class="post-date-wrap left relative post-date-mob">
Circling the Wagons of Hope and Optimism.
Does anyone circle the wagons like the Buffalo Bills? Does anyone actually know what this means? This phrase really applied to those great early 90’s Bills teams, which were full of veteran leaders on both sides of the ball. ESPN’s Chris Berman used the phrase to refer to any big game in which the division lead was being threatened (remember those Bills vs Dolphins games?). Even if the Bills had gone through a poor stretch of play, they pulled it together when it mattered most, better than any team in the league at the time.
Fast forward to the time when you realize that your lives didn’t turn out quite the way you expected, and most of you have pulled for a few different NFL teams at one time or another. Except for those pesky Bills fans. Any fan of the Buffalo Bills that’s around currently (in the real world, NOT the blogosphere) has seen the good and bad and is now tempted by the fruit of seeds being sewn by Doug Marrone (you may need to process the previous statement). And we’ve heard it all before about previously drafted QB’s by the Bills organization, but rarely with the full story and context to today.
So let’s not belabor the history lesson of Bills QB’s, but it’s easy to see the 2013 Bills isn’t “just another rebuild.” So yes you’ve got your JP Losman’s and your Trent Edwards, but the ore accurate measurement should extend back to Rob Johnson. Buffalo gave up a 1st and a 4thround draft pick to get Rob Johnson to start the 98 NFL season. New Coach Wade Phillips declared it a new era. Game 1 Johnson was concussed. Game 5? Cracked ribs. Enter Doug Flutie, skip to 1999, re-enter Rob Johnson and the Music City Miracle and wave bye bye to Wade Phillips a year later along with the last Bills playoff appearance.
Fast forward to new head coach Mike Mularky and his second draft pick JP Losman in 2004. Picking WR Lee Evans with their 1st pick at 13thoverall, Coach Mularky sealed his fate by mortgaging his 04 and 05 drafts to move back in and grab JP. As for JP? Broken leg in his first training camp, couldn’t develop and was held over through a confusing time when Mularky was fired, new head coach Dick Jauron was hired, and 3rd round QB Trent Edwards was drafted. Edwards started when Losman was injured, Losman started when Edwards was injured, each playing just good enough to not lose the starting job.
Now, back to 2013 and why we haven’t “seen all this before” out of the Buffalo Bills. Owner and operator Ralph Wilson publicly hands over control of day to day operations. New GM Doug Whaley replaces what was left of the old school mentality in Buffalo. They can and are willing to sign talented free agents now. New head coach Doug Marrone is brought in on the merits of his rebuilding efforts, grabs a respected defensive coordinator from the New York Jets and then reaches over the top of several draft prospects to grab EJ Manuel with his first pick. Does this previous paragraph guarantee success? No. Does it guarantee the revitalized attention of fans? Yes.
Through EJ Manuel’s first 4 games, he’s been a Rookie of the Week finalist twice. Week three of the NFL season was especially rough for the young QB who faced an antagonistic Jets defense. We watched a slight rebound this past week as the young QB faced the defending Superbowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and did enough for his team to win. A mishandled touchdown toss to Robert Woods could have been the difference between an “ok” game and a “good” game for Manuel, but to borrow from our friends from New England, “a win is a win.”
So while lesser minds chop away at optimism with blunt reminders of the past, we should be able to sift through dirt to find out if that potential is still there. So far? Absolutely.
*Fun Fact (for free)- Losman was drafted by the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL in 2009 and helped lead them to the inaugural UFL Championship.
Injuries along the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive severely hindered the team's ability to manufacture effective offense, which was a big reason the Bengals came up short against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
Now that we're through the 2022 college football season and at the draft declaration deadline, the PFF draft board was due for a refresh. Alabama's Bryce Young takes the top spot as one of the highest-graded quarterbacks in the country, while Kentucky QB Will Levis comes in at No. 3.
With the NFL regular season in the books and the playoffs now well underway, PFF takes a look back at the contributions each team got from the 2022 rookie class, breaking down PFF grades, snap counts and more.
Amid refereeing controversy and a bevy of injuries on both sides, the Kansas City Chiefs came away with a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals to move on to the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Though hobbled by a high ankle sprain, Patrick Mahomes came through for the Chiefs when they needed him, with perhaps the signature moment of Sunday's AFC Championship Game coming on the QB's final snap.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to interview Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Tuesday, NFL Media reports. Monken interviewed for the Ravens’ offensive coordinator job last week. He has held the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UGA since 2020. Monken spent the 2016-18 seasons as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator before going to Cleveland, where he […]
The Raiders have 16 days to figure out a potential trade for quarterback Derek Carr before $40.4 million in future compensation becomes fully guaranteed. So why haven’t they given Carr permission to try to find a suitor? Here’s the problem. The Raiders likely fear that those discussions would result in a wink-nod understanding that Carr […]
The NFL has named Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb to the Pro Bowl games to replace Khalil Mack. Chubb also made the Pro Bowl in 2020. The Dolphins acquired Chubb in a trade with Denver on Nov. 1. In 16 total games this season, Chubb made 39 tackles, eight sacks, one pass defensed and a career-high […]
The formulas for determining the franchise and transition tags ultimately tie the amount at each position to a percentage of the salary cap. Thus, once the salary cap is known, the tag amounts are known. With the salary cap at a record-high $224.8 million for 2023, the tags have been determined. Per multiple reports, the […]
New Panthers head coach Frank Reich reported to work at his new job for the first time Monday. His first order of business after signing his contract was to begin meeting with the current assistants on the staff. Joe Person of TheAthletic.com reports the Panthers are retaining special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and offensive line […]
Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt called out teammate Joseph Ossai as he walked to the locker room after a frustrating, last-second loss. Pratt was caught on video voicing his displeasure at Ossai’s unnecessary roughness penalty on Patrick Mahomes that moved the Chiefs into field goal range with eight seconds left. Pratt tweeted Sunday night after seeing […]
The Falcons hired Ryan Nielsen to be their next defensive coordinator late last week, replacing the now-retired Dean Pees. Nielsen had been with the Saints since 2017, first as the team’s defensive line coach, then as assistant head coach/defensive line coach, and finally as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in 2022. At practice […]
The Texans are expected to hire 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans later this week, so it comes as no surprise that he won’t interview anywhere else. Woody Paige of the Denver Gazette reports that Ryans has informed the Broncos that he is not interested in their head coaching job. Paige calls Ryans the team’s “third […]
As the NFL inches toward embracing a full-blown sky judge/booth umpire procedure for supplementing on-field officiating, it’s using a hybrid system that many don’t understand — and that the league doesn’t apply as consistently as it should. The current procedure has its roots in the real-time communication technology that the league established nearly a decade […]
The injury suffered by 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy during the NFC Championship Game was a serious one. Purdy has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will likely be sidelined for about six months, according to multiple reports. That timeline would have Purdy back before the start of the 2023 preseason, but […]
The Chiefs got big plays from established stars like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, and Frank Clark on their way to Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, but there were some less heralded names playing big roles as well. After L'Jarius Sneed was injured early in the first quarter, […]
The Cardinals will interview Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports. Kafka also is a candidate for the Colts’ head coaching job, and he previously interviewed with the Panthers and Texans. The Panthers hired former Colts head coach Frank Reich, and the Texans appear poised to hire 49ers defensive […]
In the red corner, a flurry of reports that Vic Fangio will become the next defensive coordinator of the Dolphins. In the blue corner, Fangio himself has repeatedly said it’s not a done deal yet. While it’s entirely possible that Fangio will sign the contract and become the next defensive coordinator of the Dolphins, no […]
After last night’s AFC Championship, referee Ron Torbert created the impression that the crazy do-over in the fourth quarter resulted from an official trying to rectify an error by the clock operator. The truth is that the error was made by Torbert. Prior to third-and-nine 1.0, the action stopped because the ball had been placed […]
Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan is expected to have a second interview with the Colts this week, Albert Breer of SI.com reports. It could happen as soon as Wednesday. Callahan had his first interview with the Colts on Jan. 20. He is expected to interview with the Cardinals on Thursday. Callahan became offensive coordinator of […]
Now that Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has completed his third season, he’s eligible for a contract extension. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 draft, Burrow has certainly lived up to the lofty expectations that come with being selected first overall. He brought the Bengals to the Super Bowl last season and Cincinnati was […]
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has officially become the second-most productive receiver in NFL postseason history. Through Sunday’s AFC Championship Game win over the Bengals, Kelce is No. 2 in NFL history in postseason catches, postseason receiving yards and postseason touchdowns. But Kelce has a long way to go to move into first place.: Just […]
The Raiders are a little more than two weeks away from a significant milestone in quarterback Derek Carr‘s contract. Carr’s $32.9 million base salary for next year and $7.5 million of his 2024 salary will become fully guaranteed if he remains on the team on February 15, so there’s been plenty of speculation that the […]
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker had the worst season of his career. He missed four games after injuring his ankle in the season opener, and he had his lowest accuracy number for field goals (75.0) and for extra points (92.7). The Chiefs, though, had complete faith in Butker to deliver them a trip to the Super […]
Just over a decade ago, Andy Reid became the Chiefs head coach after 14 years with the Eagles. And as Reid filled out his first Kansas City staff, he let go of a young, up-and-coming assistant: Nick Sirianni. Sirianni had been with the Chiefs since 2009, starting as an offensive quality control coach. Then-head coach […]