Friday, March 30, 2012

Sabres: Courageous race to first last

by Steve

Congratulations Buffalo Sabres. The last month and a half apparently will go for naught. With an abysmal performance at home in a must win game the entire team no showed. A 5-3 L to that goalie? Really?

I can't wait for the press conference at the end of the year saying that injuries and a lack of continuity were the only reasons the Sabres finished in a "courageous" 9th place in a mediocre NHL.

Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier deserve to be proud of their great performance this year leading the Sabres to yet another failure of a season. Give me a god damn break. Where was the desperation in December or January when this team was losing 12 straight games on the road? Are we as fans supposed to take solace in the team playing really well late in the season? A battle to become the eight best team in the conference?

When did our standards fall so far? When did paying $50 for a regular season game ticket to watch a team that can't even finish in the top 15 of the league become worth it? When will this franchise disassociate itself with all of the losers in this organization?

Hey there is always next year right?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sabres on a War Path

by Steve

Crow sandwich
never tasted so good! In case you were in a cave Tuesday night or one of the many, many, shitty "sports bars" across Buffalo, the Sabres won a decidedly one sided affair 5-1 tonight in Washington.

Yes, I called it the Buffalo Sabres Super Bowl. Yes, I predicted the Sabres would choke and lose. Well I was wrong on one front. It was a supremely important game, but the Buffalo Sabres showed stones, they balled out, and they dismantled the Washington Capitals in their own barn.

Does this mean the Sabres will definitely make the playoffs? Are Ruff/Regier geniuses? Does Buffalo have good sports bars? No, none of those things are accurate.

However, I and for that matter most Sabres fans may be under-appreciating or underrating this team. At least a little bit any way. This game took stones. The Sabres dominated and showed they wanted it more than the Capitals. Soooo..

Bravo, hats off to the the Buffalo Sabres. Even Derek Roy for christ's sake! But, now it is time to finish the job and make the playoffs and hope you don't see Pittsburgh in the first round. (Oh and I didn't even mention that I realized in the first period that Washington is actually a bigger choke job hockey team than Buffalo is)

Either way, great game, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Buffalo Sabres' Super Bowl

by Steve

To my shock and utter bewilderment the Buffalo Sabres season isn't over. With six games to play the Sabres have a legit shot at actually making the playoffs. The problem is (unless Ottawa falls apart) the only game that matters is tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Tonight is the Sabres' Super Bowl. They have to win this game or at the very least not lose in regulation. The math just isn't in their favor if they fall behind effectively by three points with ten possible points remaining. And while this hot streak is admirable it may just be delaying the inevitable.

When was the last big, must win games this franchise, this coach, this goalie, much of this team has played? Games six and seven against Philly last year. How did those games go?

If the Sabres don't make the playoffs how do you argue in favor of keeping Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier yet again? If Buffalo doesn't make it that means Washington did. And what did they do? They fired their head coach in the middle of the season.

You can play the injury card all you freaking want, but every team (except for the NY Rangers) have injuries. Whether it is to the same extent doesn't really matter. If there are injuries or chemistry problems the GM needs to make the requisite changes to correct or at least shake up said problems. Those things didn't happen (or happen quick enough) to have enough of an effect (ya know assuming they don't make the playoffs).

Bottom line, tonight is a must win and based on the long long body of work we have to work with I can not predict victory. In fact, it would be just about shocking if the Sabres actually went into Washington and won tonight. However, win... and I'll eat a nice crow sando.

But hey at least we're all still watching right Terry?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Buffalo Bills sign DE Mark Anderson

by Steve

the Buffalo Bills had a difficult time getting pressure on the quarterback? Not any more. The Buffalo Bills today signed former New England Patriots defensive end Mark Anderson to a contract worth 4 years $27.5 million with $8 million guaranteed.

I guess Mario Williams wasn't enough. Jeez, Buddy Nix and co. see a weakness and they don't just address it they blow the need off the map. Is this the same Buffalo Bills franchise that has been irrelevant the last 12 seasons?

Soon to be 29 year old Anderson is a former 5th round pick of the Bears in 2006 out of Alabama. He's played for three different teams including 2011 with the New England Patriots where he had 10 sacks. His only other double digit sack season came in his rookie year where he had 12.

Maybe my mind is a bit foggy because New England's defense was so bad but how good is this guy? I don't recall him being much of a game changer. He did have 1.5 sacks in the Super Bowl however. And the Patriots did want to resign him, but I guess he wasn't willing to take the Belechick/Brady discount.

At least we can permanently scratch defensive end off the need list for at least the next 2-3 seasons. (FWIW Walterfootball had Williams and Anderson as the 1st and 10th best DEs available in free agency).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bring me the Tim Tebow?

by Steve

There might not have been a player in the National Football League I disliked more than Tim Tebow in 2011. He was overrated, only won games on 60 yard field goals and was as accurate as a sober dart player. Oh and a bottom feeder Bills team destroyed him in the middle of their playoff hunt.

But then, the Denver Broncos miraculously signed Peyton Manning. This instantaneously ended the Tim Tebow era in the mile high city. They are dealing from a point of weakness and know they can not go into next season with #15.

Thus, there might be some real good value for the Buffalo Bills if they acquire Tebow. Even if that means he never plays for the Bills (whether he isn't good enough or we flip him down the line) Plus Peter King thinks Buffalo should do it. Just think about what you would be getting with just a fourth round pick.

A player that still has upside, is clearly a good "football player" and has a legion of fans. Yeah, he wouldn't come into Buffalo as the starter in 2012 but does anyone want to guarantee Ryan Fitz-noodle-arm Fitzpatrick (Fitzy) the starting job in 2013? Didn't think so.

Yes of course there are some down sides to trading for the messiah. One not being the borderline useless fourth round pick. The media hype and attention to the team would be a huge burden. TT could negatively effect team morale and the cohesion (wait can a team with 10 combined wins the last two seasons have cohesion) of the team.

Furthermore, it could maybe mess too much with Fitzpatrick's head causing him to constantly being answering questions about Tebow and looking over his shoulder. Ya know, a distraction.

Maybe Tebow is just a good football player but a terribly inaccurate quarterback who will never be a starting caliber QB in the National Football League. But if it only costs a fourth round pick and with Chan Gailey as the puppet master pulling the strings shouldn't we as Bills fans be at least intrigued at the prospect of swinging a deal?

Maybe a decade++ sans playoffs is making me more desperate and senile than I thought..

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mario Williams staying in Buffalo Wednesday Night

Per Buffalo Bills twitter

Mario Williams has left 1 Bills Drive for the evening. He plans to stay in Buffalo for the evening and return to 1 Bills Drive in the am.

Gotta assume wifey needs some cajoling.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What the Buffalo Bills should do in free agency

by Steve

With some where around $34 million in "cash to spend" (including the extra $1.6 mil thanks to the Cowboys and Redskins) the Buffalo Bills could and should be major players at the start of today's free agency.

After breaking down the Bills needs and all the players available I now have a cohesive plan. And that plan starts with over paying for Mario Williams. The dude was the #1 overall pick five years ago and all the Bills have to do to get him is over pay by a few million bones?

He fills the number one most glaring need on the team and instantly brings credibility to a moribund defense. Not only does the defense get better, the whole team would get better because it would free the Bills up in the draft do to a myriad of things.

Again we don't have to worry about him "not wanting to come here" because a.) Buffalo is still one of only 32 teams in the league last I checked b.) only a certain number of teams actually have the cap space and c.) if Buddy Nix has to over pay, he has to over pay that's the cost of business.

Next after locking down the #2 rated free agent on the market I go after the top of the second tier and ink wide receiver Robert "Bob" Meachem. The Bills clearly need an established, productive, receiver opposite Stevie Johnson. A player that can spread the defense and get down field. Meachem is it. And he isn't one of the top 3 or 4 WRs out there. Heck he isn't the best available FA WR from his own team.

$13.5 million for Mr Mario and $7 mill for Meachem still leaves a bunch of space but the signing bonuses may eat up much of the actual "cash" to spend. So find a linebacker in the third or fourth tier, retain Demetrius Bell and either trade out of the 10th pick or take an offensive tackle if that is the only value on the board.

It is either this or sign Jason Campbell folks. So get on board, let's pray Buddy Nix in fact will be "aggressive on the first day" as he claimed and change the culture down at OBD.

At one point the Buffalo Bills were able to sign one of the top free agents on the market. His name was Takeo or somethin (oh shit wait that didn't work out all that great nevermind).

Where's my man at the airport lookin out for M-dub's agent (Ben Dogra). I assume a gray haired old white dude, so be on the look out.

2012 Buffalo Bills Free Agency: Wide Receiver

by Steve

The conventional wisdom may say the Bills aren't in the market for a top tier wide receiver in free agency, especially after the sizable deal Stevie Johnson received. But SJ13's new contract doesn't even put him in the top fifteen WR contracts. Furthermore, the Bills #2-#5 WRs are awful and the Bills have a ton of cap space.

In case you missed it here are the Defensive End FAs, Tight End FAs (not including Kevin Boss) and Bills needs.

Vincent Jackson (29)
The clear top dog available. He is still in the prime of his career and is a physical beast. But he is going to be asking for $10 mil+, seems to be a bit of a malcontent/diva. But he has ties to the Bills via Shawne Merriman and Buddy Nix and flat out produces. It would be an entirely un-Bills thing to do.

Marques Colston (29)
Why don't the Saints want to keep this guy would be my first question. However he is as consistent as a well aged time piece putting up 7+ TDs, 80 catches and 1,000+ yards the last three seasons. Probably too similar to Johnson and may want more ca$h.

Mario Manningham (26)
Guy is long and has made big catches in his career. Over valued because of the team he was on and their success. Should be interesting to see where he ends up and for how much. Might be an ideal fit.

Laurent Robinson (27)
Great stats but is there enough there? I'm not interested.

Robert Meachem (28)
Not great size but fast as hell. A bit of a let down as a former first round pick but this guy could be the deep threat the Bills need. Could Ryan Fitzy Fitz-noodle-arm Fitzpatrick get it to him though? I'd make a push for this guy.

Braylon Edwards (29)
Diva who has been a bust just about every where he's been, injuries or not. He would probably be better off going to a true contender rather than to Buffalo.

Early Doucet (27)
Put up solid numbers in Arizona but may have benefited from being opposite the best WR in the game. Not crazy speed or size but might be a decent consolation prize.

Josh Morgan (27)
Is he healthy after the broken leg? He didn't miss a game in '09 or '10. Can he stretch the field or go over the middle? The former sixth round pick could be a value signing.

Eddie Royal (26)
Will benefit from having a quarterback that can actually throw a forward pass. He could be a replacement waterbug for the aging Roscoe Parrish although require more coin.

Roy Williams (30)
Only started nine games for a WR depleted Bears team last year. Could the whiley veteran make one last go at it?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 Buffalo Bills Free Agency: Defensive End

by Stevie Brackets

Here is a look at the free agents at the defensive end position in our ongoing free agency preview before Tuesday at 4pm. Previous posts include Bills Needs and Tight Ends.

Mario Williams (27)
He is the biggest of the big fish. He'll be looking for big money. Houston seemed to get along just fine with out him but the dude is a stud if he's healthy. Not a Bills-esque move and he can go where ever he wants but why not us?

Jeremy Mincey (28)
Eight sacks eight sacks eight sacks. But most were against the lowly Indy Colts. I don't think I want anyone from the Jaguars and the lack of talent in free agency is going to jack up his price.

Quentin Groves (28)
Doesn't get to the quarterback but I love him on Jim Rome.

Andre Carter (31)
Had good stats for the Pats but if the Patriots aren't willing to give him the dough he wants are they incorrectly evaluating him? Doubt it.

John Abraham (34)
Statistically impressive season including a sack in the playoffs. But if you take away the JAX game he then only had six sacks. Buffalo has very few veterans though.

Israel Idonije (31)
He may be a product of a good defense but as a second or third tier talent it still would be an improvement especially if DE isn't an option in the first round.

Jonathan Fanene (30)
Sleeper? He is really big but had 6.5 sacks last year (12.5 total the last 3 seasons). Depends on his asking price but I don't think his age should be too much of a deterrent.

Mark Anderson (28)
See Andre Carter

William Hayes (27)
From Winston-Salem State. More of a depth player.

Trevor Scott (28)
Played for UB. Uh, that is all

Last 4 in, First 4 Out

by Stevie Brackets

My last 4 teams in are Drexel, BYU, South Florida and Iona as a shout out to my mid major bros. First four out are Arizona, Northwestern, NC State and Seton Hall.

One seeds are Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and Michigan State.

Two teams from the pac 12 being in is 2 too many but oh well.

St Bonaventure advances to NCAA tournament

by Stevie Brackets

The Bonnies of St Bonaventure defeated Xavier soundly in a 67-56 thumping to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time in over a decade.

Possible first round draft pick Andrew Nicholson was again outstanding. He put the team on his back with a near triple double including 26 points.

Despite a ton of turnovers Bona controlled play throughout the game. The difference was at the charity stripe as Bonaventure went 22-25 compared to 14-19 for the Muskateers.

The refs in the game were questionable mid way through the second half when it seemed like they were openly rooting for Xavier. Maybe I'm just a homer but for a few minutes there it seemed like there wouldn't be a foul called on X. But once it appeared the Bonnies weren't going away they realized they had to call it more straight up.

The dagger in the game came when hot head Mark Lyons took a terribly undisciplined 5th foul in the final minutes. We should all remember Lyons from earlier in the year with the brawl against Cincinnati. Just watch the post game presser..

From a national perspective the Bonnies stole a bid from a team like SoFlo or Drexel but tough titties who cares.

The Bonnies are dancing lets just hope it won't be in a play in game which Stevie Brackets doesn't foresee.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2012 Buffalo Bills Free Agency: Tight Ends

by Steve

As all of my die hard fans know, yesterday I broke down the Buffalo Bills needs heading into free agency. So in the on going series here is a breakdown of the tight end free agents even after the Bills resigned Scott Chandler today (2 years).

Well, here is the long and the short of it. Scott Chandler may have been the second best free agent available. YIKES.

Jeremy Shockey (32) Quick what team did he play for last year? If you guessed Cameron "overrated" Newton was chucking him passes you play too much fantasy football. He might have something left in the tank if someone can fill it but I doubt it.

Bo Scaife (31) Anyone remember when he got franchised for $4+ mil in 2009? Damn he fell off. He didn't play last year after a shoulder injury but could be worth a camp invite.

Martellus Bennett (25) Might be most famous for having some nudie picks leak online. He didn't do shit in Dallas last year.

John Carlson (28) Did sit out last year but might be worth a camp invite. He was a a former second round pick outta ND.

Jacob Tamme (27) He might be less athletic and more invisible than Chandler, no thanks.

Visanthe Shiancoe (32) Best days if he ever had any are gone. Big size at 6'4 250 though.

Leonard Pope? ugh

Did Paul Harris learn how to run routes yet?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Buffalo Bills: 2012 Free agency needs

by Steve

The Buffalo Bills are still in rebuild mode and probably won't be big spenders come 4pm Tuesday March 13th, but we can dream. The Bills have roughly $25 million in cap space heading into big Tuesday(here are the Bills free agents minus Johnson and Martin). In the coming week we'll break down players available at need positions

For now here are the Bills needs heading into the spending spree:

Wide Receiver
The Bills just locked down their #1 free agent and had to do it. But a quick review of the roster shows there is still a gaping hole at the position. There was a report earlier in the week that the Bills were still interested in Vincent Jackson after the SJ13 contract so clearly the Bills think it is a need too. Did slow David Nelson really show he is a #2 or #3? Dude needs to pack on 30 lbs and find a tight end number in the bin ASAP. Don Jones is injury prone and Marcus Easley is a myth at best until proven otherwise. Ruv Martin is a special teams player and Kamar Aiken's name is Kamar Aiken. VinJax is too expensive but we'll see whats out there.

Tight End
There isn't one offensive threat on this roster listed at tight end. Scott Chandler may be asking for too much money and is too un-athletic to give more than extra pocket change above the minimum wage. If Nix and Co. haven't noticed this is a tight end league now, huge hole at the position.

Offensive Tackle
Maybe the mailman's son (Demetrius Bell) will be brought back but as of now he isn't under contract. Chris Hairston isn't a legit left tackle despite the Bills sack stats. There is actually some depth over at right tackle so that is the only reason he is listed as a LT. My fear is that the Bills will use the #10 pick in the draft on this need.

Defensive End
Holy smokes this position is crying out for attention. Batten, Dotson, Eddins, Spenc Johnson? Are we serious? Merriman can be counted on for not being counted on and Chris Kelsay is, well, Chris Kelsay. Might be uber expensive if not address @10 come 4/26/12.

(wait why are there 8 DTs listed on the roster as of today?)

Linebacker (inside and out)
They seem to really like Kelvin Sheppard but there is zilch behind him. Outside is worse. Chris White is a young depth player, Moats is a one hit wonder, and Nick Barnett is solid. Huge need here probably second behind DE.

Everywhere else at least has enough bodies although not necessarily the best options. Can the Bills trust Leodis McKelvin, Terrance McGee and Justin Rogers opposite Drayton Florence? Is Center Eric Wood healthy or did they think Craig Urbik was a decent fill-in? Is Da'Norris Searcy an NFL player? The secondary probably needs another body.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Buffalo Bills resign Stevie Johnson 5 years $36.25 mil

by Steve

So there is still loyalty in professional sports, who knew? Maybe Stevie Johnson is just a different kinda bird. He mentioned loyalty a couple of times during the press conference announcing his new 5 year $36.25 ($19 million guaranteed) contract down at OBD.

He was the 224th overall pick and had to fight for 3 seasons just to get any playing time. Had two breakout seasons and was poised to hit the open market. We don't know if the Bills were going to use the franchise tag or not but it seems likely they would have. But, why not make the Bills make the move first or at least test out the free agency waters.

I have to give SJ13 big props for doing things differently than what we as sports fans are all accustomed to in pro sports these days. He showed loyalty to Buffalo and the organization that drafted him and made him who he is.

Wait, $7.25 million per for a guy who has one game losing drop per season and dumbass penalties after less than meaningful touchdowns? $95 million combined for Fitzpatrick and Johnson for an average of five wins a seasons?

I kid, I kid, sorta. At least I don't have to burn that white #13 jersey and I was right all along that this contract was going to get done. Although it is still a bit shocking that the Bills actually paid a semi-big free agent of their own. The Bills actually made the right move for a change. Maybe it helps to have an actual general manager in Bud Nix instead of a marketing wizard or old ass head coach running the franchise.

Also did anyone else hear Johnson say his wife's nickname was big bear? And Buddy Nix saying the wide receiver corps is good and they don't really need to sign another wide receiver?

Is Marcus Easley the greatest WR in practice of all time or something?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bills and Stevie Johnson close to 5 yr deal, or are they?

Per Adam Schefter: "Buffalo Bills and WR Stevie Johnson are on the verge of a five-year contract that is likely to be completed in the next 24 hours."

But Stevie Johnson just tweeted this: "Am I missing something???"

Gotta love the twittospher wtf. The franchise tag deadline is Monday at 4pm fwiw.