That's fine. The gameday thread has never been known to be a sanctuary for balanced discourse.
I bit back, a little, then gave up when:
It was clearly a futile effort.
It was clearly a rough day for the offensive staff, coaches included.
Rookie quarterback, rookie OC.
The moment the Bills announced Hackett would be taking over the play calling duties, a certain sect of Bills fans (and not necessarily a marginally-sized one, mind you) saw their opportunity to lambaste the front office. Couldn't blame them, really. After Ralph handing over the keys (something The Realists have been clamoring for for years), after jumping on a HC hire that was widely revered league-wide and in the media, and after stealing arguably the best coordinator available in Pettine, there wasn't a lot to B word about.
Then came Hackett.
Suddenly, a sliver of daylight for the doomers to pounce. Their jumbo-sized microscopes calibrated, they couldn't wait for this guy to give them an excuse to complain.
Suddenly, the first quarter of Sunday's game.
It. Was. On.
The way some "fans" were going bonkers, you would have thought Hackett was calling double-reverse flea flicker screen punts on first down.
They got what they wanted: our lousy, cheap, stuck-in-the-past FO screwed the pooch...AGAIN. What a bunch of !@#$ing losers the Bills are.
He is a rookie OC. He is a young rookie OC. And through three games, the Jets have showed their defense is as every bit as good as it's been the last half-decade since Rexy took over.
We also have a rookie QB.
And not Andrew--kissed by Christ himself--Luck. We have a rookie QB whose size and intangibles are universally admired, but whose skills and abilities are questionable enough that not since Rex Grossman in 2002 Chad Pennington (18) in 2000 has the first quarterback in a draft come off the board after so many picks.
E.J. Manuel is going to struggle this year. He already has, and he will continue to do so.
Week-to-week analyses have indicated that he's on a short playbook leash as it is, and as we've already acknowledged, he doesn't have an innovator like Chan (who by the way has nearly as many years coaching as Hackett does living) finding ways to hide his shortcomings.
Yet a certain pod of Bills fans expects the Hackett/Manuel duo--after 12 whole quarters of NFL football--to be perfect. And when they're not, they're failures, they're an excuse to pout and say "same Ole Bills."
Well, they're not the same Ole Bills. Fans shouldn't expect them to be, just like they shouldn't expect Brady/Bellicheat mastery, right out of the gate.
You can argue till you're blue in the fact about whether or not Nix was a good GM, whether or not Whaley is ready to have the keys, or whether or not Buffalo is any position to build a championship franchise...ever. But nothing changes the fact that--quietly--our team underwent a MASSIVE gutting this offseason, turning over players at skill-positions, on the line, practically all over the field.
And even if Hackett was calling double-reverse flea flicker screen punts on first down, the team can't afford to miss blocks and fail to find openings like it did on Sunday.
Missed throws, missed lanes, missed blocks, poorly run routes: if the game had been devoid of any of these, then the blame rests with the playcalling. Instead, we watched a game sick with these mistakes.
Hackett does need to do a better job of putting his players in a position to succeed, but that doesn't mean players don't have succeed in the positions they're put in.
I understand after 13 years of playoff football and after 10 consecutive losing seasons, "patience" is a damn-near impossible ask. But c'mon, folks. If you expected a 13-3 season with flawless execution and gameplanning, then you set yourself up for disappointment. Yes, we should all want the best team out there. But that doesn't mean the team's growing pains should be your pleasure. And if you can't live with those pains, there are 31 other bandwagons accepting new passengers.
Edited by The Big Cat, 24 September 2013 - 03:51 PM.