcy roam deep.

    Round 5 – Darius Slay, CB/S Mississippi State: Big boy corner (6’1) that can develop as an outside guy or, should Williams get pushed back to safety to compete with Searcy, can be a guy in the mix as dime corner year one.

    Round 6 - Collin Klein, QB, K-State: This one isn’t necessarily for the Bills so much as an investment for 2015. With 2 solid years of development on his motion, as well as no pressure to be the starter in that period, I think "Optimus" Klein can develop well enough to warrant a 3rd round pick from a QB-needy team in the future. Worst case, he becomes de-facto Wildcat and you cut Brad Smith in 14 and get 3.5 million for that year’s cap.

    Projected 2013 Depth Chart: Parenthesis denotes bubble player(s)

    Offense

    QB: Glennon, Fitzpatrick, Klein
    RB: Spiller, Jackson
    FB: Gragg
    TE: Chandler, Smith (Dickerson)
    SE: Hunter, Nelson, Jones, (Easley, Hagan)
    FL: Johnson, Graham, B. Smith
    OT: Glenn, Hairston, Young, Sanders (Pears)
    OG: Levitre, Urbik, Rinehart
    C: Wood, Brown (Snow)

    Defense

    LE: Williams, Jackson
    RE: Anderson, Moore
    NT: Dareus, Sims (Troup)
    3T: Williams, Carrington
    LB: Barnett, Sheppard, Bradham, Tate, (White, Scott)
    LCB: Gilmore, Slay, (Rogers)
    RCB: Williams, McKelvin, Brooks
    FS: Byrd
    SS: Searcy, Wilson
    Specialists: Lindell, Powell, Sanborn

    With the changes made here, I think the waves are stronger on defense, the youth has time to develop and with Zimmer will be far more aggressive and organized overall. That alone will give them a fighting chance against the rest of the AFC East, as well as the Bills’ 2013 schedule (AFC North, NFC South). On offense, Buddy finally gets his wideout, as well as a solid base for a 12 or 11 (1 back / 2 or 1 TE) offense that will allow CJ to flourish and the rookie to hit manageable, open targets.

    Since I went with a defensive Head Coach, it would be imperative upon Zimmer to assign that Assistant Head Coach moniker to Jackson, to prevent him from leaving for anything except a head coaching job. I’d also make sure there were a few guys on the offensive side (QB Coach most likely) that can be suitable replacements when/if Hue got another shot at being Head Coach. Conversely, I wouldn’t be averse to have this scenario reversed – Hue as Head Coach and Zimmer as assistant Head Coach/Defense. However, I don’t think Zimmer would leave Marvin Lewis for that, while I would think Jackson would leave his assistant to the DB/ST coaches jobs to go back to offense.
    Looking forward to chatting with you all about my plan!
    2014 Adopt-A-Bill: Da'Norris Searcy

    Thanks to -realfan- for the beautiful tribute:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wquq4DTbC9E

    Twitter @wyobilzfan



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    Good read. I wouldn't just cut fitz's money. I would cut fitz. He has been holding this team back for too long. From the sounds of TBN nix is gone to. I read 4 articles on the bills from the paper this morning. Talk about depressing! I had to stop reading.

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    I agree with you on the free agents. I think we draft a DE though. I think we push hard for Bowe. Front office needs to know they need another big time Mario Williams type signing if they want the fans to be crawling back. Bowe would be the way to go. We would have him and Stevie and TJ is our deep threat. Overall solid write up. I love reading mock offseasons.

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    Very good read. But what's the rationale for keeping George Wilson and Brad Smith though?

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    I'm with ya, pete. It's not like this team hasn't made my eyes bleed all season already...
    2014 Adopt-A-Bill: Da'Norris Searcy

    Thanks to -realfan- for the beautiful tribute:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wquq4DTbC9E

    Twitter @wyobilzfan



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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Good read. I wouldn't just cut fitz's money. I would cut fitz. He has been holding this team back for too long. From the sounds of TBN nix is gone to. I read 4 articles on the bills from the paper this morning. Talk about depressing! I had to stop reading.
    I think Nix is still valuable, but would he stay if Chan is gone? Fitz is a must go, this team KNOWS he isn't the answer. I agree that Byrd is a must sign, but not so sure about Levitre. He is a good blocker and can pull very effectively. There is one issue that has troubled me for years about the Bills and that is they can't run the ball when they must. Late game situations when they need a long drive to kill the clock or in 3rd and short when everyone in the house knows they are running. Goods teams get it done consistently. Its not just a physical issue, but also mental. I am not laying all of this at Levitre's feet, that wouldn't be fair. But if I was the new coach, it would need to be addressed. It would be nice to see us run the rock at someone and watch them feel helpless.

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    Good read although a few things Id like to see differently.

    As for Levitre and Byrd, I agree except lets push some of the salery cap hit off and free up a little more for this year, lower the base salery and give a bigger signing bonus.
    and Id like to see them go for Teo 1st rd, then trade back up for Glennon. 4-6 overall is too high for Glennon I think he could be had somewhere in the 20's if we package up our 2nd and next years 2nd and maybe 6th we could move up and thats not a bad price to pay for a possible franchise QB and anchor lb..


    yeap.. its true folks, BILLY THE BUFFALO is the reason we have not been to the playoffs! The writing is on the wall, its readable if you turn sideways and read every 13th line, Billy is a curse sent from Bud Adams!

    I say we burn him in effegy pregame of next years opening night and rid ourselves of this horrific curse!!

    WHO'S WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!

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    I like most of it, but he doesn't seem to think we have a problem at LB. Maybe he thinks that a new defensive coach can get more out of the players we have, and that could very well be true.
    R.I.P. Ball Burglar. You had a good run.

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    Hello all. Glad you like it.

    To the poster(s) asking why keep 14? - He, right now, costs 10.45 million on the team, 10 million off cap wise. By having him re-do his deal, we save 4 million off of cap. Otherwise, you save 450k, get the blood-lust of firing the guy that makes you angry and now have to spend that money, plus another million to find a backup. Figured for a year that's a fair bargain.

    As for keeping Wilson and Smith - Wilson I was on the fence about honestly. If you said cut him outright I wouldn't argue. Brad Smith, however, I would fight for til the cows came home. The Bills did absolutely nothing the Jets did with him. He was doing the stuff that gashed the Bills vs Miami and Seattle - dive option, sprint option, option pass. The way the Bills ran the Wildcat was the equivalent of having a sports car and driving it in first gear to the store and back. Just not good. If you have a guy like Hue Jackson calling plays, he could scheme Brad open as a receiver, use him as a running back on some plays, use him in the wildcat AND allow him to do more than just kneel the ball on ST.
    "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent" - Mike Tomlin


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    Quote Originally Posted by BillsFann View Post
    Hello all. Glad you like it.

    To the poster(s) asking why keep 14? - He, right now, costs 10.45 million on the team, 10 million off cap wise. By having him re-do his deal, we save 4 million off of cap. Otherwise, you save 450k, get the blood-lust of firing the guy that makes you angry and now have to spend that money, plus another million to find a backup. Figured for a year that's a fair bargain.

    As for keeping Wilson and Smith - Wilson I was on the fence about honestly. If you said cut him outright I wouldn't argue. Brad Smith, however, I would fight for til the cows came home. The Bills did absolutely nothing the Jets did with him. He was doing the stuff that gashed the Bills vs Miami and Seattle - dive option, sprint option, option pass. The way the Bills ran the Wildcat was the equivalent of having a sports car and driving it in first gear to the store and back. Just not good. If you have a guy like Hue Jackson calling plays, he could scheme Brad open as a receiver, use him as a running back on some plays, use him in the wildcat AND allow him to do more than just kneel the ball on ST.
    I'd argue for cutting smith simply because I don't want to use the wildcat and take reps away from Glennon. He's not worth his contract because of the new kickoff rules eliminate returns and because he isn't a good enough wide receiver to justify the money.

    I'd be pretty happy if Buffalo did what's here, but I don't think there'd be a competiton if Glennon were selected. I have a tough time seeing Fitz willing to restructure.

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    Fann,

    Thanks for dropping by here. Great article!

    You are right about Brad Smith, now that I sit and really think about it. He wasn't used properly, that's for sure.
    2014 Adopt-A-Bill: Da'Norris Searcy

    Thanks to -realfan- for the beautiful tribute:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wquq4DTbC9E

    Twitter @wyobilzfan



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    Bad read,you can find a quarterback of FITZPATRICKS staure anywhere,he is awful. George Wilson is a bad safety. Use brad smith better? The wildcat is a joke. Brad smith is stealing 4 million a year. Don't even want to comment on the rest,lol.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnR_gSgVAz0

    Here's Smith in NY with the Jets. That player was almost never seen in Buffalo directly because of coaching.

    The Wildcat, when used as the Jets did (under center at times, Pistol, etc) is an effective change of pace and can help the Quarterback, as it's essentially another run play. That wouldn't stunt his development.

    Learnfootball - if you want to disagree, that's fine. If you want to be argumentative, find somewhere else, I won't bite.
    "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent" - Mike Tomlin


    www.ballburglar.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillsFann View Post
    Hello all. Glad you like it.

    To the poster(s) asking why keep 14? - He, right now, costs 10.45 million on the team, 10 million off cap wise. By having him re-do his deal, we save 4 million off of cap. Otherwise, you save 450k, get the blood-lust of firing the guy that makes you angry and now have to spend that money, plus another million to find a backup. Figured for a year that's a fair bargain.

    As for keeping Wilson and Smith - Wilson I was on the fence about honestly. If you said cut him outright I wouldn't argue. Brad Smith, however, I would fight for til the cows came home. The Bills did absolutely nothing the Jets did with him. He was doing the stuff that gashed the Bills vs Miami and Seattle - dive option, sprint option, option pass. The way the Bills ran the Wildcat was the equivalent of having a sports car and driving it in first gear to the store and back. Just not good. If you have a guy like Hue Jackson calling plays, he could scheme Brad open as a receiver, use him as a running back on some plays, use him in the wildcat AND allow him to do more than just kneel the ball on ST.
    I just cant see moving forward with Fitzpatrick in any way, shape, or form a part of this team, cut our losses and move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Learn football View Post
    Bad read,you can find a quarterback of FITZPATRICKS staure anywhere,he is awful. George Wilson is a bad safety. Use brad smith better? The wildcat is a joke. Brad smith is stealing 4 million a year. Don't even want to comment on the rest,lol.
    while i agree with some of this, have a little respect and stop the lol crap, grow up.

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    Who is successful and runs the wildcat in the nfl. Brad smith has proven he can't throw the football at all. Defenses are to big and fast if you are one dimensional. Smith is useless

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    Quote Originally Posted by Learn football View Post
    Bad read,you can find a quarterback of FITZPATRICKS staure anywhere,he is awful. George Wilson is a bad safety. Use brad smith better? The wildcat is a joke. Brad smith is stealing 4 million a year. Don't even want to comment on the rest,lol.
    Honestly, I wish you hadn't commented on any of it.
    It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by billsfan123
    if you guys hadn't noticed we have a salary cap. We can't put all of our money in RBs remember we still have to resign Byrd and we don't even have a QB on this team speak before you think

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    To answer your question LF - I'm talking the Read Option, Dive option, etc. With that in mind: Seattle, San Fran, Jets, Eagles, Carolina and that's just off the top of my head. IF they used it, it's what, 3-5 carries a game? The Jets spent the entire 2010 season setting up the pass they threw vs the Colts. Why is that such a bad thing?
    "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent" - Mike Tomlin


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    Quote Originally Posted by BillsFann View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnR_gSgVAz0

    Here's Smith in NY with the Jets. That player was almost never seen in Buffalo directly because of coaching.

    The Wildcat, when used as the Jets did (under center at times, Pistol, etc) is an effective change of pace and can help the Quarterback, as it's essentially another run play. That wouldn't stunt his development.

    Learnfootball - if you want to disagree, that's fine. If you want to be argumentative, find somewhere else, I won't bite.
    I don't disagree entirely, but I think the root cause of going to the wildcat is trying to hide a QB that isn't good enough. Teams that trust their quarterbacks simply don't use it.

    Read-option and pistol can work, but I only if you have a starting QB that can make the plays.

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    You make some good points and while my (and I am sure many others, too) frustration is high because of our underachieving 2012 Bills, I am not sure that a wholesale change in leadership, et al is in the best interests of reviving the dormant Bills as an NFL contender. As to the HC, Gailey is a nice guy, probably a good offensive coordinator, but he does not have the tools to be OC and HC, simultaneously. As is often the case (see Andy Reid with Michael Vick) a failing HC and starting QB are often linked. While I am frustrated by Fitz's lack of winning as a starter, I would think that a team must keep one reliable QB on the roster. We need to get rid of Travaris and Tyler Thigpen so restructuring Fitz's contract and letting him compete for the job next fall makes sense. We MUST draft a QB in the first or second round and the guy from NC makes some sense. In Buffalo, you MUST have a strong arm and with an improving OL, the future for a young stud could be good. I don't like Sanchez, Vick, or any other of the soon-to-be-released starting QBs any more than I like Fitz. Winners are winners and, too often, losers are losers. I see the potential for a good offense with S Johnson, CJ Spiller (whose lack of being beat up these last couple years could actually help him in the long run), Cody Glenn, et al and a young, athletic, leadership gifted, and winning QB could be the answer. I feel bad for Fitz, in some ways, but his physical attributes do not allow him to be a consistent winner in the NFL. If needed, I would draft 2 QBs this year for insurance and let them duke it out. Lets face it, the playoffs are probably still 2 years away... The defense is where I am most disappointed. Obviously, Mario Williams is lazy and unmotivated and Marcel Dareus is not living up to tremendous potential. Wannstedt only has success, for a period of time, as a DC and his work in Buffalo the last 2 years is awful. We should be a top 10 NFL defense and are not even close. I don't blame Jarius for wanting to leave, but the Bills HAVE to re-sign him and make a commitment to winning with a great hire at HC. SO, who will we pursue and who will actually want this HC position. I suspect, all the former HCs will seriously look at it except the two guys who are great--Cowher and Gruden--who will not be interested (weak ownership, questionable GM, and no franchise NFL QB). Thus, I like the thought of a current coordinator--Bruce Arian from Indy and Mike Zimmer from the Bengals, for instance. We need to be aggressive, fire Gailey today or tomorrow and begin our search pronto. It is possible, the Nix may step down, too. If so, perhaps Whaley could get his shot. I am reluctant to go back to Polian although it will be very tempting for RW to do so. Nonetheless, we have to keep Byrd, draft a QB, re-sign Levitre, get a better DC, hire a tough and progressive HC, and find a way to change the losing culture of what has become the NFL's most futile franchise. Too few people mention this, but I also am in favor of getting rid of the annual Toronto regular season game. They obviously don't care and the minuses are far greater than are the pluses. To the players, it seems like an away game. Should be an interesting week at OBD. CHANGE is imminent...

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