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  1. I'm not saying they misrepresented what he did at the time that it happened. It was more about them representing him as a prima dona, diva, me first player at the time of the trade. Every article I read threw in a caveat like "if the Bills can keep him happy" "if Diggs doesn't act up, play the diva, not buy in, get frustrated with Josh Allen's inaccuracies," etc., etc. Was he frustrated and did he want out of Minnesota? Yes. Did he maybe handle the situation poorly last September? Yes. But I just believe the frustrations came from wanting to win, not because he is a selfish, prima dona receiver who is always acting up. He was not alone in his frustrations. At the time, in the same game that Diggs got frustrated and then followed it up by missing those meetings/practices (a 16-6 loss to the Bears in week 4), Thielen was also visibly upset on the field and later called Cousins out in the media. And three of the four Diggs incidents you mentioned all happened during and after this game (over a 4-day period). And then, even though everyone knew he wasn't happy in Minnesota, he was a quiet and good soldier the rest of the season (until throwing his helmet in the playoff game---but is that so unforgivable?) and he produced for them all year. In his 5 years in the league, he didn't have any other issues, was a hard worker, a good locker room and team guy. I just don't think that it is any type of chronic diva behavior that he will bring to the Bills. So, what happened last year? Was it just a me-first receiver wanting the ball more because he's a diva? Or was it something bigger? Well, in 2018, Diggs and Thielen averaged 9.3 and 9.56 targets a game, respectively, and had 1,021 and 1,373 yards on the season. Then... "Zimmer overhauled Minnesota’s offense this year (2019) to focus on the running game, bringing in zone-blocking wizard Gary Kubiak as an adviser and installing a game plan that calls for passing as infrequently as possible. They are executing that plan. The Vikings are attempting the fewest passes per game in the league (24.75), are the only squad that has thrown fewer than 100 passes in four games, and are one of two teams with more run attempts than pass attempts. On the passes Cousins is throwing, he isn’t providing much value. He’s 32nd of 33 qualifying quarterbacks in ESPN’s total quarterback rating, essentially tied with the Jets’ Luke Falk." https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/10/3/20897444/minnesota-vikings-stefon-diggs-trade-rumors-kirk-cousins-adam-thielen Also from that article, "Cousins is the least aggressive quarterback in the league with just 8.1 percent of his passes going into tight windows (defined as a defender being within 1 yard of the receiver when the ball arrives)...So not only are the Vikings not passing often, but Cousins isn’t trusting Thielen and Diggs to come down with the ball like the offense did with Keenum and Shurmur." "Minnesota’s run-focused game plan is curious considering the team gave Cousins an unprecedented fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract and signed Diggs, Thielen, and tight end Kyle Rudolph to healthy extensions in the past 18 months. Minnesota is one of 11 teams that spends over 10 percent of its salary cap on receivers and is spending the second-highest percentage of its cap at quarterback in 2019. The Vikings’ front-office plan and their on-field strategy are akin to two halves of a brain that cannot speak to each other. Making matters worse is that Cousins has failed to deliver in the handful of moments he’s been asked to." Referring to that Bears game: "Midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Diggs and receiver Adam Thielen had fewer combined targets than fullback C.J. Ham." “Everybody’s frustrated right now,” Zimmer said this week when asked about Diggs and Thielen. “When you lose and you don’t play well enough to win, everybody’s frustrated. Wasn’t just those two guys.” To me, it was an entire team philosophy issue and not just with Diggs. It wasn't Stefon just saying I want more balls so I can be on more highlights. Diggs and Thielen were the strength of that team and they weren't using them at all and in the process losing to the Bears 16-6. He wasn't saying give me the ball, he was saying we need to use our passing game to win. And it was the one and only time in his career that he did something like that. It wasn't consistent behavior. I'll end this extremely long post with a quote from a different article that is a really good read on the topic and very fair (as far as looking at both sides of the issue). "Diggs had never been given any type of lazy label like “diva,” nor had he been a “culture” problem until Week 4’s 16-6 loss to the Bears in which the offense was abysmal and the Vikings lost to Chase Daniel. Losing that game was peak frustration, even though he’s put up impressive numbers that day (seven catches for 108 yards)." "Now Diggs will have to deal with the diva label and the notion that he’s bad for his new team’s culture. Labels are lazy. " https://www.skornorth.com/vikings-2/2020/03/what-happened-between-the-vikings-and-stefon-diggs/
  2. Exactly. These coaches seem to back up what I heard at some point as to the reason why Diggs had some issues in Minnesota. It wasn't because he was a prima dona receiver, wanting the ball more to pad his own stats and get on highlight reels to stroke his own ego or get more money. It wasn't because he didn't work hard or do all of the right things. It wasn't because he had another great receiver on the other side stealing targets from him (Diggs and Thielen are tight, like brothers). What I had heard was that his relationship with Cousins soured because Diggs felt that when they got into crunch time, 3rd and 4th quarters, the game on the line, he felt Cousins would fold under the pressure and that frustrated Diggs because he is such a competitor and just wants to win all of the time (but that's what makes all of the great ones great---think of a Tom Brady or a Michael Jordan, their will to win and get better is insatiable and they won't accept less from their teammates. You may not be as good as them, but you better be at least trying as hard as they are). People who worry he'll act the same way with Josh, should stop worrying. First, because Josh is so humble and so damn likable, I do not see any ego clashing between the two or personality issues. I think Josh will win him over like Josh has with everyone else (look at Josh and Shady when he was here, LeSean was seen as a bit of a prima dona, and was definitely a big name in the league...he loved Josh). And it doesn't hurt that John Brown is also a super humble guy. Secondly, because as Diggs said himself, Josh is a baller and a dog. Whatever Josh's flaws might still be, the kid is an ultimate competitor and is always trying to win. Yes, he might do something crazy, like lateralling the ball in a playoff game or hurdling a defender, but it's because he wants to will his team to victory. He'll put his body in harm's way to win. He might not be successful every time, but he never folds or quits (didn't he have the most 4th quarter comebacks of QBs last year?). I think Diggs will love that about him, so he won't be complaining (as some have surmised) if the balls aren't pinpoint accurate, etc. As long as Josh is fighting to the end, Diggs will be good. And lastly, the coach and culture. One of the quotes above was, "With Stef, the biggest thing I found is that if he trusts you and you have a real relationship with him, you won’t have issues with him." McD is all about trust, respect, and building real, family-type relationships. And so is Josh. I think Diggs is going to love it in Buffalo and the team will embrace him to the point that if any issues were ever to arise, they will talk them out and move on. I'm not worried at all about Diggs in that sense. Plus the media blows everything out of proportion. Remember before the draft, how Josh was being treated like a horrible, racist person because of some old tweet. I think we can all see how far off base that was about Josh. I think Diggs and the Bills are a perfect marriage.
  3. The interesting thing about Orlovsky is that he was a BIG Josh Allen detractor at the time of the draft, really down on his chances of succeeding in the NFL. But Josh has won him over with his play the last two years and now he is on the Allen bandwagon (but while he will point out where Josh has improved and is "getting it," he will still point out where Josh needs to improve further, so he's fair).
  4. The other issue with Cam right now (or previously with a trade) is that any team who wants him would want to do a physical to see how he is progressing with his injuries. He missed 14 games last year. Will that scare teams off and lower his market if they can't get him in for a physical right now?
  5. The way I'll look at it is in order of needs: What were our biggest needs from last year: WR (A+)- addressed that in a huge way. 1st rounder totally justified for Diggs. Problem solved. With his contract (years and pay), this was way better than drafting a wideout. DE/pass rusher (A) - Love Shaq and what he brought, but he was not a true pass rusher. Addison is a pure pass rusher (he's averaged 8.25 sacks/yr over the last 6 years and 9.75 sacks/yr over the last 4 seasons). Yes, he's older. But, two things, first, he was an UDFA, so he basically didn't play at all his first two years, and then only sparingly or situationally for another 3 years before becoming a full-time starter in 2017. He earned his way there and also therefore has less wear and tear on his body than guys who are his age and were starters in their first or second years---think of a Lorenzo Alexander-type, the best years late in his career. And, to some people's chagrin, we still have Trent Murphy. So, they can monitor Addison's snaps (like they do with older vets) to keep him fresh and healthy (not overload him). If Jerry comes back well from the injuries he was playing with last year, he and Addison could be a scary combo rushing the passer. You can't double both of them and Ed Oliver. Plus, we could still draft a young guy to groom, but we don't have to count on him being ready right away. Special Teams needed improvement (and leadership with Lorenzo's departure) (A+) - In comes two of the acknowledged best STers in the league in Mattekevich and Jones. Still an important part of the game. Remember, just two years ago, our special teams probably cost us 2 or 3 games that season. I'm all in with these moves. Needs due to departures or possible departures: DT (A+) - We needed a replacement for Phillips. We got what many, including Greg Cossel, think is actually an upgrade in both play and versatility in Quinton Jefferson. Like a Hyde or a Feliciano, a player who has been an extremely high caliber backup, who is ready to bust out and take a starting role (even though he'll still be rotational here). LB (B-) - Needed someone to take 50% of snaps that Lorenzo took. I don't know much about Klein, but seems like a security move. If we don't get anything better in the draft, or a rookie that is ready to start right away, we at least have a certain level of competency at the position that it won't be a major liability. Not a home run here, but a play it safe move. I expect we will be picking a LB in the draft. But who knows, back in McD's system, maybe Klein will be better than expected. LG (A-) - Resigning Quinton Spain. On the one hand, I thought we would probably let him walk and try to upgrade there. But the fact that he is said to be really smart, knows the schemes, etc. as good as anyone; is well liked by his teammates; and having continuity on the Oline is sooo important, makes me like this move. Plus, with one of the best Oline coaches in the league, I defer to him that Spain was their best option and that he can coach him up on his weaknesses. He should still be improving though he will always lack some athleticism at the position. CB (B) - Josh Norman is the enigma for me. He could come back and in McD's system, get back to his old play and take over the starting spot from Levi, which could make it an A+. But, if he just isn't as good as he used to be, lost a step, then we are probably overpaying for him, even though he would likely be fine as the third corner [in the Kevin Johnson role (not necessarily the slot but as the third outside corner)]. So, at worst, we replaced Kevin Johnson. At best, we get a Pro Bowl level CB. We'll see, but I don't mind the gamble, as it is basically a one-year prove it deal. So, Beane, true to his word, will be entering the draft without any desperate needs. They have all been addressed with at least a decent-level of play. And as others have noted, with the Coronavirus scare, we may be looking at a truncated off-season for the NFL. So, bringing in 4 defenders who already know the system, another player who already knows the team (Taiwan), and resigning Spain, Long, and Kroft (see below) could really help with not being caught without enough time to get new guys up to speed. Other moves: Resigning Kroft (A) - I like this move for a couple of reasons. First, with the acquisition of Diggs, I think the need for a major upgrade at the TE position (like getting a Hooper in FA) was lessened. Plus, I think this team really expects and wants Knox to become the guy, and getting a Hooper (if that would have even been possible) could have stunted Knox's growth a bit. But, this is not your old Buffalo Bills, where you count on a player coming through but you don't have a plan B. Kroft is plan B for this year. If Knox. Sweeney, and Croom don't progress to a high enough level, Kroft is at least the floor of what you'll have. Despite his injury-plagued season last year, I'm still higher on Kroft being a very solid (not great) starting TE, than most on this board. And like I said about the addition of Klein, this move brings a certain amount of security to the position. And the restructure gave them cap relief and the ability to move on and upgrade next year. Extending Poyer (A+) - No need at all to break up the strength of your defense (Hyde, Poyer, White). DT (C) - Vernon Butler. They may be overpaying for a boom or bust player. He was a first rounder and obviously the Bills coaching staff thinks they can coach him up, but so far he has been a bust in Carolina. I don't mind them taking a gamble though. Sometimes it works (trying to reclaim high draft picks that haven't yet panned out--thinking Jerry Hughes and Jordan Phillips). Overall, a very shrewd but aggressive offseason by Beane and his staff. I think we are in really good hands.
  6. I get the point of your post, but it is probably a little premature to say that they are either good or not good at making late round picks. 2017 was McDermott and Whaley (no Beane and his staff), so you can't really use that as a template for how they might draft now (plus as you said, Milano is a stud). So, McDermott still hit on 1 of 3 picks. 2018 Siran Neal is a player (I think you write him off too easily); Teller didn't work out here, but we did get a 5th and a 6th round in trade for him, he is in Cleveland now, he played in 15 games for them, starting 9 of them; Ray-Ray has not been good, true, but he's still hanging on the fringes of the league (practice squad), Proehl was a throw away pick (we all knew it even at the time). 2019 Too early to tell with these guys, but Sweeney looked good in preseason and when he got opportunities, the team seems pretty high on Darryl Johnson, and he flashed in preseason too. Joseph was on IR all year, so who knows; and Jaquan Johnson played well on teams (have to wait and see if he'll be good at down and distance as he didn't get many opportunities). Plus, I know you were talking specifically late round picks, but here are some of their UDFAs: Levi Wallace, Robert Foster, Corey Thompson, Mike Love, Ike Boettger, Jason Croom (all still on the team for now), and Cam Phillips (best WR in the XFL). I agree that as the talent of this team keeps getting better, it is going to be really hard for 5th, 6th, 7th round guys to make the team (unless the Bills find gems that slipped through the cracks), so those picks hold less value than they did, say, two years ago. But I think it is too early to determine that this FO is not good at drafting in the late rounds when they have only had two drafts and you can't really assess last year's class until we see more.
  7. Public relations or advertising in itself is not inherently bad. It can be bad, for instance when a corporation or organization are doing illegal or nefarious things and then they use public relations and supposed philanthropy to distort reality by creating a false narrative about their actions. Or another instance would be false advertising. Promising something you can't deliver or misleading the consumer (selling something that you know is a poor product, bad for the buyer, or overpriced). But, when your PR or advertising is honest and just pointing out the truthful positives of your product or organization, there is nothing wrong with that. You are just letting consumers know what they will get from what you are selling. That's just good business. I agree that McDermott and Beane are good at PR and think a lot about the image they project of themselves and the Bills organization. But, they are also very honest, down-to-earth guys. McDermott only says things when he thinks that he can actually back them up. Between the new facilities, the amount they put into player health, the family-type atmosphere of the organization and city, etc., I think he truly believes what he is saying. He couldn't say it last year because even if it were true then, he didn't have enough proof maybe to convince someone from the outside. Now he can point to player development with examples of players who have exceeded expectations, who were reclamation projects from other teams, who were cast offs or just not used properly on their last team, who have now flourished in Buffalo, having career years. He can point to the overall health of the team over the last two years. He can point to the fact that his teams have overachieved, making the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years. He can point to the Bills fan base. All of which he believes can make someone a better player and maybe a better man. It is not every NFL franchise where players and their families are cared for and supported from the top down (owners, GM, coaches, staff), no matter where they are on the roster. I mean look who those twitter response were from. It wasn't from just the Josh Allens of the team, but it was Duke Williams and LaAdrian Waddle's wife (a guy who hasn't even see the field for the team yet and could be gone in FA). If that doesn't prove McD is a man of his word, what about all of the coaches promotions that just happened. The Bills take care of their own and make sure everyone is growing and getting better at what they do. And when you do, you are rewarded for it. That is a reality-based promise if you come to Buffalo, buy in, and work hard. So, again, do McDermott and Beane put narratives out into the media to sell their product? Absolutely they do. But, it is not false advertising. When they say something, they can actually back up their claims, so really, it is just good, honest business. Not to mention, part of their job does require recruiting free agents that they think will help their team. So, not too difficult to see why he would say what he did and why he said it now.
  8. I don't watch a lot of college football and haven't really dug in yet on the draft, so maybe some of you guys who have can speak to this... Not necessarily in relation to the OP's post, but in relation to the thread title, McBeane tends to like players who have done it for more than one year in college and who are team-first, all football all the time type of guys (no divas). So, adding that criteria, to the need for big-play-making ability (be it with speed or size), does that seem to rule any of the draftees out or push others up the board maybe?
  9. Just a thought... I wonder how many guys on that list were considered somewhat of a "project" like Josh was coming out. I'm just thinking that if a lot of those other QBs were more "pro ready" coming out of college (played for bigger schools/better competition, had better stats, more polished), it might make sense that their biggest leap would be from year one to year two. They already know how to play QB, and they've been drilled over and over on their mechanics. The good ones just need a year or so to acclimate to the pro game (its schemes and speed, reading defense, etc.). So, maybe Josh will be an outlier and take another sizable jump between year two and year three simply because he had more to learn overall. He had farther to go. So where other guys' learning curve starts to level off, Josh's may still be on an incline.
  10. That was the part that I found most interesting, in regards to fixing Josh's deep ball problems this year. he uses the analogy (as Aldo said) of dropping a pin in Google maps. You want to tell your receiver where to go. What he tries to get guys away from is throwing it out in front of the receiver or leading the receiver. He says you, as the QB, are the one who is looking downfield. The receiver is running full speed looking back at the QB. So, the QB is the one who sees the field clearly, so he should be the one to tell the receiver where to go (not the reverse). Find the open area of the field (which maybe the receiver himself can't see) and then drop a pin there and tell the receiver meet me right here (at the pin). Tell the receiver where to go and let him adjust his route to where you are throwing the ball, rather than letting what the receiver is doing determine where you throw it. And he says that is more of a psychological issue than a mechanics issue. So, "drop a pin" is the phrase for Josh to remind himself to do just that. I found that very interesting and as others said, he thinks Josh will improve to a top-10 deep ball passer this year just because whenever Josh focuses on fixing something, he gets better at it.
  11. Whenever I say I'm a lifelong Bills fan, my family always has to mockingly remind me that I was actually a Pittsburgh Steelers fan first. <sigh> It's true. I grew up in a big Bills family. I remember watching bits and pieces of O.J.'s last couple of seasons, but I was kind of too young to say I was fully paying attention or cared too much about it. Then O.J. got traded, which I remember being a big deal in the family, and as a little tyke with a short attention span, he was really the only thing that made the Bills interesting to me. The next season, 1978, I really started to pay attention to football seriously and the Steelers were the best team at the time, so I just started rooting for them. And as they marched their way to the Super Bowl that year, I went all in. That very cold winter In Rochester, I went to school every day in a Steelers winter hat, scarf, and gloves, and with a Steelers duffel bag hanging at my side. When they won the Super Bowl, I was ecstatic. Man I loved that team. But as winter turned to spring and then spring to summer, something happened. I'm not sure what, just getting a bit older, the influence of family and friends, just wanting to root for the hometown team, but somehow by the start of the 1979 season I was a Bills fan. And even when the Steelers won another Super Bowl at the end of the '79 season, I didn't really care. I'm sure I must have rooted for them over the Rams, but I just wasn't invested in that team anymore. Just like that. I was now walking to school in Bills gear. And if there were any question still remaining, it was completely answered by Joe Cribbs' 1980 rookie season. He brought so much excitement to the Bills. Yes, true confessions, for one glorious season I was a Steelers fan. But it has been all Bills ever since. I did also for a couple of years have a second team I rooted for, which wasn't something I normally did. In all sports leagues, I had always had just one team that I rooted for. But after the 1981 AFC Divisional Round Playoff Game, "The Epic in Miami" between the Chargers and the Dolphins---still to this day the greatest football game I have ever seen---I couldn't help but root for Dan Fouts' Chargers team. In an instant classic, they had beaten the Bills most hated team in an intense overtime playoff game. So, for 2 or 3 seasons after that, a San Diego Chargers pennant hung on my wall, right below my Bills pennant, and I rooted for them whenever they played. But that eventually waned. And by the time Jim Kelly joined the Bills, my fascination with San Diego had disappeared as well.
  12. In Consideration (for me): Butch Byrd Reggie McKenzie Cornelius Bennett Steve Christie Eric Moulds Brian Moorman Fred Jackson Eric Wood Kyle Williams Kyle is a shoo-in at some point, Cornelius should finally get his due, would love to see Freddie up there, Moulds should probably make it at some point also. That would probably be my top four.
  13. Just out of curiosity, I looked at how many teams with an 8-8 record or worse would have made the playoffs over the last 10 years if there had already been a 7th playoff spot in each conference: 2019 Pitt at 8-8 2018 Vikes at 8-8 2015 Falcons at 8-8 2014 Panthers at 7-8-1 2013 GB at 8-7-1 and either Jets, Phins, Pitt or Balt (depending on tie breaker) at 8-8 2012 Pitt at 8-8 2011 Denver at 8-8 and either Ari, Chi, Dal, or Phi (depending on tie breaker) at 8-8 So, 9 teams with records of 8-8 or worse would have made the playoffs over the last ten-year span if there had been a 7th playoff team in each conference. (Granted, 3 of those teams made it anyways, without the extra spot---due to a bad division, so 6 more teams over a ten-year span would have made it breaking even.) The other thing to note is that most years, 9-7 will get you into the playoffs now.
  14. I agree Hapless. I really like Knox and I am hoping he develops into a top TE. But the key word needs to be hoping, not counting on. I think one of the big issues during the drought (along with not having a good QB of course) was that we went into too many seasons counting on or expecting certain players to step up, but with no backup plan if they didn't. How many times did we say, "If this, and this, and this happens, we could be good this year." And then it wouldn't happen or not enough and we'd have another mediocre season. Beane is much better (or is becoming much better) at having contingency plans. And I think they really like Knox and expect him to develop, but they are not going to count on it. Kroft is also still a question mark with as little as he played, as are Croom and Sweeney. Smith is a blocker only. I'm sure they would much rather go into the season knowing they have a proven TE going out there week 1. So, for those that think we are set at TE, I say we need a definitive answer for this season, not question marks. So, if they snag Olsen and then the other guys develop, all the better, we're stacked. But if one or more of them don't develop or Knox's drops continue, you have Olsen to carry the load. As for those that would rather have Howard or Henry (I would lean to Henry of the two), I would say, first they have to want to come here, and we'd also have to pay them a lot more than Olsen. And in regards to Knox and his development, it would be hindered much more by bringing in Howard or Henry, because they would be here longer and probably command the ball more than Olsen. Olsen would only be here for a year or two, hopefully just in time for our young TEs to step into their prime. And part of Olsen's job would be to mentor and groom the young guys (something I don't know that Howard or Henry could or would want to do).
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