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Ethan in Portland

Year in Review - My grades

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My grades for the coaches, starters and important role players.

 

McDermott - B minus; my gut tells me he is a C+ coach that will not get this team to a championship.  But my head says he has done an adequate job with a young QB and limited athleticism in the front 7 on defense.  His game and clock management is below average but the players play hard for him.  His personnel decisions are most questionable - McCoy, Gore, Duke, Foster, DiMarco, Murphy over Lawson.

Daboll - C +.  He gets guys open with his pass route concepts and I have no issue with the designed runs for Allen.  He failed to commit to the run and establish any identity for this offense.  Had lots of success with no huddle in the early to mid part of the season and then abandoned it nearly entirely down the stretch.  He failed to use Beasley in the second half of the season.  Just too many times the play call didn't seem to fit the situation or the personnel on the field.  It started with the first play of the season with DiMarco split out wide and continued throughout the playoff loss.  Yes we as fans focus on the call, when it is probably more about the execution.  

Frazier - B minus - Almost gave this an incomplete, because we do not know who is ultimately responsible for the calls.  When they are aggressive is it McD taking the reins or is it Frazier on his own.  Look every DC rushes three and drops 8 at times.  Happened multiple times today. Most of the time it works out just fine.  But I favor an attacking defense.  That said, the defense kept them in game all year and rarely got beat deep.  This defense lacked a pass rush almost all year and went huge stretches without a turnover because of it.  They desperately need an OLB/Edge rusher in the draft.  

 

Allen - C+, I'd love to give the kid a higher grade but i can not.  I'm going to rip Edmunds a few lines later so I must be consistent.  Allen played terribly at times but he showed improvement over last year in accuracy and the short to intermediate game. His long ball game fell apart and he is not protective of the football enough.  He needs to get better next year when they will face a tougher schedule.  But he also needs better weapons.  He needs a true #1 WR with a bigger catch radius and he needs Knox to develop.

 

Brown - A minus, nearly an A+.  Did almost everything you can ask of a #1 WR.

Beasley - B+ - when given the chance he mostly produced. had a little stretch of a few drops but for the most part was what this offense needed in a slot WR

Foster - F

McKenzie - who cares

Williams - incomplete, hope they bring him to camp. He would be fine as a #4 WR

 

Knox C+ - I so desperately wanted to give him a higher grade, but too many drops and he was one of the guys who missed the block on #41 on the QB sweep in OT.  He looks liek he can be great and he may be the answer to the riddle that has been Buffalo's TE situation

Kroft - D+.  I keep him for next year.  He will be fine as TE #2

Smith - D minus I would love to give him a F but he is at times a capable blocker.  Signed a multiyer deal and they have other issues to deal with so I suspect he will be back

Sweeney - see below

 

Gore - D+, again I want to give him a F but that is because I really like McCoy as a player and how he embraced the city of Buffalo.  Gore was ok for about three games and then after that he was awful. If he was not Frank Gore he would have been cut at the bye week. He will reitre and they will sign a better RB#2

Yeldon - incomplete, he should have been used more often.  Will be let go 

Singletary - B+, didn't like the draft pick at the time.  He played better than I thought he would. He played bigger and tougher than I thought but he doesn't have elite speed. He looks liek he will be a solid RB but I doubt he is an all-pro unless he develops into a better pass receiver and blocker.  I would still rather have McCoy and use the third round pick on a WR or OLB.  

 

DiMarco - X - If I could give a grade less than F I would.  Hated this signing from day one and still do now.  He did nothing on the field to justify a roster spot let alone the money they are paying him.  Any 6th round FB could do what he does.  Next year I hope they keep 4 TE's and no FB. Use Knox or Sweeney at FB if and when needed or a DT.

 

Dawkins - B minus; solid if not spectacular LT.  Could be a lot worse but far from dominant. Woudl extend if the money is right

Spain - B minus; solid if not spectacular LG.  Could be a lot worse but far from dominant. would bring back but not overpay

Morse - B+, didn't play like the top paid center in the league but was adequate and was a steadying force in a line that had four new faces.  He may have played his best game in the playoff game. He was the best linemen out there.  

Feliciano - B+ first 10 games, C minue last 7.  Really tailed off a the end.  Did a good job at center when asked.  Is under contract for next year and I would bring back

Ford - D+ first 10 games, and C+ the last 7.  He got better as the season went along. He probably will get a chance to be the RT next year. I would favor a veteran RT in FA and a move to LG especially if Spain leaves.  

Nsekhe - C+ a journeyman for a reason

Long - wasted money but adequate depth and who cares how much they paid him

 

Murphy - D minus, hated this signing from day 1 and still do.  PED guy. How that fits the process I have no idea.  Lost contain multiple times and was terrible in the playoff game despite the two sacks.  

Oliver - C+, didn't like the pick (wanted Josh Allen or Hockenson, or a trade down when those were not available), but he played better down the stretch and DT's take years to develop.  I fear he will never be big enough but time will tell.  I still don't see him as a DE so we are stuck with the hope he gets better at DT.

Star - B minus - takes a lot of flack on this board but does his job most of the time. Is overpaid but his body size is hard to find.  Hope they keep him as again it will be hard to replace him.

H. Phillips - lost season

J. Phillips - B plus- great effort sacks but still is limited physically especially in the run game. Don't overpay for him. Let him walk and get the comp pick.

Lawson - C plus better than Murphy all year but still terribly limited as a pass rusher.  A solid DE but nothing special.

Hughes - C plus, performance is dropping off quite a bit but still can bring it from time to time.  He gets no calls and never will after going after the refs in the tunnel.  It isn't right but it's not going to change.  He is under contract and they could do a lot worse. 

 

Edmunds - C+.  I've been bitter about this pick since they wasted picks to trade up for him only to see other LBs in the same draft do better.  The age excuse is no more next season.  He has 30+ games now.  I don't know if he will ever develop the instincts needed to play MLB.  As posted numerous times, I feel he should be playing edge. He is basically the same size as Clowney. Hell he should want to play edge. They get paid more and have less responsibility.  He is an adequate blitzer and his coverage skills are over-hyped.  

Milano - C plus- hard to remember any impact plays he had this year.  I'm sure the board will remind me.  He is an effort guy playing in a game he is too small for.  If he is the worst player on an 11 man defense he is fine.  He is cheap labor and would be easy to replace when the time comes.

Alexander - D minus - minimal impact all year. Need a major upgrade in round one or two of the draft.

 

White - A+, great player, just not all-time great.  They need to use him like Revis and have him shadow the #1 wr the entire game.  

Hyde  - A minus, another great year.

Poyer - B+, solid again most of the year. A few times he was late to the double team but overall played well.

Wallace- B minus - I like his play more than most on here.  I posted he should have been packaged to get Trent Williams or a WR at the deadline.  He will get every opportunity to start again opposite White.  It's no fun being the corner opposite the great ones.  They get more balls thrown there way.  

K. Johnson - B minus?  I don't know.  He seemd fine when in there . No big completions given up that I can recall but no big plays either.

T Johnson - B plus - another guy that gets heat from the board who I like. He draws the slot and is an adequate run defender in the nickel.  Tough position to play and replace. 

 

Hauscka - B + , solid PK that will come back with training camp competition, could be a lot worse

Bojorquez - C minus, I'm not going to bother to see if I spelled it correclty., He is not worth even a two second google search.  Please draft the best punter in the 6th round and move on from this guy.

 

Did I miss anyone?

 

I think this was a 7-9 or 8-8 team talent wise that got a lucky break with the schedule (I think I predicted 10 wins before the season started and thought 11 was possible when Cleveland and Pittsburgh bottomed out).  Their best win was Dallas where even Garrett coached worse than our staff.  Some of these guys are hopeless like Murphy and should be gone.  For many of the others, I think they can get better - in particular Allen, Oliver, Knox, Ford, and even Edmunds.  I think the staff can coach better too.  I'd be fine if the entire staff comes back.  They could do worse. Maybe they bring in a QB coach with experience to help Daboll. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the comments... agree with a lot... I'd like to see some of your thoughts about how much money they should offer the free agents for you to want them back if the price is right... Spain, J Philipps and Dawkins ( who may be looking for an extension..)

 

I agree their best game of the year was against Dallas.. off the back of a pretty solid performance 5 days earlier against Denver, I thought that something may have clicked and good times were ahead.. Appears this was not the case...

 

I got a feeling Murphy will be back when Shaq moves on... 

 

I like Edmunds .. he needs to improve but I think he can as he is still only 21...   

 

 

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I think your grades are fair. However, I'd edge up Nsheke and Edmund's and edge House down.

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I think this is spot on except Edmunds. I don't think he can play DE like Clowney as that is an elite talent to get to the QB that can't be merely acquired by switching positions. That would take gaining wait, and see if he has enough burst to play the position. 

 

Otherwise I agree with 99% of this. I would give Frazier and McDermott a slightly higher score only because they produced wins from defense. I don't think McDermott would have had the same season record wise if we had the same schedule as the Lions. We wouldn't have their W/L record, but I agree it would have been an 8-8 season with that schedule. 

 

Ultimately I put a lot more blame on Daboll and give him a D grade because it's obvious Josh Allen doesn't read the field quick enough for complex routes that take a while to open up. 

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Ethan, well done. Can't argue with much and excellent synopsis. Josh and McD still have alot of learning to do together. What little faith I have in Daboll is dwindling. Players like Smith, DiMarco, Kroft, Gore &  Foster have to come off this team, as for a few others. Our coaches can't afford to deactivate serviceable players like Duke/ TJ anymore for some of these incredibly unproductive players. Next years schedule is daunting. No more cupcakes. If Sean wants to truly be fearless and championship caliber he will have to look in the mirror and reflect on his CONSERVATIVE  philosophy. The future of this team depends on it. Good luck this offseason. Pick some great ones Brandon. 

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Please know I believe players can get better. I would not be surprised at all if Edmunds gets better. My grade is just for play this year. He just didn't make enough impact plays - case in point the two point conversion where he couldn't keep Watson out of the endzone. I agree with Booger MacFarland and his comparison to Brian Urlacher. He should study his film. Urlacher attacked the LOS and found a way to get his huge frame between blockers with speed and instinct.

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3 hours ago, Aussie Joe said:

Thanks for the comments... agree with a lot... I'd like to see some of your thoughts about how much money they should offer the free agents for you to want them back if the price is right... Spain, J Philipps and Dawkins ( who may be looking for an extension..)

 

I agree their best game of the year was against Dallas.. off the back of a pretty solid performance 5 days earlier against Denver, I thought that something may have clicked and good times were ahead.. Appears this was not the case...

 

I got a feeling Murphy will be back when Shaq moves on... 

 

I like Edmunds .. he needs to improve but I think he can as he is still only 21...   

 

 

I couldn't begin to fathom the logic of keeping Murphy over Shaq. Lawson was already a good run defender, but his sack total went up quite a bit. He's earned an extension IMO

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13 minutes ago, buffalo2218 said:

I couldn't begin to fathom the logic of keeping Murphy over Shaq. Lawson was already a good run defender, but his sack total went up quite a bit. He's earned an extension IMO

 

The logic is as follows....

 

Shaq will go to another team as most spurned Round 1 picks do when their 5th year option is not picked up...

 

Bills will realise that they have deficiencies at DE with Shaqs loss and decide that the $7Mil or so that Murphy is due for one more year is probably a cost they will bear in the short term...

 

I also think that Murphy is very "Processy" and thought of more highly by McD and the coching staff then the majority of punters here...

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2 minutes ago, Aussie Joe said:

 

The logic is as follows....

 

Shaq will go to another team as most spurned Round 1 picks do when their 5th year option is not picked up...

 

Bills will realise that they have deficiencies at DE with Shaqs loss and decide that the $7Mil or so that Murphy is due for one more year is probably a cost they will bear in the short term...

 

I also think that Murphy is very "Processy" and thought of more highly by McD and the coching staff then the majority of punters here...

Sadly I agree. Shaq was disrespected by Beane and will leave not even giving the Bills a chance to make or match an offer. 

Not convinced they will bring back Murphy but who knows. I don't care about the money. They have plenty. Just draft 4 front 7 guys next year.

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Just now, buffalo2218 said:

If process trumps production, then how is this "process" making this team any better? The second part of your logic is basically implying DE will become a need when DE will also become an even bigger need since more than likely, this will be Hughes' last year. Lawson was far more productive than Murphy in both run support and sacks, but because Murphy is "processy", we just throw away the better DE?

 

You missed the part of how they gave up their control for what Lawson does next year..

 

Lawson can go on the market and where he chooses...

 

Murphy is stil contracted next year..

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Lawson and Phillips have both earned reasonable extensions. Murphy has to be replaced by Ngakoue. I don't care if Trent prays to the Lord of Process,  his skills are not good enough. 

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10 minutes ago, Aussie Joe said:

 

You missed the part of how they gave up their control for what Lawson does next year..

 

Lawson can go on the market and where he chooses...

 

Murphy is stil contracted next year..

Hmm, yeah Lawson does have that option. Still none too comfortable with Murphy coming back, maybe they will pursue that DE from the Jags

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Kinda weird how every letter grade is either a plus or a minus.

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Only one I would complain about is Lawson. He was a game changer for this defense. 
He improved his pass rush, he’s much better rushing the LT. Excellent against the run. And against rushing quarterbacks he’s been extremely good at containment. He was missed badly yesterday. I hope he’s back. I’ve said before it has the look that this coaching staff has unlocked a gear in him he did not know he had. I don’t think it’s contract year effort I think he figured out his game last season and just got better this year. Not sure he’s peaked yet. I would of given him a solid B to B+ for this season. Since he didn’t start it was always obvious to me when he stepped in the game and seeing the change in defense. How many games did we give up that first drive score? Teams marched right on down. Second drive Shaq comes in usually and the D stabilizes. Very important piece even if he’s not stuffing a stat sheet 

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12 minutes ago, Capco said:

Kinda weird how every letter grade is either a plus or a minus.

Interesting catch...I didnt intend it that way.  I  had Edmunds a C minus and thought that was too harsh so I went with C+.  

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5 minutes ago, Rc2catch said:

Only one I would complain about is Lawson. He was a game changer for this defense. 
He improved his pass rush, he’s much better rushing the LT. Excellent against the run. And against rushing quarterbacks he’s been extremely good at containment. He was missed badly yesterday. I hope he’s back. I’ve said before it has the look that this coaching staff has unlocked a gear in him he did not know he had. I don’t think it’s contract year effort I think he figured out his game last season and just got better this year. Not sure he’s peaked yet. I would of given him a solid B to B+ for this season. Since he didn’t start it was always obvious to me when he stepped in the game and seeing the change in defense. How many games did we give up that first drive score? Teams marched right on down. Second drive Shaq comes in usually and the D stabilizes. Very important piece even if he’s not stuffing a stat sheet 

I liked Lawson all year, thought it was crazy to not pick up his option, and even worse that Murphy started ahead of him.  My only knock on him is I don't see any pass rushing moves.  I see hustle and chasing the QB down but I don't see any spin move I don't see an inside rip.  

He is a solid DE and teams need solid players. No team has 11 stars.  He would be perfectly fine at DE with an upgrade at OLB behind him.  Alas he liekly has already packed huis house and moved out of Buffalo.  

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2 minutes ago, Ethan in Portland said:

I liked Lawson all year, thought it was crazy to not pick up his option, and even worse that Murphy started ahead of him.  My only knock on him is I don't see any pass rushing moves.  I see hustle and chasing the QB down but I don't see any spin move I don't see an inside rip.  

He is a solid DE and teams need solid players. No team has 11 stars.  He would be perfectly fine at DE with an upgrade at OLB behind him.  Alas he liekly has already packed huis house and moved out of Buffalo.  

I also was mad about the 5th year option. Costed nothing to get the extra year of production and see his peak value. 
And I used to agree on the pass rush moves. Until he started subbing in for Jerry more. He can rush from that side pretty good. I still have a little hope he wants to stay with the team. 

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