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About WideNine

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  1. Bill Belichick was not about to go into this year rolling over. Figured if nothing else, he would have his defense ready to play lights out. I would think that Bill would love nothing more than proving he (not Brady) is the secret sauce for the Pats. Winning without Tom would help to do just that. Not sure how much Cam has left in the tank, but if anyone knows his blind/weak spots it would be McDermott.
  2. Too early to say for any of the 2018 QBs, even Lamar who has been a perfect fit for Roman's pistol read-option offense and has had early success. Normally it takes a few years for QBs to hit their stride. I think success like Mahomes at QB is an statistical outlier. I think Darnold has flashed potential and yet I think he had a more epic meltdown against Belichick's defense than Allen, but folks seem to focus more on Allen's early game against NE. Allen's accuracy noticeably dropped when teams blitzed and used extra rushers. When teams sat back in different zone packages he ate that up as his ability to process defenses and know where to go with the ball grew with more time under center. When forced into making quick decisions and throwing off-platform Allen tends to fall back into some bad habits and mechanics. Pressuring young QBs into mistakes is nothing new and has been the playbook for going up against Allen. Allen completing plays, when blitzed into quick decisions, and making teams pay when they gamble with man coverage will be the next step in his growth. I think it is disingenuous to label Allen as the weak link on a strong team when just two years ago the Bills had such a patchwork offensive line that veteran QBs were destroyed trying to operate behind it and the team had to turn to a raw Allen (who was also injured early) to have a chance at winning games. Although he has hurt the team at times with erratic play it is safe to say he has also given them their best chance to win most games. He is still improving and Lombardi seems to be regurgitating a stale talking point.
  3. I do believe our offense needs to average at least another score per game, but I also feel like our offense and Allen's focus was to play it safe and limit turnovers, particularly after that first terrible performace against NE. Our defence also needs to get a bit better at closing out games where we have the lead. Too many times last year when we gained the lead or were holding on to a lead our defense would have that late game collapse - giving up scores. Early in the season our red zone defense was superb at preventing TDs, but I felt that slipped a bit near the end of the year. I do recall we had a few amazing goal line stops. Either way, both sides of the ball need to become more complementary. If the defense gets a turnover or key stop our offense needs to do better turning those into points. If our offense has a big score our defense needs to come out and pitch some 3 and outs. If our offense sprints to an early lead our defense needs to close the door. If our offense can't score they need to slow the game down and sustain drives to give the D time to recover. Also our special teams needs to do a better job of tilting the field for our defense. I like our kick return game, feel like it was solid and we have a very good return man. If we see more of that this year, this will be a hard team to beat. Too many if's right now for me to take offense if someone does not crown our Bills AFC East champs without a game played. I honestly don't see NE, the Dolphins, or the Jets rolling over for us. I think they will all play us tough.
  4. No arguments here. TE play has been a gap in the Bills' offensive arsonal for years while NE prioritized the position. Would like nothing better than to see the Bills develop their TEs. I like both our new TEs. Sweeney may be the stronger blocker and will be more effective with more route polish. Knox is frustrating in that he makes some spectacular circus catches and then drops others that are right on the money. I think his improvement area is his focus and consistency, otherwise he checks off all the TE boxes. Kroft could bring that veteran presence and play to the group if his feet and ankles hold up. Could well be an area of strength for the Bills next season.
  5. Allen does throw some head-scratchers (like where the hell were you going with that one) and there is the hero-ball thing that he largely kept a lock on until the playoff game. Other than those random issues, the areas on the field that he struggled hitting the most in both seasons are pretty consistent and are so bad that they skew his aggregate average by a lot. Allen is going to be Allen. He is not Mahomes, or Breese, or any other QB out there. Overall he is improving, so I don't know if anyone has seen his ceiling yet. I don't think I have as yet, but we will see if we hit a point where the wheels seem to be spinning but he is not getting any better. The areas he struggles with the most are the deep ball - especially the middle and the short right side of the field. One of several positives that one can take away (if you look at NexGen charts) is that he seems to be chipping away at making progress around most all the intermediate and shorter routes with an exception. I am not sure why the deep ball was so poor this past year. The deep middle has always been an area he avoids (probably feels the sideline shots are safer bet, easier to read if his receiver only has one guy to beat, and he does not get a lot of practice when the middle opens up. May be that he was just trying to put more touch on the ball so his receivers could run under them, but mostly overshot a lot of those throws. He struggles hitting the shallow right side of the field both seasons, but last season may have had more to do with how piss-poor our pass blocking was on that side, as Ford had to sub in a lot for an injured Nsekhe. Nsekhe did a decent job in space, but Ford struggled a lot against speed and bull rushers off the right edge. I imagine it made for some interesting throws from Allen trying to side arm the ball around or throw between the arms of DEs in his face.
  6. So...45 pages? The kid got caught doing something stupid. I am sure he knew as soon as he was pulled over that it was not a good look. Did a few bone-headed things myself at that age. Remember telling an officer who said he had trouble catching up to me that it sounded like a "personal problem". My wiseassery did not go over well. Fines and various punishments along with losing friends and family to careless drivers changed me. Becoming a father sealed the deal. Only time will tell if this is a one and done thing or something that becomes a problem. He is still young, will need to make some restitution. Some patience is not unreasonable.
  7. Allen seems coachable. He made strides limiting turnovers last year and vastly improved his short game working the sticks. I think that if Daboll does a better job leveraging the run when it is clearly working that will help Allen tremendously too. Daboll can tend to overthink this and react to loaded boxes by shying away from the run, where i think you keep testing those fronts when you have the kind of running back that can make the first few guys miss and find a lot of daylight behind those backers and safties. Also when your QB in his first full year is starting to play erratically in his first playoff game where is that coach in his ear slowing things down for him...so some room overall for coaching improvement. From Allen what i would like to see is more accuracy on his deep balls - hitting the receiver in stride. He also must improve protecting the football when scrambling, or on designed runs; it was like he had an "eject football" button. Teams are going to feel like the book is out on how he protects the ball when running, that means more bodies sailing into Allen hoping to knock it loose. The 3rd year is important, but what i am looking for mainly is that he keeps trending in the right direction. Specifically, a bit more consistency against the blitz. Allen eats up a traditional zone defense, but drops off quite a bit against man with extra blitzers. Delivering that deeper ball against man coverage will force coordinators to rethink that blitz strategy more than anything else. Don't know if I see a lot of reason to think he will step backwards, would be more likely to improve as defensive looks become more recognizable...I guess we will find out.
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