The Buffalo Bills are trying to fix their image problem.
From hiring a new PR wonk, to getting an image consultant, to even muting their general manager, One Bills Drive is on a mission to re-define the view that they are driving the wrong way with their flashers on down the NFL highway. With some of the shrewd signings on defense, as well as the thorough approach they’ve taken with the draft re: quarterbacks, they almost made it to draft week without any major gaffes. In fact, as I’m writing this – they’re now the more stable organization in Pegulaville, having fired their Sabres GM and Coach:
[Editor’s note: Boy howdy do they have the PR thing down:]
Enter, as always the Patriots. By hopping in on the near-death of restricted free agency to attempt to poach Mike Gillislee with a front loaded deal,
A number of fans have retorted (including my partner-in-crime Joe) backs are a dime a dozen and it shouldn’t be that big an issue. But when you take the Bills’ current status as Pats’ farm team – with Alan Branch, Chris Hogan, Stephon “let him walk” Gilmore and now perhaps “TD Mike”, the question has to be asked.
What in seven hells are they thinking?
Take a look at Alan Branch – former Bills DT and “he didn’t have grit!” 2013 nominee. Branch constantly gets his DUI mentioned as the retort for the Bills cutting him, highlighting the team’s ability to weed out bad seeds. 2 Lombardi’s in 3 years later, he sure did learn his lesson didn’t he? If anything, if the Bills really wanted to punish him, they’d have kept him on the roster!
I’m only a third kidding about that.
The Buffalo problem in a nutshell is the reliance on “strategery” – the ill fated malaprop used by then-President George W. Bush. Buffalo is constantly in this crazy shame cycle of desiring credit for less-than-mediocre. Trade up for a wideout? Gimme credit for not giving him his fifth year option, because the injuries he suffered on field as our player make him risky. Replace a suspended rb with a better back off the street? Instead of being proactive, be reactive on his restricted tag. See every QB under the sun? Claim smokescreen, and if you draft one, say the smokescreen was a smokescreen.
You get my point.
I read Jay Skurski’s Buffalo News piece and I cannot shake the notion the Bills want to insinuate they tempted the Pats into taking Gillislee. On what planet do you want your division rival and defending Super Bowl champions to take a player that’s proven to be an effective, productive player in your stellar run game? How does creating a new need make you smarter?
Ah, I remember, because you traded picks to get a backup QB you then traded away. Then you traded up to get your linebacker that got hurt. And you now have 6 picks in one of the deeper drafts in your areas of need – but I digress.
One of the newer WWE wrestlers, Enzo Amore, has a catch phrase I’ll borrow for their approach to any move, no matter how inane – “Badda boom – smartest guys in the room. How you doin’?”
Going into next week – do yourselves a favor Bills: let Gillislee walk. If you want a QB, take him. If not, trade back. A lot. Give yourself multiple “bites at the cherry”. Activate the 5th year option on Watkins.
You’re not the smartest guys in the room. And you don’t have to be. But the sooner you get over that fact, the sooner (hopefully) a more competitive product gets on the field.