AFC East

Circling the Wagons Yet Again

Circling the Wagons Yet Again
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The Bills made the decision to bench Tyrod Taylor yesterday for J  (Nathan) Peterman, making him the scapegoat for the recent 2 game slide where the defense gave up a combined 492 rushing yards and also a rushing TD to Drew Brees of all players. This has been another questionable move and continues the train of questionable moves the Bills have made starting with the very questionable move of firing the GM the day after the draft.
 
This all started December 27th with the firing of Rex Ryan and Terry Pegula also planning to fire Doug Whaley at a future point because Rex Ryan failed despite not giving Whaley any power and overruling him in hiring Rex in the first place. Yet again there was a HC search and yet again Pegula ignored Whaley and picked his own guy in Sean McDermott who was the anti Rex and who Pegula yet again would give full power. At this point Whaley was a dead man walking and him and his staff was used by McDermott because he knew he wouldn’t get any better GMs or other front office staff at this point. Then came the draft and Whaley was gone. Almost immediately McDermott used his power as the true GM and hired a yes man in Brandon Beane and that is when they started the process of removing anything that has Whaley’s fingerprints on it. The first move was on May 24th with the release of Cyrus “the virus” Kouandjio after a very strange incident where nothing happened and despite the fact the Bills had zero depth at LT.
 
Now comes August where the real purge starts. The day after the first preseason game the Bills trade Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby for a 2nd, 3rd, Jordan Matthews and EJ Gaines. The Watkins deal made sense since he was a goner regardless but the Darby deal was confusing because he was under contract for the cheap for another two years and the Bills lack CB depth (and still do). Then they traded Kevin Seymour, another CB for a WR that currently is unemployed. They traded Reggie Ragland, a LB which they don’t have any depth at for a 4th round pick in 2019, they also cut Jonathan Williams, a 5th round pick from 2016 who was having a great preseason and was going to be  great replacement for Mike Gilly and make Mike Tolbert their backup RB which has at least cost them two games. Then to finish the purge they traded Marcell Dareus, who was a key reason for the dominant run defense and was still a guy offenses schemed around, for a 6th round pick next year and really didn’t save any cap. That’s not including other subtle moves like benching Jon Miller for Vlad Ducasse and slowly phasing out Shaq Lawson (only played 52% snaps so far) along with using Shady McCoy less on third downs and instead using Tolbert. All because of their connection to the prior regime.
 
Now we go to Tyrod Taylor who was made a scapegoat for the bad moves the Bills made this offseason. Tyrod isn’t an elite QB nor is he Jay Cutler bad. He is middle of the pack and he won’t lose you games but he won’t win you many either plus he is very careful with the ball and this year has improved as a passer in a less ground and pound offense. However, they really didn’t help him. Tyrod has the best deep ball in the NFL, everyone remembers those deep beauties to Sammy Watkins. So what do they do, give him no deep threats with his faster receiver being Jordan Matthews. They also changed the blocking scheme from man scheme which the O-line was built for and was a big reason they were top ten line the prior two years to more of a zone blocking scheme which has had disastrous results in both the run game and pass game.  They stripped his weapons, they made the offensive line a shell of its former self along with playcalling that really limits what Tyrod can do and doesn’t play to his strengths which you know a good offensive coordinator does (see Sean McVay and his work with Goff). Plus when they finally traded for a true #1 WR (despite what certain people here think, especially someone who thinks Will Fuller is bad), they yanked him before they had a chance to develop chemistry. Bills didn’t really want Tyrod, but they knew he was necessary as Nathan Peterman is not the answer, he was bad in college, has a weak arm and only looked good against 3rd stringers and prevent defense and is nowhere close to being at Tyrod’s level.
 
In conclusion, the Bills new dramatic shift has caused major short-term harm with long-term they are set up if the new regime has any idea what they’re doing which so far looks doubtful. I have zero faith in Brandon Beane as so far his moves have been him trying to think he’s smarter than everyone else. Sean McDermott has too many hats on and should stick to coaching which he so far has been doing a great job. I’m extremely skeptical with the new regime, especially with forcing our Aaron Kromer to bring in buddy Juan Castillo who was godawful in Baltimore and have 5th choice Rick Dennison lead the offense. The moves made have been befuddling and unless they knock the upcoming draft out of the park, I will yet again think Terry Pegula has no clue how to be an owner and should hire a Head of Football Operations to handle the football side. Until then, I will hope the Bills make the playoffs, otherwise, it’s time to look at the mock drafts.

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