Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
I had to work and didn’t watch the game. So this is 10 things a Bills fan thinks about his team, having seen 12 games and having “watched” a thirteenth on Gamecast.
1. I don’t think there can be any explanation for the total failure of this team to perform than failure of leadership. I think there is decent talent on this team, but the Bills are getting nothing out of them More below.
2. I think Trent Edwards is a good young quarterback who will play well in the NFL for several years, unless his injuries keep him from being effective. I think he would have had greater success this season with a more creative offensive scheme.
3. I think JP Losman is a physically talented young quarterback who, under the right coaches with the right scheme for him, could have some success in the league. Trent is and likely always will be better, but JP’s arm and his legs are good enough to win him a spot somewhere. It isn’t a secret, but he won’t be with the Bills next year. I wish him success. I like him.
4. To date, I have to consider Turk Schonert a failure as an offensive coordinator. How can you conclude otherwise, having seen the offense disappear over the pat few weeks?
Did you see Steve Smith’s touchdown catch against the Bucs? Carolina put him in a motion toward the center of the field, and on the snap the tight end came out into the flat. The pattern caused an instant of confusion and Smith was deep. There seemed to be small, creative details in the play design that I think is completely lacking in the Bills’ offense.
I think good teams create opportunities; I think the Bills are prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Good opponents, even mediocre opponents, aren’t giving them opportunities.
5. The defense didn’t give up a touchdown on the opening drive against the Dolphins. It waited until the second drive. Once again, after giving up the initial touchdown, the defense played reasonably well.
No takeaways again, which is a sign of a passive defense. It’s a defense that doesn’t scare anyone, it just is fairly stingy when it comes to points.
The Bills defense isn’t spectacular, but it’s playing well enough to win a lot of games. Once again this year, the offense is letting them down.
However, I think the Bills defense is like the offense – it doesn’t create opportunities. That’s why there are so few takeaways. The defense isn’t aggressive and attacking. It plays conservatively and waits for the offense to make a mistake. Pennington kills this defense every year, because Pennington doesn’t make mistakes.
6. Imagine my excitement when I saw on Gamecast that Hardy had caught a first-quarter pass. Imagine my semi-disappointment when I realized he’d fumbled (at least the Bills recovered). Imagine my total disappointment when I read that the call had been reversed. Man, the kid needs work. I won’t give up on him this year. But next season he has to show something. No excuses then – he will have had a year to build himself up, to learn how football is played in the NFL. He doesn’t have to star in 2009, but he has to show us SOMETHING.
7. I can’t bear the thought that the Bills may need a new offensive line. I’m hoping it’s coaching; if the Bills need a new offensive line, it’ll take another three years to get an offense together.
8. It’s embarrassing enough to play badly before your hometown fans. We’re family, and unfortunately at some level we understand. It’s really embarrassing to take the team on the road, where the objective is to generate excitement for the team and make new fans, and then to play like that. Ralph Wilson called the 49ers game the worst game in Bills’ history, and he said it wouldn’t happen again. I haven’t seen yet what he called the Dolphins game. One thing is certain: it was the worst game in Bills history in Toronto.
9. I just can’t see how any management, even this one, can possibly conclude that a major coaching change isn’t needed. Wholly ineffective offense. No spark, no crispness, no hope. Uninspired play. Not only is the team bad, the games are boring.
There were a lot of questions about Dick when was hired. Those questions have been answered.
Maybe in some other environment, Dick could succeed. I don’t think so. I cannot think of a good professional football coach whose team has failed to show up week after week in important games. Dolphins, Jets, Pats, Browns, 49ers, Dolphins. The Browns game is the only game the Bills were even marginally competitive.
This is his team – his players, his coaches, his offensive and defensive scheme. A good coach with his players and his schemes wins. A bad coach doesn’t.
A friend told me that the Bills don’t have any big-time players. I simply can’t believe that year after year the Bills have failed – every time – to take impact players. The law of averages tells us that at least a few of these guys have to be good.
Think about how good we think these players are, and how unspectacular their play is: Whitner, Lynch, Hardy, Dockery, Peters, Edwards, McCargo, Losman, Poz, McKelvin, Stroud, Williams. SOMEBODY has to be good. It seems much more likely to me that these players are being taught a style of play that minimizes their talent, that loses.
I don’t see how I can conclude anything different.
10. I feel bad for the Bills good young players. Really bad. They’re experiencing football failure that they don’t deserve. They need the chance to play on a good team.
The Bills may be losing, but the Ball Burglar is still winning, helping kids who really need your help. Join today – pay a buck for every Bills takeaway. You’ll be glad you did. www.Ballburglar.com.