Now That Kiko Is Done For Year, Where Do The Bills Go From Here?

Photo via Kirby Lee/Image of Sport

We lost Ralph Wilson Earlier This Year -Photo via Kirby Lee/Image of Sport

Jim Kelly with Chris Berman - Via Erin Kelly's Instagram

Jim Kelly with Chris Berman – Via Erin Kelly’s Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a rough 2014 so far for us Bills fans… Jim Kelly’s cancer returning and his courageous fight, Ralph Wilson passing away placing the franchise’s future in turmoil, our amazing defensive coordinator who helped set a franchise sack record gone after just 1 year… And now, as most of you already know, Kiko Alonso tore an ACL during offseason workouts and is pretty much done for the year (Read Whaley’s News Release here). Go ahead, take a deep breath, and scream REALLY LOUD, WHY CAN’T THE BILLS CATCH A BREAK! It’s easy to unlock the briefcase, go to DEFCON 1, and hit the button sending a plethora of armed nuclear missiles straight for our hopes for the 2014 Season… After all, it’s always something with these darn Bills. The stretch from 1999 to the present hasn’t been kind to our team.

KIKO! - Via The Buffalo News

KIKO! – Via The Buffalo News

It’s been 15 years since our last playoff Appearance and the whole Doug Flutie / Rob Johnson debacle… Do we “Dance with the girl who brought you”? One starts to wonder… If only there was a time machine. It’s been 10 years since our last winning season in which we couldn’t beat the Steelers’ 3rd stringers…Wait… See what happened there? Like I said, it’s easy to start looking for the emergency exits from the Bills Covered Stage Coach Wagon when news like this breaks… Even though we lost a young Linebacker, who was thought of as a possible Rookie of the Year last year, one whom all of us were dying to see what he could do in his second year, I personally don’t think the Bills are in bad shape… OK… Stop with the dirty looks and “Oh COME ON man! Are you serious! This season is OVER comments! First let me explain… Let’s start with the biggest reason… The Bills have Depth! Yes, that’s right, I said it. For the first time in a LONG time the Bills have depth and we saw that last year with all the injuries and guess what? We have actually added to that depth this offseason. Something else to consider is that the Bills are moving from a 3-4 hybrid blitzing defense in which Kiko played in the middle and QB’d the defense to a more ordinary 4-3 defense in which Kiko was moving from inside to outside LB and passing the Mike responsibilities to Spikes. The change in position could have caused a regression. Not to mention, when teams go 3 or 4 wide, that moves the Bills to a Nickel or Dime package, which may not have included Alonso.

Keith Rivers Will Need To Step Up! - Photo Via The Buffalo News

Keith Rivers Will Need To Step Up! – Photo Via The Buffalo News

The Bills also got a lot stronger in the LB position with the signing of Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers. Factor in Manny Lawson, Nigel Bradham (Now in his 3rd year), and Rookie Preston Brown (who’s 6’2 260), and we see that the Bills have come a long way since the days of Coy Wire, Bryan Scott and Chris White playing as LB’s. I personally think Rivers and Brown will take over, and I’m very interested to see Brown. He might be this year’s version of Kiko Alonso and surprise people. Lastly, remember Jerry Hughes? He can play outside LB; I don’t see the Bills strictly using him as the opposite DE to Mario Williams the entire season. I know I’m going to take some heat for this statement but remember the second half of last season? Do you remember any Kiko highlights past week 6?? He kind of disappeared when the rest of the defense was healthy and returned. He ended up with a lot of tackles (159 I believe), but most of them were assists. I think Bills fans have a way of only remembering the good, and the first six weeks when things looked bleak with the injuries and we were starting Justin Rogers at CB, Kiko was a surprising star! I mean look what people did to get his Jersey! Hey oh! Ahem.. Anyways.. Lastly, I believe the Offense comes around this year. We bulked up on the offensive line. We’ve added an amazing Rookie talent at WR. Tony Moeaki is an Intriguing prospect at TE if he can stay healthy and we have a tough back field. Look at the pickups in Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon, and we still have the Infredible Fred Jackson and Electrifying CJ Spiller! What’s not to love there? I think Hackett will take some lessons from how Chan Gailey used Spiller and our running game will explode! That should help Manuel tremendously this year and take the pressure off of him allowing him to progress throughout the year as long as he can stay healthy. See, things don’t seem so bad now right? I mean I didn’t even touch on Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams, Aaron Williams at Safety, a healthy Gilmore in his 3rd yr with Chris Williams playing across from him… The more I’m typing, the more excited I’m getting for the 2014 season. Sure I’m disappointed not being able to see Kiko out there and watch his progression, but sometimes that’s how it goes. So LET’s GO BUFFALO’s original 12th man!! Stay on the Wagon, pile on the wagon! Steal other wagons in order to join the thundering herd of wagons. Tie yourself to the side if there’s no room on the wagons, because come football Sundays “where would you rather be than right here right now!”

Jason Sinsabaugh

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