The Cold Front is Coming

With the Bills season almost upon us, I thought I’d chase another phone wallpaper project. Here’s the Cold Front – the name given to the Bills’ fearsome defensive line. This should work with most cell phones. If not, let me know and I can make the necessary changes. Continue reading

Field Goals: Bills defensive line set for drastic change

The Buffalo Bills defensive front has undergone a massive transition this season. Both in scheme and regarding personnel. Training camp will provide fans, coaches and media the chance to see the new, deeper Bills defensive line.

When Dave Wannstedt decided to switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3, it ensured that the Bills two most dominant lineman would be on the field on nearly every down. While Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus each played a significant role in George Edwards’ porous 3-4 front, they will be able to anchor the defensive interior in an even front.

Think back to the dominance the Bills enjoyed with Pat Williams and Sam Adams or Ted Washington in the middle of their defense. That is what Wannstedt is toying with by allowing those two to line up side-by-side.

Obviously signing Mario Williams galvanized the rest of the front from a talent standpoint. With that one signing, the Bills went from having little pop in terms of pass rushing, to an elite, superstar talent rushing off the edge. Adding Mark Anderson and the speculation that Shawne Merriman has returned to full health provides even more talent on the edge.

In total, the Bills only added two new players. But they represent a 50% change for the defensive front. At the beginning of the year, the Bills were lining up Dwan Edwards, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus with their hands in the dirt with a mix of either Alex Carrington, Spencer Johnson, Chris Kelsay or Merriman mixed in one way or another. Penciling in the 2012 starters would put Anderson, Kyle Williams, Dareus and Mario Williams down on the front four. Obviously, Kelsay will factor into that competition along with a few others. Regardless, that is an impressive turnover for a defense that struggled mightily in 2011.

Training camp is going to provide an interesting for a number of players, specifically those who aren’t penciled in as week one starters. A few – namely Danny Batten and Dwan Edwards – are facing an uphill battle after being specifically acquired to play in a 3-4 scheme. Others, like Torrel Troup, will simply be battling for a roster spot. Continue reading

Buffalo selects Dareus, lost their QB

The first five picks of the 2011 NFL Draft went pretty much according to plan. The Carolina Panthers selected Cam Newton first, to the delight of just about every Bills fan, and the following picks fell into order.

After Denver selected Von Miller second overall, the Bills were left with a fairly easy decision. They selected Marcell Dareus, the massive and agile DT from Alabama.

Dareus addresses a handful of needs for Buffalo. Chiefly, their inability to stop the run. I’ll leave the rest of the explanation up to Mark Gaughan, he has quotes and an in-look at the selection. Continue reading

2011 NFL Draft: Who do the Bills take?

My love for pro football has seriously fallen off in recent years. It is a great game, but the NFL has become a business, not a sport. The No Fun League moniker certainly crops up a lot and it is hard to like the players when they all act like jerks. All the time.

However, free agency and the draft always peak my interest. Of course, the looming lockout/work stoppage put the kaibosh on free agency. The draft will go on. Why? I’m not quite sure, but it doesn’t matter and I am still looking forward to tuning in. The big question in tornado alley Buffalo is, who do the Bills select with the third overall selection?

Leave it to Buffalo to bottom out in a year with such a weak class at the top of the draft. Still, there are a few options available at the third pick. They have a plethora of needs starting at QB right on through DT. Outside linebacker and offensive tackle are also huge weak points for this team. However, they can’t address every need in the first round, only the most glaring one.

I see five players that the Bills could take a serious look at with the third selection. Marcell Dareus, Blaine Gabbert, Von Miller, Cam Newton and Patrick Peterson. Of those five, I wouldn’t touch Newton. He comes across as a huge phony, a cheater and a jerk. I think he will be a cancer to any locker room he gets put into. Miller and Dareus (even Nick Fairley) address immediate needs on defense. They are highly skilled and would be effective for a defense that desperately needs help. Gabbert and Peterson are pretty much safety valves for me, based on who is picked at one and two. Here is my breakdown of the prospects in the order I would take them:

Von Miller -OLB, Texas A&M

Von Miller would be my choice if I were the Bills. He is a bit undersized at 6’2″ 246 pounds, but he has a solid body of work in a competitive conference. Miller is a edge rusher who can play in both the 3-4 and the 4-3.  He has the style and skill that Aaron Maybin was supposed to bring. Buffalo has had a pretty horrific pass rush over the past few years, Miller would help fill that void and hopefully bump Chris Kelsay to a three point stance all the time. He is exaclty what the Bills need and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be available for the third pick. That is also why I chose him as a correspondent with the original, DC based, Two in the Box.

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