Here is our latest preview with a blogger. We worked with BuffaLowDown’s Dennis Amo in order to get some information on the Buffalo Bills. Hare are his thoughts on the Bills this coming season:
Which player(s) on roster need to step up in order for the season to be successful?
For the Bills, veterans will need to step up to provide for a successful season. Mario Williams needs to come back to form along with Kyle Williams. If Dareus Williams can come out of his shell and show us what he really can do, the defensive line will be the treat that we all have hoped for. On offense, Stevie Johnson, Spiller and Jackson, and Scott Chandler will have to be the driving force for offensive production. With an uncertainty at the QB position there are still some questions are the production so everyone else will need to be on the top of their game to counter-act the uncertainty.
What position battle(s) will you be paying attention to during training camp?
- Every year going into training cap there is at least one position battle that will be looked at. In Buffalo there are a couple of battles that you should keep an eye on this year. The number one competition in my book would be the one at QB. Rookie E.J. Manuel will be attempting to prove himself and become the face of the franchise in Buffalo. Journeyman Kevin Kolb has not had great success in his last two stints as a QB and will be looking to make his mark here I Buffalo as well as prove himself and deny Manuel that starting job.
- The second competition that fans should pay attention to will be that of the 2nd WR spot. Stevie Johnson is basically a lock as he continues to move towards a true #1 receiver. With 2nd Year man TJ Graham and rookies Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and Da’Rick Rogers all vying for a spot it will be an interesting one to watch out for. Brad Smith will also be in the mix and OC Nathaniel Hackett’s comments of it doesn’t necessarily have to be a #2 wide-out but he is looking for the top 5 guys to put on the field, TE, RB, and FBs are all on the list as well.
- The third competition to watch for is going to be on the special teams side. Buffalo got rid of their long time punter Brian Moorman last year mid-season. Shawn Powell was the replacement although he is in the same situation with Brian Stahovich competing as well for the punting position. On the Kicking side, long time Bills kicker will be challenged again this year for his job as the Bills spent a 6th round pick on FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins. It could be that the Buffalo Bills have a brand new kicking staff to go along with their brand new coaching staff at the start of the season.
Which rookie(s) on the team will make an immediate impact?
Any rookie needs to make an immediate impact to help out their team. In some cases more of an impact than others. In the Bills case it is the more of an impact that needs to take place. Kiko Alonso, LB, will be the favorite to start at middle linebacker with the Bills trading Kelvin Sheppard to the Colts in exchange for Jerry Hughes. He will be one to keep an eye on and will have to step up to help out a struggling defense. The other rookies that will need to step it up will need to be E.J. Manuel, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, and Da’Rick Rogers. These 4 guys can bring potency to the offense and that is something that the Buffalo Bills have lacked in the past, oh lets say 13 years!
Which player(s) on the roster is the most underrated?
I believe that CJ Spiller is one of the biggest underrated players on the team. The Top 100 players were put out a little while ago and Spiller checked in at number 88. Really?! He is the only Bills player ranked in the top 100 but still 80. Yes he has not really had the time or carries he should have, splitting time with Jackson, but we all have seen him breakout talent. He also led the league last year in yards, at certain points of the season as well as won the fedex player of the week more than once.
Prediction for the season?
The Bills have a tough schedule this year. They play the NFC South and the AFC North divisions this year. This will pose a challenge as they are not the easiest divisions in the league. They also have to play the Pats, which look like bookends on their schedule. But this is nothing new. I would rather the Bills play tougher teams as they seem to show up for those games and the easier teams they tend to take a vacation. Looking at their schedule, I believe that the Bills will go 3-3 in the division, which is better than normal. They will basically spilt the season and there are two wildcard games that could go either way for the Bills. The Saints and the Falcons, I believe they may be able to win, but these could go into the loss column as well. At worst I believe the Bills are at a 7-9 season at best I believe they are looking at a 9-7 season. Playoff worthy, they need to be at 10 wins. Next year playoff bound.