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BrianM

Buffalo Bills 2019 Outlook

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Sure, i'll start this one again.     2019 brings a year of unbridled optimism for the majority of the Bills fanbase, as they feel they have their quarterback, they have draft picks, they have a defense that's young and strong, and mostly because of cap space.........what could go wrong?

 

Note: Author does not share this optimism.  Now onto the quote unquote analysis.  

 

Buffalo Front Office-  Intact.   One backdoor playoff appearance bought these guys a ton of rope, and id say even a 7-9 season keeps them safe for 2020.   The team plays hard, always, which is leading to those extra December wins over turmoil teams like the Dolphins and Jags, and making the end result look a little better.   OC and DC remain.   Daboll fairly clearly had jack to work with, and by midseason figured out Josh Allen's strengths, and was able to get Robert Foster and Zay Jones sort of producing.  Frazier did ok.   Not great but no reason to fire him either.   

 

Defense-    Good.   Loses Kyle Williams- big hole, he played every game and was the best DT on the team by far.   I strongly expect their first round pick to replace him with a penetrating DT.  Star Loutuleilei is the space eater.   Jerry Hughes had his best season ever in terms of pressures, and his only real strong season without Mario Williams bookending the other side.   Shaq Lawson started looking like a true starter late in the year.    They have two young every down LB's that are making plays in Edmunds and Milano, and Lorenzo Alexander balls out in his part time role (was just re-signed).   The secondary came back down to earth a bit, but White and Hyde are strong.  Poyer struggled a bit but is cheap, and a bounceback candidate.  Levi Wallace was a great out of nowhere find, he should start next year, and Taron Johnson and Rafael Bush are the depth, there's 6 trustworthy guys here, with at least one star-level player.   

 

Offense-   Still horrid.     Josh Allen's locked in, and hey, he's fun often with the bombs and the scrambles.  All the accuracy and decision making worries about him are absolutely valid.   To his credit, he was 100% lost in the early going, and after the elbow malady, he was much better.  So, while I won't hold my breath, i'll concede its possible he polishes up a bit.  He's already a deity here........which is sad, but maybe good for his development.     Zay Jones is useful as long as they keep him in the slot.  Robert Foster can go deep and should start on the outside, he's made a lot of plays and not just go routes.   The rest of the offense is absolute trash.    McCoy was horrid, and it wasn't just the offensive line.  Shady is said to be back for sure, but i'll wait and see on that.  His annual offseason redflag might get him cut, finally.   There's nothing at all behind him at RB.  Marcus Murphy's young but he's not more than a backup.   Charles Clay finally is cut, and TE's are among the worst in the league here.    The offensive line is a trainwreck and has to be the first thing addressed.   The only starter who should be starting next year is Dawkins, and even he may have to switch to RT.   Bodine was.....ok?  You can live with him if he's not meant to be a strong link. 

 

Primary Needs

OL-  Need minimum two new strong starters here.  Should be the thing to spend loose cap on.   Can argue as many as four new players needed.   

RB-  You could cut all three RB's that got significant snaps and completely gut this.   They've not drafted one in a few years and that needs to change.  An early pick on a young guy who can get a snap % right away is a must.   Its i guess feasible that McCoy grinds out one more year but he needs an alternative.  Might even be worth chasing a FA here too since there's so many.

TE- Similar void to RB's here.   Nothing useful on the roster outside of "guy who caught one TD and the fans swoon over him" Jason Croom.

 

Secondary Needs

WR-  Probably a primary need but i like to stick to three.   A good pass catching back and a good TE negate this a bit.   I like Foster and Jones so I think they can get both those guys in the 7-800 yard range next year if they and Allen are healthy, and the line improves.  

DT Harrison Phillips can startt, but he's more of a rotation guy.   If they resign Jordan Phillips they can at least have three guys.  If they truly want to leap forward as a defense, this is the place to do it.

DE-  Hughes stays, but he's also in his last year of deal.  Shaq Lawson finally did stuff, but ditto.  Trent Murphy did a little, but is expensive.   A beast pass rusher in the first is not a bad move.   

 

What the author does:

-Signs one power guard and the best right tackle i can get.  Pushes Dawkins to bounce back at LT, tries to live with Bodine at center.  I think they'll target Glowinski since they have an ex Colt coach as their new OL guy.    Get him, Bobby Massie, and another guard.     Draft a potential future center and swing tackle in the middle rounds, pair those with Teller as depth

-Sign Tyrell Williams.  Hopefully he doesn't get nutty and he solidifies them as having three WR's

-Draft a DT or DE in round one.  I like the guys available in the top 10 there.   Filling in some FA holes on offense makes this palatable, and the best impact players seem to be on D at that level.

-Draft a TE and RB in rounds 2/3.   Try to find a real cheap pass catching RB in free agency to replace Ivory/Murphy and maybe turn into a bargain.  

-Dont go nutty in cap spending.  for the guys they get, use option bonuses instead of signing bonuses, avoid the dead money.  Pegula's rich as hell, he'll sign off.  

 

 

 

 

What the Author

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So with 4 new linemen, 2 new WR's, a JAG TE, and Frank Gore, is there anything to the possibility of a Bills offense being a threat?

Josh Allen's still the Atlas for this team.  Honestly, a lot of these signings are really good, and relatively safe, but outside of Mitch Morse, i dont see a huge impact anywhere.   That said, last year's depth chart was so bare, a bunch of decent starters who aren't studs can still make a difference I guess.

 

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Buying IDP players from the Bills everywhere. That team is pretty ugly. Trust me...I am a 42 year old Browns homer. I feel bad for you, like for real. You need that defense to go ape**** to stay in games it appears.

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I feel like they got a bunch of solid players but like Brian said not much high impact guys.  Hopefully they sign one more player and have a good draft.

I was kind of hoping they'd sign a WR like White or Parker, and Eifert at TE.  Guys who would come cheap, and who in all honesty would probably fail, but at least have the physical ability to be impact pass catchers.  Try to hit a single or double with most of the signings, sure, but also swing for the fences with one or two of them.

I hate the RB group.  They could've grabbed Ajayi or Crowell and I think they'd have been better off.  McCoy is too old with too many miles, and I don't care what people say about Gore, he's 36.  One of these years he's going to be terrible and it could happen at any time.  But if the O-line is decent then they will probably do ok and I guess they'll upgrade the RB position in 2020.

They should be a bit better offensively and this is a team that people always seem to think will finish dead last or close to it and they almost never do.  A perennial 7-9 or so team and they will probably be right around .500 again and out of the playoffs.

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8 hours ago, Dream On said:

I feel like they got a bunch of solid players but like Brian said not much high impact guys.  Hopefully they sign one more player and have a good draft.

I was kind of hoping they'd sign a WR like White or Parker, and Eifert at TE.  Guys who would come cheap, and who in all honesty would probably fail, but at least have the physical ability to be impact pass catchers.  Try to hit a single or double with most of the signings, sure, but also swing for the fences with one or two of them.

I hate the RB group.  They could've grabbed Ajayi or Crowell and I think they'd have been better off.  McCoy is too old with too many miles, and I don't care what people say about Gore, he's 36.  One of these years he's going to be terrible and it could happen at any time.  But if the O-line is decent then they will probably do ok and I guess they'll upgrade the RB position in 2020.

They should be a bit better offensively and this is a team that people always seem to think will finish dead last or close to it and they almost never do.  A perennial 7-9 or so team and they will probably be right around .500 again and out of the playoffs.

 

Pretty solid and tempered assessment.   Locally, all you read is full positive marks, and full optimism, which is a bit much.   Maybe every third or fourth offseason, there's this same sentiment and it never works out.     Outside of here, its still a bunch of takes that the team is awful, destined for 4th place, etc (like the guy a couple posts back) which is a bit strange as well.   I suppose, win or lose, they're only stuck with maybe two of these signings for more than one year, if the bottom drops out.   

If Josh Allen turns into Carson Wentz, they're gonna be really good.   I dont see him shedding his weaknesses that quickly, maybe ever, so that's a tough sell.   I think at best, they'll marginally improve their run game, and still be chasing that come next offseason.   

There's still multiple needs here, but i'm thinking the 9th overall pick has to be either a DT, DE, or OT.

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1 minute ago, FollowTheLeader said:

With the Brown signing, do you guys think Foster maintains his place in this offense? *don't think he is affected as Jones by the Beasley :wacko: signing...

 

Personally, I don't think Foster gets anywhere near the snaps he got at the end of last season.   Foster's a big loser here in free agency.    He really started to blossom last year and seemed like he had a top 3 spot on the depth chart.    Now, his role goes to John Brown, for sure.  Zay is likely getting the regular snaps at the other outside WR.   No doubt Beasley is purely an inside WR here.   Foster's going to, at best, rotate in when the rest are healthy.    What i'd hope for his long term outlook is that he gets at least a few games with Brown or Zay injured, and he gets a chance to shine again and become a long term asset.  

 

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Yeah, I'm not sure why Buf felt the need to add another "Foster" to the roster. Foster was the #1 rated rookie WR weeks 8-17, and on a cheap rookie contract...

Brown is a guy (injury history), much like Beasley (lack of upside) and Amandolla (injury history), that just baffle me as to why teams keep signing them, or paying them big $...time to move on from these guys (guys where you know what you are getting, which is :meh: ) and give someone new a shot.

 

*I inquired from you fellas, as there are many different takes on what will occur at WR for the Bills next year...there are some "experts" predicting Zay Jones will suffer, as Brown and Foster go 1-2, with Beasley and Zay taking backseats and eating into each other. Having already rostered Foster, it's a sit and wait for me...

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My own reasoning for the conclusion I made is my best guess about the coaching staff's view on these guys.   Zay has been a starter when in the lineup for 2 seasons.  Mixed results, sure, but he was also shaping up his play and performing well at the same time Foster was as 2018 came to an end.   Foster was a guy that made the team week 1, and his effort was questioned after that.   He was then cut, but re-signed after Kelvin Benjamin finally was kicked to the curb.   If there's an injury, Foster probably steps right in.  Even if it's Beasley- Zay would likely move inside.  

Bills receivers are shaping up as all WR4's at best.  Reminds me of how we all viewed the Jags WR crew going in to last summer.   Maybe one was gonna have a decent year, but was hard to tell which one.  Lee got hurt, Cole looked like the guy in September but faded away,  Moncrief was just kinda there, and ultimately only Westbrook was useful over a long stretch. 

If healthy, my best shot in the dark is that Brown leads them in yards, Beasley in catches, and Zay in TD's.    Foster's the only one of this quartet that I think actually has real breakout potential, so its a bit of a letdown if he gets benched.    

 

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