Time To Think About The Future
With this season over, where do the Bills go next?
by Joe Chenelly
November 12, 2003
Big Time Needs
- A new coach – For all the hype, Gregg Williams isn’t so detail-orientated, superbly organized and keen on adapting; all of which he was careful to make journalists and fans believe three years ago. He is the most overrated member of the Buffalo Bills.
- A new offensive coordinator – This, thankfully, will be an automatic when Williams get canned. Might as well get new O-line, QB and WR coaches too.
- A new, veteran center – Apologies to Trey Teague, but you suck! Remember the days when Kent Hull ( a soon-to-be Hull of Famer) called the shots on the line? He was the keystone to the Bills’ success in the 1990s. This may be the hardest of the needs to fill, but it could be the one with the biggest payoff.
- Re-sign Antoine Winfield – Even if it means losing Lawyer Milloy or Nate Clemens. No one has meant more to the defense this year. He is my pick for team MVP, so far.
- A veteran left tackle – Drew Bledsoe has been hit so many times the past two years, he is now very prone to fumbling. If his back isn’t protected, don’t bother tuning in.
- A quality backup quarterback – Maybe Bledsoe is washed up, but I still don’t think so. Put a little pressure on Drew to perform, and maybe he will. If not, you have an alternative. The Bills do not realistically have anyone else to step in. Sorry, Alex.
- A better #2 receiver – Josh Reed isn’t terrible, but there probably is someone better out there for the same money. Maybe he just needs a better coach.
- A real pass rusher – Say all the great things you want about Aaron Schobel, but he is not a good enough to be the featured defensive end on a championship team.
One Wish for Next Year
- Linebacker Corps – Jeff Posey may be a bit overrated, and Takeo Spikes may not be showing everything promised, but combined with London Fletcher, this is one of the best units in football. I am sure they are of the quality needed to win a Super Bowl.
- Running back – Please, please, please, don’t draft another. Now that Travis Henry and Sammy Morris are healthy again, and Willis McGahee is recovering, this slot is more than filled. Too bad Travis has to be traded. Of course, I hope the Bills wait until Willis shows beyond doubt he is fully back.
- #1 wide receiver – Eric Moulds is among the top three or four WRs playing today. A good offensive coordinator will know how to use the most talented Bill.
- Fans – Is there a team in professional sports that makes it harder for its fans to stay true? I don’t think so. Yet, the massive stadium in the not-so-massive market continues to sellout. Bills fans define the term diehard.
- A Super Bowl win for Ralph Wilson Jr. – This football pioneer bucks the trend of owners drawing hate and discontent from fans. He really opened his wallet the past two years. Moreover, a few years back, when the NFL was encouraging him to move the Bills to Toronto, or even farther, he bit the financial bullet and kept the team on Lake Erie. He may not live to see his much-deserved induction into the NFL Hall of Fame, but I sure hopes he gets what we wants most – a Super Bowl title.
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