The Buffalo Bills are primed to have a big 2014 NFL season thanks to some big moves the team made in the offseason.
Don’t be fooled – there’s still a lot of work for this team to do – but if certain aspects of the game-plan fall into place, it could be a big year for the E.J Manuel-led team.
Below, you’ll find a quick rundown of what to look for as we approach training camp.
There isn’t a QB race. Manuel is the guy.
Certain folks will make a point that Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis should at-least compete for the Opening Day job, but that’s simply not the case. Manuel will be starting in Week One, no questions asked. Now, it’s just a matter of how Manuel decides to approach his sophomore campaign.
He was the worst in his division from a game-film standpoint last year, so he’ll need to bring things up a notch this year. The good news is that not every quarterback is going to begin their career like Andrew Luck. Manuel has time, he just needs to capitalize on every rep he’s getting.
Could we be seeing a three-headed monster in the backfield?
It’s no secret that the Bills can work with C.J Spiller and Fred Jackson, but adding former Eagle Bryce Brown into the mix could be extremely helpful.
Brown’s addition might not make a huge difference in game-to-game stats, but it can keep the Bills with a healthy set all season long. Eliminating snaps for Jackson could be a decent contributing factor to keeping a solid run game all season long.
I’ve always loved what Brown brings to the table – a solid #2-#3 option that has potential to bring breakout performances at the drop of a hat. He isn’t as skilled as Spiller, but he’ll help the Buffalo coaching staff breathe a bit easier if he comes through and lives up to his potential in camp/pre-season.
The receiving corps is an A+.
Bringing in Sammy Watkins was a huge help for this roster for more reasons than one. Not only does Manuel get one of the best receivers we’ve seen come out in a few years, but it provides a player like Robert Woods a legitimate threat across the field.
Woods is ready for a breakout year in 2014. Last year’s tape showed a lot of hustle, fight, and play-making abilities. His big-yardage threat is the real deal, and having someone who appears to work as hard as Woods does is great for Nathaniel Hackett’s offense. The future of this depth chart begins with the former USC wide-out.
Adding Mike Williams was an underrated move, as well. He’s set up for a big role in this offense as he won’t be spotlighted as much by opposing defensive backfields. Flying under the radar and working as an “as needed” weapon will be just what the doctor ordered for Williams.
Don’t sleep on guys like Marquise Goodwin and TJ Graham, either. The coaching staff clearly believes in these guys.
Offensive line must step up.
There’s not much to say here other than that the unit as a whole must get a whole lot better in 2014. They must provide a brick wall for Manuel – without them, you can completely forget about the potential the receiving corps has.
I like the additions the front office made during the draft (Kouandjio, Henderson, Richardson), it’s now a matter of putting it all together and working hard during camp. I trust the unit will be ready to roll once the regular season comes around.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but on the surface, it appears the Bills have a legitimate chance of picking up a few more wins in the upcoming season. Weigh in with your thoughts below.