The Bills continue to lack direction

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 19: Trent Edwards  of the Buffalo Bills looks on during a break in game action against the Indianapolis Colts on August 19, 2010 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)

This was the first thing I wrote about the Bills in their 2010 team preview back in late August:

There’s no doubt that the Bills are moving in the right direction now that Buddy Nix is their new general manager.

One month later and I already feel myself searching for the delete button when it comes to the above statement.

What was the Bills’ plan of attack here with quarterback Trent Edwards? Instead of signing a veteran in free agency or drafting a signal caller in April, they decided to stick by Edwards and give him all the first team snaps this offseason. Then they named him the regular season starter and after two bad games, they benched him in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick and then flat out released him on Monday.

Benching Edwards for Fitzpatrick isn’t the problem. Fitzpatrick isn’t great, but he proved yesterday in New England that he can keep the Bills competitive and gives them a better chance to win than Edwards did.

Releasing Edwards isn’t the problem either. He clearly lacks the physical and mental tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and he hasn’t played with any confidence in over a year and a half.

The problem is the lack of direction that the Bills organization continues to display. They should have acquired a quarterback when they had the opportunity earlier this offeason, or at the very least made an attempt to acquire one. If you remember correctly, Buffalo was mentioned repeatedly as a possible landing spot for Michael Vick and had Nix gotten aggressive, maybe Vick would be running around making plays for the Bills instead of the Eagles right now. There’s no guarantee that he would have had the same success in Buffalo as he’s having now in Philadelphia, but the point is the Bills did nothing to address their quarterback situation when they had the chance five months ago.

It’s staggering to think that Nix and Chan Gailey actually believed that Edwards was the answer at quarterback based on what he’s shown over the past two years. And even if they did truly believe he could run the offense, they still should have drafted a quarterback to develop just in case Edwards didn’t pan out (which was the more likely scenario all along).

Now what? Is Fitzpatrick their long-term answer? Is Brian Brohm? If it’s Brohm, then they might as well play him now so he can get some experience. If neither of them are the answer, then the Bills are going to waste another year without having their quarterback of the future on their roster.

This is how bad teams stay bad.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

2010 NFL Question Marks: Buffalo Bills

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 18: Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills calls out orders against the New York Jets during the game on October 18, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Bills defeated the Jets 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the Bills, who, as you may imagine, have a couple of issues on their plate.

Ugh. I think I had the Bills in mind when I first thought about doing this series, as there’s no limit to the number of issues going on right now in Buffalo.

Actually, that’s not fair because the Bills are moving in the right direction and the hiring of GM Buddy Nix is proof of that. Nix has 14 years of NFL experience and previously spent 26 years coaching in the college ranks. The guy knows how to scout and for a team that desperately needs to re-stock their roster with talent, that’s huge.

Whether or not Chan Gailey was the best choice for head coach is debatable, but at least a) he has experience and b) isn’t Dick Jauron. For the time being, let’s give Gailey a chance and take solace in the fact that the Bills actually have people in their front office who don’t base their decisions on simulations in “Madden.” (“Madden says that the Cowboys would be willing to take Marshawn Lynch, a fourth, and a seventh for Tony Romo, so get Jerry Jones on the phone and let’s see if we can wrap something up by lunchtime.”)

That said, things still look bleak for this team, especially compared to the rest of the AFC East. Defensively, the secondary is deep and the team devoted a lot of time this offseason re-tooling the line for new coordinator George Edwards, who will implement the 3-4. It’s going to take time for the new scheme to take shape, which is why I’ll leave the defense alone for now.

The offense, however, is another story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts