Welcome to Scrawn Football's (completely biased) series of previews for the 2010 NFL season, one team at a time. Today's profile is on the Buffalo Bills, which I like to call...
The Buffalo Bills haven't been relevant for a while now. But will THIS be the year? No, probably not. They do have an interesting team, though. Unfortunately, like everything in Buffalo, it will slowly rust and splinter until it crushes a bunch of nuns or something.
Why They're Good
-Chan Gailey, though he officially staked the Cowboys '90s dynasty during his tenure as head coach, might actually do well for himself. It sounds like he's willing to shake things up, and if any team needed a shake up, it was Buffalo. Unfortunately (and I'll be starting many a sentence with that), the team is shaking up the same ingredients it trotted out on the field last year. Except with less Terrell Owens and more Roscoe Parrish. SEXY. Maybe Gailey will break out the K-Gun?
-There's usually a correlation between why certain middle linebackers make a lot of tackles when they play for a bad team. It's because everyone else sucks and they need to make every play. Paul Posluszny is in their midst, but the Penn State alum brings the hurt on occasion. He also breaks his limbs while doing this, but let's stay positive.
-The Bills are getting back two of their better corners in Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin. Both were injured last season and both have been part of Buffalo's return game in the past. McGee might be a little too long in the tooth to hack it on kicks, but McKelvin was averaging 28 yards a return as recently as 2008.
-Buffalo pilfered Dwan Edwards from Baltimore, giving them at least one solid 3-4 defensive end. He doesn't get a lot of sacks, but with the Bills switching their defensive front, Edwards is a boon. At 6'3'' and 290 pounds, he's not being moved off the point of attack easily. And, after years of looking both ways before exiting the Ravens locker room for Ray Lewis, he can breathe a little easier.
WHY THEY'RE BAD
-The offensive line is porous at best. The Bills are returning four out of five of their starters from last season, but from an offensive line that allowed 46 sacks. With Twitchy Trent and Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, that's just not permissible. Well, technically it is, but there should be some kind of human rights violation incurred.
-Fred Jackson is out 4-6 weeks with his favorite stiff-arming hand broken. Marshawn Lynch just sprained his ankle, and was already disgruntled. That leaves rookie CJ Spiller at the mercy of the aforementioned offensive line. When Lynch was drafted, there was revelry on par with what Spiller's drafting is doing for Buffalo right now. Then he had to actually play for the Bills. Now he wants out, which could happen to Spiller if Buffalo doesn't get their shit together quickly.
-Is Trent Edwards really the answer? After folding on the McNabb negotiations, Buffalo has its choice of Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm, and Levi Brown. They chose the lesser evil, which is to say, they still chose evil.
-Jairus Byrd (nine interceptions last season) is now out indefinitely after having surgery on his groin. Sooooo there's a bright spot put out.
-Lee Evans is a good receiver...and that's about where the positives end for Buffalo's receiving corps. They took a chance on New England flunkie Chad Jackson, who is admittedly fast but terrible. Their tight end projects to be Derek Schouman, who is undersized as a receiving AND as a blocking tight end. James Hardy looks to be the No. 2 guy, but he has but ten catches in his entire NFL career. Roscoe Parrish will be getting another shot at playing wideout, but wasn't there a reason he was banished in the first place?
Buffalo is also trapped in the AFC East (CHORUS), which means they get six games against good to great teams. It's not exactly the environment that nurtures a team like Buffalo, which has been on the rebound for a long time.
INCORRECT PREDICTION: 5-11, FOURTH IN AFC EAST, POSSIBLY SADDEST CITY IN AMERICA