What realistic expectations can be had for this year’s Buffalo Bills team? It can be assumed that the team will be better this year with the same players. Teams tend to be better in the second year of a coaching staff. In fact most quarterback troubles come from having too many offensive coordinators. This is the second year for both head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Will New Buffalo Bills Players Help End Playoff Drought?
Too Many Draft Day Starters
The Bills plan on starting their first three draft picks. While one could expect a first round pick to be a day one starter, can you expect that of second and third round picks? How much can be expected of new Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson? He was a flat-out superstar with the Clemson Tigers. But having shoulder surgery on May 17th, Lawson starts the preseason on the physically unable to perform list. Lawson has the potential to be dominating. But with a return date in November, how much can he help this season? If he can return in top shape, he could boast a good defense to a great defense.
New Bills starting right inside linebacker Reggie Ragland is a rookie from Alabama. Ragland was projected to be a first round pick, but he slipped into the second round. He is a crushing hitter and is effective as a pass rusher, run stopper and in coverage. His athleticism compares to the late great Sean Taylor. The Bills organization got a star in Ragland. He will cause havoc against opposing offenses and is a major upgrade to the defense. He will make everybody better.
New Bill defensive end Adolphus Washington played collegiately at Ohio State. Washington fell in the draft due to his run in with the police, causing him to miss the Fiesta Bowl. He is ready to move his 6’3” 301 pound body on from that negativity. And move his body on he does. Washington is another punishing player. His super quick feet and constant motor will cause mayhem to opposing offensive backfields.
When Lawson returns from injury, the defense will be scary. The front seven will have hard hitting players all over the field. The new Bills will represent this year’s draft number one rated defensive end, and the number one rated inside linebacker. Reggie Ragland will be joining fellow Crimson Tide alum and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. This star studded front seven should allow Washington’s natural talent to shine.
New Bills Free-Agent Signings
New Bills inside linebacker Zach Brown leads the free-agent signings. He accumulated 77 tackles and two interceptions for the porous Tennessee Titan defense last season. Another off-season addition, Robert Blanton, is expected to see quality time on defense. Blanton’s only two years removed from a 106 tackle campaign for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Buffalo Bills haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999. The New England Patriots control the AFC East. The Patriots have won the last seven divisions and 13 of the last 15. The New York Jets are coming off of a 10-6 season where they barely missed the playoffs by one game.
The new Bills are going to be exciting. But will they be able to mesh quick enough to compete with veteran teams? Will the Bills be able to improve that 8-8 record winning at least 3 more games? The Bills lost five games by eight or fewer points last year. Those are the games that the new Bills will have to make their impact in order for this Bills team to break the longest playoff drought in the NFL.