We are five days away from the Bills opening day, as they prepare to pounce the New York Jets in their Meadowlands. For many Buffalo Bills fans, the season opener will be filled with anxiety, excitement, tailgating, and hot, clear-your-sinuses Buffalo wings. Besides chicken wings, what hot topics have been heating up Buffalo sports bars this past week? Read on to find out.
Ralph Wilson Hospitalized
Bills owner Ralph Wilson was admitted into a Detroit hospital last week, the reason not released to the public. According to Scott Berchtold, the Bills spokesman, the 93-year Wilson is in good condition. Hopefully, he will be well enough to attend the Bills’ first game this Sunday.
Bills Keep Four Quarterbacks on their Roster
With Brad Smith injuring his groin against the Detroit Lions last Thursday and Bills probable second stringer Tarvaris Jackson just acquired last week, the Bills kept QB Tyler Thigpen on the roster. Thigpen recently accepted a 1million dollar pay cut to stay on the team.
Based on the uncertainty of Smith’s injury and Jacksonstill learning the Bills offensive system, having 4 QB’s is a smart move. Jackson may not be quite ready to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick. As stated on www.democraticchronicle.com, Fitzpatrick talked about helping Tarvaris during the Bills last preseason game.
“As the game was going on, I was trying to let him (Tarvaris) know how everything fit into our game plan and how all the formulations and sets worked,” said Fitzpatrick. “He’s in a tough situation.”
If it gets too tough, Thigpen, plagued by inconsistency, is capable of running the Bills offense.
The Wide Receiver Verdict
Once again, four seems to be the Bills lucky number, as the Bills retained Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones for the top two WR slots. Draft pick T.J. Graham and David Nelson made the final spots, Graham displaying a great preseason performance his first three games with 8 catches for 134 yards.
I am sad to see Naaman Roosevelt, a former UB player, cut. If veteran Derek Hagan had played as well in preseason as he did in training camp, he may have made the team.
Bills Practice Squad
I was happy to see that WR Marcus Easley, originally cut from the Bills, made the practice squad. I thought his 100 yard kick return and his two point conversion against the Lions last week should have solidified a WR spot for him.
Also making the initial practice squad were WR Kamar Aiken, DT Jarron Gilbert, Defensive Back Isaiah Green, and Center David Snow. The Bills just added CB T.J. Heath and TE LaMark Brown to the mix. With the eight spot empty, which Bill will make the final slot?
Choosing Sides: Offense or Defense?
With a 0-4 preseason record, the debate concerning our offense and defense continues, many Bills fans biting their nails. In 16 possessions, the Bills starting offense put up 3 TD’s and one field goal. Their first string defense played 15 possessions, allowing 5 TD’s and one field goal.
While there are some problems to fix, including the Bills ongoing struggle to convert in the red zone and the defense sometimes allowing big plays, the offense scored 32 points last week. During the preseason, the Bills defense kept them in games that could have been early blowouts. Fortunately, our penalties also dropped.
The Calm Before the Storm
“It’s like the calm before the storm,” said Bills number one WR Stevie Johnson on www.wkbw.com, Johnson referring to the Bills Labor Day preparation.
Here’s to a raging thunder-and-lightning storm, as the Bills turn the Jets “Wildcat Offense” into scaredy cats, scrambling to find scraps of meat. One o’clock on Sunday can’t come fast enough for me!