By: Nick Wojton
Man, is this depressing.
It’s the first installment of “Football Friday.”
Football Friday is a column which previously ran on my prior outlet, the Batavia Daily News. It runs occasionally, usually bi-weekly during the offseason and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Five thoughts, usually random things, about the Buffalo Bills that I like to fire you off into the weekend arriving.
…and with that… Here’s five thoughts on the Bills:
Just breaking the drought: Something that needed to marinate. I wondered, would just breaking the drought be enough? After the lockers were cleaned out, after the season-ending pressers, with everything playing out the way it did. I think it’s a yes, it has. Aside from a completely Cleveland-like fallout, not making the postseason would be the continuation of an ever-growing cloud over the franchise. It hasn’t felt like folks are acting as if they’d won a championship, even with airport welcoming and traveling to Florida. People still realize there are holes on this team to improve.
Nathan (not) for you: By all accounts, quarterback Nathan Peterman is a pretty good dude. But I’m a little worried about him going forward. Is the NFL spotlight too bright for him? In his first game, in case you forgot, he threw five interceptions. But in his couple of snaps in Jacksonville, he showed some similar signs. He appeared to panic a bit and make mistakes. On his first snap vs. Jacksonville, he scrambled and got a first down in a tough situation, but did lose the ball. Then he had an intentional ground call which was, possibly a little questionable, but it was still called. Then there was his interception which, while possibly a pass interference by Jalen Ramsey, was still picked off. Deserving of another chance, but a little more nervous than prior.
Hand shakes are nice: Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott doesn’t know my name. It’s Nick. Look at my byline, Sean. Eh, whatever. I’m not big time and I don’t think asking the obvious question everyone knows is coming early in a press conference is all that impressive. Anyway, I know McDermott doesn’t know my name because whenever I ask a question, he never says my name in the response. Leslie Frazier called me Mike (Rodak) once. That’s as close as I got. But anyway, to my point, following their end of season press conference, McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane went around the media room and shook everyone’s hand and thanked them for coming. It might not seem like much, but that’s rarely done. From his position, it’s easy to get upset with the media, just like it’s easy to get upset with anyone in any job, but it’s nice to have your job, which you put a lot of effort into, respected.
Low-key need: With as dynamic as LeSean McCoy has been, three-straight Pro Bowl years for the Bills to be exact, there might be a need. Behind McCoy, Mike Tolbert didn’t get the job done. This offseason Shady will hit the 30-year-old mark as a running back and there’s that notorious wall. Trading up for a quarterback is a desire for many fans, but I’d toss running back into the pile of needs for the Bills on draft day as well. Maybe not early, but a need.
Who to root for: There’s Tennessee at New England and Jacksonville at Pittsburgh in the AFC and in the NFC there’s Atlanta at Philadelphia and New Orleans at Minnesota left. My Super Bowl is Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans with New Orleans winning.
Tennessee? Never forget the Music City miracle. New England? I don’t need to explain that. Philadelphia? I’m torn, but losing your best player in Carson Wentz wants to have you win it next season. Atlanta? Ya’ll messed it up last year. Minnesota? Buffalo should be the first team who has lost four Super Bowls to win one. So why New Orleans over Pittsburgh? The Steelers have won enough and I visited New Orleans this past year and it’s a lot of fun. Plus, I think they have a likable squad.