There are reports the Bills are one of three teams (Denver and Cleveland are the others) to inquire about the availability of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb. Thatís good news and I hope Buffalo pursues McNabb aggressively. Although he played poorly against the Dallas Cowboys in late-season and playoff games and will turn 34 on Nov. 25, I believe the former Syracuse star still has plenty left in the tank. He finished 2009 with 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 3,553 passing yards and a 92.9 quarterback rating. Compare those stats with the paltry numbers compiled by the Bills QB triumvirate of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm, who combined for 15 TD passes and 19 interceptions and just 2,463 yards.
Yes, there are risks in making this deal. McNabb can be sack- and injury-prone, but he would give the team the leadership and experience itís been lacking at footballís most important position for nearly a decade. If you could squeeze three more seasons out of McNabb that would give you time to draft a quarterback in a later round and groom him for the future. Donovan clearly would sell tickets, and his appeal would stretch all the way to Central New York, where thousands of Orange fans would become Bills fans.
Iíd be willing to part with a No. 1 in order to acquire him. Hereís hoping Buddy Nix goes after McNabb as hard as he said he went after Chan Gailey.
I donít know much about the two new strength and conditioning coaches the Bills hired, but I like the fact they made a change. The Bills lost an NFL-leading 20 players to the injured reserve list last season, an inordinately high number at a time when the percentage of IR players dropped throughout the league. Yes, many injuries can be attributed to bad luck, but Buffalo has appeared to suffer more injuries than most teams in recent years, so there might be more at work here than just fate. Instituting a new training program canít hurt.
Thereís been a lot of grumbling about former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little making the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite lacking glowing numbers. But sometimes you have to look beyond the numbers. Little played behind some terrible offensive lines (think the Bills lines that O.J. played behind before the arrival of Joe DeLamielleure and Reggie McKenzie) for most of his career, and still managed to lead the league in rushing one season. Without Little, the Broncos probably would not have survived and become one of the NFLís premier and most valuable franchises. I believe he belongs. Just as I believe Andre Reed and Steve Tasker belong in Canton, too.
A nationally recognized sports columnist and best-selling author, Scott Pitoniak is pursuing new challenges after 35 years in the newspaper business. He hopes one day to write the great American novel and hit a baseball over the wall at Yankee Stadium. In the meantime, he runs his own website Ė ScottPitoniak.com Ė and blogs about sports and lifeís other adventures.
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