Doug Marrone has taken full advantage of becoming the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills, after the sub-par finish to a season from Chan Gailey. With the Bills finishing below .500 again this season, the only way to take this team, is up.
Chris Kelsay, Nick Barnett, George Wilson are gone. David Nelson and Donald Jones have joined them in packing up their bags and heading out of Buffalo. It may seem that Marrone has come into Orchard Park already implementing a change. With a defense structured around their $100 million man Mario Williams and their recently franchise tagged Safety Jarius Byrd, who can the Bills target in the offseason?
There are three questions to ask at this point in the offseason:
What is the quarterback situation, and what weapons do we want around him?
Chances are there will be two Ryan’s fighting for that starting spot, Fitzpatrick and Nassib. With Marrone coming straight from Syracuse, it only makes sense that he charges after his quarterback in the draft, right? Fitz is still in the equation, since the organization does still owe him a hefty paycheck after hopping on the “Amish Rifle” bandwagon in 2011. With Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler having another solid year in 2012, the Bills need to find another receiving threat to add into the equation. Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh Steelers) poses as a great threat for the scheme the Bills are looking into. WR Danny Amendola adds a deep threat option, but also combos as an underneath route runner as well.
Offensive Line Restructure?
With another season of injuries to an already shaken up Bills front 5, what decisions do you make in re-signing the big boys? Eric Wood went down with another leg injury (this year it was the MCL), Andy Levitre is shopping other teams along with Chad Rinehart, and breakout rookie Cordy Glenn at the critical left tackle position, a bit banged up as well, where do the Bills start with the protection unit? One may assume their biggest move right now is to do anything it takes to keep this unit together, especially resigning Levitre. With Fitz only being sacked 30 times, this young line proved that they could protect their quarterback.
Where’s the Defense?
The Bills defense was hyped up to be a top tier defense last year with the signing of Mario Williams, and with breakout performers like Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus. They proved to be a big disappointment, giving up the second most rushing yards per game at 145.8, right behind the New Orleans Saints 147.6. Needless to say, if Marrone and the new Buffalo coaching staff were to focus on one thing, it should be getting off the field on third down, and not giving up an abundance of yards to no name players like Brandon Bolden, who rushed for 137 yards in Ralph Wilson Stadium, alongside Steven Ridley’s 106 yards.
The Bills have a lot to work on this offseason; there is no doubt about that. On the bright side, even with a 6-10 record, there was a plethora of young talent that stood out, and there is a lot of promise for next year. C.J Spiller, Jarius Byrd and Stephon Gilmore to name a few.