Anderson’s addition is nice, however…

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The Buffalo Bills held a press conference yesterday ay One Bills Drive to announce the signing or free agent defensive end Mark Anderson. Anderson’s addition is nice, however injuries are still going to be the thing that makes or breaks their season.

The Bills at the beginning of last year showed that they have a talented team with an explosive offense. That is until injuries started to ravage the Bills and opponents figured out that you could pass all day long on them.

Now, teams won’t have the luxury of being able to pass all day long. If anything teams at first are going to run the football more. That will change later in the season if history keeps repeating itself.

The fact of the matter is the Bills have placed 15 players on injured reserve each of the last three years. Also, two of those years the number of players placed on injured reserve was over 20.

It doesn’t matter how talented your team is; if your starters keep on getting hurt for the year your going to wind up in the basement of the NFL.

There might be a little bit of relief for the Bills this year. According to reports, the National Football League Competition Committee is recommending a rule change to injured reserve. That being one player hurt early in the preseason or regular season can come off injured reserve in week six and be activated by week eight.

That is some good news as there is always a case of a player breaking an arm or leg and missing the season, even though they were all healed by mid-season.

In the end, if the Bills want to make the playoffs they need to find a way to minimize the number of players that get hurt each year.

Bills have another option at offensive tackle

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Currently the Buffalo Bills could use a starting left tackle as Demetrius Bell remains unsigned with free agency opening tomorrow. Well the Bills have another option available to them in tackle Levi Brown.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, via Pro Football Talk, the Arizona Cardinals have cut Brown. The reason being the Cardinals coudln’t justify his salary cap number of $17 million this upcoming season.

Brown maybe one of those rare impact signings that you will see. Brown will turn 28 years old this week and has started every game the last four years.

In the end, with Jared Gaither also available, the Bills are better off going to free agency to solve their starting left tackle problem.

Bills enter free agency in good shape

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Free agency in the National Football League opens on Tuesday on time this year. As for the Buffalo Bills they enter Tuesday in pretty good shape.

The Bills got their biggest names resigned in wide receiver Stevie Johnson, tight end Scott Chandler and kicker Ryan Lindell. The only two names that remain that the Bills should consider resigning are offensive tackle Demetrius Bell and cornerback Reggie Corner.

Corner isn’t a starter, but a quality depth player and with Terrence McGee still on the roster they will need someone like him.

As for Bell, he is debatable as offensive tackle Chris Harriston filled in fine for him last season. However, there is also Jared Gaither is available and proved to be a quality starter with the San Diego Chargers last season.

So, what doe that really leave the Bills?

Linebackers: They are all set there as Kelvin Sheppard should be in the middle with Nick Barnett and Author Moats on the outside. Most likely there will be a competition between linebackers Chris White, Danny Batten and Moats with Moats winning it out due to his talent.

Defensive line: They are set at the defensive tackle position with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams as the starters with Dwan Edwards and Torell Troup rotating in. As for defensive end, the left side should be fine with Chris Kelsay being the starter and Alex Carrington the backup. The right side is where the concern as the starter will be Shawne Merriman, but he has been plagued by injuries and there is no real backup behind him.

Defensive Back: At safety they are definitely all set there in regards to starters and backups. The question is cornerback as Terrence McGee has been plagued by injuries and Leodis McKelvin has been inconsistent. However, Aaron Williams last year gave a needed jolt to the group and if he continues to develop they should be okay.

Quarterback: There has been some lingering doubt about Ryan Fitzpatrick being the franchise quarterback for the team. However, in my opinion that was all erased when wide receiver Stevie Johnson signed his contract and Fitz shaved he’s back in his head. What it showed is that the guy is going to go to hell and back for you no matter what happens. He has a fire and a passion for the game I haven’t seen since Jim Kelly retired.

Running Back: Probably one of the best one two punch in the entire NFL.

Wide Receiver: They have dynamic number one in Stevie Johnson who I think will prove to be one of the elite wide receivers in the next couple years. Also, they have a solid slot receiver in David Nelson. The only question is the starting number two wide receiver.

The Bills have high hopes for wide receiver Marcus Easley, but a knee injury wiped out his rookie season and a illness wiped out his sophomore year. Donald Jones looked okay before he was injured, but if there is any doubt they could make a run at San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson or even bring back Lee Evans who was cut by the Baltimore Ravens recently.

Tight end: The team has a solid starter they resigned in Scott Chandler. The only question is his backup as they really don’t have one for him at this point.

Offensive Line: The only question is left tackle as last year’s starter Demetrius Bell and we already addressed that earlier.

The Broncos are fools

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The Denver Broncos are reportedly in the mix for free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. Well they are complete fools for doing so.

The Broncos already have a young quarterback that has a lot of potential in Tim Tebow. He is a quarterback that proved last year that he is a deadly runner and with a passing game that is starting to develop.

In 11 starts Tebow threw for 1,650 yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The key part is that is impressive is the touchdown to interception ratio as most quarterback in their first full season as a starter are usually a 1:1 ration in touchdowns to interceptions. What Tebow’s ratio tells you is that he understands the mental aspect of the game and that the only thing holding him back are mechanics.

The good thing with mechanics is that they are easily correctable and Tebow already showed that he is a hard worker as he improved his throwing motion. Tebow coming out of college had a long windup windmill motion. Even if he still has it as long as Tebow keeps working on that eventually he will fix it.

Manning on the other hand is going to be 36 years old this month and is on the downside of his career. Also, Manning has had three neck surgeries in just two years. On top of that he still isn’t throwing the football like he used to, and may never will.

In the end, if they knew what was good for them they would stick with Tebow.

Bills fans should forget about Williams

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With the Buffalo Bills signing wide receiver Stevie Johnson many Bills fans are turning their attention to free agency. Many Bills fans should forget about the biggest name in defensive end Mario Williams.

Time and time again the biggest names in free agency have not really lived up to the hype. The only player so far that has lived up to the contract that they signed as a free agent is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. In my opinion not even Bears defensive end Julius Peppers is living up to his.

Peppers in 2010 signed a six year $84 million contact, which averages out to $14 million a year. so far in two years Peppers in 2011 recorded 11 sacks and 8 in 2010. Peppers 11 sacks has him tied for 11th place in the National Football League.

Williams is coming off a year in 2011 that was ended early by a torn pectoral muscle after five games and in 2010 he only played 13 games. That sounds like a player whose body is starting to break down.

Now, lets take a look at his sacks the previous two years in a 4-3 defense. In 2010 Williams recorded 8.5 and in 2009 recorded 9.0 sacks. The NFL leaders in sacks record over 15 sacks a year.

In the end, Williams isn’t worth the amount of money it will take to sign him.

Regier made the right moves

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Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier entered Monday with the tough decision to be either sellers or buyers Monday. The Sabres were neither, but still Regier made the right moves.

The first move by the team came in trading center Paul Gaustad to the Nashville Predators for a first round draft pick in this summer’s up coming National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Gaustad has been a fan favorite, but his salary at $2.3 million doesn’t really justify his skill set. Yeah, he is good defensively and one of the best in the NHL on face-offs, but the NHL is turning into a high scoring machine as many teams are now copying the Detroit Redwings and other top Western Conference teams.

The  second move came in trading forward Zack Kassian to the Vancouver Canucks for rookie center Cory Hodgson. The final trade saw the Sabres sending defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver for defenseman Alexander Sulzer.

Many Sabres fans are upset over the team trading Kassian, but the matter of the fact is the team is stocked at forward and that means he wouldn’t have made the team any time soon. Also, the Sabres are thin at natural centers and flipping Kassian for Hodgson was a smart move.

The reason being Hodgson can play right away. Even though Hodgson is only a rookie he is having a solid season as he already has 16 goals and 17 assissts. Sabres forward Thomas Vanek in his rookie season scored 25 goals, so if Hodgson keeps playing well he will finish with 20 goals this year and will become a key player for the Sabres for many years to come.

Also, fans need to remember the Sabres also have center Luke Adam waiting in the wings. With Guastad being traded that will open up significant playing time for both Adam and Hodgson on the  team. Time that they wouldn’t have ever saw with Gaustad on the team.

In the end, today wasn’t about this season it was about winning for many years to come and Regier has setup the team for just that.

Get it Done

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It was reported earlier this week that the Buffalo Bills trade contract offers this past week the agent for wide receiver Stevie Johnson. It doesn’t matter how many times they swap contract offers the fact of the matter is the Bills net to get it done.

Bills general manager Buddy Nix and Johnson swapped contract offers early last season. However the two never got close, so Johnson shelved talks until after the season was over.

Johnson contract talks got interesting after getting flagged a couple of times for excessive celebration. Many people point to those two incidents as the reason lost to the New England Patriots and New York Jets, but that is far from the truth. The only thing it did was prove Johnson’s importance to the offense.

The Bills were leading the Patriots 21-0 when Johnson got benched for an excessive celebration penalty. From there the offense couldn’t do anything and the Patriots went on to beat the Bills 49-21.

Johnson also is the first wide receiver in Bills history to have back to back 1,000 yard seasons. Thus again proving how important he is.

In the end, no matter how you feel about his endzone celebrations losing Johnson would be a huge blow for the Bills development.

Time for Edwards to go

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Many Buffalo Bills fans felt that Bills head coach Chan Gailey was making a mistake hiring George Edwards as the team’s defensive coordinator. Well they were right as it’s time for Edwards to go.

The Bills defense has been unable to generate a consistent pass rush. Lets face it besides outside linebacker Arthur Moats and defensive lineman Marcell Dareus there isn’t any and that is Edwards fault.

Seriously, when was the last time you have seen the Bills call a cornerback blitz? We occasionally we see a safety blitz by the Bills strong safety. Even a blitz by a linebacker are rare as you may see one or two a game.

They have talent on that side of the football, especially cornerback. Yes, the Bills cornerbacks have been burned, but what do you expect when you have no pass rush. If you let a quarterback  sit back in the pocket all day he is going to find a open receiver.

In the end, as the saying goes it is a coaches job to put his players in position to succeed, and Edwards clearly isn’t doing that.

Loss to the Giants doesn’t feel so bad now

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The Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Giants last month by a score of 27-24. However, after today’s game between the Giants and New England Patriots the loss doesn’t feel so bad.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning for the fifth time this year led his team to a comeback win as Manning threw a touchdown pass with less than :19 to go in the game.

Eli’s older brother Peyton by many National Football League experts is considered one of the greatest of all time.  However, Peyton can keep all his stats, because the only thing that matters at the end of the day are wins and there is nobody who is better on the road.

Most quarterbacks struggle on the road, but not Eli. Time and time again the younger Manning has proven to be just as good on the road.

Also, Eli has just as many Superbowl wins as his older brother with one. However, unlike Peyton Eli has many more years in his prime to go while Peyton’s career is almost over, that if he recovers fully from surgery.

In the end, you can keep all the stats in the world, because at the end of the day all that matters are wins and Eli is just as good as any of them.

Bills pay for their cockiness

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Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson comments prior to their game against the New York Jets showed that the team was starting to get full of themselves. Well they paid for that as they were man handled by the Jets 27-11 Sunday.

With such a one sided loss the question is now who is to blame. The answer is not Bills head coach Chan Gailey or the offense the blame lies on the defense.

At first I admit I thought it was Gailey’s fault, but after looking at the play by play Gailey tried both ways passing more than running and running more than passing on several drives. The only fault that Gailey had was relying on his offensive line to get a first down in short yardage situations.

If you want evidence that the defense is bad just look at the time of possession, which was 37:52 for the Jets and 22:08 for the Bills. Even the Bills of the 1990s Superbowl teams couldn’t win with that type of time of possession.

So, how do the bills fix their defense?

First, stop the bull crap of putting defensive lineman at outside linebackers. Defensive lineman that are above 300 pounds don’t have to speed necessary to do the job.

Secondly, blitz all the time and show some confidence in the defensive backs. Also, if the defense gets burned the offense will have an extra opportunity to get a touchdown.

In the end, if Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards doesn’t blitz more the Bills may not make the playoffs.