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Good Night / Bad Night - Pre-season game 1


GunnerBill
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9 hours ago, SectionC3 said:

Moss should be in.  He had a little bit of burst both last night and at the open practice.  I think Crowder is a trade candidate, as is Haack.  I have to say I’d like to see araiza hold at a location other than a hash to see if he can hit his spot without a guide.  

I was going to add that I think you possibly see some trades happening with these guys. 
 

crowder for sure. I look at it this way, we’re keeping at least 6 if not 7 WRs and that should be:

Diggs

Davis

Mckenzie

Shakir

 

Hodgins is very close and likely passed Crowder now

Kumerow has ST ability and Crowder didn’t try and return a single kick yesterday. 
 

My take would be to cut/trade Crowder and save the cap space. Sign OBJ and stash him on IR until he’s ready. I’d feel much better about that WR room than Crowder as my 5-7th guy. 
 

 

I also think with Blackshear having a very good game, you could see them thinking they might get something for Moss in a trade if they showcase him in preseason a little. But that’s assuming Blackshear can manage the load of a 3rd RB. He looked very good imo last night and also had STs additions as well. I’m not saying to trade Moss but I wonder if that’s in their heads. Well see more next week if Blackshear gets more opportunities imo. 
 

they will likely try and trade some others as well. Not sure Haack has any value at this point. He was terrible last season. Maybe a DE or OL could be dealt for some late round picks. But I’m not sure what kind of value any of our 3rd string OL has at this point. 

 

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10 hours ago, Dan Darragh said:

No mention of Ken Dorsey.  He's a rookie too. I thought the play selection for the first two-point conversion was abysmal.

 

And as for Steve Tasker, I realize that I've liked him on TV all these years because of how much I loved watching him play.  Actually, he's really terrible on TV.

Amen on Tasker. He needs to focus on quality not quantity. Talks way too much. 

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10 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

Matt Araiza - his holding seemed to be on point, and the one punt he hit he absolutely creamed EIGHTY TWO yards. There are still questions for him to answer on the hang time and directional punts when the Bills are closer in, but as a field flipper when your offense stalls deep in your own territory he is a weapon. It was an important night for him and he came up trumps. Matt Haack had one nicely placed shorter punt for a fair catch, but one feels that this competition has decisively turned in the rookie's favour. 

 


I don’t think the ball was the only thing that got creamed when he kicked that punt.  

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6 hours ago, HappyDays said:

 

And yet Shakir made a similar catch later in the game:

 

This is the NFL. Passes aren't always perfect. If you get your hands on the ball you're supposed to catch it. Especially when your role mainly consists of catching balls in the middle of the field, drops like Crowder had are dangerous and lead to turnovers. So far this offseason Crowder has been banged up and failed to make the play he was given in his one opportunity. His chances of making the roster went down a bit yesterday.

 

 

Big difference between throwing the ball too high over the middle and on the sideline.

 

Nobody coming off the sideline to hit that receiver in the face........or to intercept the ball if it goes thru their hands.

 

Keenum overthrew the two end zone throws on the first drive too.

 

His mechanics and decision making will improve as he gets more familiar in the offense.   Keenum is not an athlete who is going to just come into the game cold and keep the chains moving by any means possible for a few series........he's strictly a pocket passer who was acquired to play for a series of full games if Allen gets injured.   He should probably play the entire first half the next two weeks.   

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2 hours ago, mrags said:

I was going to add that I think you possibly see some trades happening with these guys. 
 

crowder for sure. I look at it this way, we’re keeping at least 6 if not 7 WRs and that should be:

Diggs

Davis

Mckenzie

Shakir

 

Hodgins is very close and likely passed Crowder now

Kumerow has ST ability and Crowder didn’t try and return a single kick yesterday. 
 

My take would be to cut/trade Crowder and save the cap space. Sign OBJ and stash him on IR until he’s ready. I’d feel much better about that WR room than Crowder as my 5-7th guy. 
 

 

I also think with Blackshear having a very good game, you could see them thinking they might get something for Moss in a trade if they showcase him in preseason a little. But that’s assuming Blackshear can manage the load of a 3rd RB. He looked very good imo last night and also had STs additions as well. I’m not saying to trade Moss but I wonder if that’s in their heads. Well see more next week if Blackshear gets more opportunities imo. 
 

they will likely try and trade some others as well. Not sure Haack has any value at this point. He was terrible last season. Maybe a DE or OL could be dealt for some late round picks. But I’m not sure what kind of value any of our 3rd string OL has at this point. 

 

I think crowders money is guaranteed. So trading him is probably more helpful to the cap than cutting him.  He may have negative value,  but it might be worth paying a bit to save the cash. 
 

 

Haack May surprise us.  I believe that the rams got a 7th from GB for bojorquez at the end of the preseason last year.  So if I’m beane, I’m waiting until the end to cut Haack.  

Edited by SectionC3
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2 minutes ago, Shake_My_Head said:

Huh?  Those two passes had absolutely nothing in common.   One was a bang-bang crossing pattern and the other was a deep out.

 

I just mean in the sense that Shakir had to fully extend his arms and pluck the ball out of the air. Not that it was the same route. If a rookie can make that catch so can Crowder. Crowder is already behind the curve because of his injuries keeping him out of practice. He contributes nothing on special teams and he's getting outplayed by a 5th round rookie. If he wants to make himself irreplaceable he has to make a few difficult plays. 

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1 hour ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Big difference between throwing the ball too high over the middle and on the sideline.

 

 

 

It happens. QB's aren't perfect. Allen has a number of highlights of high balls over the middle for completions. One last year I think to Kumerow or Sanders in the game at New England comes to mind. The across the body throw. Another that comes to mind to me was to Diggs in 2020 against the Raiders. It's nice to see that Gabe Davis has already shown our rookie how to make sideline catches though.

 

That said, I am not confident at all in our back up QB position. I hate that our starting QB is athletically elite and our back ups are the complete opposite. It was great having Mitch last year because he was a QB with at least some similar athletic skills to Allen.

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11 hours ago, DCofNC said:

1 thing that was a bummer to me, we have no developmental QB on the roster, watching 2 guys we know are mediocre makes it a lot less fun. 


 

Why would we want a developmental guy?  Seriously - with Josh we are only keeping 2 on the roster - so you need an experienced back-up.  If we draft a developmental guy then you have to hope he shows nothing so you can sneak him on the PS.

 

If he looks like he can play - then you waste a roster spot.

 

For the next 5 years - it should be Josh and an experienced guy that has some game experience in the league that can win you a few games.  Then you can start looking at developmental guys, but not now - that is just a waste.

 

 

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Keenum was playing with twos and threes against the ones of a very good defense. He's hitting spots on his throws and I wouldn't be shocked if his receivers simply couldn't hit those spots in time. 

 

We have no idea how he will be graded individually for that performance. Granted it didn't look good at all, but he would have looked much better with the threes.

 

I was really impressed by hodgins, and am on the record saying he will be a surprise break out player this year. He probably has the best hands on the team, based on his college catch rate (even with that drop, his hands were in the perfect place and turned his body real nice while maintaining his run, he just missed like steph curry misses freethrows with great form cause no one is prefect. 

 

If Hodgins can show he can get separation against starters and second string CBs and sit into a zone when bracketed, he really should be on the team. He had a chance to be the steal of the draft at wr over Davis, before he started getting hurt.

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9 minutes ago, HardyBoy said:

Keenum was playing with twos and threes against the ones of a very good defense. He's hitting spots on his throws and I wouldn't be shocked if his receivers simply couldn't hit those spots in time. 

 

We have no idea how he will be graded individually for that performance. Granted it didn't look good at all, but he would have looked much better with the threes.

 

I was really impressed by hodgins, and am on the record saying he will be a surprise break out player this year. He probably has the best hands on the team, based on his college catch rate (even with that drop, his hands were in the perfect place and turned his body real nice while maintaining his run, he just missed like steph curry misses freethrows with great form cause no one is prefect. 

 

If Hodgins can show he can get separation against starters and second string CBs and sit into a zone when bracketed, he really should be on the team. He had a chance to be the steal of the draft at wr over Davis, before he started getting hurt.


The issue/key for Hodgins is whether he can achieve separation against quality NFL corners.  His get-off was good last night - wouldn’t be surprised if they let him run against the first-string defenders over the next two games to see just how much he has improved.

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9 hours ago, HappyDays said:

If the Bills want to make up some cap space, some of these rookies might be able to replace the special teams aces on the team. Spector and Blackshear could take Matakevich's and Taiwan Jones's jobs respectively. Maybe not to the same level but I'll take the younger and cheaper production on special teams even if the floor is a little lower.


 

The problem is I don’t think Spector and Blackshear take their jobs in a replacement situation.  It becomes a numbers games.  
 

I think maybe someone like Cam Lewis could fill the gunner responsibilities of Jones and if the Bills decide he is a potential replacement - it opens a different role that maybe Blackshear can fill.

 

Spector may be able to fill Matakevich’s role - he has the speed and can tackle - I just have not seen them using him in that role fully.  I think Matakevich based upon his extension- is a guy this staff really likes and I just do not see them risking it for a potential guy.  
 

To me Spector is the Andre Smith replacement player while Smith is suspended.  Then after 6 games - the Bills can see the health of the players and decide what to do with Smith.

 

 

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Just now, Coach Tuesday said:


The issue/key for Hodgins is whether he can achieve separation against quality NFL corners.  His get-off was good last night - wouldn’t be surprised if they let him run against the first-string defenders over the next two games to see just how much he has improved.

 

Completely agree, I'm super excited to watch that!

 

He was getting wide open against 3rd and 4th stringers from what I saw. He was clearly better than the people he was playing against.

 

With how long the Colts played their started, Hodgins had to have gone against their 2s at least a bit right? Is that true and if so anyone know how he did in those reps yet?

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13 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

Back, by absolutely no popular acclaim, it is my good night / bad night pre-season breakdowns as I try and work out who hurt themselves and who helped themselves in the exhibition season. So as the Bills extend the pre-season winning run to 9, it's time to do that vs the Colts. I should say this is the first pre-season game I have missed watching live for 9 years, and sometimes I feel you get a different perspective watching later knowing the outcome, but here goes. 

 

Good Night for...

 

Zack Moss - the fact that Moss got all three of his carries in the first series tells you all you need to know. The Bills brass had seen what they needed to see from him. After a promising rookie season, followed by a sophomore slump Moss came into this offseason with a slight question mark over his roster status. Those questions had been all but erased after a strong camp but any lingering doubt was extinguished last night particularly with the burst he showed to get to the edge on his longest run. He is on this roster and how the Bills balance him vs Singletary and Cook promises to be intriguing. 

 

The 'starting' secondary - the secondary that started this game was essentially the Bills second string as things stand and they played very well. Jaquan Johnson continues to demonstrate the sort of instincts and smarts for which the Bills starting safeties are renowned and got himself an interception to boot; rookie corners Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford both had nice 3rd down stops; and second year safety Damar Hamlin was active around the football. Compared to a year ago I feel much better about the depth of this unit with a mix of development from the safties and the additions at corner. 

 

Matt Araiza - his holding seemed to be on point, and the one punt he hit he absolutely creamed EIGHTY TWO yards. There are still questions for him to answer on the hang time and directional punts when the Bills are closer in, but as a field flipper when your offense stalls deep in your own territory he is a weapon. It was an important night for him and he came up trumps. Matt Haack had one nicely placed shorter punt for a fair catch, but one feels that this competition has decisively turned in the rookie's favour. 

 

Boogie Basham and AJ Epenesa - I thought AJ had two nice pressures early on (though he should definitely have converted one of them into a sack and seemed to lose his footing a touch having turned the corner) and Basham made the big strip sack that allowed Bernard the scoop and score chance in the first half. The Bills are going to need contributions from these two guys this year as the second line guys behind Von and Greg. This was a promising start, though greater tests undoubtedly lie ahead. 

 

Isaiah Hodgins - Khalil Shakir also had a really nice night, but he was all but a lock for the roster anyway and while he had a catch from out wide early most of his best routes were still run from the slot. Hodgins played mostly wide where there is a potential spot to shoot for on this roster (much discussed on these boards in the last week) as depth behind Diggs and Davis. Hodgins did some "big slot" stuff too and he kind of has to make contested catches because he lacks the burst to separate organically but he came up clutch last night in the second half albeit against the Colts 2nd and 3rd stringers. Is he legitimately in with a shot at the roster? Who knows, but Jake Kumerow's fumble may have left the door ajar. Let's see whether the Bills give him more snaps against the Broncos starters next week. If they do, then Hodgins has a chance. 

 

 

Bad Night for...

 

Case Keenum - Yea, that was concerning. Case Keenum can play Quarterback in this league, but he admitted in his presser this week that he is still learning this offense and reports from camp have not been stellar. The first interception last night was not really on him, but the second was a telegraphed throw that lacked heat and he just generally looked indecisive and tentative. He completed 11 of 18 but for a paltry 4.8 YPA. Matt Barkley demonstrated his own limitations at times as well with a pick and an intercepted 2pointer but his greater experience in the scheme showed and he was able to at least move the offence. 

 

Jamison Crowder - If the red alert signals are not flashing in Crowder's head right now, they should be. His roster spot is not safe. The fact that Isaiah McKenzie didn't even suit up is a sure sign that he has all but won the starting slot job. Crowder got snaps early, struggled to find space in the defense and on his one target spooned a catch up into the air for an interception. When you add that to Shakir's performance the Bills must ask themselves the question "what is this guy doing except preventing an exciting rookie from getting on the field?" 

 

Matt Smiley - What we have learned about the Bills' new Special Teams Coordinator this summer is that he is a bouncy, high energy personality. But this was a rough first outing for his unit. Special teams penalties galore and this generally looked like a sloppy effort. Yes, it is hard to run efficient STs in pre-season when guys are shuffling in and out, plus as far as I could see his starting gunners Taiwan Jones and Siran Neal did not play (think Cam Lewis and Nick McCloud were on gunner duties), but this was a concerning start. 

 

OJ Howard - He wasn't out there a lot but he just made no impact. He doesn't seem to be moving that quickly and he struggled to get separation. He has been arguably the biggest disappointment of the entire offseason so far. For all the talk about two and even three tight end sets it is going to be difficult for the Bills to add that wrinkle without an effective running mate for Dawson Knox. Of the tight ends that played only Quinton Morris flashed at all for me, with one long catch and a couple of nice blocks to set up screens. 

 

The run blocking - I have put this 5th of the five concerns because I should start with the cavet - this wasn't even the second team offensive line. Not only did the five supposed starters all sit, but Quessenberry and Mancz sat too and Cody Ford only played the first series or two. So there is an argument to say this was a line shorn of what the Bills consider their top 8 guys. But they struggled, especially at the point of attack in the run game. Even the big Zack Moss run I alluded to earlier was more about him creating than the line blowing people off the ball. But if improving their run game was a genuine focus in the offseason this wasn't the most impressive of starts. 

 

 

That is week 1 of the pre-season in the books and the first Bills football since they walked off the field devastated in Arrowhead. Two more to go before the real stuff starts. Those final few roster battles are definitely hotting up. 

 

Agree with all your Good Night choices, maybe would add Love in there but was against 3rd stringers for the most part.

 

On the loser part as far as ST penalties go, with little consistency in the unit, not surprising all the penalties.  They also did have a couple good KO returns that weren't called back.  Do agree on Howard and Crowder part.

 

Run blocking too as was pointed out not even the 2nd string OL.  Also Indy started the game with most of their starters.

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12 hours ago, Big Turk said:

 

Yeah that's true, but again, throw a better ball and the worst that happens is an incomplete pass.

 

Who cares about a developmental QB? 

 

We are not in the drought era where we thought every developmental QB we got was going to be the next franchise QB anymore.

 

I mean let's be real...of Allen goes down it doesn't matter who the backup is, we are screwed. A developmental QB is not doing anything for us. Don't understand the love for them are around the league..when was the last one that had any real success?

 

I wouldn't be surprised to only keep 2 and try to sneak Barkley onto the PS

I’m just looking for something more entertaining than 2 guys you KNOW suck haha.

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26 minutes ago, Rochesterfan said:


 

Why would we want a developmental guy?  Seriously - with Josh we are only keeping 2 on the roster - so you need an experienced back-up.  If we draft a developmental guy then you have to hope he shows nothing so you can sneak him on the PS.

 

If he looks like he can play - then you waste a roster spot.

 

For the next 5 years - it should be Josh and an experienced guy that has some game experience in the league that can win you a few games.  Then you can start looking at developmental guys, but not now - that is just a waste.

 

 

Really? I’d sure hate to have been the Patriots, getting a 2nd out of a 7th rd qb, and then Jimmy G, and Brissett, yeah, it’s awful to develop guys.  We should just role with guys you know can’t do the job because “they’ll never play”. 

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3 hours ago, HappyDays said:

 

I just mean in the sense that Shakir had to fully extend his arms and pluck the ball out of the air. Not that it was the same route. If a rookie can make that catch so can Crowder. Crowder is already behind the curve because of his injuries keeping him out of practice. He contributes nothing on special teams and he's getting outplayed by a 5th round rookie. If he wants to make himself irreplaceable he has to make a few difficult plays. 

The amount of time the ball was in the air was quite different on those two throws. 

 

In Crowder's case, it was a bang-bang play with the ball right in his face just as he turned his head to look for it.  On Hodgins, it was in the air a lot longer, giving him more time to look the catch in.    Apples and oranges.     They play different positions as well, with Crowder in the slot and Hodgins on the outside, with differing patterns and degrees of difficulty (more traffic inside, closer to the LOS for Crowder, more pattern depth and free releases for Hodgins).

 

Could Crowder have made the catch?    Certainly, but it was a tough ball and the QB was as much as fault as he was.    

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9 hours ago, DCofNC said:

Really? I’d sure hate to have been the Patriots, getting a 2nd out of a 7th rd qb, and then Jimmy G, and Brissett, yeah, it’s awful to develop guys.  We should just role with guys you know can’t do the job because “they’ll never play”. 


 

Yeah - I mean let’s look at NE during the Brady years.  
 

They spent 10 picks on developmental guys and 1 guy - Matt Cassel got them a return of a 2nd for a 7th(and Vrable) and that was because he got to play a year when Brady was injured.

 

Jimmy G was a 2nd round pick that netted them a slightly better 2nd round pick.

Brissett was traded to acquire Phillip Dorsett - a wr that had 80 catches in 3 seasons playing with Tom Brady (not exactly a stellar return for a 3rd round pick)

 

They also wasted a 4th on Rohan Davey 

A 6th on wonder coach Kliff Kingsbury

A 3rd on Kevin O’Connell

7th round picks on Etling and Robinson

They got nothing for these picks

 

They also lost value on Ryan Mallet - a 3rd round pick traded for a 6th

Jarrett Stidham a 4th round pick that they traded along with a 7th to get a 6th.

 

Much of this was also in the early 2000’s where many teams kept 3 QBs on the roster and the NFL had rules like the designated 3rd QB that did not cost you a roster spot on game day and you could activate a QB mid game due to injuries.

 

As those rules went away - most teams dropped to 2 QBs on the roster and for teams competing for Super Bowls - the back-up is almost always an experienced veteran - just in case.

 

As I said - I am happy to start looking for a developmental QB when Josh has been in the league 10-12 years, but right now - a developmental QB gets you nothing and the only spot for him is a PS - so you risk losing him for nothing.  Right now they need someone that can and has won games in the league to fill in if needed.  
 

If they want a developmental guys on the PS rather than Barkley - look around the league - the NYJs, NE are both going to have guys drafted this year that did stuff in the preseason have to go to the PS - if something terrible happens - take them from an opponent.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Dan Darragh said:

No mention of Ken Dorsey.  He's a rookie too. I thought the play selection for the first two-point conversion was abysmal.

 

And as for Steve Tasker, I realize that I've liked him on TV all these years because of how much I loved watching him play.  Actually, he's really terrible on TV.

I bet the second play call would have also been abysmal if he did Not get in. 

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