Deskchair Quarterback – Bills vs. Lions

I can officially proclaim that the NFL Preseason is the biggest racket going. The Bills, and NFL, go of and charge full price for two home games so fans can watch players they never heard of perform poorly in hopes of making an NFL roster.

I understand that this is out of the Bills’ control. However it is embarrassing that these games aren’t priced at $10 a ticket. It isn’t fair to chars such steep prices and the poor turnout last night showed that.

As for the game. There isn’t too much to write about. The starting offense didn’t do much, but it didn’t look like they were trying either. Shawne Merriman looks like his old self, just pray he stays healthy.

This game was all about the reserves. Players on the bubble needed to prove their worth and many did. Antonio Coleman was active and likely saved his bacon despite another strong showing from Robert Eddins. Eddins is destined for the practice squad and a potential call up depending on injuries.

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Roster watch: Bubble Battles

Some football seasons are different than others. Some years there are undrafted rookies and late round picks usurping established veterans for roles on the final roster.

The 2011 NFL season is not one of those years. The abbreviated offseason that was good of OTAs and mini-camp has taken valuable time away from fringe players drafted in the late rounds and signed as UDFAs.

There are a few battles being waged for starter and reserve spots on the Bills roster. Demetrius Bell, Andy and Chad Rinehart make up a triangle of dispute on the left side of the line. However, all three are locks to make the team.

Additionally, Marcus Easley is inching closer to a starting position at wide receiver by means of an injury to Donal Jones. Would this be a battle had Jones’ cappa been detated from his body? Maybe not yet, but Easley’s raw talent would have eventually earned him playing time.

I am still not sold on Donald Jones. He is a great special teams contributor and he blocks well. However he doesn’t always catch a ton of passes. Unfortunately that is the main duty of a wide receiver. I think he, Naaman Roosevelt and Buster Davis are all close for the two final WR spots on the roster. Easley, Stevie Johnson, David Nelson and Roscoe Parrish are all locks and I see the Bills keeping six players at WR. That leaves two spots to be fought over between four players (if Kamar Aiken is a real possibility). Continue reading

Deskchair Quarterback – Bills vs. Jaguars

I’m fairly certain that 75% of the fans who bemoaned the Bills’ poor performance against the Broncos have changed their opinion on the possibility of an 0-16 season for the Bills.

The only thing that matters to me is the 17-0 lead the Bills starters opened up in the first half against the Jaguars starters. Buffalo’s offense was in high gear, the offensive line kept Ryan Fitzpatrick upright and the defense was strong without Shawne Merriman in the lineup.

It seems as if Demetrius Bell responded well to the possibility of losing his job. He got the start and held up quite well against the Jaguars pass rush. Of course Jacksonville was without their best pass rusher, Aaron Kampman, but I’m going to try to stay positive. Andy Levitre was equally impressive when he bumped to tackle, however I still wonder if he will struggle long-term at that position considering his size. On the bright side, if the Bills deem Kraig Urbik unfit for the RG spot, Chad Rinehart is more than capable of stepping in to fill his role. I feel like that switch will be inevitable once the regular season starts but the coaching staff is waiting to weed out the best players for the left side first. Continue reading

Deskchair Quarterback – Bills vs. Broncos

Collectively the 86 players on the Buffalo Bills roster got lumped up by the Denver Broncos tonight. However, the 24-10 score is largely irrelevant to me considering this was just an exhibition game.

Terrence McGee had a nice pick to close the first half.

The most concerning issue is that the starting offense failed to score a touchdown for the second-straight week in a row. I can’t find the stats to back me up, but I’m fairly certain that is a streak that dates back to 2010. Again, it is just the preseason so it is all meaningless. Still, the fact that the starting offense is so pathetic is somewhat concerning.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked very much like a seventh-round draft pick in his limited time. Most of that can be attributed to the fact that Demetrius Bell is the worst tackle in football. Even on the plays that he didn’t get run by or pushed into the backfield, Bell was very average. Kraig Urbik still looked bad, particularly on that screen to C.J. Spiller in the first quarter. Chad Rinehart looked good, as did Andy Levitre. Both players will be adequate for the Bills’ needs inside. Unfortunately it appears as if the offensive line, as a whole, will prevent the offense from being successful or even mediocre. Continue reading