Preseason Lowdown : Buffalo Bills
What’s the story?
I was at Bills camp last Friday. And while selling “4-Consecutive Super Bowl Appearances!” posters from the 90’s doesn’t necessarily imply swagger…the Bills just might get their groove on this year. (Try not to remember that I said that last year, too.) It helps that their division is in shambles (receiver-less Patriots, rebuilding Dolphins, and…the Jets) but it also helps that there is sincere enthusiasm surrounding the team this year due in large part to new faces and a new approach.
Leader and commander:
The main new face with the new approach? Rookie NFL head coach Doug Marrone, previously of Syracuse University. I have yet to talk to anyone who doesn’t love this hire. Coach Marrone seems confident and deeply invested in his team – so much so that he’s been the one snapping the ball to his quarterbacks at training camp.
New kid on the block:
Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, taken as the first quarterback in this year’s NFL draft, looks like he might beat out veteran Kevin Kolb (who is also new to Buffalo – he was in Arizona last season and Philadelphia the season before that). I can personally attest to the fact that he is not unlike Goliath in size and stature.
Last year was…
…typical for the Bills: a 6-10 season with early glimmers of promise that fizzled fast.
…this year might not be much different. According to the preseason power rankings, the Bills are hanging out near the bottom of the pack with only two other teams to serve as a buffer from true rock bottom. But even though 30th sounds bleak, keep in mind that this could be the start of good things in Buffalo regardless of this year’s record.