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With Patriots new identity, it has to be Oline and DT


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#1 BuffaloBaumer

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:42 AM

The Patriots have done an incredible job at fixing what has been missing in their playoff runs. Not only is Brady still elite, they now have the run game to just take over games. It would be one thing to compete for a playoff spot outside the division, but with them taking the division every year, the Bills HAVE to figure out how to stop the dual threat more than ever. I have ZERO doubt in my mind that if the Bills take a WR or TE in the 1st round this year, it would be a HUGE mistake. If there is a OT sitting there at 9 that is a game changer, you have to take him. Pick up the best guard you can in FA and add a DT or run stopping LB in the 2nd.

This Patriots team is pretty scary to think about and when they add Wilfork, Mayo, Spikes and Gronk next year - ugh

#2 Fan in Chicago

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

View PostBuffaloBaumer, on 13 January 2014 - 10:42 AM, said:

The Patriots have done an incredible job at fixing what has been missing in their playoff runs. Not only is Brady still elite, they now have the run game to just take over games. It would be one thing to compete for a playoff spot outside the division, but with them taking the division every year, the Bills HAVE to figure out how to stop the dual threat more than ever. I have ZERO doubt in my mind that if the Bills take a WR or TE in the 1st round this year, it would be a HUGE mistake. If there is a OT sitting there at 9 that is a game changer, you have to take him. Pick up the best guard you can in FA and add a DT or run stopping LB in the 2nd.

This Patriots team is pretty scary to think about and when they add Wilfork, Mayo, Spikes and Gronk next year - ugh

I agree with us needing a LB but WR need is also strong so I would take the best among those two positions when we pick.

But, I did want to make a point about this talk about 'pats* are now a running team'. They are chameleons and will play to their match-ups that particular weekend. Much as I hate them, I think they do a great job in identifying and exploiting opposing weaknesses. If they see Champ Bailey as too slow and old, rest assured Brady will come out airing it out. Denver better make sure they have their D tooled to pressure from the inside and contain the edges.

#3 thebandit27

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

View PostFan in Chicago, on 13 January 2014 - 10:50 AM, said:



I agree with us needing a LB but WR need is also strong so I would take the best among those two positions when we pick.

But, I did want to make a point about this talk about 'pats* are now a running team'. They are chameleons and will play to their match-ups that particular weekend. Much as I hate them, I think they do a great job in identifying and exploiting opposing weaknesses. If they see Champ Bailey as too slow and old, rest assured Brady will come out airing it out. Denver better make sure they have their D tooled to pressure from the inside and contain the edges.

This ^

Get better all-around or else NE will exploit your weakness. They played a horrible run D and took advantage.

#4 Ryan L Billz

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:59 AM

Funk the pats, colts d is bad and got gashed. Lets not overreact to Legarrette Blounts revival off the trash heap.

Let's get some weapons and out score those bums.

First 3 picks wr lb OL is needed IMO.




#5 nuklz2594

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

it comes down to the 6 p's in life. proper preparation prevents pi$$ poor performance.  it is very rare pats are unprepared or embarrassed on game day.

#6 BmoreBills

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:18 AM

View PostFan in Chicago, on 13 January 2014 - 10:50 AM, said:

I agree with us needing a LB but WR need is also strong so I would take the best among those two positions when we pick.

But, I did want to make a point about this talk about 'pats* are now a running team'. They are chameleons and will play to their match-ups that particular weekend. Much as I hate them, I think they do a great job in identifying and exploiting opposing weaknesses. If they see Champ Bailey as too slow and old, rest assured Brady will come out airing it out. Denver better make sure they have their D tooled to pressure from the inside and contain the edges.

They exploited our poor run defense, and so we have to change to their color, if you will. We are just not getting it done with what we have and fill-ins, so we're going to have to address this mightily in the offseason. The direction we take is based upon which strategy we're wanting to implement- the "score more points" strategy, or the "improve run defense" strategy. I myself prefer the "improve run defense" strategy because of our weaknesses at QB, TE and #3 WR... it will take far less to go with the latter and draft defensively like the Jets have done.

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:30 AM

View PostBmoreBills, on 13 January 2014 - 11:18 AM, said:

They exploited our poor run defense, and so we have to change to their color, if you will. We are just not getting it done with what we have and fill-ins, so we're going to have to address this mightily in the offseason. The direction we take is based upon which strategy we're wanting to implement- the "score more points" strategy, or the "improve run defense" strategy. I myself prefer the "improve run defense" strategy because of our weaknesses at QB, TE and #3 WR... it will take far less to go with the latter and draft defensively like the Jets have done.

On the D, we are close to having playoff-caliber talent. Better LB and depth is required to make a deep run. But our O needs a lot of work and much hinges on the QB position.

Where I am going with this angle is that, as thebandit said, we need to improve overall so that we can dictate terms or at the very least, have the talent to make in-game adjustments to counter what the Pats* are throwing at you. If you build a team to beat the Pats*, we can go very very far.

#8 BigBuff423

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:59 AM

Can't argue with stopping the Run, as it's been the achilles heel of this team for years! But I don't think it's just the Pats, as others have said. Stopping the Run HAS to BE - MUST BE -  priority this Offseason. I think the D got much better, but at stopping the run for some reason this team just can't figure it out. So, another big D lineman but more so, a Run Stopping LB is a must have, if they want the D to improve. As for 1st round and O Line, I would rather grab a O Lineman in FA and Draft either LB / WR or WR / LB, based on available talent, in the first two rounds and then go D lineman in the 3rd because don't forget or sleep on Carrington and with a big run stopping LB, the Run D gets better...

Plus, F* the Patsies...I'm tired of them dictating how the BILLS or any other team for that matter prepares in the Off-Season...I know the BILLS have to adapt during the practice week leading up to their match-up and then again during the game, but I don't want to see the BILLS game plan for the talent they draft or FAs they sign based upon just the Pats...that's just me though

#9 BmoreBills

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

View PostFan in Chicago, on 13 January 2014 - 11:30 AM, said:

On the D, we are close to having playoff-caliber talent. Better LB and depth is required to make a deep run. But our O needs a lot of work and much hinges on the QB position.

Where I am going with this angle is that, as thebandit said, we need to improve overall so that we can dictate terms or at the very least, have the talent to make in-game adjustments to counter what the Pats* are throwing at you. If you build a team to beat the Pats*, we can go very very far.

Which is why it will take a lot less to fix our defensive deficiencies. Unfortunately, we're locked in with Manuel at QB, which is becoming more risky the more times he misses games with injuries. The tipping point will be after next season, but we have the ability to improve NOW while awaiting that QB tipping point. The Bills will know by the end of the season whether or not Manuel will be our answer, but if we draft defensively we could actually snag a couple more wins and put us in a position to make the playoffs even if we don't have Manuel out there.

#10 DDD

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

View PostBuffaloBaumer, on 13 January 2014 - 10:42 AM, said:

The Patriots have done an incredible job at fixing what has been missing in their playoff runs. Not only is Brady still elite, they now have the run game to just take over games. It would be one thing to compete for a playoff spot outside the division, but with them taking the division every year, the Bills HAVE to figure out how to stop the dual threat more than ever. I have ZERO doubt in my mind that if the Bills take a WR or TE in the 1st round this year, it would be a HUGE mistake. If there is a OT sitting there at 9 that is a game changer, you have to take him. Pick up the best guard you can in FA and add a DT or run stopping LB in the 2nd.

This Patriots team is pretty scary to think about and when they add Wilfork, Mayo, Spikes and Gronk next year - ugh

Um, not sure if we even have a QB to compete with against the rest of the NFL let alone the Patriots.  The Bills won't beat anybody without a good QB.

#11 BuffaloBaumer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

View PostDDD, on 13 January 2014 - 12:41 PM, said:

Um, not sure if we even have a QB to compete with against the rest of the NFL let alone the Patriots.  The Bills won't beat anybody without a good QB.

A much improved oline will make the offense better in ALL areas.

#12 Luxy312

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

While I don't have a problem with either premise that the team needs to improve against the run and improve on the offensive line, I disagree with the premise on defense that it starts with the DT's or DE's.  They did their job.  However, aside from Alonso, the guys playing LB were atrocious.  Give me 5 average to above average lineman plus a chipping TE or RB, and there's not 4 D-linemen in the game that are going to hold opposing RB's to 4 or less YPC.  Linebackers have to be stout at the point of attack to stop the run and the Bills were just not that good in that part of the game.  So what does that mean to me draft wise?  I previously suggested that RT, LG should be on the table, but am rethinking that position, especially that early.  This year, the offensive line was decent on pass plays, but not so much on running plays.  I think I could live with that until a later round pick.  Getting good linebackers may put a defense that was top of the league in pass rushing and top of the league in interceptions over the top.  When I seriously break it down, I imagine an offense that's only slightly better with a better offensive line, but a defense that could be truly dominant.

#13 JPS

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:40 PM

A WR solves nothing other than it's another guy running down the field with his hand in the air while your QB is getting killed.  I am amazed that, after the huge contract thrown at Stevie and 3 high picks, people still think it's a need.

You have a team that cannot count on the run in crucial times and can't stop the run. Not only do I think 2 out of the 1st 3 pick will be O-lineman, I will be surprised and disappointed if the Bills pick a WR at all.  Maybe a TE.

#14 thebandit27

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:58 PM

View PostJPS, on 14 January 2014 - 01:40 PM, said:

A WR solves nothing other than it's another guy running down the field with his hand in the air while your QB is getting killed.  I am amazed that, after the huge contract thrown at Stevie and 3 high picks, people still think it's a need.

You have a team that cannot count on the run in crucial times and can't stop the run. Not only do I think 2 out of the 1st 3 pick will be O-lineman, I will be surprised and disappointed if the Bills pick a WR at all.  Maybe a TE.

A big, physical target will help this offense tremendously in terms of red zone production IMO.  Also, much of the problem with sacks and pressures is on the QB.

Regarding the improvement of the OL, I expect they'll sign a RT in free agency, along with a swing OT and a contender (i.e. possible starter) at LG (say, a Mike Pollak or Travelle Wharton who'll come cheap).  That would let them draft WR/TE and LB in the first two rounds before addressing LG in the third (most of the very good OGs in the league were mid-round picks--many of which were college OTs that moved go OG).

That would be my approach.

As for running in crucial times, well, the Bills had one of the better Power Success percentages in the NFL.  They didn't struggle to get 1 or 2 yards when they needed it (except against the Jets...and, well, welcome to the club).

#15 JPS

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:48 PM

View Postthebandit27, on 14 January 2014 - 01:58 PM, said:

A big, physical target will help this offense tremendously in terms of red zone production IMO.  Also, much of the problem with sacks and pressures is on the QB.

Regarding the improvement of the OL, I expect they'll sign a RT in free agency, along with a swing OT and a contender (i.e. possible starter) at LG (say, a Mike Pollak or Travelle Wharton who'll come cheap).  That would let them draft WR/TE and LB in the first two rounds before addressing LG in the third (most of the very good OGs in the league were mid-round picks--many of which were college OTs that moved go OG).

That would be my approach.

As for running in crucial times, well, the Bills had one of the better Power Success percentages in the NFL.  They didn't struggle to get 1 or 2 yards when they needed it (except against the Jets...and, well, welcome to the club).
Check the Bills success in the Red zone. Not great.  I dunno what Power Success % is.  Just a creative stat that doesn't change what I saw.  Without being rude, I'll just say I disagree.  The Bills Oline, to me, has been and is a joke and it's nothing that can be fixed in free agency without hamstringing the build of this team.  Grab your big target in FA…..but only after June 1.  That's where I stand and I'll be repeating myself til early May.

#16 thebandit27

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:41 PM

View PostJPS, on 14 January 2014 - 02:48 PM, said:

Check the Bills success in the Red zone. Not great.  I dunno what Power Success % is.  Just a creative stat that doesn't change what I saw.  Without being rude, I'll just say I disagree.  The Bills Oline, to me, has been and is a joke and it's nothing that can be fixed in free agency without hamstringing the build of this team.  Grab your big target in FA…..but only after June 1.  That's where I stand and I'll be repeating myself til early May.

How do you plan to accomplish that?  I'd imagine that any big target worth signing will be long gone by June 1st (what's so particular about that date by the way?).

To answer your question, per NFL.com, Power Success is defined as "Percentage of rushes on 3rd or 4th down with 2 or fewer yards to go that achieved a first down or TD. Also includes rushes on 1st-and-goal and 2nd-and-goal from the opponent's 2-yard line or closer."  For the regular season, the Bills ranked 14th in the NFL in Power Success overall, with a conversion rate of 65%.

To look at the data, the idea that getting the 1 or 2 yards when you need it makes a successful team is simply untrue.  Look at the Power Success rates of the remaining playoff teams:

NE - 59% (23rd in the NFL)
Den - 64% (17th)
Sea - 49% (32nd)
SF - 55% (28th)

Regarding the red zone, that kind of plays into my statement about how much a big WR would help.  If you look at the teams with the highest Red Zone TD Percentage, it's not the teams that run well in terms of YPC or have great Power Success, but rather the teams with a big, talented WR:

http://www.teamranki...one-scoring-pct

Denver - Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas
Cinci - AJ Green
Dallas - Dez Bryant
Detroit - Calvin Johnson

Just some food for thought.

#17 JPS

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

I hear you Bandit…and you make some good points….but I'd rather build a physical team that grinds the hell out of an opponent, dominates the time of possession and masks any defensive deficiencies by keeping them off the field.  The above WRs are great as a final piece, but as they touch the ball approximately on 15% of offensive snaps (if they are HOFers), I'm stuck on getting a qualified Oline.

Cincy, Dallas and Detroit kinda prove my point…they are golfing already.  Denver?  I can't justify using them to prove anything. They have a gazillion weapons and, perhaps, the greatest QB of all time distributing the ball.

Who IS the best remaining WR? Crabtree? D. Thomas? Two of the remaining 4 teams have quite pedestrian WR corps.

Edited by JPS, 14 January 2014 - 03:58 PM.


#18 BmoreBills

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:06 PM

View PostJPS, on 14 January 2014 - 01:40 PM, said:

A WR solves nothing other than it's another guy running down the field with his hand in the air while your QB is getting killed.  I am amazed that, after the huge contract thrown at Stevie and 3 high picks, people still think it's a need.

Stevie is NOT a #1 guy... he has proven himself to be overpaid. We desperately need one more receiver (like a Lofton or a young guy like we got in Woods or Goodwin). Keeping him in Buffalo is a mistake.

#19 thebandit27

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

View PostCheddar, on 14 January 2014 - 04:25 PM, said:



First, thanks for the candor--it's so much nicer to read a post with this ^ tone than one like JPS, who had the nerve to think and respond in a respectful manner.

As for Wharton, I'm not sure you know what you're talking about.  Carolina picked him up off the scrap heap (for the vet minimum) in late August, about 6 weeks after he was released by Cincinnati.  It was a desperation move after 2 injuries at the guard position and horrible play.  In fact, he didn't even play for them until starter Amini Silatolu was placed on IR in week 5.  He's 32 years old and would be a backup at best if he re-signed with Carolina, since their starting guards, Silatolu and Garry Williams, will be coming back from IR next year.  Considering that last off-season, a younger, healthier Willie Colon signed a 1-year, $1.15M deal to start for the Jets at guard, I can't imagine Wharton is going to command the money you claim he will.  By all means, if you have reasoning behind calling me a dreamer for my stance, I'd be happy to listen to your argument.

And yes, the problem with sacks and pressures is largely on Buffalo's QBs.  Now, you can argue with me all you want, but fortunately, we don't have to speculate, since Football Outsiders tracks this and had a feature article on it:

http://www.footballo...sack-breakdowns

Through November 1st, 61.5% of EJ Manuel's sacks taken were "long sacks", resulting from holding the ball too long.  Only 23% were sacks that occurred in less than 2.5 seconds.  When you add Thad Lewis in there, here's how it looks:

Short - 9 sacks (34.6%)
Normal - 5 sacks (19.2%)
Long - 12 sacks (46.1%)

That's only half the season, so I'd be interested in seeing how this played out over the second half.  By the eyeball test, I'd say it's likely similar.  I was able to find another analysis that Football Outsiders did that breaks things down even more, counting sacks as either a blown block, confusion on the part of the blockers, or holding the ball too long.  Here's what that looks like:

http://www.footballo...sacks-confusion

At worst, it appears to be shared responsibility between the OL and the QB.  It's also worth noting that Buffalo's 40.6% of sacks due to holding the ball too long is the 2nd highest in the NFL (Oakland - 50%).

And no, there's nothing to suggest that Buffalo had trouble running when they needed to...their YPC was middle-of-the-road, which is great considering how much they ran the ball.  They also converted in short yardage quite reliably, so please feel free to refute the numbers I've presented with facts if you're so inclined to disagree with my stance.

I don't necessarily want a Gronk...I want a big, physical pass catcher that teams have to game plan against.  Teams aren't game-planning against a left guard or a right tackle.  I'm not satisfied with Chandler and his 2 TDs on the season, or the number of critical, drive-killing drops he had.  There's better to be had in this draft, and I feel the team should go for it.  Take both a big WR and a TE in the first 3 rounds...why not?

They can absolutely address RT in free agency, as there's plenty of guys out there to be had.  They can grab a LB as their other pick in the first 3 rounds, and then draft a conversion tackle in the 4th to compete with a low budget veteran.

#20 JPS

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

Well, I don't have the confidence in the patchwork Oline approach they've been following for the past 15 years and I, for one, hope they invest in some Oline "studdage", like NE, SF and Seattle have done.  It doesn't have to be in Round 1, but it can't be in Round 7 either.

The ONLY WR that fits the bill, that I have seen, is Sammy Watkins and he'll be long gone by 9. So, may I interest you in another trade down, take TE in the 1st and a couple Olinemen bt Rounds 2-4?