When you write a blog, and you’re a fan of a team that has been alt-winning the past 17 years at times you see signs of things that were harbingers of failure.
Or so you think.
Is the lack of OTA absentees a sign the team is #AllIn? Is the one guy that didn’t go to the volunteer thing going to damn the team in October?
These are the questions we as fans mull about during the doldrums of the off-season.
Here’s my counter to all of this, and it’s something I know I deal with a lot in debates both online and off about anything Bills related – is it better for the team to get better, or for you to be right in your presumptions?
I know all of us will throw the qualifier that “I know I’d be happy if I’m wrong” to cover the opportunity that you’re waiting for the axiom to be proven true, but how real is it?
I ask because, when I think of the quarterback situation, coupled with Watkins’ contract it’s a weird thing for me.
First, the quarterback. I am a big fan of Tyrod’s game. I’ve given the all-22 side of this, which folks like Erik over at Cover1.net can do far better with far nicer presentation value. But I want to talk about the idea of Tyrod as much as the player. Seeing the “can’t see the field” get debunked with plays and video by folks like Erik – or the message boards a-flutter with finding nice snippets to prove he’d never be a good QB is tiring. I live in the world of nuance, so I can say that he isn’t a perfect QB by any means.
I like the Daniel Jeremiah “is he a trailer or is he the truck” mindset with quarterbacking – having a QB that needs a talented cast vs being the QB that elevates the cast. Taylor is a trailer – he needs the help – but I’d argue few quarterbacks exists out there that can do that.
Which brings me to my original premise. I am unabashedly rooting for Taylor to win, but I know there is a sentiment that the best thing for the team is for Buffalo to be in a spot to draft one of the “big five” at QB in the draft. I struggle with being “proven right” if the result is a 9-7 record and missing out on a stud quarterback that can get them to the Super Bowl.
That also ties into Sammy Watkins. When the trade happened I first-guessed the craziness of giving up as much as they did in a WR-laden draft. However, Sammy the player on the Bills hasn’t been someone I wanted to fail to prove I was right. Seeing others in the class (hello Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, OBJ, Brandon Cooks) do well with far less draft capital extolled to get them is a fun thing to think about every once in a while, but to constantly bring it up – even I’d get tired of me. His recovery from his latest foot surgery (borne of playing him on the prior one way too soon because #InTheHunt) puts him and Taylor in a precarious position – both needs the other to truly succeed and prove their worth to keep the contract they have (Taylor) or to get extended/franchise tagged to justify another year (Watkins).
If they are both healthy and succeed, at the bare minimum you know the extent Taylor can play with a full deck AND how well Watkins can play when afforded the maximum number of balls. If to the Bills brass it’s acceptable, you keep both. If you think you can get more out of Watkins with better play at QB, move on from Taylor. If Taylor does well and Watkins falters, etc.
At no point this year, though, will I actively try to reshape the facts I see with my eyes to fit my argument. If Taylor stinks, I’ll say so. And if Watkins is an incandescent ball of awesome, I’m not going to hold what happened 3 years ago over his head. For me, the goal will be seeing how things play out, not hoping they play out in the way I can best crow about it.