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Five questions: Buffalo Bills

Manuel AP

The PFT Preseason Power Rankings, which provide a context for looking at the changes made since last season, will be completed later today.  (Spoiler alert:  The Seahawks are No. 1.)

So let’s start something new, aimed at providing a template for discussion and debate about a team’s prospects for the upcoming season.  For each team, I’ll ask and answer five questions for the 2014 campaign.

Hopefully, I won’t ask myself too many tough questions.

First up — the first team to camp in 2014.

1.  Is EJ Manuel ready to take a major step forward?

To be a franchise quarterback, the quarterback must play well and be able to, you know, play.  Last year, Manuel missed six of 16 games due to injury.  While not entirely the quarterback’s fault (especially when the offensive line is not too good), franchise quarterbacks won’t become or stay franchise quarterbacks if they aren’t available to play, week in and week out.

Then there’s the quality of the performance when playing.  Eleven touchdowns and nine interceptions last year.  A 58.8-percent completion percentage.  Six fumbles, three of them lost.

“Im excited,” coach Doug Marrone recently said of Manuel.  “[H]e looks good and confident, obviously its a better situation, last year we were explaining what the offense is and not really the ins and outs of things, this year were able to get more into the ins and outs of things, not just with EJ but with a lot of guys on the team with the system already being in place.”

That’s easy to say in July.  Whether Manuel has mastered “the ins and out of things” will be determined when the dust settles on the regular season, and the Bills are either in or out of the postseason field.

2.  Is Fred Jackson being phased out?

Speaking of ins and outs, running back Bryce Brown is in — and that could mean Fred Jackson will be out.  With a $2.45 million base salary, he’ll have a spot on the roster barring something unforeseen.  But will Jackson be part of a one-two punch with C.J. Spiller or that clunky third training wheel on a Spiller-Brown bicycle?

Brown, acquired from Philly after a reported effort to trade up for Ohio State tailback Carlos Hyde failed, has looked great so far in camp.  If that continues, we could see a lot of Brown this year, and in turn a lot less (and eventually no) Jackson.

3.  Was Sammy Watkins worth it?

The Bills gave up two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick to get receiver Sammy Watkins.  The all-in move has created a ton of hype and astronomical expectations.  To earn that investment, Watkins will need to become not just a potential offensive rookie of the year but a first-team All Pro.

So far, so good.  But it hasn’t gotten very far yet.  And it will be impossible to know whether Watkins can get off the line against NFL-caliber defensive backs until he has to do it in a game that counts.

For most receivers, the quality and intensity of top-level cornerbacks in bump-and-run coverage delays the breakout until year three.  Watkins could be one of the exceptions, like A.J. Green and Julio Jones were two years ago.

If the Bills hope to save jobs in the front office and on the coaching staff, the impact needs to be big enough to get the team to the postseason.

4.  What’s the deal with Marcell Dareus?

Not long after the Bills opted to exercise the fifth-year option on the Pro Bowl defensive lineman, Dareus exercised his inalienable right to screw up his life.  Twice, via arrests for possession of synthetic marijuana and drag racing.

And then came the last chapter of the trilogy, with Dareus showing up out of shape and unable to pass the conditioning test.

It’s hard to paint the Bills as shocked, especially after Dareus missed game time twice last year for violating team rules.  It also gives rise to a fair question regarding whether the Bills made the right decision three years ago taking Dareus instead of, say, A.J. Green or Julio Jones.

5.  Will the impending sale affect the team?

On the record, no coach or player or administrator will say that the process of selling the franchise will affect in any way the franchise’s performance in 2014.

Off the record, and possibly with the attachment of a polygraph machine, the folks in power will admit that they’re worried about whether they’ll lose that power by losing their jobs when the new owner decides to bring in folks hand picked by the new owner to handle the key jobs.

The folks currently holding those key jobs will keep them only if the Bills do well enough to compel the new owner to stay put.  The Bills, likely every other team, are optimistic.  Throw cold water on that, or otherwise, below.

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51 Responses to “Five questions: Buffalo Bills”
  1. simplegodfather says: Jul 22, 2014 12:13 PM

    Well, Buff has lost their best defense player MLB Alonso to torn ACL, DT William is having diva moments, the SS will miss Byrd so much for leavin them, and so there is sorta dysfunctional as best..

    I can see that Bill or Miami will be fighting for 3rd spot AFC East division, which is no playoff bound for them..

  2. simplegodfather says: Jul 22, 2014 12:14 PM

    *DT Dareus

  3. southpaw2k says: Jul 22, 2014 12:15 PM

    I get why football-related websites like PFT do power rankings, but this “five questions” idea is MUCH more interesting.

  4. Marshawn Lunch says: Jul 22, 2014 12:15 PM

    Fitzpatrick is gone. But you’re stuck with Manuel. Bills will be about the same this year as they were last year. Nothing to see here.

  5. joetoronto says: Jul 22, 2014 12:17 PM

    1. No.
    2. Yes.
    3. No
    4. He doesn’t want to be in Buffalo, can’t blame him.
    5. Yes, they’ll be instantly better when they move.

  6. swpstks says: Jul 22, 2014 12:19 PM

    it wasn’t 2 first picks for Sammy it was swapping places this year in the 1st round and then next year number 1 and the 4th round next year they pretty much got back in the Stevie Johnson trade. In all only losing 1st round pick in 2015

  7. bgm9876 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:19 PM

    3. Was Sammy Watkins worth it?

    I think he was we needed a WR because stevie wasn’t doing good enough. And we needed another fast WR like Marquise Goodwin.

    4. What’s the deal with Marcell Dareus?

    I think after a player gets his pay check they can do what ever they want with it. some do good things with I like that player on the seahawks who bought his mom a house. And some players use it on something pointless like drugs and guns and other stuff.

    5. Will the impending sale affect the team?

    I don’t think it will effect the Bills every team gets sold its part of football.

  8. boobsanders says: Jul 22, 2014 12:20 PM

    Was Watkins worth the pick? This is your question after one training session? Are you serious? Wow. By the way, Watkins has been beating up Gilmore in practice pretty bad, I’m sure he can get off the line vs NFL caliber DB’s…

  9. buddysguys says: Jul 22, 2014 12:24 PM

    5 ?s

    EJ, EJ, EJ, EJ, EJ.

  10. gayforbrady says: Jul 22, 2014 12:24 PM

    They may have a great year but they are still going to lose 2 games to the patriots.

    Which means they will have to go 13 and 1 just to have a chance at winning the division.

    Odds are they are going 9-7.

    Or 6-10 if Watkins gets hurt.

  11. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 22, 2014 12:26 PM

    This year is all about whatever the new owner wants to establish, and we have no idea who the new owner will be and what their vision will be for what they expect to do with this team and how they go about that. The most important thing is for the new owner to get off on the right foot. If the team struggles and the owner doesn’t change the GM or coaching staff, then that’s going to be a horrible way to get started if years 2 and beyond don’t go so well too, and then that would alienate some fans right away who are expecting the new owner to know how to win immediately as a prerequisite for getting involved.

    I think it’s especially critical for the new owner to figure out ASAP who on this staff is truly worth keeping and who is not, and to very quickly make changes if changes need to be made. If those changes need to happen within the first hour on the job, so be it, just figure it out and make the right decisions as soon as you are sure you are making the right decision. If they are too slow or get things wrong, then it’s time for serious grilling. Cook or get cooked, but you don’t have a lot of time before we know what is what.

    I really hope the new owner is a legit football aficionado, that’s the most important thing that I’m looking for as a general fan of all teams of which Buffalo is one. I have zero patience for people that don’t understand football and take on ownership only to lose. I can’t wait to evaluate the quality of the new owner.

  12. bgm9876 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:27 PM

    Marshawn Lunch says:
    Jul 22, 2014 12:15 PM

    Fitzpatrick is gone. But you’re stuck with Manuel. Bills will be about the same this year as they were last year. Nothing to see here.
    ———————————————————-

    manual was a rook last year. some players don’t do good in there rookie season unless your RG3 or cam etc. he’s got some better players to work with this year like Watkins and brown and some better O-line to with cyrus kouandjio. soo maybe manual will do a little better this year. who knows.

  13. jpaq68 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:30 PM

    1. No
    2. Yes
    3. Hell no
    4. Bust
    5. Without a doubt

  14. norvturnersneck says: Jul 22, 2014 12:37 PM

    1. No, Manuel is not good enough yet, but I believe he can make a few strides this year by staying on the field.
    2. Yes, Fred is on the wrong side of 33!!; therefore, replacement is necessary.
    3. No, Sammy’s not a prototype WR. He’s 6′ 1″ tall. They could’ve snagged two WRs with those picks.
    4. Dareus is 24 and acting like a kid. He’s also from Alabama where he may have done these shenanigans before, but Saban swept them under the rug.
    5. The business side of football will probably help the team because they may realize the importance of a new ownership group that will focus on improvements around them.

  15. mjr21172 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:45 PM

    florio stop saying bills gave up 2 first rounders for watkins. bills swapped first round picks in 2014 draft. only gave them 1 first rounder in 2015. its misleading people to think they gave up more than they did for watkins.

  16. bangithard says: Jul 22, 2014 1:15 PM

    5 questions for the Bills?

    I did not even know they still played football.. Can Toronto ask a question? ‘how quickly the Bills be the Toronto Bills?

    A joke of a canadian football team for at least 15 years – Either cover the CFL all out or get out of Canada…. How many catches does OCHO have for the Bills this year?

  17. idoubtiwillbother says: Jul 22, 2014 1:17 PM

    1. No way. And the leg injuries didn’t always happen in the pocket. Cannot blame the o-line for something on the sideline 20 yards downfield. And the only bad player on the o-line was LG, whoever manned it. The unit was otherwise solid.

    2. Yes, because they are stupid.

    3. No, because he is not a QB or pass rusher extraordinaire.

    4. Dareus is an idiot.

    5. It has already affected the team, with the ridiculous trade in the first round of the draft an obvious swing for the fences because holy crap was that stupid.

  18. tedmurph says: Jul 22, 2014 1:18 PM

    The Bills gave 2 1rst rnd picks plus a 4th and got back a 1rst rnd pk they used for Watkins. That’s the way it is, whether you sugar coat it or not. Too much. Just like Atl gave up too much for Julio Jones(even though the Browns screwed up the picks).

  19. dickshotdogs says: Jul 22, 2014 1:20 PM

    To the 101 of you that voted “Superbowl”, you’re adorable. :)

  20. peytonmanningsforehead says: Jul 22, 2014 1:23 PM

    Question 6) Why are the jills allowed to wear an NFL logo? They’re the most pathetic laughing stock of a team in the league( even more that the Chokers). Move to Toronto and join the CFL, they might even be competitive there. Nah, not likely.

  21. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 22, 2014 1:27 PM

    Erik Rodriquez Manuel, soon the “E” is for ejected and “J” for jettisoned will come to pass.

  22. Marshawn Lunch says: Jul 22, 2014 1:27 PM

    bgm9876 says:
    Jul 22, 2014 12:27 PM
    Marshawn Lunch says:
    Jul 22, 2014 12:15 PM

    Fitzpatrick is gone. But you’re stuck with Manuel. Bills will be about the same this year as they were last year. Nothing to see here.
    ———————————————————-

    manual was a rook last year. some players don’t do good in there rookie season unless your RG3 or cam etc. he’s got some better players to work with this year like Watkins and brown and some better O-line to with cyrus kouandjio. soo maybe manual will do a little better this year. who knows.
    —————————–

    If Buffalo is your team, spell the quarterback’s name correctly. Manuel. You can blame a lackluster first year on the fact that he is a rookie, but then again it could also be that E.J. just isn’t that talented. But, you never know, E.J. could take a big step forward this year. But, great wide receivers can’t fix bad throws. They CAN go up and get catchable throws, but they can’t fix uncatchable throws. And THAT is why you need a more talented QB. Blame it on his inexperience if you want. But I blame it on his talent, or lack there of.

  23. rabidbillsfan says: Jul 22, 2014 1:31 PM

    This is a joke, right? Considering most of the “hater” comments are coming from fans of the Browns, Raiders, Jets, and Patriots, it really doesn’t surprise me. The Bills are the second best team in the AFCE. They are better than the Browns, the Raiders, the Dolphins, the Jets, the Jags and the Titans and they have the talent to surpass teams like the Steelers, Ravens, Cheifs and Chargers. Yes, it comes down to EJ, but the kid played 10 games, maybe 7-8 at 100%. I can’t wait to watch the hot garbage that is Johnny Football blow up in Clevlands face. Will Matt Schaub get a chance to throw a Pick Six? Does Geno Smith need a Butt Fumble for his ticket out of town? Yet, here we are, knocking a QB who has shown nothing but poise and composure since he arrived, hasn’t become a “one-man-show”, but he is a bust after playing 10 games. And as far as selling the team, Robert Kraft had better have a plan in place for when Brady retires, because once he does, not a single person will have a reason to attend a NE football game. Idiots.

  24. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 22, 2014 1:49 PM

    I find it beyond hilarious that everyone is bringing up Julio Jones all of a sudden and saying “how did that work out for them?”

    I’m sorry, but since when do the Falcons wish they didn’t have Julio? Last I checked, he is arguably the 3rd, no worse than the 4th best receiver in the NFL. Atlanta had the best record in the NFC in his second year thanks to an extremely explosive offense. Then, by what was assuredly no coincidence, they fell flat on their face last year when he went down for the year.

    If you think that the Falcons and their fans wish they didn’t have Julio Jones, you’re delusional.

  25. joker65 says: Jul 22, 2014 1:54 PM

    rabidbillsfan says:
    Jul 22, 2014 1:31 PM
    when Brady retires, because once he does, not a single person will have a reason to attend a NE football game. Idiots.

    __________________________________
    Kind of like Buffalo the last 15 years…..

  26. ralphwilsonisrich says: Jul 22, 2014 1:55 PM

    And what does Miami and the Jets have that make them better, Nothing!

  27. billsbackto81 says: Jul 22, 2014 1:57 PM

    5 comments that will be made about the Bills after the 2014 season.

    1. Who would’ve thought after having a comparable rookie season to Luck and Dalton that EJ would become a competent franchise QB.

    2. Who would’ve of thought after having a Top 10 defense last season the Bills would improve the run D by adding Spikes to the mix.

    3. Who would’ve thought after finishing 2nd in the league in rushing they would finish 1st with 2 1ooo yd backs and (1) 33 year old 3rd down specialist.

    4. Who would’ve thought after more than a decade of incompetent coaching and mgnt the Bills finally get some leadership with moxie and direction and got them in the playoffs.

    5. The Buffalo Bills, who would’ve thought!!!!

  28. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jul 22, 2014 2:04 PM

    You definitely asked five questions you just didn’t really answer any of them

  29. tedmurph says: Jul 22, 2014 2:08 PM

    Never said JJones stinks, but it’s debateable if they’d do that trade again. They’ve won one playoff game since Jones has been there. When injuries started to hit, and they went 4-12 last yr, maybe in large part it was because they had no depth because they traded 5 high draft pks(inc 2 1rsts and a 2nd) to get a guy that touches the ball 5 times a game and has topped 1000 yrds once. That’s why Belichick advised Dimitroff not to do it.

    Also, he’s a good player, but not in my top 4. Maybe 6/7.

  30. greenlantern75 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:08 PM

    Love how Bills fans can simultaneously say EJ’s first year were growing pains while Geno’s first year clearly shows he sucks as a QB…

    Regardless…Bills go 1-5 in division…like basically every year of recent memory…tack on a best case scenario of 5-5 out of division and you’re looking at what…6-10? Sounds about right…

  31. pftfan says: Jul 22, 2014 2:10 PM

    I expect this comments section to boil down to two extremely crucial causes for Buffalo fans:

    1) the Bills only traded ONE first rounder for Sammy Watkins, not two. Since they took Watkins with one of the two picks, that second pick miraculously disappears.

    2) the Bills, not the Giants or Jets represent the New York market, but the New York market has some sort of bias against Western New York.

  32. billsbackto81 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:20 PM

    Quote ” Regardless…Bills go 1-5 in division…like basically every year of recent memory…tack on a best case scenario of 5-5 out of division and you’re looking at what…6-10? Sounds about right…”

    They went 3-3 last year with a lesser team and forced NE to a final comeback drive in game 1. Swept the Fins and should’ve swept the Jets if not for Justin Rogers. How do you figure 1-5?

  33. djshnooks says: Jul 22, 2014 2:21 PM

    1-5 in division like basically every year.

    Moron, they swept Miami last year with Thad Lewis as the backup. Learn a thing or two before you let diarrhea spill out of your mouth.

  34. kgun80 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:54 PM

    Split with the Jets.. Swept the Phins. With a rookie or journeymen QB and a new head coach. This team is getting better now and has way more talent on both sides of the ball then the Jets or Phins . You should all be hoping that EJ is a bust because even if he’s decent that makes the Bills wayyyy better then the Phins or Yets.
    It’s definitely to early to say if EJ or Geno are busts. But the Bills do have a significant edge in weapons and supporting cast.

  35. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 22, 2014 2:54 PM

    tedmurph says:
    Jul 22, 2014 2:08 PM
    Never said JJones stinks, but it’s debateable if they’d do that trade again. They’ve won one playoff game since Jones has been there. When injuries started to hit, and they went 4-12 last yr, maybe in large part it was because they had no depth because they traded 5 high draft pks(inc 2 1rsts and a 2nd) to get a guy that touches the ball 5 times a game and has topped 1000 yrds once. That’s why Belichick advised Dimitroff not to do it.

    Also, he’s a good player, but not in my top 4. Maybe 6/7
    …………………….
    1) Roddy White, Steven Jackson, 2 starting o lineman, countless guys in defense hurt last year- need I go on? The injuries they had last year would have plagued anyone. If you blame that on the Jones pick, once again, you’re delusional.

    2) Please list 3-4 WRs who are undoubtedly better than him. I’m curious what you know that football experts everywhere, literally everywhere, do not.

  36. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 22, 2014 2:58 PM

    greenlantern75 says:
    Jul 22, 2014 2:08 PM
    Love how Bills fans can simultaneously say EJ’s first year were growing pains while Geno’s first year clearly shows he sucks as a QB…

    Regardless…Bills go 1-5 in division…like basically every year of recent memory…tack on a best case scenario of 5-5 out of division and you’re looking at what…6-10? Sounds about right
    …………………………
    I’m not a bills fan but, you’re so off base here it’s embarrassing.

    1) Please point out a comment in this thread in which Bills fans point to Geno being awful but EJ growing

    2) Bills swept Miami with an undrafted noname at the helm both times, they crushed the Jets, lost on a last second FG to the Pats in week 1, and lost to the jets in week 3 with their #4 corner playing the role of #1 because their top 3 corners were all injured.

    But you’re right, they suck against their division in recent memory. Because we all know the most recent season is too recent to be recent memory, right?

  37. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    pftfan says:
    Jul 22, 2014 2:10 PM
    I expect this comments section to boil down to two extremely crucial causes for Buffalo fans:

    1) the Bills only traded ONE first rounder for Sammy Watkins, not two. Since they took Watkins with one of the two picks, that second pick miraculously disappears.
    ………………..
    I am not a Bills fan, but you are flat out wrong.

    They selected Watkins in in the first round. They gave the Cleveland Browns 2 first round pick. However the Bills went into the draft with 1 first round pick for 2014, and they walked out of the draft with 1 first round pick for 2014.

    Therefore, they did not in fact trade it away. By definition trading something “away” means it is given away. Had they traded it “away” they wouldn’t have had a first round pick, would they?

    Simple logic is tricky, I know. But you can do it.

  38. tedmurph says: Jul 22, 2014 3:41 PM

    Flawed logic.

    Bills trade 2 1rst rnd picks plus 4th.
    Bills get 1 1rst rnd pick, used on Watkins.

    Therefore(very simple), Bills traded 2 1rsts and a 4th for Watkins. Three picks for one. #9 pk does not equal #4 pk.

    Julio Jones has topped 1000 yrds once. About 1200. 3 or 4 better? I’ll give you 5:

    DThomas
    DBryant
    AJGreen
    CJohnson
    BMarshall
    All have way outproduced Jones.

    Yes, Falcons had a lot of injuries. If they kept the 5 pks and drafted someone like Torry Smith in the 2nd rnd, maybe they would have had some decent players to plug in.

  39. rabidbillsfan says: Jul 22, 2014 5:28 PM

    Wow, let’s make this REALLY easy. Let’s say you have a Golden apple, and I have 2 red apples. I want your golden apple, but you want my 2 red apples. So I “Trade” my 2 red apples for your golden apple. In the end, I still have an apple, and in the end you end up with an extra apple. Sure, the Bills “Gave up” 2 first round picks, but the net loss was only 1. Want some more “Flawed Logic”, you compare a guy who has played 2 full seasons to guys with 4 or more years of experience. Let’s break down your list using relevant stats that, not ones based off of playing time. Jones- 80.5 ypg, AJ Green-81.5 YPG, Dez Bryant 69.6 ypg, D. Thomas-69.8 ypg. Career TD’s- Jones- 20 in 34, Green- 29 in 47, Bryant-40 in 59, Thomas-30 in 53. Long Rec.- 80+ in all 3 seasons. Green 82 in 1 season. Bryant-85 in 1 season. Thomas-78 in 1 season. I’ll give you Calvin Johnson, but the others, definitely not, and especially not “Way Outproduced”. And are you serious with “if they had decent players to plug in with extra picks”, are you slow? If they had the extra picks they wouldn’t have Julio Jones! And if you are putting Smith on his level, wow, just wow. The Falcons were hit by the injury bug, that’s it, they stay relatively healthy, especially on offense, and they are back to a top team in the NFC. Stop embarrassing yourself.

  40. tedmurph says: Jul 22, 2014 6:04 PM

    Net loss does not equal ‘gave up’. They’re two different things. The Bills gave up 2 1rst rnd picks(and a 4th) and got one (W Julio Jones only yr above 1000 yrds(1200/10 tds), has been surpassed not just last yr, but the last 2 yrs by every WR on my list.

    TSmith’s a better player. But, if they don’t have Jones, but have Smith, another 1rst rnder, a 2nd rnder and 2 4th rnders, maybe they don’t go from 12-4 to 4-12. The Pats lost 5 Pro-Bowlers for the season and a 6th for part of the season and still made it to the AFC Championship game. That’s because Belichick doesn’t mortgage the farm for a guy that has 5 touches a game in stupid trades. He stockpiles pks and always has depth. Embarrassed for you. Boom.
    atkins). Period. Hence they traded 2 1rst rnd picks for Watkins. Flawless logic to anyone with a 2nd grade reading level.stats are not far removed from Jones, who is

  41. tedmurph says: Jul 22, 2014 6:14 PM

    Something got messed up there.
    Net loss does not equal ‘gave up’. They’re two different things. The Bills gave up(traded) 2 1rst rnd picks(and a 4th) and got one(Watkins).. Period.

    Julio Jones 1 yr above 1000 yrds(1200/10 tds) has been surpassed by every WR on my list , not just last yr, but for the last 2yrs.

    If they had drafted TSmith, they would have had an additional 1rst, 2nd and 2 4ths. Then maybe they would have had enough depth on the roster not to go from 12-4 to 4-12. Jones is a better player but the dropoff isn’t worth all those picks.
    The Pats lost 5 Pro-Bowlers for the season and a 6th for part of the season and still made it to the AFC Championship game. That’s because Belichick doesn’t mortgage the farm for a guy that has 5 touches a game in stupid trades. He stockpiles pks and always has depth. Embarrassed for you. Boom.

  42. rabidbillsfan says: Jul 22, 2014 7:47 PM

    Your first point proved my point. The Bills didn’t gift the Browns anything, they swapped 1sts and gave up a 1st and a 4th. It’s called bartering. If they “gave up” 3 total picks then they wouldn’t have gotten anything in return. Let’s trade, you give me $500… and that’s it. My 4 year old cousin understands this, why can’t anybody else. 1 year, that’s all Julio gets? I get it, you don’t want to admit that I’m right, but if you are going to be so narrow minded I’ll throw this your way. Based on Julios stats through 5 games, he would have had 131 catches-1800+ yards- and >7 Td’s. Again, blowing everybody but Calvin out of the water. I hate adding insult to injury, but your “hypothetical” Torrey Smith dream should stop. The Ravens grabbed Torrey Smith 1 spot before the Browns pick, which was the pick obtained from Atlanta. Sure, now he may be good enough for that late 1st pick, but coming out of college he was 1 dimensional and slated as a late-2nd. And what does Bill BB have to do with any of this? It’s Tom Brady that wins for that team, there isn’t another reason. Oh, and Boom.

  43. keepyerstickontheice says: Jul 22, 2014 8:17 PM

    The fact that you even asked #2 shows you don’t actually watch the games. You kind of have a blind spot with the Bills. I know they’re not the click-bait Cowboys, and you have 31 other teams to worry about and can’t focus on some perpetual 7-9 or 6-10 team, but you really seem to repeatedly miss the boat a lot on them. Go back and check your posts, and see how many predictions you made actually came true. You’ve been beating the drum for the move to LA almost to the point of calling Mayflower yourself. Anytime you make a list, the Bills are on it. Mike Vick? Bills. And what’s with the whole they should have traded for Jimmy Graham thing? Where did that come from? I love this site, it’s on my daily things to do, and you are on point on a lot of stuff and being able to explain the legal mumbo-jumbo on contracts and court cases is priceless. But if you watch the games, you pull your hair out every time CJ goes in because the defense knows it’s a run play and puts eight in the box. His contract is almost up and he still hasn’t learned to pass-block. His helmet is always pointed out of bounds. I can’t count the times he takes a nine yard gain, when he could fight and get a first down. FJ had twice as many first downs last year. During the Miami game (the one where they beat the mighty Dolphins 19-0), the Bills were trying to run out the clock at the half, and he does his casual jog-out-of-bounds like he usually does, stopping the clock. CJ is the third wheel. Most guys hold out way before the end of their contracts. CJ doesn’t even have an agent. Why? Because he hasn’t done anything yet, and he knows it.

    -end rant.

    thank you for your time.

  44. tedmurph says: Jul 22, 2014 8:50 PM

    What Jones would have done if he weren’t hurt is irrelevant. He was hurt. Part of a player’s value is staying on the field. Smith was just an example, I could use another. The fact remains Jones best season is 1200 yrds/10TDs. Extrapolating is meaningless.

    Here’s an an analogy that should be simple enough. If the Red Sox trade 3 prospects for Cole Hamel, they don’t announce that they traded 3 guys, got back 0ne, so they really only traded net 2. NO! They traded 3 guys for one. Just like the Bills traded 3 picks(2 of them 1rsts), that will become 3 players, for one(Watkins). Simple and correct.

    The Pats win because of TBrady, one of the top 3(at least) coaches of all time, the 10 other Pro Bowlers besides Brady on the roster, and a deep, well constructed team, according to their plan and good ownership. That’s why everyone tries to copy them. Game, set, match.

  45. finsbooyah says: Jul 22, 2014 11:09 PM

    I’m a Dolphins fan, but I’m going to answer the “was Watkins worth it” question as objectively as possible…

    It will take more than Watkins becoming a good player to be able to answer “yes” to that question… It all hinges on whether or not Manuel turns out to be the real deal.

    If Manuel pans out, all is well. But if E.J. ends up being a bust (and it’s way to early to make a determination either way right now), then the Watkins trade will be a big mistake, because the Bills will be missing out on a potential franchise QB in the 2015 draft, and there should be some quality prospects coming out next year. What good is a quality wide out when he has no QB to get him the ball? Just ask Brandon Marshall how effective he was when he was catching passes from Henne in Miami.

  46. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 23, 2014 3:14 PM

    @tedmurph

    1) Julio Jones has 3 yrs under his belt, one of which he was injured for 11 games of. You’re comparing him with Brandon Marshall & Calvin who have been in the league far, far longer is completely irrelevant.
    2) Its hilariously ironic that you include Dez- a guy who was considered to be somewhat of a bust prior to his 4th (and breakout) year, and yet, your saying based on stats alone that he is better than Jones only because Jones didn’t have 1k in his rookie season. His ROOKIE SEASON.
    3) Demariyus Thomas was a no name until he had the greatest regular season QB join his roster. Talk to me when DT does something after Peyton retires
    4) What is your evidence that Smith is better than Jones? I’d love to hear it.
    5) The term “trade away” is, again, incredibly misleading. You are correct- a #9 pick is not the same as a #4. But in that case, the Bills got a BETTER pick in this years draft. So, again, using the terminology “give away” is incredibly misleading- they gave it away for a BETTER PICK. So, once again they only ‘gave up” one pick. Their #9 pick was swapped out with a BETTER PICK.

  47. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 23, 2014 3:16 PM

    tedmurph says

    Yes, Falcons had a lot of injuries. If they kept the 5 pks and drafted someone like Torry Smith in the 2nd rnd, maybe they would have had some decent players to plug in.
    ……………………..
    Completely flawed logic.

    Then what if Torrey Smith had gotten hurt? Same boat.

    Again, if you think the Jones trade is the main reason the Falcons were bad last year, you’re either completely delusional, or you know absolutely nothing about football.

    This is all not to mention the pick you are comparing it to was a 2 picks for 1 pick trade. Not 5 picks for 1. It’s apples and oranges. Right in line with every other point you have attempted to make.

  48. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 23, 2014 3:19 PM

    tedmurph says:

    Here’s an an analogy that should be simple enough. If the Red Sox trade 3 prospects for Cole Hamel, they don’t announce that they traded 3 guys, got back 0ne, so they really only traded net 2. NO! They traded 3 guys for one. Just like the Bills traded 3 picks(2 of them 1rsts), that will become 3 players, for one(Watkins). Simple and correct
    ……………………….
    This is not the point.

    The point is that people continually say they GAVE THE PICK AWAY. The language of that suggests they traded 3 for 1, not 2 for 1 as is the reality.

    it’s quite a simple difference, and it’s plain to see. If you cant see it, I don’t think I (or anyone else) can help you, because it means you clearly have a sort of delay or mental block when it comes to simple, rational thinking.

  49. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 23, 2014 4:05 PM

    Oh 2 more things tedmurph:

    1) I said undoubtedly better- undoubtedly, you know as in- cant make any sort of argument for. Listing 5 guys with more seasons under their belts (save for Green, who has had the same, but all healthy) and when calculating his stats including a year in which he hardly played is not “undoubtedly”. Sure it’s a start, and it’s an argument, but that is not what I said. I hope your career path isn’t in the legal field, because you would be pretty terrible at proving what is asked of you. Marshall & CJ- no doubt, better WRs then Julio. There is not 1 player beyond that who can be said without a doubt is better. Oh and let me clue you in- distractions and off the field issues (cough cough Dez Bryant) DO effect whether or not Falcons and their fans would think Jones is worth it. Many good players come with a laundry list of off the field headaches. Julio does not.

    2) Bringing up the Pats is so hilariously irrelevant. Yes, BB is a magician. He makes it to the playoffs year in and out despite injuries. He’s about the only one who does though, and I’m not sure whether or not you’ve noticed, but he is one of if not the best coach of all time. For, you know, the ability to win no matter what when compared with 99% of other coaches. So, considering the BB doesn’t work for the Falcons, your point there is completely and utterly inapplicable to your argument.

    Don’t be embarrassed for me. I’m not embarrassed, and I think you’ve got a lot more reason to be, with your misguided and completely illogical logic.

  50. tedmurph says: Jul 23, 2014 9:05 PM

    I said JJones would not be 3/4 on my list, more like 6/7. I was then asked to produce 3/4 better. Each of the 5 guys on my list had more rec yrds and touchdowns in BOTH 2012 AND 2013 than Jones best yr. It’s about production. I don’t care about excuses, injuries, length of career extrapolations or how good you think Jones might be. He’s no trouble off the field, but he also had a 2nd screw putin his foot this offseason, which could be problematic. The other 5 have outproduced Jones’ best yr in 2012/13. Period. Don’t care if they thought Bryant was a bust. They don’t now. I don’t care if Thomas played w/Manning last yr. He put up the same numbers the yr before when Manning was not on the team. Don’t care if Marshall was a problem. He’s not now. Didn’t say Smith was better. That post got scrambled and I reposted it. He’s pretty good though.

    Yes, I think the Falcons were bad in large part because they had no depth when injuries started to hit. I also pointed out that Belichick would never have made that trade, advised Dimitroff not to, and always has depth, because he stockpiles pks instead of trading up. I also brought up BB in response to the othe guy saying the Pats only win because of Brady.

    Now one last time, Buffalo’s trade was NOT 2 for 1. If Buff offered the #9 pick and a 4th: doesn’t get done. Next yrs 1rst and a 4th: Nope. #9 this yr, plus next yrs 1rst:probably not. It took THREE PICKS to get Watkins, including 2 #1′s. I don’t care how much you try to parse it or use semantics or call it ‘gave away’. Whatever. If you don’t believe me, have someone with a 5th grade reading level read you the transaction wire and try to explain it to you. Those are the facts.

  51. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jul 24, 2014 3:53 PM

    So many mistruths and holes in your logic and argument yet again, it’s nearly impossible to divulge where to begin.

    1) Making an argument on players and how good they are to have on a team revolves heavily on stats from the past, but it also revolves ont he future. Jones is younger than all of those you named but Green, and significantly. Jones doesn’t get in trouble so he has a clear future in football, if healthy. The past 3 years in only a slice of the pie when evaluating a players use for your team in the long term. So, thus proving my original statement, I can guarantee no one in ATL is regretting the fact they have Jones. GM’s, believe it or not, evaluate the Big picture. It’s a common business practice. But once again, I said undoubtedly. name all the stats you want. I said undoubtedly. Stats do not prove beyond a doubt. There are countless factors, of which you have proven none beyond stats.

    2) Demariyus Thomas had 551 yards and 4 TDs in 2011. He has had 1400+ yds and 10+ TDs in 2 seasons under Peyton. Please, enlighten me how that is putting up the same numbers before Peyton arrives? It isn’t. It means he benefits from having the best around him. Don’t even get me started on the list of players who have went from star to nothing as soon as they went from Peyton to a QB of a lesser caliber (say, for the sake of argument, a Matt Ryan caliber). It’s endless. You know it, and so do I. So please don’t try to tell me DT had the same stats before Peyton got there. It’s flat out incorrect.

    3) The Peyton argument is applicable to BB and Tom Brady as well. BB doesn’t have great depth players, he has a great system and great QB. Once again, countless guys who have shined under the Pats regime and then went elsewhere and completely disappeared when playing with a mediocre coach and mediocre QB. It’s got nothing to do with depth of his draft picks. Half the WR’s on the Pats last year were undrafted guys. Please explain to me how their success then had anything to do with lack of draft trades, when they had multiple undrafted guys producing?

    4) How have you not picked up my problem is with the semantics? I am not nor have I ever said the Bills didn’t TRADE 3 picks. They did, it’s a fact, I know this. I have said all aliong my problem is that people say they GAVE AWAY 3 picks. Giving away suggests just that- giving, as in nothing in return, not trading. My one post above was a mistype in one small spot, but regardless. My entire argument revolves around saying its unfair to say gave away, because it is. They gave away 2, and traded 1 pick, in exchange for 1. Again, it’s quite simple. I wont attack your reading comprehension level though, but rather your ability to follow written discourse and to select what one person is taking aim at. I know it was a trade. But no one GAVE 3 picks away. Assuredly you must see the difference.

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