Buffalo Bills- ‘Bullets & Bits’

Posted on October 20, 2009 by Patrick Moran

Here’s what I’m thinking on this Tuesday while still thanking God for Mark Sanchez…

♣  Today is the big day, sort of. It’s the NFL trade deadline and by 4pm this afternoon any trades must be consummated. Some Bills fans, for whatever reason are holding out hope the Bills will move Terrell Owens, especially since Baltimore is rumored, and quite possibly flirted with tampering.

It’s not going to happen. There is next-to-no chance the Bills are going to move Owens. Even if Owens and the Bills have struggled on the field, he’s by large a success for the team off it. Trading him after only six weeks may make football sense, especially considering the Bills are seemingly going nowhere, but moving him would be a direct slap in the face to many of the masses who bought Owens merchandise, not to mention season tickets immediately following his acquisition.

Like it or not the Bills brought T.O. to Buffalo for more than quick slants, post patterns and occasional reverses. The $6.5-million spent for his one year deal was a wise investment. He’s also been a model player off the field and in the community. To this point, Owens is playing for his future. He probably has one more contract left in him and is astute enough to know any controversy this year could damper a chance at one more big payday. It’s part of the reason he’s been so robotic this year.

Yes, Owens is one and done as a Buffalo Bill. He’ll hit free agency again this winter and he has about as good a chance returning here as Jason Peters. The Bills may not want him beyond this year anyway. He’s yet to do much on the field, and the team wants to develop James Hardy and Stevie Johnson.

But he’s not going anywhere today.

♣  Conversely, if the Bills fail to move Roscoe Parrish it’s because they couldn’t find a partner. The Bills are desperate to move Parrish before 4pm today, and if they don’t it could be a matter of time before he’s released anyway with James Hardy ready to return.

From what I hear, the problem has been deeper than compensation for the fifth year kick returner. Teams are hesitant to take on his overblown salary. If the Bills are indeed able to move him today, the Ravens are probably no longer their destination.  According to Adam Schefter, the Patriots cut Joey Gallaway this morning and I’d be shocked if Baltimore isn’t all over that.

♣  If Jonathan Scott is able to return to practice this week from his injured ankle, head coach Dick Jauron could have a dilemma on his hands. Scott was the starter at right tackle, but Jamon Meredith started against the Jets last Sunday and held his own quite well. While Meredith is still quite raw he showed some of the potential the Bills saw when signing him from the Green Bay practice squad. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Meredith get the start against Carolina, regardless of Scott’s health.

♣  It’s far too early to tell, but fans and possibly the organization are getting quite frustrated with Aaron Maybin. The first round draft pick missed all of training camp and its showing. He’s getting pushed around, been completely ineffective and committing stupid penalties to make matters worse. By comparison, two guys many fans wish the Bills had drafted are coming into their own. Brian Orakpo (Redskins) went two picks after Maybin and already has 3.5 sacks, including at least a half sack in each of Washington’s last four games. Michael Oher went a dozen picks later. He’s now starting at left tackle for Baltimore and played well Sunday going up against one of the best in Jared Allen.

Again, the book has yet to be written- but early indications are the Bills missed big time with Maybin.

♣  Debate on the significance of the tackles statistic, but Keith Ellison is now second in the NFL with 61 of them. He trails only former Bill linebacker London Fletcher.

♣  Losing Donte Whitner to injury hurts, but George Wilson has done a fine job in his place. Some would argue Wilson has been more productive than a healthy Whitner would’ve been. In limited playing time Wilson already has two sacks to go with an interception and forced fumble.

But make no mistake about it, the defense is better with Whitner as the starter, particularly against the run.

♣  Chris Draft could soon start taking snaps from Ashlee Palmer at outside linebacker. Draft’s sack of Mark Sanchez was huge for the Bills last week. Jauron and Perry Fewell like his experience over Palmer’s raw athleticism, and most of their linebackers are interchangeable.

♣  DeAngelo Williams must be licking his lips for a shot at the Bills run defense this Sunday. After a slow start Williams ran for 152 yards against Tampa Bay last week. The Bills have given up at least 115 yards to a rusher the past four weeks. Carolina, with Williams and Jonathan Stewart can run the ball with the best of them. Don’t expect much improvement from a Bills run defense that is allowing over 181 rushing yards per game.

♣  You may not agree with him, but you have to give this poster from our neighbor Bills site Buffalo Rumblings credit for sticking to his convictions and defending Jauron

♣  Lastly, new punt returner Fred Jackson won’t have to worry about a dirty hit from Panthers’ Dante Wesley. He’s been fined and suspended for Sunday’s game for this blatant cheap shot on Clinton Smith of the Bucs.

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1 Comment on Buffalo Bills- ‘Bullets & Bits’

  1. LifetimeBillsFan

    Excellent observations! I would like to add three more.

    I know Paul Posluzny is very popular with Bills fans, but it is time that he take some criticism for his poor play against the run. His tendency to over-pursue plays and get “caught up in the wash” has left the Bills too vulnerable type of cutback runs that Thomas Jones got huge yardage on. This has been a problem with Poz since he joined the Bills that he still hasn’t corrected. With the Bills safeties playing wide in a 2-deep coverage, any good RB who gets through the gap that Posluzny has left unfilled with “a head of steam” is going to break a big gainer. Poz needs to learn to be more disciplined and do a better job of shedding blockers for the Bills to improve their run defense.

    Andy Levitre’s lack of strength is creating big problems for the Bills’ offensive line. Levitre simply doesn’t have the strength to hold up against big, strong NFL defensive tackles and opposing defensive coordinators, even those running 3-4 defenses, are taking advantage of this by making adjustments to the alignment of their defensive fronts. Instead of lining their nose tackles head up on the center, 3-4 teams are either putting the NT head up on Levitre or in the gap between Levitre and the center and attacking Levitre to disrupt the Bills offensive line. Like Shaun Rogers the week before (and the Miami NTs and Wilfork in the second half of the opener), Kris Jenkins was wreaking havoc against the Bills before he got injured. Levitre is a battler who is doing the best that he can to try to hold his own, but he simply isn’t strong enough to get the job done consistently at this point. He must get stronger this coming offseason if he is to fulfill his potential in the NFL.

    It is difficult to expect Donte Whitner, hobbling on a sprained ankle with his wrist in a cast, to be a force against the run, but George Wilson and Jairus Byrd have been real liabilities against the run so far. Wilson improved somewhat in the second half against the Jets filling in for Whitner, but he is not a good run defender. And, while Byrd has shown superb instincts in coverage, with his slight frame and abominable tackling skills, he is even worse against the run. The Bills need Byrd’s coverage ability and big-play instincts, but, like Levitre, he will have to get considerably stronger and work on his tackling ability if he is not going to continue to be a liability against the run.

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