Originally Posted by jmt57
For those that missed it, more on the Bills here: Buffalo Bills 2009 Preview
Box, I'm curious why you think the Bills defense will be their biggest problem rather than their offense? Last year the Buffalo offense ranked 14th in both yards per game an points scored - very average, but nothing horrible. In fact they were ahead of the Jets in both those categories. By contrast the Bills offense ranked 25th in yardage and 23rd in points scored. Granted Terrell Owens should open things up for Lee Evans and Marshawn Walker, but I'm still having a hard time envisioning them as anything more than middle of the pack on offense. Meanwhile their defense gets Aaron Schobel back, so I would think their defense would be better than their offense. Or am I overlooking something here?
While it can be argued Jauron and his staff don't know what they're doing, I take BB's respect for Jauron at face value and look to understand why they might choose to do the things they have done:
-- Buffalo drafted my #1 OG/OC choice (Rd. 1) in this draft, he played pretty well against B.J. Raji in the Senior Bowl and he demonstrated more mobility than people expected of him, though Buffalo doesn't move it's O-line nearly as much as NE does. He's been working at LG to replace a $50M free agent signing who Buffalo has released (follow the money, expensive out, inexpensive in).
-- Buffalo also picked up Oregon's LT (Rd. 2) and have moved him inside to RG where his short arms aren't as much a liability. That's two tough, strong, nasty, Day One rookies inside at Guard in place of the high priced Free Agents Buffalo went after 3 or so years ago when they started rebuilding.
-- For reasonable money, Buffalo picked up a new Free Agent Center off Carolina's roster - Carolina runs the ball (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), plus re-signed/signed another pair of solid journeyman OL.
-- The interior of the Buffalo OL is brand new, the anchor is a veteran from a run first team, and the two rookies were highly thought of by draftniks who follow OL.
-- You add Dom Rhodes to Lynch and Jackson and now Buffalo's run game looks healthier than it had (granted on paper, but we know what they had; see NE @ Buffalo wind game, 2008). The new LT played LT in place of Peters, Buf knew what they were getting and they didn't stampede after a LT in the draft, instead they focused on the interior.
-- No big names on the OL, where have we seen that approach?
2. DL: They drafted Maybin, and we're not even sure he's not going to be used as a rush LB instead. They extended Stroud. A healthy Schobel is a plus, but Schobel is also getting some miles on him, Buffalo's D-line is essentially unchanged and they struggled with depth the past three seasons.
3. Passing game:
-- Terrell Owens is the big name, it's a one year deal so he'll fly true and give them his best on and off the field.
-- The sneaky thing they did was draft TE Shawn Nelson, who is a pretty darned good receiving TE with excellent speed, but he's also the kid who pancaked the dred Rey Maualuga at the Senior Bowl (he ate Rey's lunch), so we see them bring in someone to stretch the seam while Evans is flying upfield and Owens is clearing the intermediate routes - and remember how a good TE is a QB's best friend.
-- I think the O-line will protect Edwards just fine, so that receiving corps isn't better by a factor of Owens alone, there's now a TE with Watson-like speed and better hands, who isn't a prima dona in the run game.
-- Maybin is athletic enough to develop as a LB.
-- They also signed a Free Agent LB and drafted a SS/LB tweener who happens to be just the right size for their LB corps and can help cover Welker and the TEs.
-- This wasn't that bad a group before, Crowell is gone, but the unit may be just a bit stronger on paper.
5. QB - J.P. Losman is gone.
Addition by subtraction.
6. DB: Buffalo re-signed or signed four DBs in FA, and drafted four DBs (counting the tweener SS/LB), they are pressuring Whitner and Simpson to step up or step away. Their CB pool isn't too bad, and the S pool just got very competitive.
7. Same kicking game, Oy!
Buffalo's defense, when healthy, has been competitive and scrappy, it's only when they get down into the depth chart that they dry up, and that's with Safeties who've been underachieving by the coaching staff's expectations. Other than not addressing a depth concern on the DL, they will be tough again.
Where Buffalo put it's greatest effort is on offense - why? NE's scoring machine. Bufflao is trying to build a unit that can keep the score closer. They spent less money on the O-line, and once the dead money mistakes of the past are erased, may be able to afford better weapons at DE, WR, and DT - all big money positions. They rebuilt as much as they could afford to in one year with an eye toward NE's offense, if Jauron can get another year to try and bring in better DE/DT depth, we may have a nice fight series to watch.