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Zay Jones is Bills' most likely player to emerge on offense

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:39 PM, Chandler#81 said:

I’ll be surprised if Kroft ever sees the field as a Bill. He’ll be on IR or PUP to start the year and if Knox performs like I think he will, there’ll be an injury settlement and Kroft will disappear. He was one of our 1st FA signings, necessitated by Clay’s departure. Since then, he’s been shoved way down the depth chart on merit, BEFORE once again breaking his ankle. 

 

Tip: Don’t buy a Kroft jersey.

So he will be handled like a UDFA.😎  There would be a lot of money involved in that injury settlement.  Multi-year, multimillion dollar contract.

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7 hours ago, 4BillsintheBurgh said:

With the influx of meat eaters this year, we better be running it successfully. I will not be surprised given the olders guys' contract situations if Singletary gets in there he may get the lions share in the second half of the season.

 

My outlook isn't so rosy this year in general, I see a lot of new faces that have to get in sync, a quarterback that still needs time to develop and I still need to see Beane bring in some useful FA's for the offense. Seems like he has done the last bit, but the proof will be during the season and if the offense is still bottom part of the league that's not helping his professional resume given the amount of effort and money he spent.

 

Overall I'm bullish, but the first half of the year might be an adventure. I am really hoping McDermott can cut down on all the penalties this year, for me that will help josh and the whole offense function more effectively.

It's reasonable to be bullish for the reasons you state

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7 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

I don't know why our staff is obsessed with small-school players at the top of the draft on days 1 and 2.  Jones, Allen, Oliver, and Singletary.  That's four of our 10 day 1/2 picks on their watch, which doesn't include the extra day 1/2 picks traded to get Allen.  

 

Singletary as I see it is the RB version of Zay Jones.  

 

Gawdy numbers against nothing competition.  Of his 22 TDs, 5 were against Bethune-Cookman this past season, a whipping-boy team, which is about as nothing a team as an FBS team can play.  They're an FCS team that has seen a mere two of its players drafted since 2000, both DBs, in 2003 and 2005.  

 

If I wanted to gather some insight as to how he might play in the NFL I'd take a strong look at his splits and how he played against the ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12, the only power-5 schools that he played.  

 

He had 44 carries for 162 yards (3.68 YPC) and two TDs in three games for an average of 15 carries, 54 yards, and less than a TD/game.  That's a far-cry from his 6.0 YPC average overall and his 6.15 YPC otherwise.  I have a difficult time believing that he's going to excel in the NFL, especially when I read things like this in his draft profile at nfl.com; 

 

  • Play speed tends to be monotone throughout the rep
  • Rarely keeps runs play-side and looks for early cuts
  • Excessive cuts will be met with earlier tackles from swarming, NFL defenders
  • Will need to learn to run a more disciplined track
  • Tendency is to bounce it to his left

 

 

I didn't watch those games but it could be due to his offensive lineman being overmatched?  I do agree that it's more difficult to determine how a football player will transition to the next level if plays at a small school. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 11:37 AM, Rico said:

Here’s to Foster, Brown, and Zay being the top 3 WR’s. :beer:

Top doesn’t equal good- lets hope they all put up big numbers.

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9 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

You seem confused.  

 

What's exhausting is watching and listening to people such as yourself defend what our FO does despite any indications that they may not be doing the right things to build a team, and having this go on for 20 years.  Then, at the end of a season like this one everyone wants to drop nukes on OBD.  It's beyond comical.  

 

So if you want to talk about "crusades," try not hitting up one of the few people actually calling a spade a proverbial spade simply because you don't like it much less agree with it.  That's a crusade, having to listen to pep rallies until it's obviously to a drunken sot what predictable realities really are.  

 

NFL history provides a wealth of data, information, patterns, and trends.  Unfortunately most fans around the NFL prefer to be blind to those things.  Those that heed them are labeled, in mob-rule crusade fashion.  So if you want to talk about crusades, try starting there.  

 

It never ceases to amaze me how so many people have so little emotional control that even simple arguments turn them into raving lunatics.  

 

I mean people talk about Singletary as if diminutive small school RBs come to the NFL all the time and light it up when that rarely happens.  It doesn't happen, the opposite happens, and there are a large number of reasons for it, reasons that people ignore.  

 

You can believe whatever you want to, which most people here and elsewhere do anyway preferring the "ignorance is bliss" route.  Your points were about Jones, but it's the same thing.  I can't believe that anyone really thinks at this point that Jones is or ever will be anything but a 3rd or 4th WR in the future, here or anywhere. 

 

But in order to have a rational discussion, which so few here seem to want to do as this place is far more a place to hold perpetual pep-rallies, one simply cannot take that ignorance is bliss approach.  

 

Still, I have no idea what your overall point is, you haven't even approached making it clear other than to make it clear that no matter what I say you'll have an issue with it.  

 

Again, "crusade," ... start there.  

 

Anyway, goodbye.  If I don't respond to you henceforth it's because I'm not seeing your posts.  Don't take it the wrong way, I just don't want to see your posts anymore.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to figure out what, specifically, the point you are trying to make is.  LOL  

And here come the straw men...

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9 hours ago, Doc Brown said:

I didn't watch those games but it could be due to his offensive lineman being overmatched?  I do agree that it's more difficult to determine how a football player will transition to the next level if plays at a small school. 

 

I watched enough highlights to know that he's not going to be outrunning many NFL defenders, regardless of position.  Again, that was against crap competition, players that will never be starters in the NFL.  How much more will he struggle against the best as such.  

 

In evaluating players and their likelihoods of translating their success to the NFL, it's very important to separate the stuff that depends upon a team around a player vs. that which does not.  Open field running does not for example, and generally speaking I didn't find Singletary all that impressive in the open field, to the contrary in fact.  Those bulleted points that I included in the post that you quoted state as much.  So why that's going to change and improve to the extent that he'll become average in the NFL much less great is beyond me.  Stuff like that simply doesn't happen.  I often think that people make their predictions something along the lines of assuming that because his numbers were so gawdy that a good percentage of them will transfer and even if that's half it's good.  I'll be absolutely shocked if he ever posts a 1,000-yard rushing season, anywhere.  

 

And I've gotta tell ya, same with Oliver.  I've seen him get stood up one-on-one more than I care for against OL-men that will never even get a crack at playing in the NFL, and while here the narrative is that he's good against double-teams, his draft profiles typically say the opposite, namely that he struggles against double-teams.  Again, those double-teams being by linemen on teams in the AAC.  I posted elsewhere some weeks ago that he'll have faced absolutely no OGs/Cs that got drafted or will have much of a shot in the NFL.  

 

Again, from nfl.com's draft profile on him;  

 

  • Gets mauled by down blocks and double teams
  • Struggles at times when offenses run downhill at him
  • Gets clogged up against wide-bodies

Hello NFL!  Who do people think he'll be playing against in the NFL?  Gs and Cs from the AAC?  LOL, hardly.  Offenses are often going to run downhill at him and he'll be seeing plenty of double-teams, especially at 3T.  I'm simply unconvinced that at ~ 280 he'll have the power to play DT like that.  I for one wouldn't bet any money on it happening.  

 

BTW, that's man-on-man/men.  Position doesn't matter, what matters is how he performed against those linemen that will make it to the NFL.  I see problems, for the life of me I cannot see why, as with Spiller and Watkins, the narrative is so great on him.  His play was largely situational, bad teams with OL-men that won't be in the NFL much less starting there.  Beating up players on teams like Rice, Navy, and Tulsa simply isn't very impressive to me, certainly not so much as to take a guy in the 1st-round with that risk.  

 

But people see what they want to see.  They'll look at 20 plays and ignore 100+ and draw a global conclusion.  That's poor scouting, which is why draft science results are all over the map, and on top of typical human element business factors.  

 

Anyway, in keeping with the small-school mantra.  Some of those guys work out but a lot more don't.  

 

I'll add one more thing, I also don't understand why this FO seems to perpetually place their biggest emphases on players with significant known injury issues.  Morse, again already struggling with injury.  Knox with a litany of injury concerns.  John Brown too.  If Morse doesn't play I dare say that I don't see much improvement in our OL at all.  Knox was our biggest and really only big move for a receiver in the draft on their watch.  Brown is obviously everyone's big hope to "stretch the field" to cite an overused cliche.  I'm not sure that it's so wise to make your biggest moves to correct the biggest areas of need with players that have major injury histories.  Morse is one concussion away from never playing again unless he wants to risk his welfare down the road.  

 

BTW, hence the edit, now we're reading about Foster's injury.  Again, reliance on a player known to have significant injury issues.  Then everyone here during and at the end of the season will use injuries as an excuse for Beane/McD.  Why?  They made their choices, it's simply unwise to do what they've done and to rely on injury-historied players as such.  I mean seriously, what are we expecting, that all of those players all make it thru the season here simply because they're here?  It won't be an excuse if they flop because injuries, they were known risks.  

 

Edited by Ronin
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On 6/7/2019 at 8:58 PM, Phil The Thrill said:

Sills will be watching from the practice squad

Sills wont make it to the practice squad.  He will get picked up.

19 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

I don't know why our staff is obsessed with small-school players at the top of the draft on days 1 and 2.  Jones, Allen, Oliver, and Singletary.  That's four of our 10 day 1/2 picks on their watch, which doesn't include the extra day 1/2 picks traded to get Allen.  

 

Singletary as I see it is the RB version of Zay Jones.  

 

Gawdy numbers against nothing competition.  Of his 22 TDs, 5 were against Bethune-Cookman this past season, a whipping-boy team, which is about as nothing a team as an FBS team can play.  They're an FCS team that has seen a mere two of its players drafted since 2000, both DBs, in 2003 and 2005.  

 

If I wanted to gather some insight as to how he might play in the NFL I'd take a strong look at his splits and how he played against the ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12, the only power-5 schools that he played.  

 

He had 44 carries for 162 yards (3.68 YPC) and two TDs in three games for an average of 15 carries, 54 yards, and less than a TD/game.  That's a far-cry from his 6.0 YPC average overall and his 6.15 YPC otherwise.  I have a difficult time believing that he's going to excel in the NFL, especially when I read things like this in his draft profile at nfl.com; 

 

  • Play speed tends to be monotone throughout the rep
  • Rarely keeps runs play-side and looks for early cuts
  • Excessive cuts will be met with earlier tackles from swarming, NFL defenders
  • Will need to learn to run a more disciplined track
  • Tendency is to bounce it to his left

Even reminds me of that RB we used to have that used to dance around in the backfield, was it Bryson?  Those to me are worrisome issues and not something that seems destined for NFL greatness.  They're difficult things to coach in if they can be at all.  As a three-down RB I simply don't see it.  What I can see is him possibly becoming a good receiver out of the backfield as a role-player ala Darren Sproles.  I'm not at all a big fan of Bama RBs, but in this case, and if they really had to have a RB here, I'd have taken Damien Harris.  I don't see him being great either but I do see him being better than the diminutive Singletary.  

 

Here's the thing, if Singletary does develop on this team as a receiver it'll be half a miracle since we ranked 31st in Yards-After-the-Catch last season.  The reason is clear, that Allen's always looking deep for the big plays that he overlooks the high-percentage gimme stuff underneath.  McCoy averaged fewer than 15 receiving yards-per-game last season with Allen as the QB.  Ivory averged just over that, for about 30 recvg. ypg and fewer than 3 catches/game between 'em.  None of the other RBs did anything significant in the receiving game.  So I'm not sure how that translates to Singletary doing much as a receiver OOTB.  

 

That's what the staff is going to have to do to fix Allen, is get him to throw more dump-offs and high-percentage passes where he lacks touch as well.  If they can do that I will be impressed.  

 

We'll see tho, this time of year hope abounds.  

 

 

 

I think they will all prove to be good choices..  Like that Mack guy.  You heard of him or all the other small school guys that have done well.

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On 6/7/2019 at 7:56 PM, LSHMEAB said:

I think he is the most likely offensive player to break out. I also think that means virtually nothing.

 

Who else is gonna break out? Gore and McCoy are going to the Hall of Fame. They could have solid seasons, but not "break out."

 

At tight end, Kroft is never healthy and unlikely to be much of a receiver even when he's on the field. Knox is a candidate, but it's not likely a raw rookie will make a huge impact.

 

At receiver, Brown and Beasley have already established themselves. Robert Foster kind of broke out last season. He could emerge and solidify his role, but break out? McKenzie is a guy I like, but he's a limited gadget type. Zay obviously has some talent. He was a 2nd round pick and has put up numbers, albeit on a team that pretty much had to get him the ball. It would be an extremely pleasant surprise if Jones made a huge leap, but this "award" doesn't mean much. 

 

The thing is that they've invested much reliance upon a handful of guys that have significant injury issues, either keeping them out of games (Morse, Foster, Knox) or limiting their playing time and effectiveness in addition to missing games. (Brown, Kroft)  

 

They can lecture us how they all would have been all-american or all-pro had they stayed healthy, or whatever, but if they can't stay healthy it's all moot.  

 

Beane really hasn't made any high-level moves.  His biggest signings money-wise have been Lotulolei, Morse, Hyde, Beasley, Brown, and Murphy.  It's an unimpressive list, the only player that even approaches being an impact player among the is Hyde unless Morse can prove that he can make it thru a 16-game season.  But Morse and Brown both have injury histories, Morse's is already playing out again.  Also, Morse is good but I'm not sure I'd call him an impact player.  He's not as good as Wood.  

 

There's way too much reliance by this team in general on improvements from players that can't stay healthy.  The fact that they've put themselves in that situation is worrisome.  

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Don't disagree with much of what you said, but let's just call a spade a spade; if they hit on Allen, they'll be fine. The fate of the regime rests with Josh Allen.

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49 minutes ago, formerlyofCtown said:

I think they will all prove to be good choices..  Like that Mack guy.  You heard of him or all the other small school guys that have done well.

 

Well, if you want to argue that point, of the ones we've taken, so far Jones at 37th overall doesn't look too good.  Looks more like a wasted pick if you ask me.  Smith-Shuster, the guy that I was on record as saying would have been a much better pick, USC, is lighting things up.  Could have had him.  

 

Allen's already got pretty good sized issues that are residual from his collegiate play, he's no shoe-in either.  I'd say that the odds are more against him than for him.  

 

As to Oliver and Singletary, time will tell.  Doesn't really matter what you or I think, you have to agree.  But if they end up like Jones, well, your argument vaporizes.  

 

In this thread, 

 

 

... someone posted the list of the NCAA all-time collegiate receiving leaders.  7 of the 10 were non-power 5 small school players.  Not one did anything even remotely equivalent relatively speaking in the NFL. Corey Davis has been the best but he's been average at best after two seasons.  

 

So I guess I'd ask you, which all the other small school guys that have done well.  Sure there are some, but far fewer than the bigger power-5 schools.  Just looking at last year's draft, five small school guys were taken in round 1.  Of those, only two even came close to living up to expectations, one of the two only moderately so.  Allen being among the other three.  

 

Either way, guessing from your post, I think we're all supposed to acquiesce to the notion that small school players have the same odds of starting in the NFL as players from the power-5 conferences do.  Well, OK, as long as you think so.  I'm good with it.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ronin

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5 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

 

And I've gotta tell ya, same with Oliver.  I've seen him get stood up one-on-one more than I care for against OL-men that will never even get a crack at playing in the NFL, and while here the narrative is that he's good against double-teams, his draft profiles typically say the opposite, namely that he struggles against double-teams.  Again, those double-teams being by linemen on teams in the AAC.  I posted elsewhere some weeks ago that he'll have faced absolutely no OGs/Cs that got drafted or will have much of a shot in the NFL.  

 

Again, from nfl.com's draft profile on him;  

 

  • Gets mauled by down blocks and double teams
  • Struggles at times when offenses run downhill at him
  • Gets clogged up against wide-bodies

Hello NFL!  Who do people think he'll be playing against in the NFL?  Gs and Cs from the AAC?  LOL, hardly.  Offenses are often going to run downhill at him and he'll be seeing plenty of double-teams, especially at 3T.  I'm simply unconvinced that at ~ 280 he'll have the power to play DT like that.  I for one wouldn't bet any money on it happening.  

 

There are far too many small school DL's who had great success in the NFL to cite, but Michael Strahan, John Randle, and DeMarcus Lawrence come to mind immediately. That scouting report doesn't concern me. His job is to penetrate, not clog up the line. He was misused at Houston IMO. 

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2 hours ago, LSHMEAB said:

There are far too many small school DL's who had great success in the NFL to cite, but Michael Strahan, John Randle, and DeMarcus Lawrence come to mind immediately. That scouting report doesn't concern me. His job is to penetrate, not clog up the line. He was misused at Houston IMO. 

 

I wouldn't say far too many.  There have been a bunch, but there have been a lot more that simply haven't lived up to their draft hype.   One notable one, Torell Troup.  

 

There are many big-school DL-men that never live up, the odds of the small school ones isn't greater.  

 

Besides, this notion that because other players of similar backgrounds did something is hardly a reason as to why another player will or won't.  

 

My point is simply this, if a player like Oliver struggles against  OL-men that don't even have a legitimate chance of getting drafted, and particularly against double-teams as is the knock on him, that can't possibly be an indicator that he'll succeed and do better against NFL caliber OL-men.  Who would argue that it would, but that seems to be your argument.  

 

We'll see, perhaps "coaching" or whatever will make the difference, as I said, if I had a grand, I wouldn't bet it on the fact that it will happen.  If others want to take personal offense at that, so be it.  Doesn't bother me.  I'm simply challenging narratives.  

 

Remember the narratives on Lawson and Ragland.  All we heard was how Ragland should have been a 1st-rounder and what a steal we got.  Yeah, a real steal.  Anyone that knows college ball knows that Bama puts out more system players that never perform to expectations in the NFL than quite perhaps any other school.  Just sayin'.  

 

That's what happens when you have a college team chock full of four and five star recruits, overall you're so much better than the other schools simply because you're solid at every single position including depth.  Doesn't necessarily mean that they're all independently great.  That was also the case with John McCargo.  I said at the time of his drafting that A, his numbers weren't as impressive as they sounded, but because of the talent on his DL, particularly the DEs, Mario Williams and Manny Lawson, who allowed McCargo to play better, but he never posted great numbers at all.  I never understood why he was considered a top prospect.  

 

It's wise to consider those things before drafting a player.   I do, I have no idea why our front office never has.  

 

As to Oliver, we'll see.  I hope I'm off.  Either way, Beane & McD aren't going to survive here unless Allen makes a massive leap this season into the realm of the top-15 anyway.  

 

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2 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

Well, if you want to argue that point, of the ones we've taken, so far Jones at 37th overall doesn't look too good.  Looks more like a wasted pick if you ask me.  Smith-Shuster, the guy that I was on record as saying would have been a much better pick, USC, is lighting things up.  Could have had him.  

 

Allen's already got pretty good sized issues that are residual from his collegiate play, he's no shoe-in either.  I'd say that the odds are more against him than for him.  

 

As to Oliver and Singletary, time will tell.  Doesn't really matter what you or I think, you have to agree.  But if they end up like Jones, well, your argument vaporizes.  

 

In this thread, 

 

 

... someone posted the list of the NCAA all-time collegiate receiving leaders.  7 of the 10 were non-power 5 small school players.  Not one did anything even remotely equivalent relatively speaking in the NFL. Corey Davis has been the best but he's been average at best after two seasons.  

 

So I guess I'd ask you, which all the other small school guys that have done well.  Sure there are some, but far fewer than the bigger power-5 schools.  Just looking at last year's draft, five small school guys were taken in round 1.  Of those, only two even came close to living up to expectations, one of the two only moderately so.  Allen being among the other three.  

 

Either way, guessing from your post, I think we're all supposed to acquiesce to the notion that small school players have the same odds of starting in the NFL as players from the power-5 conferences do.  Well, OK, as long as you think so.  I'm good with it.  

 

 

 

 

Oh you must not have watched last season.  This will be the last time I even respond to one of these Jones critiques.  The OBJ draft class was an anomaly.  It is not uncommon for it to take three years for a WR to develop, that is fact not opinion.  It is also not uncommon for small school players to succeed.  The problem is you think you know what your talking about.  Just like the ignorant anti-Allen squad that cried about drafting a legitimate top 5 prospect at pick seven.

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8 minutes ago, formerlyofCtown said:

The problem is you think you know what your talking about.  Just like the ignorant anti-Allen squad that cried about drafting a legitimate top 5 prospect at pick seven.

 

Alright, no problem. 

 

If I don't respond to you in the future it's because I can't see your posts.  No sense for me to read nonsense like this.  Have a good existence.  

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7 minutes ago, Ronin said:

 

Alright, no problem. 

 

If I don't respond to you in the future it's because I can't see your posts.  No sense for me to read nonsense like this.  Have a good existence.  

Good.  One less wonderful poster I have to block.

 

You might want to look at a list of HOFs by school.  Its not the school that decides who makes it.  Its the player.

Edited by formerlyofCtown

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2 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

The thing is that they've invested much reliance upon a handful of guys that have significant injury issues, either keeping them out of games (Morse, Foster, Knox) or limiting their playing time and effectiveness in addition to missing games. (Brown, Kroft)  

 

They can lecture us how they all would have been all-american or all-pro had they stayed healthy, or whatever, but if they can't stay healthy it's all moot.  

 

Beane really hasn't made any high-level moves.  His biggest signings money-wise have been Lotulolei, Morse, Hyde, Beasley, Brown, and Murphy.  It's an unimpressive list, the only player that even approaches being an impact player among the is Hyde unless Morse can prove that he can make it thru a 16-game season.  But Morse and Brown both have injury histories, Morse's is already playing out again.  Also, Morse is good but I'm not sure I'd call him an impact player.  He's not as good as Wood.  

 

There's way too much reliance by this team in general on improvements from players that can't stay healthy.  The fact that they've put themselves in that situation is worrisome.  

I get your point with Morse, Beasley, and Brown this year but what were are alternatives?  Buffalo isn't exactly a premier free agent destination. At least last year Beasley and Brown didn't miss a game.  Beasley and Brown's contracts are set up where the majority of dead cap is in their first year of their contracts.  Morse is a gamble although a lot of the o-lineman free agents were either just one year successes or coming off a significant injury.  I don't disagree with your assessment but I question what our alternatives were.

 

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:50 PM, BarleyNY said:

Would think in that case Zay would still trail Allen in the breakout player race. 

 

That was my thought as well reading the title.  For Zay or any other WR to hav a great season, Allen must take a big step as a player.

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2 hours ago, LSHMEAB said:

There are far too many small school DL's who had great success in the NFL to cite, but Michael Strahan, John Randle, and DeMarcus Lawrence come to mind immediately. That scouting report doesn't concern me. His job is to penetrate, not clog up the line. He was misused at Houston IMO. 

Exactly.  Ed was an undersized 1 tech in college.  His role is entirely different as an NFL 3 tech.   

Some of the dudes posting on this thread are hilarious-- endless babble about how they know small school guys are going to fail blah blah.   That must mean Shaq, Adolphus, Ragland and the hundreds of other big name college guys are the right way to go, and Beane/McD/Daboll and the entire staff of professional NFL scouts with lifetimes of experience in evaluation have no clue.   Yikes.   

It's like when someone brings up politics and simplifies everything like "duh... let me tell you what the REAL way to run the country is" as if they somehow know the solutions to complex problems and challenges that all the other idiots can't seem to figure out.

 

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16 minutes ago, Da webster guy said:

Exactly.  Ed was an undersized 1 tech in college.  His role is entirely different as an NFL 3 tech.   

Some of the dudes posting on this thread are hilarious-- endless babble about how they know small school guys are going to fail blah blah.   That must mean Shaq, Adolphus, Ragland and the hundreds of other big name college guys are the right way to go, and Beane/McD/Daboll and the entire staff of professional NFL scouts with lifetimes of experience in evaluation have no clue.   Yikes.   

It's like when someone brings up politics and simplifies everything like "duh... let me tell you what the REAL way to run the country is" as if they somehow know the solutions to complex problems and challenges that all the other idiots can't seem to figure out.

 

 

 

Meh.  I heard the same thing posted here by too many to count about Whaley/Nix.

 

Turns out that....yes, they had no clue.

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8 hours ago, Doc Brown said:

I get your point with Morse, Beasley, and Brown this year but what were are alternatives?  Buffalo isn't exactly a premier free agent destination. At least last year Beasley and Brown didn't miss a game.  Beasley and Brown's contracts are set up where the majority of dead cap is in their first year of their contracts.  Morse is a gamble although a lot of the o-lineman free agents were either just one year successes or coming off a significant injury.  I don't disagree with your assessment but I question what our alternatives were.

 

 

Here's the thing, that question, about what the alternatives were, is a loaded question designed to end a discussion.  But here's my answer.  

 

The "alternatives" were last year, the year before, etc.  Team-building is a process, not to be confused with the cliched "The Process," which hasn't shown much veracity as of yet.  

 

You mentioned the contracts of Brown and Beasley.  The reality of this team is that there have been very few contracts of top-end players.  That tells us something.  The biggest money contracts for us have been Lotulolei (1st), which tells us more.  The next biggest on their watch, Morse (injury concern, now playing out), Hyde, Beasley, and Brown. (also an injury concern)   As I've pointed out, if the historical frequency of 100-yard games among Beasley, Brown, and Jones plays out this season, we'll log two (2) 100-yard games all season among those three.  None are prolific WRs nor even close.  So as I see it, unless Morse stays entirely healthy, and right now that's not the case, already, I see one team-changing signing in the batch of 5.  

 

And yeah, I get it, the narrative is how much we've improved our WR-ing corps.  If that's so, then as I"ve argued, why are Jones and Foster being included in the potential list and discussion of (by both fans and team alike) three starting WRs?  Also, let's say that the Jets of Fins had Brown, Beasley, Jones, & Foster.  Who here would be talking about "how we're going to stop the Jet or Fin passing game?"  That's a cut above laughable.  But for some reason here it's different.  Again, not to get the masses' panties all in a wad, but rather to point out the power of the narrative.  But what's a narrative?  It's talk.  Talk is cheap.  If anyone should know that it's us Bills fans, wouldn't you say.  

 

Lotulolei hasn't been a rousing success.  Hyde's been good.  The others are all new, two of the three with injury risks that if they don't play out we'll be lucky, again, one already playing out as we speak.  That's not "bad luck," that's having taken a high risk for which we are seeing the consequences of that risk.  If those risks play out during the season, should the staff be rewarded?  

 

"What the alternatives" were, also include not letting yourself get to this point.  Right, clearly.  Most of us have been saying that we've needed WRs since Beane/McD took over..  OK, so then why is it that the only WR they've drafted in the first five rounds now in three of their drafts has been Jones, a small-school one that excelled in situations that simply and obviously aren't going to be the case in the NFL?  In fact, he's one of only three WRs taken at all, another no longer even on the team not having lasted long and the third, McCloud, being a STs role-player.  Seriously, why?  That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever given the make-up of our team upon their taking over.  Yet, ... Is that strategy something to be applauded?  I don't think so.  Many do for reasons that I don't understand.  

 

I mean seriously, explain that.  Do you consider it to be good management?  I sure don't.  The only argument is that we've been active for WRs in free-agency.  OK, so what.  What has that netted us?  None were top players much less impact players.  

 

But hey, if you let your team get to this point, where we were desperate for WRs this offseason, it forces you to make decisions that could have been avoided with proper planning, which frankly, I'm not seeing from this FO.  It necessarily indicates a lack of vision for building the team.  When you're always trying players with few actually working out, then chasing your tail the next offseason again, and the next, etc., then it doesn't exactly scream out competence.  The attitude of this (or any) forum is hardly an indicator as the majority opinion, and for sure the popular opinion(s), are clearly reactive, not proactive.  Which is fine I guess unless one wants to rationally discuss aspects of the team as we're now doing.  And why people seem to take personal offense at things said should be the first eye-brow-raising issue.  That's emotion over reason.  Again, not good strategy.  

 

This FO has signed a ton of players that fans have been counting on.  Why?  Because the team told us how instrumental they'd be to one extent or another when they signed them.  But I don't recall nearly the revolving door of free-agents on any GMs watch as we're seeing now in terms of volume.  Many that they've signed aren't even here anymore.  Their strategy, in the absence of a truly viable one, appears to be one of throwing up enough mud (FA acquisitions) against the wall, generally cheap ones, hoping that enough stick.  Well enough haven't stuck.  Kelvin Benjamin, Andre Holmes, Corey Washington, Corey Brown, and Jeremy Butler to name just the WRs.  McCarron, Trent Murphy, another injury-risk player that they had hoped would "return to the form" of a single best season and not one of his other two, he wasn't cheap either at ~ $7M/year.  He hasn't been worth it.  

 

Then there are things like signing average OL-men, that made scant contributions on horrible offenses to begin with, to replace the average-or-so OL-men that we've had, and everyone gets excited and exclaims how much we've improved.  Why?  And again, with the lynch-pin of the entire new OL now being injured, per the risk that came with him after having missed nearly half his games over the past few seasons.  Pending Ford's development I don't see much improvement w/o Morse on that line.  And if Morse can't go, Bodine's his backup at C.  

 

"What would I have done?"  Already stated, I'd have taken Risner over Ford, who had a better pass-blocking grade to begin with, but who has also played Center effectively.  But hey, what do I know, right, I'm not an "expert."  

 

So what brought them to this year wouldn't have been my strategy.  Ergo, so when you ask what the alternatives were, I'd tell you that I wouldn't have been in this situation.   As stated, which should be well-known barring selective memory failure here, I would have drafted, in a NY second mind you, Smith-Shuster over Jones.  I was stunned that they chose Jones over SS.  Well, that's one problem solved that we wouldn't have had going into this offseason.  If Allen doesn't work out, and I'm not big on his odds, particularly after looking at even more data yesterday evening, then my strategy of using the 5 day 1 & 2 draft picks that we had last year to rebuild other parts of the team, instead of turning those five picks into merely two players, will also be looking better.  I'd still have gotten Edmunds whom I said we should have taken at 12th.  I'd have gone for a QB this year, Lock perhaps, who frankly, is all but a clone of Allen except that he played against much better competition and doesn't have the athleticism.  But again, I wouldn't have been looking for a rushing QB or a hurdler, I'd have been far more focused on a QB's passing regimen.  Anyway, that would have left us with the 22nd, 53rd, 56th, and 65th picks to rebuild the OL then, along with another position or two.  Again, we wouldn't have been in a desperate OL position this offseason.  

 

So that's kind of a loaded question.  Look at it this way.  You trust a guide to lead you through some sort of precarious situation to safety.  But he ends up leading you down an ally way with no escape from the threat.  Then he looks at you and says, "what would you have done when we were at that last intersection?"  That's not really the question, the question must then go all the way back to the beginning and ask what you would have done from the onset, because someone with vision wouldn't be in that same spot.  

 

This team hasn't had any vision in team-building since Polian was so thoughtfully (sarcasm intended) fired.  

 

Again, had we drafted Smith-Shuster, which I thought was the no-brainer pick at that point, by a million lightyears over Jones anyway and a solid foundation for years to come, at least at one WR spot.  Then perhaps back-filling spots with second-tier Free Agents would make more sense.  What doesn't make sense is signing second-tier free agents to start.  What makes even less sense in inheriting a team all but bereft of WR-ing talent, and not addressing it at all in the draft short of taking a small-school WR with issues as such.  And again, if Brown is hindered by injuries again this season, do you really see a big difference over our squad from last year?  With the exception of Beasley it will be virtually unchanged.  I've already pointed out how, on Beasley's ill-thought-thru comments, his biggest areas of impact to date in 7 seasons, situationally from a statistical perspective, are Allen's single biggest areas of weakness in his game.  How those two align to help Beasley is beyond my imagination.  

 

As to Jones, the talk about him was the same as it is about Oliver now.  My arguments on both are similar.  The treatment back then was to point to Jones' record-setting numbers and decry them while openly dismissing my concerns.  Funny tho, some of those same posters now say that collegiate numbers don't translate to the NFL in discussing Jones.  That's something I've known for decades, but hey, better late to the party than not showing up I suppose.  Also funny is that for Oliver they once again do.  At the end of the day they still don't.  As to Oliver, I think we'll be lucky if he ends up being better than Phillips.  Would that be worth a 9th overall if that's how it plays out?  I said "what I would have done."  I'd have taken Hilliard, the best pass-pro OT in the draft.  Does that make sense to you?  It did to me.  My team right now would be Hilliard and Dawkins at the Ts, Morse at C with Risner backing him up, Risner at G otherwise, then our next best OL-man at the other G spot.  How does that sound?  I'd be somewhat more jacked over Allen's chances as such, particularly for the future.  It's also called protecting and doing one's best to see to it that the investment that is Allen succeeds, to which both Beane's and McD's futures are directly and exclusively tied to.  

 

Our team had a different methodology, Process if you will, than I would have.  So next year, it won't be fair to ask me what I'd do then when I'd have done things differently now.  

 

Point being otherwise, I'm not sure that The Process is working.  If it were, then perhaps we wouldn't be where we are now, and having to ask, what someone else would have done.  Eh.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ronin

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