A hodge-podge of what’s informative. [Pre-Draft Edition!]

Today, the team claimed TE Michael Matthews off of waivers from Detroit.
– 5th TE on our roster now.
– 4th year pro (UDFA – NYG, NE, DET)
– 8 catches / 54 yards / 39 games
– Played under Gailey at Georgia Tech.

On this note, being the fifth tight end (Nelson, Schouman, Stupar, Klopfenstein), it seems like they have some uncertainty at the position. I truly hope that they don’t draft anyone in the first two days if at all for this position as I’d really like to see Nelson and Stupar develop and adding a draft pick is going to hinder that. Let’s just say they take a stab at Southern Cal’s Anthony McCoy in the fourth (whether or not he’s there is beside the point) because of his superb blocking skills, something that this current group lacks, more or less. With McCoy brought in as a 6th TE, there would be pressure for him to get playing time, just as there was for Nelson last year. For some reason, the team likes Schouman, so who is the odd man out? You don’t carry more than three tight ends, so I’d say Nelson, Schouman, McCoy based off of expectations alone.

Maybe I’m looking too far into this and they just plan on having an open competition to see who can make the cut throughout OTAs, camp, and pre-season. Either way, after spending his rookie season working almost solely on protection duties, I see Nelson being a bright spot on this offense this year. I just hope he gets the time to showcase his skills.

While doing a radio spot in Toronto today, Chan Gailey showed some interest in signing veteran QB Jeff Garcia. Garcia, who recently turned 40, was linked to the #2 job in Philly behind Kevin Kolb in the past few weeks but has apparently moved on from that. According to BuffaloSportsDaily.com, Garcia is also interested in coming here. It definitely makes sense – we need some veteran leadership that Edwards, Fitzpatrick, and Brohm simply cannot offer and quarterbacks coach George Cortez has connections with him. Cortez was the offensive coordinator for the Calgary Stampeders in the late 90s when Garcia was their starting quarterback and Grey Cup MVP in the 1998 season.

I think that he’d be a good pickup for the team if we aren’t still sniffing around other options (at the time of my writing this, there are conflicting reports on our interest or lack thereof in Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) to bring in and compete. Garcia could be a teacher, a leader, and a likely starter that the team and city of Buffalo could get behind. It also doesn’t hurt that he would come cheap at this stage in his career. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on this front.

The 2010 schedule has been released, and right off the bat, it doesn’t look favorable. We’ve known the opponents for some time now, but the layout and dates have been a mystery. As expected, we have no primetime games, with every single game – home, away, and Toronto, kicking off at 1PM.

The pre-bye week portion will really tell us how good this team can be and what we can expect for this season – starting with Miami in Buffalo, at Green Bay, at New England, Jets in New York, and the Jags in Jacksonville. This stretch contains the only home stand with a whopping two games, and one of the two ‘road-trips’ with two games. If we come out of that early going with two or three wins I will be surprised and thrilled at the same time. After the bye, we travel to Baltimore, Kansas City, and then Toronto to play the Bears. That’s going to be the roughest travel-wise part of the season. The Lions visit the Ralph, followed by a visit to Cincinnati, hosting Pittsburgh, traveling to Minnesota, coming back home for the Browns, and closing the season with a trip to Miami, New England in Buffalo, and a trip to New York to play the Jets.

The closing stretch looks brutal, as well. The sole positive I see here is that we have no west coast games and the travel we do have to make isn’t extensive. I’ll hold my judgment until after the draft, but as it stands now, I’m predicting between 2-5 wins for us in this season. It’ll be a long one for sure, Bills fans,  but don’t give up hope just yet. After all – you wouldn’t be a fan of this team if you didn’t crave the heartache.

Just a heads up, with the 2010 NFL draft just over 24 hours away, be on the lookout for more posts over the next few days. Each night (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) I will wrap up what we did during the day and give a brief profile and early grade for our picks (or moves) with an all-over summary coming later in the week. Friday night I will be at the field house for the Season Ticket Holders’ draft party and hope to have some good stuff from there to bring back to you all. This is a very exciting time of the year for me and many of you, so try to have some fun with it and keep checking back – I’ll be looking forward to giving you some more tomorrow night. Until then, stay safe and enjoy.

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