NFL Preview: Buffalo Bills

Apologies if some of this seems a bit out there, I’m basing simply on how I feel this is gonna look…and I’m not a Buffalo fan.

Head Coach: Chan Gailey
Offensive Coordinator: Curtis Modkins (also serves as current running back coach)
Defensive Coordinator: George Edwards
Special Teams Coordinator: Bruce DeHaven
Owner: Ralph Wilson

Starters (projected):
Quarterback: Trent Edwards
Fullback: Corey Mcintyre
Halfback: Fred Jackson
Wide Receiver: Lee Evans
Wide Receiver: Roscoe Parrish
Tight End: Shawn Nelson
Right Guard: Eric Wood
Left Guard: Andy Levitre
Right Tackle: Cornell Green
Left Tackle: Demetrius Bell
Center: Geoff Hangartner

Defensive Starters (projected):
Defensive End: Dwan Edwards
Defensive End: Marcus Stroud
Defensive Tackle: Kyle Williams
Linebacker: Aaron Maybin
Linebacker: Chris Kelsay
Linebacker: Paul Posluszny
Linebacker: Andra Davis
Cornerback: Terrence McGee
Cornerback: Leodis McKelvin
Free Safety: Donte Whitner
Strong Safety: George Wilson

Special Teams:
Kicker: Rian Lindell
Punter: Brian Moorman

Schedule:
Miami
@ Green Bay
@ New England
New York Jets
Jacksonville
Bye
@ Baltimore
@ Kansas City
Chicago
Detroit
@ Cincinnati
Pittsburgh
@ Minnesota
Cleveland
@ Miami
New England
@ New York Jets

Position Battles:
There are two position battles of note here: the starting quarterback and the starting running back. Buffalo currently has four quarterbacks on their roster in Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm, Levi Brown, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Being the rookie of this foursome, it is not likely that Brown will be seeing any action beyond preseason snaps or catching a snap for a field goal/extra point. The real battle comes with the other three quarterbacks, which if you look at their skills, all three are very similar. I believe Edwards will get the starting nod because of his more favorable numbers from last year. If he goes down, I believe Fitzpatrick will start.
The other position battle is between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Jackson will be the starter…for now. Whether or not he keeps said starting role depends on how good Spiller turns out to be. Marshawn Lynch can now be seen as nothing more than an afterthought, because Jackson is obviously the tentative starter, and if Spiller rises to the occasion, then they’ll likely use Jackson to spell him.

Rookie Watch:
Obviously the rookie to watch from Buffalo this year is C.J. Spiller. The guy averaged 191 yards per game when he played for Clemson last year, which was fourth in the nation. He was the go-to guy at Clemson, but now that he’s playing in the NFL, one has to wonder what he can do at the highest level. Obviously the Bills are very high on him, or they wouldn’t have drafted him so high. Whether or not he can play at the professional level remains to be seen…but if he does, you could potentially be looking at your 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Season Expectations:
With the transition to a 3-4 defense, expect some major reshufflings in the defensive depth chart, which makes projected starters very difficult to predict. I found it difficult to do this…the potential reshuffling is THAT serious. I find it very difficult to give a clear outlook for this season because the offense all depends on whether or not C.J. Spiller IS the real deal. If he is, then the Bills will have a legitimate claim at becoming a force in the AFC East. If he isn’t, expect another season of mediocrity. However, even if he DOES produce, Buffalo faces some nasty run defenses this season, including Minnesota, and the New York Jets twice.

My Projected Record: 7-9

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