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Shaw66

ROCKPILE REVIEW - The Hopeless Optimist

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I think you may be onto something Shaw.  Is it optimistic?...yes.  Overly so?   No.   Your outlook is reasoned and measured.   Count me in the cult as well.

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I’m pretty much on board with most of this post. I’m still on the sceptical side of being a true adherent to the ‘cult’, yet I am becoming increasingly convinced that McDermott and Beane, do practise what they preach. There are a lot of signs all over the place - and.I’m not talking about the ones in the field house. ;)

 

I couldn’t tell you for one moment what precisely the plan is, but it is obvious there is one. Moves made this off season, are major evidence of this. Areas of weakness have been identified, and addressed. Whether or not the right address is on the envelope is a moot point, but progress will be made, even if it isn’t spot on. 

 

Imho, there’s a very good fighting chance that we will have a contending team this coming season, with a distinct possibility of a playoff berth again. Next year onwards, with a tweak or two, I’m hopeful we will have the basis of a roster that can contend for the foreseeable future.

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Thanks for taking the time to write that, @Shaw66

I count my self as a hopeless optimist,,as well. I use the words "relentless optimist", since I like to think I have SOME hope. It looks like you have some hope, too.

I'll just say this: I've never experienced real, sustained success from my favorite football team. Not really. I'm 32 years old. That means I was 3 when the Kelly Bills started dominating and I was 8 or so when they finished. My very first football memory is of crying because the Bills just lost a Super Bowl. I didn't even really know what that MEANT at the time, but the adults around me were all pretty upset, the feeling in the room was of pain and loss, and I knew this was very bad news. I started paying closer attention to football and to the Bills, started really knowing the names of players and really watching the games, about the time Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie came along. In other words, right in time to witness the worst era in the history of Bills football.

It's been a long and disappointing 20 years, obviously. Imagine this: I don't know what it's like to root for a team that has a franchise QB! Think of that. 20 years of investing time, energy, heart, soul, and money into a team that has not, at any point during that period, had consistently high quality quarterback play. Out of 20 seasons of being a football-obsessed Bills lunatic, I've witnessed only 4 winning seasons. 4 out of 20. 

What I'm trying to say is that I literally don't know what it's like to root for a winning team. I don't know what it's like to expect the playoffs, and a legitimate shot at the championship, every year. I don't know what it's like to enter each offseason knowing that the QB position is taken care of, so we can just focus on upgrading the team around him. I don't even know what it will feel like or how I will behave. Graciously, I hope. Hopefully, the scars of the past 20 years of bad football will stay with me, so that the pain of those moments can make the success taste all the sweeter. Call me crazy and hopeless, too, because I see what you see. I see the ownership, management, coaching, and players all lining up perfectly. I see a quarterback who has the potential to be an all time great. I see a shiny new stadium on the horizon and a long term future in Western New York. I really can't believe it. Can it really be true?! The day that the Bills win the Super Bowl, I will drop what I'm doing and fly to Buffalo. To be in that city post championship victory...to witness THAT parade?! Wow. Wouldn't miss it for the world. Can't wait.

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Awesome Shaw! Totally agree. I too am old enough to have witnessed all the good times and bad going all the way back to the early 1960’s and dearly want to see us win the big one while I am still on the planet. Count me in the cult as well. 

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I’m also a member of the optimist club. 

 

I admit I’m a bit worried about #4 on your list. Encouraged, but not fully sold......and Josh is the linchpin. It all depends on his success. If it turns out he’s NOT the guy (and I pray that will not be the case), I’d want the current regime to get another shot at finding the right guy.  I’m not “negative” there, but we just need to see more.  Progress does not equal perfection, but we need progress. 

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1 minute ago, Augie said:

I’m also a member of the optimist club. 

 

I admit I’m a bit worried about #4 on your list. Encouraged, but not fully sold......and Josh is the linchpin. It all depends on his success. If it turns out he’s NOT the guy (and I pray that will not be the case), I’d want the current regime to get another shot at finding the right guy.  I’m not “negative” there, but we just need to see more.  Progress does not equal perfection, but we need progress. 


I'm with you here. Year two is so big for young quarterbacks. Once defenses start taking away the long ball and playing contain to keep Allen in the pocket, what will happen? Will he learn to read the defense, take the checkdown, take the 3 yard gain? Will he actually utilize Cole Beasley, who I expect to be open most of the time due to the attention that must be paid to Foster and Brown? 

There are big questions Allen needs to answer on the field before any reasonable person can say he's a surefire franchise guy. In keeping with the theme of the post, I'm optimistic, but hopefully not hopelessly so!

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1 minute ago, HOUSE said:

I am afraid I can't translate 7-9 to 9-7 as being optimistic

Same. I think there should be some serious progress this season if everything is on the right track.

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8 minutes ago, Logic said:


I'm with you here. Year two is so big for young quarterbacks. Once defenses start taking away the long ball and playing contain to keep Allen in the pocket, what will happen? Will he learn to read the defense, take the checkdown, take the 3 yard gain? Will he actually utilize Cole Beasley, who I expect to be open most of the time due to the attention that must be paid to Foster and Brown? 

There are big questions Allen needs to answer on the field before any reasonable person can say he's a surefire franchise guy. In keeping with the theme of the post, I'm optimistic, but hopefully not hopelessly so!

 

This year could look very different. Hate Josh taking off for the 20 yard scamper? Kiko says the spy thing doesn’t work very well. Go more zone so DB’s don’t turn their backs? Can Josh find the guys settling down in the soft spots? Afraid of the deep ball? Maybe more 2 deep safeties? Does that open up the run again? 

 

It should be an interesting year, and hopefully points to great things for the next decade plus. 

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What gives me optimism about Allen and the Bills is their respective attitudes. Allen seems to want to be the best and has shown leadership qualities that will inspire his team mates to gel into a team around him. He even seems to have gotten McCoy on his side rather quickly. Hopefully, Allen will throw the ball more, for shorter completions and run a bit less. At the very least, taking a shot on Allen has been a good decision for this front office. We won't know for sure whether Allen is the real deal for a couple more years. I am optimistic though.

 

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36 minutes ago, Augie said:

I’m also a member of the optimist club. 

 

I admit I’m a bit worried about #4 on your list. Encouraged, but not fully sold......and Josh is the linchpin. It all depends on his success. If it turns out he’s NOT the guy (and I pray that will not be the case), I’d want the current regime to get another shot at finding the right guy.  I’m not “negative” there, but we just need to see more.  Progress does not equal perfection, but we need progress. 

I think you can bet on Allen.   I just think he has all the parts.   He wants it.  He studies.  He's a great athlete. And he has a coach who is perfect for him.  

 

I think NFL will be talking about him this season, and I think he'll be a premier QB within five years.  

 

Remember, it's continuous improvement.  His line will get better and his receivers will get better.  He'll get better.   It's going to be awesome. 

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1 hour ago, billsbackto81 said:

Where's the Standing Ovation button? 

 

We need one! Well said Shaw66.

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Great post.  Love the optimism.  Beane (really like the job he's doing) got the groceries, it is now up to McD and his staff to cook the meal.

 

Do I expect a SB this year?  No way.  I do expect improvement, which includes not getting outclassed in any game this season; a playoff spot would be the cherry on top.  If there is one area I'm worried about right now, it is the defensive line.  I know we just picked up Ed Oliver, but I think it will take some time for him to be as dominant as it is expected he will end up being.  So to tie this in to your post, I think it is a combination of points 1 and 2; McD and Leslie Frazier will need to show improvement in this area - both in run stopping and rushing the passer.  If this can't be done, there may need to be a change (further improvement) in the defensive coaching staff in the form of the DC.

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Love your posts and love the optimism!  My Dad was at the rockpile in 1960 and I enjoy your vantage point.

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1 hour ago, Shaw66 said:

I think you can bet on Allen.   I just think he has all the parts.   He wants it.  He studies.  He's a great athlete. And he has a coach who is perfect for him.  

 

I think NFL will be talking about him this season, and I think he'll be a premier QB within five years.  

 

Remember, it's continuous improvement.  His line will get better and his receivers will get better.  He'll get better.   It's going to be awesome. 

 

Great post, add me to the cult too because I believe this team is headed for greatness. I actually think it will start this year with the playoffs and 2020 is going to be an AFC championship caliber team. 

 

Allen is the biggest reason for excitement. We watched him carry an Offence full of backup caliber NFL players on his back the last half of the season. He has the talent to succeed, the competitiveness to win games, and the leadership skills to elevate the play of the offence and the defence. So my only change is that you should be more excited Shaw, this team is ready to compete this season!

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Beane and McDermott are not infallible.  They have demonstrated that through a number of mistakes (like Kelvin Benjamin).  What is different is their focus on a process, that includes constant evaluation and a willingness to cut bait when a decision has proved to be wrong.  Beane has made a number of smart decision, but has put in place a process for moving on from mistakes.  That should keep the team on track for steady improvement.  This may be the years we start to reap the benefits.  I'm hopeful.

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1 hour ago, Logic said:


I'm with you here. Year two is so big for young quarterbacks. Once defenses start taking away the long ball and playing contain to keep Allen in the pocket, what will happen? Will he learn to read the defense, take the checkdown, take the 3 yard gain? Will he actually utilize Cole Beasley, who I expect to be open most of the time due to the attention that must be paid to Foster and Brown? 

There are big questions Allen needs to answer on the field before any reasonable person can say he's a surefire franchise guy. In keeping with the theme of the post, I'm optimistic, but hopefully not hopelessly so!

 

How exactly do you expect a team to take away the long ball and cover the QB scramble? I would love to hear some X’s and O’s for that. If there is a way to do that Allen is going to have the TEs and Beasley wide open and he will dice teams up.

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I was at the Rockpile in 1960 with my Dad and I've been optimistic ever since . It' a wonderful illness! 

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4 minutes ago, Stallions said:

I was at the Rockpile in 1960 with my Dad and I've been optimistic ever since . It' a wonderful illness! 

Illness.  Yes.

 

Wonderful.  Yes.

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The only thing is that the AFC is tough. I think one super bowl berth may be possible if mcd and josh keep improving, but there are the chiefs, colts, and browns to look out for. Those three will be perennial division winners if their QBs stay healthy. 

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It’s like they’re all from Mayberry. 

 

If I'm not mistaken, that's in NC.  The C stands for Carolina, and that explains so much!

 

I am optimistic too but that keeps being over shadowed by realism.  Any way.....GO BILLS!

 

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7 minutes ago, PolishPrince said:

As a 30 year old happily married man, I want to sit in Josh Allen's lap.

 

But would Josh Allen want this?

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