Thursday, May 26, 2011

Who is Jeffrey Gundlach?

by Steve

Yeah, who is this Jeff Gundlach broham and why does he mean anything to this blog? Evidently he is some rich dude that wants to try and buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo? Who knew there were so many rich people associated with Buffalo, god damn.

The Wall Street Journal has the story:

“I’m trying to put a group together to buy it,” he said Thursday, adding that he has floated the idea to several wealthy clients for whom he manages money. The discussions are in the early stages, he said. “Now, I’m thinking about thinking about it.”

Brought up in Buffalo, Gundlach was a star fund manager for Trust Co. of the West, or TCW, which he joined as a bond analyst in 1985. After an acrimonious split with TCW, Gundlach founded DoubleLine Capital, which is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Gundlach acknowledged that Bills owner Ralph Wilson is unlikely to part with the franchise while still living. He also acknowledged that buying a sports franchise in Western New York isn’t a huge growth opportunity. “It’s not an investment,” he said. “It’s because I love the Bills.”

Lame WGR has something about it too:

"He's a well-known fund manager. He used to work for an outfit called T.C.W. He left there, and it was somewhat of an acromonious split. There was a lawsuit after his departure. He founded an outfit called The Double Line as their bond fund manager, and they've actually done very well as fund managers. Outspoken guy, very opinionated. He's a very shrewd investor. This isn't an investment he told me. This is because he loves the Bills basically."

I'll take all the rich dudes I can get to keep the team in Buffalo at this point. Then again it is all moot until Ralph decides to start setting something up to keep the team in Buffalo (assuming he hasn't already) or he bites.

Also it appears this guy is some sort of BIG TIME investment guru a google search will show. He started a fund that reached $10,000,000,000 faster than anyone else ever? Damn

Also WSJ got a comment or non comment from the Bills

A Bills spokesman replied to Gundlach’s statement in an email, saying, “Mr. Wilson has commented publicly many times that he has no intention of selling the team. Beyond that, our team does not offer a comment to this topic.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Buffalo Bills should sign Vince Young

by Steve

Ugh, the lockout is perpetual, hockey is over, the Mets are out of it, the Yankees aren't even fun to kick around and the weather sucks. Sounds like a perfect time to make up hypotheticals! The Buffalo Bills should sign (or trade for) Vince Young.

The Tennessee Titan's crazy owner has already come out saying VY won't return with the team. He is due $8.5 mil this season and is a free agent in 2012. Although, that doesn't really matter because the Bills would have to sign him to a new contract (maybe 2 years $8 mil with a BIG option for a third year?).

What's the drawbacks here? None. He would clearly be a backup and thus wouldn't cause much of a controversy or a problem with "starter" Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills desperately need a back up so why not get someone that has been a successful starter in the league. True the guy is a bit crazy and even allegedly tried to commit suicide but the guy was and potentially still is a stud.

Does anyone remember that game at the Ralph in '06 when he ran through our entire team for a touchdown with less than a minute left in the second quarter? Maybe all he needs is a change of scenery, a new coach that can utilize his skills and a second chance.

The guy has a career record of 30-17! Sans VY Tenn was 15-18. Those Titans teams didn't have amazing talent all over the field either. With only an outsiders persepctive it seemed that a lot of Young's problems towards the end of his tenure with Tennessee had to do with a schism with their former head coach Jeff Fisher. I would normally side with the head coach on most disputes but ol' Fish did get canned himself. Moreover there doesn't seem to be a lot of history of players changing teams and succeeding. Well except for Drew Brees, Hasselback, Favre and a few others.

Maybe Vince still has thoughts of grandeur and a starting job being handed to him. Or maybe he doesn't want to come to Buffalo. Or maybe he is desperate to prove he still has it and is willing to go anywhere for a chance. Money shouldn't be an issue and again the Titans are almost certain to dump the guy, so why not to the Bills.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Farewell Tom Modrak

by Steve

The Buffalo Bills announced today the cutting of ties with one Tom Modrak. For those lesser fans, Mr. Modrak was the Directer of College Scouting and at one point was assistant GM. Good riddance and thanks for nothing.

This guy has a worse record than Osama bin Laden. Yikes, that is hyperbolic, uh, he was just truly terrible and an awful evaluator of talent. It is true we don't know exactly how much of a say the guy had in choosing players for the Bills in the draft but we know he certainly had some say. Mods was the directer for christ sake so he did have major influence either way.

What, do you want me to run down the list of awful selections under this dude? Rank them perhaps? No ranking is available because we still don't know exactly how awful players like Spiller, Aaron Maybin or Eric Wood (our last 3 1st rounders) will be, although we could guess, I guess.

A quick run down instead: Donte Whitner, MAJOR reach for a position that needs to make plays to validate a top 8 pick. Willis McGahee, he cost two first round picks and was a guy who couldn't play for a year because of injury. On top of that he played a position with a pro bowler already entrenched. Mike Williams, consensus top 5 pick but busted big time since he couldn't even play guard let alone right tackle and don't even think about LT. James Hardy, 41st overall, was out of the league after two seasons and lived up to his billing as a shaky character guy. John McCargo, holy smokes, the Bills traded up for this guy, traded him away only to have him fail the physical and was stuck with him. Then instead of cutting his ass they kept him, benched him consistently throughout his useless career and worse yet he is still listed on the website as being on the roster.

Oh yeah, and the creme de la creme of awfulness. Johnny Paul Losman. We have to blame Tom Donahoe for this one mostly. However we have to assume Modrak was on board to trade back into the first round for the 4th QB taken out of little Tulane U. The rest we have broken down, discussed, puked about and argued. And in fact this JP Losman piece by Coast was linked to by a major Seattle newspaper.

You would think we would be done after that list and you would be wrong. Leodis McKelvin is certainly nothing to praise over. Especially since the 11th overall pick has had little impact after three seasons. Marshawn Lynch was another shaky pick. RB in the top twelve is never a good idea especially since he wasn't the first running back taken. Oh, and the Bills basically gave him away a scant four years later. Roscoe Parrish, the Bills first selection in '05 has never distinguished himself, the same goes for Paul Posluszny another second round pick. Don't get me started on the third round picks, of which there is little worth mentioning.

Basically the guy stunk at his job. I don't think there is a strong enough word to describe how awful the Buffalo Bills have done in the draft the last ten years. Despicable, dastardly, vomit inducing-ly terrible, disgracefully? No adjective does it justice. It doesn't help that the team didn't make the playoffs any of those years but never awful enough to get a top 3 pick either.

Holy smokes, see ya later Modrak, have fun in retirement.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grading the Buffalo Bills 2011 draft

Marcell Dareus fills an obvious hole in the defense. He'll be able to hopefully play 3-4 DE and 4-3 DT when needed. The only real choice was between him and Von Miller and even that wasn't a choice. A cornerback or wide receiver at #3 would have been a grave error in judgment. Reaching for a mediocre QB who won't be able to play day one would have been a mistake as well. This team just has too many holes and building the defense is a faster way to get to 8-10 wins than rolling the dice for a player with a 50/50 to become a "franchise" QB, it just wasn't in the cards (whoa lotta gambling metaphors).

Seven of the nine selections were defense which is exactly what I would have wanted the Bills to do. Aaron Williams won't start right away and might be a peculiar selection but Nix and co may have made up for that selection by getting value in the 4th with a tackle that will push for playing time on the right side. Da'Norris Searcy might be a steal in the fourth also. Running back may have been questionable in the 5th although White sounds like a true football player, whatever that means. And finally, not drafting a potential future stud in Ryan Mallet in the 4th round hurts the score.

SI's Kerry Byrne:

What I liked: A very good, aggressive draft aimed at fixing huge problems on defense. The Bills had the worst D-line last year and ranked 28th in scoring defense. Their first four picks all went to defense. Beefy offensive tackle Chris Hairston (fourth round) has the size and potential to develop into a legit NFL starter.

What I didn't like: If there's a nit to be picked, it's the Bills took Alabama's Marcell Dareus at DT ahead of Auburn's Nick Fairley. Dareus is much bigger, so size was the goal here. But Fairley was the more explosive and productive college player.

Nowhere to go but up for the team that ranked dead last across the board last year in our Quality Stats. Grade: B+

Rob Rang
Having surrendered the second most rushing yards in team history last season, the Bills needed to address their defense. General manager Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey clearly understood that, using their first four picks on the defensive side the ball, most notably adding the draft's best run-stuffer in defensive lineman Marcell Dareus with the No. 3 overall pick and former LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, who many viewed as the top 3-4 inside linebacker in the draft. Watch out for middle-round former Tar Heels Da'Norris Searcy and Johnny White to surprise, as well.

Pete Prisco

Best pick: It has to be their first. They landed a sure thing in tackle Marcell Dareus. He will be an immediate starter.

Questionable move: Passing up on a quarterback is a major risk. Do they really believe in Ryan Fitzpatrick that much?

Third-day gem: It might not be a position of need, but the Bills landed a good one in North Carolina running back Johnny White. He's a tough runner.

Analysis: I know they had big problems on defense, but they should have addressed the quarterback position. They passed on some good ones. Is Fitzpatrick the answer? I guess he has to be.

Grade: C+

Teams that draft well (i.e. Steelers, Packers, Colts) win Super Bowls. Teams that screw up in the NFL Draft every year never make the playoffs. Buffalo hasn't qualified for the postseason in more than a decade, and if you want to know why, all you have to do is look at how they draft.

The Bills screwed up yet again. How the hell did they come away from the 2011 NFL Draft without a quarterback? Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the answer. Every football person outside of Buffalo knows this, yet the Bills stubbornly continue to settle for mediocrity at the most important position in football.

Protecting the quarterback and getting to the other quarterback are two things that are also very important to every team in the league outside of Buffalo. No rush linebackers? No offensive lineman until the 122nd pick? And what's with all of these running backs and cornerbacks?

I really feel sorry for sensible Buffalo fans who know that their front office is clueless. The Bills are like the fantasy owner in your league who drafts a kicker in the eighth round every single summer. You quietly laugh at them during the draft, and smile when they hand in their league dues because you know they're going to finish 5-8 for the 10th year in a row.

Overall 2011 NFL Draft Grade given on 5/1/11: D

Todd McShay

Best move: Taking Marcell Dareus
Yes, the Bills were fortunate he was around at No. 3 because, in my opinion, he was the best player in the draft. Dareus is a centerpiece they can build their defense around. He gives defensive coordinator George Edwards a lot of flexibility. Edwards mixes it up with this fronts and Dareus has the ability to play just about every position along the front.
Most questionable move: Failing to address their quarterback need
The Bills had an opportunity to bring in someone -- Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick were still on the board when they selected CB Aaron Williams in the second round -- to fill the need. It would have been a great year to develop a player for 2012, when they hope to be competing for a playoff spot.

Mel Kiper
Buffalo drafted some really good football players and clearly put the emphasis on defense. Dareus is the ideal penetrating pass-rusher to convert into a 3-4 defensive end and allows the Bills to really stick with that scheme. The Bills also got a good value with Williams early in Round 2. Sheppard is a guy that while not very explosive, is instinctive and should be starting early in his career. Where I do have a question is why they again waited until Day 3 to get any help on the offensive line. They didn't take an offensive tackle until the fifth round last year, when that need seemed more glaring. One guy who should feel good about this draft is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is clearly the preferred starter at quarterback. Bills fans just have to hope the blocking can hold up.
Grade B


Buffalo Bills: B+

Draft picks: DT Marcel Dareus (first round), CB Aaron Williams (second round), LB Kelvin Sheppard (third round), S Da’Norris Searcy (fourth round), OT Chris Hairston (fourth round), RB Johnny White (fifth round), LB Chris White (sixth round), CB Justin Rogers (seventh round), DT Michael Jasper (seventh round).

Analysis: For a change, the Bills actually drafted for value and don’t appear to have made any real reaches. In fact, the first five selections should contribute this season and a few of them might start.