Pick your poison ……
With the NFL Draft merely around the corner , continued speculation is mounting , which player is likely to be taken number one overall. The Houston Texans have the privilege of taking that first pick, but with GM Rick Smith recently making the comment that he would be interested in giving up that first choice to trade down , to get a substantially more picks , because of more value lower down , within the first round. While the boldness of that statement is somewhat brash , you cannot deny that the Texans are taking an immense risk, in making such a decision of moving down in the draft, with the general consensus, being that there are several good players to be taken in the first round among the top-ten likely picks. If the 2012 NFL Draft, was anything to by , then Smith could very well be unto something.
The fact of the matter was , in richness alone, the picks of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson panned out a great deal more than anyone could have expected , with regard to those particular choices, and for their respective teams. I am not about to suggest that this year’s crop of players will not live up to the expectations, but if anything , there has been more hyperbole over the likes of Johnny Manziel , Jadeveon Clowney , Blake Bortles , Teddy Bridgewater , A J McCarron and Sammy Watkins without anyone being absolutely sure, that these players can take the next step necessary in becoming accomplished players in the NFL. This NFL Draft is likely to produce a number of surprises from the standpoint, that the general managers , while making a number bold announcement statements, simply have no real idea , how things are likely to pan out, until the first five or six picks are made , as part of this whole draft process.
The NFL preseason kicks off the 2014 schedule , but those first four weeks of exhibition games , will grant the fans, of seeing some old and new faces by way of the free agents who have found new homes and the rookies looking to make a name for themselves , while forcing their way onto unto their teams’ roster. The New York Giants and Buffalo Bills will have the privilege of unveiling the 2014 season with the Hall of Fame game, which will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York on the 3rd August , 2014 . The death of Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson has led to the speculation that the family will now seek to several all ties with the franchise that Wilson has owned since the franchise’s start. It should be noted, that up until his death, Ralph Wilson was one of the longest tenured owners in the NFL’s history , as well as being one of its most respected voices. Now with the realization, that he will no longer be there , fans and analysts alike , will be looking to a new face to represent this franchise. Among interested parties, now wishing to own the franchise, it has been reported that real estate billionaire and television personality Donald Trump has made it clear , that he is indeed serious about buying the franchise and is willing to pay a substantial sum for the privilege of owning an NFL team. Second time around for the billionaire , after his brief and well chronicled career as an owner in the USFL .
Trump almost single-handed brought about the all too quick demise of that fledgling organization, with his all too bold and ambitious ideas , at a time when the NFL , was struggling to stay afloat. But for his impudence, all too bloated ego and wanting to challenge the league head on , the billionaire brought about the self-destruction of the USFL , with it having to declare bankruptcy. In the aftermath of it all, Trump still believes himself and his fellow owners to be the victors in a battle, that they never really stood a chance of winning , simply because the NFL was better organized and more business-like in their operations, because , the USFL would rather put on a show , with the level of football being played, not being on par with their adversary of the day.
If Donald Trump is granted ownership of the Buffalo Bills, having made a successful purchase of the franchise , it will be interesting to see what changes if any, are likely to be made. He has always, been known to be his own man, making the decisions that are not always said to be in the best interests of the parties involved. Yet, a shakeup is certainly needed within a Bills’ organization, that has not a postseason appearance in the NFL since 1999. Hard to believe, that it has been over twelve years, since that the franchise last tasted a postseason victory, let alone an appearance. Such have been the lean times for this organization , with a turnover in the coaching staff , that would have you believe that there was a turnstile in the head coach’s office.
Current Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone and his coaching staff coming off a 6-10 season, that found the team at the bottom of the AFC East division and will face a daunting task in 2014, with first having to step through the minefield known as the NFL Draft and then having to acclimatize himself with what is likely to be a newly revamped roster of veterans , rookies and holdovers from last year. With that in mind, his first duty will be to get players from this draft, while seeking use the time available during the preseason to be better acquainted with all of his players and to assess their value overall. It is by no mean an enviable task for the head coach or GM Doug Whaley , as they undertake, to right, what has been a rudderless vessel, over the past ten years. The disappointment of last year obviously did not sit well with the Bills’ fans or the team in general , but there now seems to be a sense of urgency within the organization , knowing that for many, with the advent of a change in ownership , things could very well be radically shaken up. However, before one can speculate , we have to deal with the reality of the here and now and that is , the team in its current guise, will have to be far more competitive than it was last season, on all fronts .
If the Buffalo Bills were said to have issues last season , then it had more to do with the fact, the team never found a consistent rhythm, all season long. For quarterback EJ Manuel , one hopes to see bigger strides made over the course of the season and certainly a great deal more efficiency and a cut-down in the number of fumbles and interceptions. The offense itself will be led by C J Spiller and Fred Jackson , will be bolstered by the addition of a rookie wide receiver if the rumored reports are anything to go by in terms of Doug Whaley’s immediate draft needs for the team. It is my own belief that , Whaley , the front office and coaching staff will approach this NFL Draft prudently, taking the best player available at the positions needed to make the Bills a more all-round competitive unit .
While one should not, place any emphasis, on the preseason , for some coaches, it does act as something of a guide , to the preparedness of their team for an arduous sixteen-game regular season schedule. It will be no different for the Buffalo Bills and their regular season schedule , where their encounters against divisional rivals, the Miami Dolphins , New England Patriots and New York Jets , whom they will meet twice over the course of their season, will tell undoubtedly tell us a great deal concerning the makeup of the team , as well as their encounters within the conference and out of conference games. . Buffalo will open up their week one schedule playing the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois , on the 7th September ,2014. That contest against Jay Cutler and his teammates should prove to be interesting , as Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman , looks to have his team ready to make an all-out assault on winning the NFC North . A task last achieved in 2010, when they won the division and went to the postseason that year , where their failure was truly exposed in exposed in the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers , a contest where we found out also , that Jay Cutler has no real taste for adversity or losing , never mind his complete lack of leadership skills , but he is the highest paid player in the NFL , by way of his contract .
While I believe Jay Cutler to be a moderate NFL quarterback , I do not consider him to be among the elite players within the league playing the position. Furthermore, in light of his postseason woes in 2010 , it simply showed a great deal more than anyone would have believed that quarterback was capable of , in terms of his lack of leadership and his unwillingness to accept that he played a major part in Bears’ loss to the Packers in that conference title game.
The Cleveland Browns and the Brandon Weeden ” era” with that franchise, quickly came to abrupt end , without the player or organization gaining anything tangible out the now ridiculous exercise. The fact of the matter was , Weeden was at the stage of his career, where his being drafted and then expecting to become a starting quarterback in the NFL , and still be treated as rookie, was as ridiculous a premise and that he was said to be a once promising player in the New York Yankees’ farm system . If he was unable to make it in baseball , it sure as hell, would not be as great a stretch to believe that the daunting task faced in the NFL would end up being a complete failure. Yet, there were those espousing the fact, as a starting quarterback in the league at the age of twenty-nine , would indeed find his niche and be an outright success . Weeden possessed, none of the traits, one would expect of a player coming into league at this late a stage , where bringing astute play ability would lead to success for the Cleveland Browns . Yet, somehow that was the belief of GM Tom Heckert and the team’s irascible owner Jimmy Haslam , who gambled and lost , when they drafted the quarterback in 2012. Weeden, now finds himself on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster , somewhere between a rock and a hard place in terms of determining his slot on the team’s depth chart for the position as a backup to staring incumbent , Tony Romo , whose playing days are almost certainly coming close to an end, given the recent events and his coming off a serious back surgery procedure. One more year of the rigors of the NFL schedule , is likely to curtail his career with the Cowboys, the only team he has ever played for the in the league.
With Brandon Weeden’s departure, the Cleveland Browns have somehow seen fit to give former Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Vince Young another chance to reignite his career in the NFL . Young , whose journey in the league, has been well chronicled made the preseason roster of the Green Bay Packers in 2013, only to be let go by GM Ted Thompson , who would then publicly apologize for what he now says was a major blunder on their part , in releasing Young after he showed a great deal of poise during the preseason . Some you win , some you lose and one might suggest, that given the Packers’ displays last season , the fact, that they failed so miserably . It would be easy to suggest, that Young could have perhaps brought a little more diversity to the team’s offense last year . Then again, if the Packers are said to be having little faith in Aaron Rodgers , hell must be freezing over or Rodgers , simply was not that good for much of the season for Green Bay. Care, to take a shot at answering that question, as it relates to the Superbowl winning quarterback ?
I believe that the Green Bay Packers will be one of the contending favorites within the NFC this season for the Superbowl , with the all likelihood of the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers being well-placed to now renew what has become one of the rivalries in the NFL of recent years .
For Vince Young, this may well be the last chance for the player to resurrect the last remnants of a career , that has failed to live up to the hype, after giving one of the most riveting performances ever seen in BCS national championship game. As a member of the Texas Longhorns’ team that beat the ” highly favored ” USC Trojans led by Pete Carroll and where Reggie Bush was simply seeking to add to what we would soon find out was a tarnished collegiate career , suborned by a great deal of deceit and lies , of which many believe that Carroll was not only a known participant , but may well have suborned much of the deceit, that took place on the campus , with then AD Mike Garrett , turning a blind eye to it all .
It is quite possible that Vince Young will see some playing time, during the preseason with the Cleveland Browns , to the likelihood of his making the team and the very fact, there still remains doubts concerning his maturity level at this stage of his career. The chances of the veteran being on board for the Browns’ opening regular season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers , could either prove to be a boon or a blessing for the still beleaguered quarterback. The financial outlay being made by the Browns, is not one that will join a great deal of dismay among fans of the NFL or analysts themselves, however , if Young , should prove to be an outright success , then you can bet that a number of the on air personalities will be looking to take some credit, by suggesting that they still believed that Vince Young still had the potential be a success in the NFL .
Quarterbacks are now deemed, the essential piece to any team, just like the centerpiece to a jigsaw puzzle is deemed to be the most important piece of a puzzle. Yet, without that vital cog, a team cannot do to the best of its ability or the puzzle will not be seen as a finished piece of work. In many ways, one could suggest that was the difference in some ways in the play of Russell Wilson and the elder veteran five-time League MVP quarterback Peyton Manning in last season’s Superbowl and the emphatic victory of the Seattle Seahawks over the now bewildered Denver Broncos. Any doubt, as to the clinical decisiveness of that win , can be determined by the result , 48-3 , in favor of the Seattle Seahawks. I would dare say, that if Peyton Manning had it to do all over again, that would not be the way that he would like to have seen another career-defining moment come to a crashing end against second-year quarterback, with barely any postseason experience outplay the more seasoned veterans and future Hall of Fame inductee in the NFL’s biggest showcase finale. In 2014 , may well be the last chance for Manning to make his way back to another playoff appearance and most certainly the chance for the Broncos to win their third Superbowl title , having made five postseason forays , with two title wins to the franchise’s, both when current team Head of Operations and its most famous player John Elway led the Denver Broncos to those memorable triumphs. Elway , himself , must be hoping that the present incumbent at the position can lead the franchise to another Superbowl appearance , but this time with a different outcome.
At this stage of his career, I truly believe that time might not now be on Peyton Manning’s side ! The chance to win was most certainly last season , when the team had the rest of the league at its mercy , unfortunately , for the Broncos the Hollywood script writers did not forward a copy of the script with the preordained ending, suggesting that the AFC West based franchise would be victorious. Instead, the Seattle Seahawks came in with their own rewrite and blew the dreams of the Broncos and their fans into smithereens u. The Broncos’ schedule affords them a chance of making the postseason , but I believe that even with the changes made to the team’s roster in comparison to last season , their chance of that repeat appearance does seem slim , but to discount Peyton Manning would be a dangerous thing to do, given the player’s eagerness to prove his detractors wrong. Something, that he has been able to do over the course of his famed career .
Picture gallery .
What thoughts, if any, do you have concerning the points raised within this article and how do you see the events of the NFL Draft playing out given the needs of a number of teams around the league this upcoming season ? Comments on this topic are more than welcomed and thanks as always for your continued support of this site and the insightful comments therein.
Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
(1) Houston Texans’ owner Robert ‘Bob’ McNair ,left, is seen here alongside team general manager Rick Smith , as they walk the sidelines at Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas , home to the AFC South domiciled NFL franchise . Smith suggests , that the franchise is amenable to trading down and forgoing the # 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft . The speculation has begun and though it seems unlikely , the feeling remains , that the general manager , if the right offer is made , would actually trade down and give up the number one overall pick . AP Photo / Gary Hughes …
(2) From left to right , Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson . All three players were part of the 2012 NFL Draft , of which the trio led their respective teams into the postseason in their first try as well-being productive in their rookie season . The Seahawks’ quarterback is the first player of the 2012 quarterbacks class to have led his team to a Superbowl appearance , with Seattle’s 48-3 trouncing of the Denver Broncos being one of the biggest highlights of the NFL season in 2012 . Getty Images / Philip Raoux …..
(3) The late Ralph Wilson , former owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Wilson’s family is now said to be willing to divest themselves of the ownership of the franchise , which has been in their tenure since the franchise’s start . Billionaire real estate tycoon and television personality Donald Trump is said to be showing a keen interest in buying the NFL franchise. No timetable has yet been set for the proposed sale , it is believed , Trump is willing to pay in excess of $1 billion for the privilege to own the NFL team. A far cry from his experiences in the defunct USFL , during which he was an owner of one of the franchises in that particular league . Getty Images North America / Steve Davis ……
(4) The often controversial and self publicizing billionaire Donald Trump , who is said to be keen to succeed the late Ralph Wilson as the new owner of the Buffalo Bills. There are said to be several interested partners willing to buy the team from Wilson’s family , with the obvious league hierarchy approval being the final obstacle to either deter or approve such a deal . AP Photo / Chris Howard …..
(5) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) great each other after their NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 23-20 in overtime. Formerly adversaries , the two will become teammates in 2014 , with Weeden being the backup to the Cowboys’ starting quarterback . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman ……
(6) Vince Young (10) of the Cleveland Browns is seen here during a mini-camp session , where the veteran will be seeking to impress the Browns’ coaching staff and head coach Mike Pettine with his understanding of the offense while seeking to be part of the team’s lineup for the upcoming NFL season . AP Photo / Matt Archer …..
(7) Denver Broncos’ owner , Pat Bowlen , Peyton Manning and the team’s Head of Football Operations John Elway , himself a former player and Superbowl winning quarterback with the franchise. This season the Broncos’ front office will be hoping that Manning can lead the team back to the postseason and make an attempt winning the Superbowl. Something not achieved by the franchise since the 1998 NFL season , where they won Superbowl XXXIII (SB33) defeating the Atlanta Falcons in a lopsided victory 34-19 . AP Photo / Mike Mitchell ………….
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