Well, here we are again, at the end of another pre-season for the Bills. In the next few hours, this roster will be changing quite a bit and some of the guys I mention in this report won’t even be on the team anymore by the time some of you read this. Anyways, here’s my collection of notes from the final game :
Something pulled me away from the game at the end of the third, so I missed the fourth entirely, but regardless, not a TON of negatives in this week’s action.
– Run defense looks terrible. Real teams in real games with real runningbacks are going to absolutely shred us. The lanes we open, the tackles we miss… gonna be another long year.
– JP Foschi can’t catch at all, dropping four passes in the game. All wide open throws.
– Special teams coverage has made zero progress throughout this preseason. They still looked awful and gave up big returns early and often.
– Ray Bentley and Steve Tasker are incredibly awful at their jobs. This reason is the main one for my excitement over the pre-season ending. Gus Johnson calling the game next week sounds multitudes better.
– Naaman Roosevelt seems shy when returning the ball. He’s too quick to fair catch (usually in the wrong situations) and takes far too long evaluating his holes and running lanes. He doesn’t always do this but it’s more often than not and it really isn’t conducive to his making the team as he isn’t really showing much progress as a receiver.
Now, on to the positives that I picked up on:
– Edwards is ready. He’s confident with his line, with his receivers, his backs, and himself. 4/4 for 66 yards in limited time.
– Andra Davis and Kyle Williams are both horribly underrated. Big, smart players with a nose for the ball and solid tackling ability. I really like our DL and ILBs this year. Rest of the defense is still suspect (Yes, that includes the secondary. I don’t think they are nearly as good as many of you would like to believe. They’ll regress from their 2009 form, and a lot of that has to do with the loss of defensive coordinator and interim head coach Perry Fewell).
– Florence had a great heads up play on the opening drive to snag the ball that was heading to a falling Calvin Johnson. More instinctive plays like that could help change my mind about that unit.
– Maybin was shredding backup left tackle Corey Hilliard and getting great pressure on quarterbacks Matt Stafford and Shaun Hill.
– Lynch doesn’t look rusty at all. Not dominant in his few carries, but he looks like he’ll be a force, especially in short yardage again.
– I am a huge fan of the new role that Corey McIntyre has overtaken, increasing his action out of the backfield was a great move as he moves very well for a fullback when taking the ball out of the flat and rumbles off some big gains. All throughout this preseason he’s been effective in that role, it just keeps slipping my mind.
– Brohm, while his passes weren’t all too accurate (he was dealing with quite a few drops and a couple of throw-aways), had very good zip and power on all of his throws. He looks like he could be the number two, with that and his ability to move with his feet, he may have been able to supplant Ryan Fitzpatrick in his #2 role.
– I love Jerome Boger. Best zebra in the league. (Nothing to do with the team, I just really like Boger and his crew.)
– Chad Jackson is really showing some nice hands and a knack for making the tough catch, as is David Nelson. I believe both make the team with ease.
– Spencer Johnson had a lot of big plays with heavy pressure and good hustle late in the game. He looks like the favorite to make the team over McCargo with the progress he’s made as an end in the new scheme.
All that said, here’s how I think our 53-man roster turns out :
1. Trent Edwards
2. Brian Brohm
3. Levi Brown
4. Fred Jackson
5. CJ Spiller
6. Marshawn Lynch
7. Joique Bell
8. Corey McIntyre
9. Jonathan Stupar
10. Shawn Nelson
11. JP Foschi
12. Derek Schouman
13. Lee Evans
14. Steve Johnson
15. Roscoe Parrish
16. David Nelson
17. Chad Jackson
18. Demetrius Bell
19. Cornell Green
20. Jamon Meredith
21. Ed Wang
22. Andy Levitre
23. Eric Wood
24. Kirk Chambers
25. Geoff Hangartner
26. Christian Gaddis
27. Marcus Stroud
28. Dwan Edwards
29. Alex Carrington
30. Spencer Johnson
31. Kyle Williams
32. Torrell Troup
33. Paul Posluszny
34. Andra Davis
35. Reggie Torbor
36. Arthur Moats
37. Keith Ellison
38. Chris Kelsay
39. Aaron Maybin
40. Antonio Coleman
41. Chris Ellis
42. Terrence McGee
43. Drayton Florence
44. Leodis McKelvin
45. Reggie Corner
46. Ashton Youboty
47. Jairus Byrd
48. Donte Whitner
49. Bryan Scott
50. George Wilson
51. Brian Moorman
52. Rian Lindell
53. Garrison Sanborn
First thing that a lot of you might pick up on is that I allotted room for four tight ends on the roster. I think that, once Schouman is healthy, if Foschi hasn’t been decently impressive, he’s gone. After that, when Nelson returns, Schouman or Foschi will be on the outs if neither has been good enough to warrant an extra spot.
Also, probably noticing that I tacked Keith Ellison on as an ILB – he’s our best special teamer right now and is a decent tackler as a reserve.
Some notable cuts that would take place in this scenario:
> Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, serviceable enough as a backup to catch on with another club sooner than later.
> Rookie UDFA WR Naaman Roosevelt. May make the practice squad, hasn’t shown enough to warrant a roster spot over some of the more deserving returners or receivers.
> Second year CB Ellis Lankster, showed promise last year, has looked ridiculously bad this preseason and in practice.
> HB Chad Simpson. Didn’t show much, outside of one good game, offensively – return skills seemed lacking (surely had some to do with the bad blocking). Not good enough to keep as a situational player.
> HB Andre Anderson, just signed last week. He’s run well in limited time, I’d expect him to land on the practice squad.
> ILB Kawika Mitchell. Hasn’t shown much to suggest he is competitive in the battle for playing time, not worth it with his salary to keep him around.
> WR James Hardy – 2nd round pick just two years ago has shown more regression than improvement since he’s been drafted. 4 catches for 53 yards over four games (three of those catches coming in this game) just wasn’t good enough.
> DE John McCargo – Former first round bust finally gets the boot. Expect him to find work decently quick. My guess is that Indianapolis is the first team to call him, as they have already traded for him once before a failed physical and could use the depth.
Also, keep an eye on the situations of the following players going into the coming days – Seattle WR TJ Houshmandzadeh, Pittsburgh OC Justin Hartwig, and former Indianapolis OT Adam Terry. All three are available and could come cheap for potential impact players.
Alright, that’s it for this time, thanks for reading – feel free to leave some questions or comments and get yourselves excited for next Sunday as we play host to Miami to kick off the regular season. You’ll see me again once more this week to discuss cuts and depth chart standings, so until next time. . .