Oh, and the Bills…

Quickly…

The Bills made two big announcements on the same day as the NHL trade deadline, which was the pits for me. I say this in case you want to assume the following points are coming from a bitter place.

1) They re-signed Aaron Williams, which rules because I love watching someone celebrate every play as if it were the Super Bowl regardless of whether he played a role in it. He’s like Eric King on steroids.

2) The Bills aren’t playing a game in Toronto anymore and going to variable pricing. Both of these things are logical, which is nice.

3) Jairus Byrd is a good football player but I’m unsure how you can follow the story and think he has any desire to be in Buffalo. If that is the case, then his teammates know it and would be monitoring the franchise tag in an even more personal way.

At one point in time, I would’ve had to use 20 minutes of air time to say all that.

17 Responses to Oh, and the Bills…

  1. ST says:

    This Bills regime continues to further alienate me.

    Aaron “Look at Me!” Williams is being overpaid for a failed Cornerback turned average Safety. He benefitted greatly from the much improved pass rush last year. It would have been money better spent on an elite Safety entering his prime – Byrd – who indeed WAS the word, without ever having to boast it.

    But the Bills botched it *last* year, when they didn’t pay Byrd, then franchised him. That was the end. He wanted out. Can’t say that I blame him.

    Of course, I’m thrilled that there will be no Sky Dome game, this year. But, listening to Brandon’s presser, I fear in my gut that it’s coming back. No doubt, bigger and better!

    Sigh. I hate loving the Bills.

  2. Leelee Phoenix says:

    We’ll disagree on Aaron, he’s already a very good safety and should improve significantly not changing positions for once. $6M+ is a bit hefty for him at this point, but I’m glad he’s still here.

    I don’t think the Bills could do anything to keep Byrd, he doesn’t want to be here like many before him. Where they botched was franchising him, not trading him, and letting him go now. So, all they’ll get is a late compensatory pick.

    Future warning: We’ll be going through this with Dareus next year when the Bills have a team option to keep him, then they’ll probably throw him some 6/60M contract and he’ll refuse. This bullspit is never going to stop until the Bills get a real QB, and start being a real team.

    Toronto never should have happened, the profit is so minimal for Ralph. But, the fans will keep showing up to get drunk, so keep shitting on them. I cannot listen to Russ Brandon talk. He is the definition of a robotic-sounding businessman to the point where I think he has to be a joke.

    • ST says:

      Well I hope you’re right about A. Williams. For me, one decent year does not a very good safety make. He was okay, and now he’s being overpaid. I suppose I am taking my feelings out on Aaron a bit, since I felt it was Byrd who should have received that money (and more) last year. They blew it with Byrd. On that, we agree.

      Aaron Williams signing a lucrative contract just feels like a consolation prize to me.

      I took note of your Dareus comments some weeks ago. I haven’t heard or read of his displeasure anywhere else. But I trust that your antenna is well-tuned, so I will grant you full exclusive credit if your prediction about him comes true.

      Brandon, Marrone, Hackett, Schwartz, Manuel…

      As I’ve said, my stupidly blind and uncontrollable love aside, I do not *like* this Bills team right now. :(

  3. Leelee Phoenix says:

    Another depressing FA period for this pathetic team. It’s not even their fault… nobody in any demand is going to come to Buffalo unless you offer them the world. Only scrubs that will come here because they can’t start anywhere else. Just sad being irrelevant.

    • ST says:

      Fully agree.

      I was hoping the Bills might surprise me, and make some good moves my sourpuss face could grin about. Alas, no.

      Of course, the homers are trying to convince themselves that today’s three signings aren’t, you know, really that bad. Really. They provide depth, good depth. Who cares about Starters when we’ve got good depth!

      C. Williams – A complete 1st round bust, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is now our starting left guard. Barely (if at all) an upgrade over Legursky or Brown.

      Rivers – Limited LB, no potential to be a quality starter, ever. Depth, nothing more.

      Graham – Decent nickel corner (and not anything more), and special teamer. Not really a big impact guy, or true starter. Hometown kid, so he’s a good “story”. I hate this signing the least, still…

      Do we really need to spend $11/MIL this year on a subpar O-lineman, a depth linebacker, and a part-timer when there are still STARTING positions that need to be addressed?

      Oh, I forgot, the Draft is coming! We’ll be fine.

      !slliB oG

      • Leelee Phoenix says:

        The sad thing is they’re all starters, except Graham. Williams is the worst of the bunch, I don’t even understand that beyond “Marrone likes big guys, he’ll coach ‘em up!”. Yeah, I feel great about that happening.

        Rivers is likely a fine addition IF he stays healthy, but it’s also a clear sign that we’re now mostly a 43 team under Schwartz. So, yet another scheme change. One step forward, two steps back, every year. May as well cut Jerry Hughes now.

  4. ST says:

    Well, I have to be fair, today’s signing of Spikes is a positive, in a purely *football* sense.

    I’ve been screaming for years for the Bills to improve their rush defense, so I’m happy that somebody at OBD is finally listening. Inking Spikes (and to some degree, Rivers) while pushing Kiko outside (I’ve made clear my feelings about him) are moves that should help against the run. But Spikes is useless in coverage, so will the pass defense suffer, especially under our new DC?

    The one-year deal is odd (but reasonable at $3.25/M) and perhaps wise if the Bills are hedging against injury concerns. But, since Buffalo is almost certainly not making any kind of playoff run this year, Spikes may just be a mercenary who will prove his worth here, then bolt next year. Still, right now, it’s a good deal. But…

    In terms of character and personality, Spikes is vile. This will of course make him a perfect fit with Schwartz, who is a repulsive punk-ass bully. Dirty coach, dirty player. Okay, fine. I’m a big boy, and football players are not angels or heroes. Just win.

    Yes, from a pure X’s and O’s standpoint, these filthy bastards may improve the team I love. But, thinking about it as things-that-make-my-skin-crawl, well…

    I like to like the things I love.

    • Leelee Phoenix says:

      Spikes is a major liability in pass coverage, and will be picked on as he was in New England. It’s 1/$3.25, so there’s not much to lose, but I think odds are high this signing ends up badly. Lazy, bad attitude, doesn’t want to be in Buffalo, and Belichick made no effort to keep him.

      The LBs corps may be more talented now, but the drastic changes in scheme are concerning. Meanwhile, Alex Carrington quietly goes to another team, and I’ll bet he ends up a good player. Jerry Hughes likely sucks again. Manny Lawson is now an edge rusher. That’s the main reason I’m not liking the Schwartz signing. Good teams keep a system and build around their players. The Bills change almost every year and screw themselves for no reason.

      • ST says:

        Yep. Bad, bad attitude. And it’s hilarious (and quite sad) how quickly Bills fans have accepted Spikes, when one week ago he was one their most hated players.

        “Well, he is OUR dirty SOB now!” Sigh.

        Funny, too, how many of these same fans so easily (and ridiculously) proclaimed Stevie’s “antics” a cancer to this team. Well, if Stevie’s presence be a cancer, then Spikes may be the bubonic plague.

        It just shows the level of desperation that fans have reached with this team. What concerns me is how that bad attitude will mesh with some of the other guys in that locker room. Will guys like Kyle Williams, Eric Wood, and Fred Jackson truly welcome Spikes with open arms? We shall see.

        I agree about the scheme change under Schwartz. Of course, I’ve made it clear that I despise him personally, but I worry about his defensive approach as well. Run defense should improve, but at the expense of our pass defense getting exposed? Will the rush be as aggressive? Will Hughes be asked to drop now, with Spikes and Rivers, too? After all, teams *are* allowed to pass on 1st and 2nd downs. If so, Kiko better start doing cardio workouts now, because he’s going to have to cover the entire field.

        Pettine’s scheme was a good fit. And, of course, it’s not the Bills fault that he left. But now the players need to adapt to yet another DC who, although a prick, can be a decent coach. If the guys all buy-in, it could work. If not, it could be another two steps back.

        Rather than that uncertainty, I would have loved to have seen another year under Pettine. So much so, that I would have seriously offered him the top job (and dumped Marrone) rather than see him head down the 90 West.

        • Leelee Phoenix says:

          The Stevie hate doesn’t really exist except for when he has a game like the Atlanta one, and WGR who has an obvious bias against him and creates faux drama that he could be released. We always love the local players that do anything interesting, no matter how dirty and useless they are (i.e. Kaleta).

          Just because Pettine left doesn’t mean a scheme change was necessary. Find another coach, promote someone with a similar system. We had something that finally worked. Add some secondary depth and a run stopper and we were good.

          • ST says:

            I dunno. Seems to me there’s a lot of Stevie hate from a certain percentage of fans. They just can’t wait until we release him. And at WGR, Mike & Chris will always begrudge Stevie mocking them and quitting his weekly show.

            A current example of the “dirty and useless” thing: John Scott.(And to a lesser degree, Steve Ott)

            We love Big John, and loved Otter!

            Yes, you’re right about the scheme change, and I put that on Marrone. He could have just made the tweaks you suggested, instead of hiring a *name* guy (and whole new staff) who may just try to fit square pegs into round holes.

            Maybe Schwartz will succeed anyway. But what are the odds we catch lightning in a bottle two years in a row with new DC hires?

  5. Leelee Phoenix says:

    So, Ralph’s dead… thanks for stealing my money for years so you could keep your toy here.

    Can we skip the failed EJ/Marrone/Nix experiment, and get to the part with an owner that hires competent people and tries to win.

    • ST says:

      And it’s exactly this – your half-hearted heartlessness – that makes you so endearing! Your constancy makes you impossible to dislike. :)

      “Cruel to be kind, in the right measure” – Nick Lowe

      But, of course, I do agree with your general sentiments regarding the team. I have no faith in the immediate Brandon/Marrone/Manuel era, and, I have recently concluded that nothing would really change for the better unless and until Mr. Wilson passed.

      So, Ralph is gone. But his team, and it’s structure, will not change much for at least a few years. And, it seems, that now Jeff Littman may have even *more* power until the team is sold. That does not bode well.

      New ownership, new top brass, new management, new coaching, new players, new stadium(?) – a complete overhaul is the only path to future success, in my opinion. It will come. But later rather than sooner.

      Only, in just may be in a new city.

      • Leelee Phoenix says:

        I’ll never understand people and their love of celebrities they’ve never met. I’ll avoid the rest of my rant, but the last 2 days listening on GR about Wilson and Kelly prove that everyone in Buffalo is insane and are oblivious to any reality. I’m not half-hearted, I’m genuinely pissed, especially when it comes to Kelly.

        We probably have to wait around 5 years, but the Bills will change. Hopefully for the better.

        • ST says:

          Well, of course, you know you better than I know you. But, after a few years as your online interlocutor, I have come to feel that you are actually far less mean or disagreeable than you sometimes appear to be. Hence, my “half-hearted” comment. In fact, I would submit that you are deep-down most likely a very kind-hearted person. Maybe, even, too much so.

          Thus, you are almost always highly disappointed in, and thereby distrustful of, the vast majority of your fellow humans. And what others (or you yourself) see as anger is just your natural reaction to being let down again. And again.

          But what the hell do I know? I’m not your therapist, and you don’t give a flying fig what I think. But I know this much: I like you. Just the way you are. Why? You have two qualities which I find most rare…

          You make me think, and you make me smile. :)

          I concur that nothing is more perplexing than the adoration of a celebrity except, perhaps, the desire for anybody to be one.

          As for the “Saint” Ralph and “Saint” Jim propaganda we are experiencing in the local media, well, it’s to be expected. Most people too easily forgive and forget past transgressions when facing any notion of mortality. Before Jimbo became a Hall of Famer, and before his son tragically died, and before he was battling this horrible disease, many will not even remember (I do, I was there) that he was anything but a “saint” as a person.

          While I admired him as a QB, I never liked Kelly, personally. Still, given his dire condition, I do hope that he finds some comfort in his remaining days, however long or short they may be.

          Whomever it strikes, cancer still sucks.

  6. ST says:

    Well, it would seem that the CEO, GM and HC of the Buffalo Williams football team are going all-in for this next season, which they may feel could be their last.

    If the rumors about a quick sale prove true, another 6 or 7 win season would not impress new ownership. So they are signing as much talent (leaving character and personality aside) to help their limited QB to succeed, now not later. It’s risky, and may well become a train wreck by November.

    I can’t help thinking that if Tenneesee Williams (another Williams!) was still around to write about the state of this team, he would replace the “powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity” with…

    The smell of desperation.

    P.S. And, the fans applaud: Trade Stevie! Trade Spiller! :(

    • Leelee Phoenix says:

      I don’t see how the Bills are going all-in. They still have around $13M in cap room with a few probable cuts like Pears, Hairston, etc… on the way (including the $7M hit with Fitz). The guys they’ve obtained this offseason are marginal starters at best, or likely failure projects as Mike Williams. Although, I like the trade.

      I don’t think one good season would change anything in the eyes of new ownership. If you’re becoming an NFL owner, first and foremost it’s because you want to make lots more money.

      I’m all for trading Spiller, btw. As if that’s a shock. RBs are vastly overvalued, he’s a poor fit for the current offense, he’s going to want a big payday which he’ll get somewhere, and he’s mentioned before that he wants more carries. I think the writing’s on the wall, get something for Spiller while you can.