As the NBA Championship gets ready to tip-off tonight and the puck drops for the Stanley Cup tomorrow, most sports fans are given a nice distraction from the harsh reality that the NFL regular season is slated to start 100 days from today. June 3rdmarks what could be the beginning of the end of the 2011 season when the owners and players present their respective cases to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to determine whether or not the lockout should be lifted. The general belief is that the Court will favor on the side of the owners and the lockout will be upheld which means it will be up to the players and owners to iron out a deal in the coming months for the season to kick off on time.
Archive for May, 2011
Alright this may have taken a lot longer that I would’ve liked but welcome back to the return of Bleed Buffalo. For your reading pleasure I’ve done a pick-by-pick recap of the Buffalo Bills’ 2011 NFL draft, analyzing each drafted player while adding other options that were available for the Bills with each pick. Enjoy!
First Round (3rd Overall): Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama– Dareus is the Bills safest first round pick since the team drafted Antoine Winfield in the 1999 draft. Not only does he address a need but he is arguably the most NFL-ready player in this draft. Dareus is a beast on the interior, with the ability to play any position along the Bills 3-4 defensive front. Playing in a 3-4 throughout his college career at Alabama, Dareus played every position on the line and was a dominating force against the run with enough agility to get after the quarterback. He’s the highest defensive linemen selection since the Bills chose Bruce Smith first overall in the 1985 draft and like Smith should start from day one. Dareus and Williams should form a dominating interior one-two punch for years to come.
Other Possible Selections: None, Dareus was number two on the Bills draft board behind Cam Newton and thank god the Panthers took that option away from them. (more…)
I apologize for the hiatus, but it’s been a hectic past few months. In our absence here at the site a lot has taken place with both of the local teams and this article is an attempt to give my thoughts on what has transpired.
I’ll start on the ice where the Sabres capped off one of the most enjoyable seasons in team history. Playoffs aside, the way Buffalo competed in the second half of the season brought back memories of the 2006 playoff run. Oh and that Terry Pegula guy kind of added some intrigue to the team. The Sabres went into the playoffs battled tested and with a renewed energy, but they couldn’t finish off Philadelphia. On paper, the Flyers were the much better team, but it didn’t show throughout most of the first six games of the series. Tired and beat up, Buffalo fell apart in Game 7 and that was all she wrote for the 2010-11 season. The final game didn’t sour my thoughts on the past season and if anything it has started my dreaming for the offseason ahead.
For the first time since I’ve been a Sabres’ fan I can look forward to July and that is all thanks to Pegula and his regime. I don’t think you could have drawn up a more perfect owner for Buffalo and I look forward to the changes that lie ahead. The Sabres need to do some tweaking to their lineup, but I don’t anticipate several major moves because of the salary cap. I know a lot of people are clamoring for a few big names to be added to the roster, but I don’t see it possible unless Buffalo can find a taker for some of its bigger money players. Paul Hamilton summed this point up great Friday on WGR550.com.
The Sabres are no longer the only team in town that looks like they know what they’re doing! Yes that other team I’m talking about is the Buffalo Bills. Between its successful draft and the reshuffling of its scouting department it seems as if Buffalo finally gets it. The Bills were flat out horrible on defense last season and instead of reaching for a quarterback with the third pick in the draft they selected arguably the best defensive player. Marcell Dareus will start from day one and help sure up the NFL’s worst run defense. The Bills didn’t stop with Dareus, they selected six more defensive players in hopes to improve the depth on that side of the ball.
I can’t tell you how much I loved the fact that the Bills didn’t reach for a quarterback in the draft. Buffalo had its sights set on Cam Newton and once he was taken No. 1 by Carolina a signal caller was no longer in its plans. Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey want a franchise guy and after Newton they realized that none of the other quarterbacks had that appeal. So instead of reaching for one they will sign a veteran to back-up Ryan Fitzpatrick and look to fill that need in the much deeper 2012 quarterback draft class. Listen, I know Fitzpatrick is not the long term answer at quarterback, but I can definitely sit through another season or two with him as the starter. He has the respect of all his teammates and he’s not afraid to sling the ball around. When we do draft an elite quarterback I hope Fitzpatrick is still around because I wouldn’t want anyone else to be the back-up.
The future looks bright for the Bills and Sabres and this summer/fall should be a fun time around Buffalo. The Sabres should be plenty busy in the upcoming months and hopefully the NFL lockout ends soon so we can get a look at some of the Bills’ rookies. For now we can sit back, enjoy the ride and as Terrell Owens said “get your popcorn ready.”
(Check back weekly we will continue writing material throughout the summer on a variety of sports topics)