You’ve got to hand it to Doug Marrone, the newest Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills. He’s taken on a major rebuilding project and an attempt to change the history and attitude of a morose franchise. Marrone takes over an NFL team that managed to scratch out six wins last season and he’s coaching in a division that has an established power and an up and comer looking to cut bait. But with all the problems in New England this might be the right time to get in on the action.
The Buffalo Bills will have to find a quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson is a candidate and Kevin Kolb signed on after being cut by the Cardinalls. But Buffalo also went the young route by picking EJ Manuel in the draft with the 16th pick. Manuel has all the tools but obviously his rookie status makes him a long shot to get the starting nod. Kolb is a more likely candidate.Whoever gets the nod will probably be working with some young receivers. The Bills used their second and third round picks on Robert Wood of USC and Marquise Goodwin of Texas in an attempt to gain speed.
But the Buffalo Bills need to create some defense if they hope to slow down opponents within their division. There’s been a fairly complete roster overhaul as the Bills jettisoned some long term team members and picked up some new names. Remember, this is a defense that picked up Mario Williams last season so new Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine does have something to work with up front. Jerry Hughes was signed to play linebacker and Jairus Byrd is still there so the secondary could be pretty good.
Doug Marrone looks to have the Buffalo Bills back on a good path but it’s not going to happen overnight. His offensive skills are good, he worked with the New Orleans Saints early on in the Sean Payton era so he learned from some good teachers. But he will have to make a quarterback out of EJ Manuel over the long term. The Buffalo Bills will be better in 2013 but it might not translate immediately into more wins.
The Bills have a reliable running back in CJ Spiller, who gained over 1,000 yards last season. What may be more important is that Spiller averaged six yards a carry, a fairly eye popping number.Eric Drouant