“Our new business on the corporate sponsorship front is up about 38 percent from last year,” Brandon said. “And our retention model has always been in the high 90s in our sponsorship business.”
Merchandise sales are up about 35 percent this year, buoyed by the popularity of the Marshawn Lynch and Paul Posluszny rookie jerseys, and hits on the team’s Web site are up about 15 percent, Brandon said.
The team also has made some inroads in its Southern Ontario market, which always has been a challenge.
“Business is good,” Brandon said. “We’re never comfortable, but we’re pleased with where we are to date.”
Sounds a little like the examples set by Bob Kraft and others, plus the incentive from the revenue sharing negotiations, has gotten Ralphie and minions off the stick.
A lack of size and physicality could become a problem at the corners. The New England Patriots reloaded at receiver, bringing in the 6-foot-4 Randy Moss, 6-3 Kelley Washington and 6-0 Donte Stallworth, among others. There’s not a tight end on their roster under 6-6.
Combine the vertical range of New England’s receiving corps with the accuracy of quarterback Tom Brady and it’s apparent the Pats will create matchup woes for many an opponent. McGee and Webster stand 5-9. Only second-year corner Eric Bassey, at 6-1, is taller than 5-11 among the DBs on the Buffalo roster.
Just a couple of months ago Anthony Thomas was the only running back on Buffalo's roster that got significant playing time during the 2006 season. Head coach Dick Jauron on more than one occasion diplomatically spoke of taking a committee approach to running the football.
After watching the success the four NFL teams that reached the conference championship games had in running the football with a pair of backs you can understand why.
So Buffalo drafted some additional running back talent in an effort to develop a talented and productive mix of backs for their ground attack. Enter top pick Marshawn Lynch and fourth-round pick Dwayne Wright.
Buffalo's veteran ball carrier particularly likes what he saw the Patriots do with their top two backs Laurence Maroney, and the since released Corey Dillon last season.
"If you can use more than one back then the second back can do other things on the field," said Thomas. "You can also use them at the same time like New England. They put one back in the backfield and split another out. And I'm not opposed to going out there and catching a pass. Whatever they think is best for the team."
With offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild expected to open the offense up a bit more this season the odds are good that backs will be split out wide at times. The odds are also good that the back split out wide will be Marshawn Lynch who has been fluid catching and turning upfield in the passing game during OTAs.
This is what I like about the Buffalo Bills' offseason moves: They upgraded their offensive line with the additions of a pair of free agents, guard Derrick Dockery from the Washington Redskins and tackle Langston Walker from the Oakland Raiders.
This is what concerns me: The Bills lost one of the league's best cover cornerbacks when Nate Clements bolted to the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.