Success 4


Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

With the NFL draft less than a week away, I was contemplating what would make this draft “successful” for the Buffalo Bills. The past two have been pretty great, actually. Names like Donte Whitner, Ko Simpson, John McCargo, Kyle Williams, have all been contributers. Trent Edwards, Marshawn Lynch, and Paul Posluszny could be franchise players. (And all from one draft!) Even Keith Ellison, Ashton Youboty, Brad Butler, Dwayne Wright, John Wendling, and Derek Schouman have already seen some success at the NFL level.

The Bills certainly draft well.

But part of the success of the past two drafts has been the needs at all of the positions those guys filled. This team has not made the playoffs in nine years, and was in need of a major overhaul – which has pretty much been accomplished. This team does not look anything like the team Marv Levy took over – along with new head coach Dick Jauron – in 2006.

So what would deem this upcoming draft a success? Better yet, what would qualify the upcoming season as a “success”?

I believe that in the eyes of Bills fans, the draft is quite secondary to the accomplishment of returning to the playoffs. Anything short of this is neither a success, nor perhaps even acceptable.

Dick Jauron has assembled his team. He has assembled his coaching staff. (Which hopefully will be markedly improved with the departure of the much-maligned Steve Fairchild.) He had a “successful” 2007 campaign when measured against the incredibly bad fortune his team faced, losing 17 players to season-ending injuries.

They even have a “softer” schedule in 2008 (based on teams’ 2007 records).

This season, the Bills will be successful if they make the playoffs. Anything short of that, while it may be fun and exciting along the way – with a few minor successes – would seem to fall very short of “success”. And, it may cost Jauron his job.

A few very solid moves in the free agency period have put the Bills in a better position heading into the draft. Marcus Stroud and Spencer Johnson add thickness to the Bills’ interior defensive line. Kawika Mitchell brings his athleticism and experience to a young LB core, as well as the experience of winning the most recent Super Bowl.

All good moves to solidify the Bills defense.

Most speculate that the Bills biggest remaining holes – presumably to be filled in the draft – are a second wide receiver, a game-breaking tight end, and cornerback. Opinions vary, of course, but from what I have read, there are not really great options (on the surface) at any of those positions. Many expect the Bills – who possess 10 draft picks in the 2008 draft – to wheel and deal to land some veteran talent via trades on draft weekend.

Whatever the Bills end up doing, whoever they end up adding to their team on Draft Weekend, the 2008 draft – and the 2008 season – will only be a success if the Bills can finally return to post-season play.

In the eyes of this Bills fan, anything short of that will be a failure.


4 thoughts on “Success

  • Marty in Toronto

    I have to agree with that completely.

    I encourage other fans as crazy as me(if you’re reading this article comment, you qualify) to pay the BBR archives a visit. Last year at this time, we were trying to figure out how to overcome a list of high-profile free agent departures. There were unknowns.

    And there was confusion as to why, with a young quarterback who was due a big season, the Bills would draft a Stanford QB with their third pick. A certain ‘Voice of Reason’ on a certain podcast(Show 2.2.03, 11:46) was perfectly justified, at that point, in saying: “I don’t really know why you need Trent Edwards. I don’t even know who he is. I could give a rip about him. Stanford? Come on. What the heck?” Golly, I love this sport. How many snaps did Brady Quinn take last year? Thank you, Marv. [footnote about listening to archives: Greg predicted how big the Browns game would be to the Bills’ season after the 2007 schedule had been announced. Time to look in your crystal ball again, Mr. Campbell.]

    A difficult schedule, offensive play-calling more simplistic than the ‘Ask Madden’ option of everyone’s favourite video game, and a huge IR list were really, really good excuses for the final, disappointing, result. But they’re still excuses.

    And the time for excuses is over.

    Go Bills!

  • The Voice of Reason

    who else could the voice of reason be… that same voice also later said marv was a genius for drafting edwards and theorized he did because jp gave up against the ravens in week 17 of the 06 campaign…

    marty, campbell predicted the bills would be 10-6 and make the playoffs… he got lucky 🙂

  • Greg Campbell - Buffalo Bills Review

    Marty, the crystal ball is still a bit cloudy (till after the draft, and maybe seeing a bit of the Bills in pre-season/training camp) but at first glance, the 3 of the last 4 division games seems big, and maybe it’s just a dream but that final game against New England could have playoff ramifications this year. I expect the Bills to finish a close second… but who knows? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the Bills took the division by beating the Pats at home on the final week of the season??

    Anyway, as I said in this article… I really think this is the year for the Bills. They could certainly still get better after this year, but they must produce this year or more “rebuilding” chaos will ensue.

    Voice of Reason… while I certainly appreciate all your opinions, one of the strengths of BBR is the differing opinions you and I share. 😉 Sometimes you’re right, sometimes I’m right. On occasion, BBR Other Guy is right. 🙂

  • Marty In Toronto

    Easy there, VoR of the BBR.

    Nothin’ but love for tellin’ it how it is. And, obviously, as a regular listener, I know better than to cross you.

    I was merely observing how things change and how even the greatest of football minds don’t know anything until the games are played. Heck, I’m still celebrating the Pats’ Super Bowl loss.

    The “Golly, I love this sport.” was referring to the surprises inevitably in store. Or to quote the immortal J.P., “We don’t know anything right now.”

    Heck, I’d rather be a Bills fan who went on record as being mystified by the choice of Edwards(none of us predicted anything for a kid who spent the majority of his collegiate career on his back)than a Chargers fan who went on record as saying Leaf was a better pick than Manning. THAT would be hard to live down.

    Predictions are predictions. And they’re generally as meaningful as preseason games, in the final analysis.

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