No matter what they say, the team is making progress

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Well, since the Andrew Luck saga may have finally ended in Buffalo. It seems like the talk has turned to Bills fans NOT wanting enough from their team. Look, I’ve been one to complain about fans not demanding the best out of their teams. It has happened too many times over the years and I think the owners of both teams know this. However, I think it a little different this time around for the Bills. For one, Bills home games aren’t selling out like they use to. The fans have spoken and pretty much knew all along, that this was going to be a bottoming out type of year.

The key word being “Bottoming.”

As I’ve said all along, with this being a rebuilding year, it shifted my expectations to being about progress, not wins or losses. Hey, that’s how it works when you are rebuilding. That’s the problem I have with people stating that the fans have to raise their expectations for the club, because this is what happens during the first year of a rebuilding program. It happened last year with the Bucs. It happened in 2003 with the Chargers. It happened in 2000 with the Patriots. Losing happens when you’re rebuilding. Don’t get me wrong, if this was last year and the team was 3-10, I’d be angry as all hell because expectations were higher and we were in year four of Jauron. Now, If the Bills are 3-10 in 2011, then all bets are off when it comes to moral victories.

Overall, you can’t ignore that Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, Kyle Williams and Fred Jackson are having career years. Sure, I want the Bills to beat the Patriots and Jets, as I’ll admit, the Browns game wasn’t that moving, but they are a better team than last year’s bunch. The offense is better and the defense is on the same par. Now I’m not stupid. I know the Bills have to add A LOT more pieces to the puzzle and that actually leads me to my next point.

You guys know I like Jerry Sullivan, but when he was on WGR this past Monday, he was going WAY off the deep end. Look, I get that beating the Browns isn’t a big deal, but Sully was making out that Bills fans were expecting this team to go 12-4 next year with the same group of players. What really raised my eye brows was when he said that fans were anointing Arthur Moats as the next James Harrison? HUH?! I’m sorry, but besides the catchphrase on twitter about not crossing the moats, no one has said anything to that degree. I think Sully needs to realize that the people who email him these suggestions are probably just trying to get a rise out of him. I don’t think fans are that crazy and that hopeful…right? 

Look, the stats don’t lie. Fitzpatrick is ranked 19th in passing yardage, but if he would have gotten 200 yards in the first two games of the year (when Edwards was starting), he’d rank 12th, right behind Matt Ryan. He’s also still in the top 10 for touchdown passes with 21. The Bills are ranked 12th in rushing yards, which surprised me, when you consider how the team was ranked 24th after week six. Again, the Bills still have a lot of work to do. The pressure is on Buddy Nix and company to have a great offseason. I still need to see more from Buddy Nix to believe that anything has changed for the Bills scouting department. Of course, firing Modrak would help.

Quick Hits

-I know that the Cam Newton talk is heating up on message boards and on the airwaves about the Auburn QB coming to Buffalo. Look, I’ve only watched a handful of Newton’s snaps in college, so, I’m not going to try and tell you if he’s any good or not. However, the biggest thing going against the Heisman Trophy winner is baggage. You guys should know by now that when it comes to my football players, I want them showing up on Sunday between 1 and 4pm. Whether they rescue kittens in trees or blaze a trail of glory at Mintz during the week preceding Sunday’s game. As long as they perform, I don’t care what they do in their spare time. As for his mistakes, look, he’s a fricken 20-year old kid. Whether or not he’s guilty in taking money or whether it was his dad is all a mute point. You know how many players in college athletics get money? It’s like the worst kept secret ever. Anyways, the dude didn’t get arrested or beat up anyone. Warren Sapp tested positive for weed in college. Laveranues Coles was caught shoplifting in college and he didn’t do anything wrong in the pros. Randy Moss had baggage in college, but he’ll more than likely make the HOF. Again, lets not jump to conclusions about this guy. Players do mature over time-

-Speaking of the draft, why are we even talking about it? Look, I get that the draft is key in building your football team. However, it’s December and a lot can happen with players between now and April. There are still the bowl games, combine and personal workouts. Stocks will rise, while others will fall. Bottom line: Lets talk draft in March-

-As a time honored tradition with friends and family for when I return to Buffalo for Christmas, we all decide to goto the home finale for the Bills. Over the last four years, the Bills have a 1-3 record in those games. Of course, the weather has been a huge factor. During the actual games, I’ll ask myself  (While freezing my ass off), why the hell am I here to see a below .500 team in below freezing temperatures? In 2006, the Bills battled the Titans and lost by 3, in a game where Robert Royal caught a Lee Evans touchdown pass, only to then take the two biggest steps forward out of bounds. Then in 2007, the Bills faced the Giants and I must have went through about 5 different storm fronts in 10 minutes. I think my jacket is still wet/frozen. 2008 saw a fricken windstorm against the Patriots. This was a brutal game in which the goal posts were crooked because of the howling wind. Besides the weather, the other thing I remembered, is Duke Preston taking on the whole Patriots team while the Bills were attempting a field goal in the waiting seconds of the first half. Of course, by the time Preston was separated from the shoving match, time ran out before the Bills snapped the ball. Very smart, Duke. Then last year, the Bills finally beat the Colts B-team in a blizzard. Man, it was cold as hell and the snow was insane. Overall, it was a fun time and I can’t wait to see what the weather has in store for us against the Patriots-  

-Can you believe that Ryan Fitzpatrick has more yards rushing than CJ Spiller?-

-Thanks for the great season Shawn Nelson. Seriously, I didn’t even know you were still on the team until they announced you were heading to IR. Maybe one day we’ll have a legit NFL tight end-  

Joe

About Joe

The Lord of Buffalo Wins

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