Rather than rehash what was covered in Joe’s Review, I’m going to hit on a few bit subjects and of course the 100 million dollar elephant in the room. Finally, we’re going to chat about a subject @SeanCorleone and @Boner_Shorts brought up back to back weeks re: QBs.
3 Quick Hits on the Browns – Bills Exhibition Game:
- Props to the stunt men running back tandem of Cierre Woods, Thigpen, Bronson Hill and Ricky Seale. No fumbles, did what they could in the run game and most importantly didn’t give up a bad blitz pickup and force the QB competition into Simms vs Cassel.
- Duke, my man. I love your game, but I can’t love it if you’re A) getting penalties B) giving up touchdowns and C) generally dropping the ball. Falling behind Graham because Rex liked his game better didn’t help your case, but negative production will kill it.
- The starting offensive line has been good, competent even. The backups at times scare me. Hopefully with more of the scheme in place for games that isn’t the case, but at this point finding a spare body or two (outside of Urbik, who has impressed me at center) should injuries crop in would be nice after cuts.
Tweetbag isn’t as big today, so I’ll hit the questions up and then finish with my two biggies I mentioned above…
@RDotDeuce are the Bills and Browns capable of playing a watchable game against each other?
— Ryan Kraus (@TheKrausHouse) August 21, 2015
1. I think, if I could use the Community terminology – there is a timeline where the Bills and Browns have 38-34 shootouts that are seen as the standard for offensive football. However, Ryan we seem to be on the timeline where they can score…maybe…a combined 25 points. So I’m hoping for my own sanity that science catches up to science fiction and allows us to see that world.
2. I joked during that game that Ray Velcoro’s (True Detective Season 2) kid grew up to become Alex Kupper, because man – if there was anyone that was single-handedly giving EJ Manuel nightmares each snap it was Kupper over 2 games. Bad snaps, bad blocks, ole blocks and through it all folks are dropping jokes on Manuel, whilst Kupper tip toes back to the line. I’m hoping that between now and week 1, with the PegulaBux and new rules for practice squad players the Bills get a few linemen “on scholarship” squad-wise to develop. Because right now the 2nd/3rd team switch is a deadly one for whatever QB (EJ and Simms thus far) that’s been out there.
Dareus and the money & the Voltron QB Debate:
Let’s start with Marcell. With the post-game comments on his contract negotiations wafting into the twitter-verse, folks are starting down the dark road of comparing an athlete’s salary to their own. DO NOT DO THIS.
- As the former owner of Marcell’s agency, Terry Pegula is even more keenly (keenerly? uber keen?) aware of Marcell’s value and how the agency might see that value, in light of the Suh contract in particular.
- The deviation of the Bills under the Pegulas from the Wilson-era to pay players after they’ve produced in uniform (McCoy) has now opened the door for Marcell to feel even less disinclined to take a “hometown discount”.
- With the word that the Bills offered Dareus essentially a 7 year, 98 million dollar contract (6 year 90 million extension to his 8 million this year) Suh’s contract (6 years, 114 million) is what he’s looking it – which really was an issue Buffalo-wise not re-signing Dareus before that monster salary hit the books.
- Remember how I said not to compare athletes’ salaries to regular folk? That goes double here because we’re talking about a quality player that wants to be paid commensurate to his ability. I’ve seen folks mention that the Bills ‘blessed’ him by making him the number 3 overall pick. Not true. His time at Alabama earned him the ability to be seen as that good. Stevie dropped a ball vs Pittsburgh. That’s what got him to number 3.
- Even with the missteps in his career – he’s still worth it. So they’ll get there money wise. I’m not concerned.
- Finally, he’s negotiating through the media, which is his right to do. However, TJ Luckman has nailed the point home, which in my opinion is sad:
The Bills have to be one of the most successful franchises in making their fans turn on a player.
— TJ Luckman (@TJLuckman550) August 21, 2015
Now, on to the QB Voltron discussion…
A few years ago, I was coaching a team where our starter went down. He was more of a mobile guy, so that’s to be expected. However, when his backup came in (a “career” backup for high school mind you) he not only lit it up, he earned the right to have a dropback package added to our offensive game plan. Even as I think back on that season now, I’m amazed because my head coach at the time was a 30+ year vet who could’ve just played the coaching trope of “starter gets his job back”. Instead, he made on the fly a system that allowed both kids to produce and allowed us to get to the playoffs. I’d love to say we had a Disney-esque run to the playoffs, but losing in the semis wasn’t a bad consolation given the situation.
Why in God’s name am I bringing that up now? Because of two separate conversations I’ve had on twitter (with the aforementioned Sean and Bone-Man) regarding the Bills’ QB situation. Currently, the Bills do not have the consensus a-number-one all timer running the QB position. So, in the interim, could they do a system similar to a high school team, or if you want to feel more sophisticated, the 2012 49ers? I would say yes, why not? If you think a combination of Manuel and Taylor, or Taylor and Cassel works for you, do it. Having that drop back guy and the speed off the edge to prepare for is going to be quite difficult for any defensive coordinator. Remember, Rex is also thinking about this as a guy who has had to prepare against that system (vs the 49ers in 2012 most notably) with the offensive coordinator that managed it (Roman).
Tyrod has been good. Cassel and EJ have been ok, with Manuel trending more towards “good” during the games despite being handed the sisters of the poor to play with. It’s great to have “TT”, “T-Mobile”, “TyGawd” etc as nicknames, but can we as fans pump the brakes on setting Taylor up for a fall? Because undoubtedly at some point, if he does start he’ll encounter adversity. And that will not be the time to run to Jim Kelly and ask how he would handle it, or to start to wax poetically on how Tyrod is a failure #BecauseBuffalo or if only blah blah. This is the reality the Bills are in. They’re making the best of it and Taylor is making the best of his chance. I’m rooting for him (and for Manuel and kind of for Cassel) to do well, but I don’t see them doing well or poorly as payback or validation for things that happened 20+ years go. So if a combo of the 3 can get the Bills through one season and into the playoffs, that’s fine by me. Just enjoy the ride without putting any of the players in an unwinnable spot. Otherwise, as has been the case, you’ll turn on them and they’ll want to get out of Buffalo quicker than you can say “shoulda paid Peters”!
But as always, that’s one Fan(n)’s opinion.