By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on June 20, 2014
As the Buffalo Bills prepare for one of the most important seasons in recent memory, they have a great deal of confidence and optimism. Despite having a young roster, there is also a good deal of talent. However, the Bills must also answer several big questions in training camp if they are to make good on all of the expectations being placed on them this season.
Williams, acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, is an extremely talented receiver who has also had his fair share of personal issues. Unfortunately, his talent has yet to show on the field, as he was unimpressive in minicamp. There is even speculation that Williams might not make the 53-man roster. While it would be silly for the Bills to give up so quickly on such a talented player, Williams needs to show a lot more.
Despite missing the playoffs in 2013, the Bills had one of the NFL’s best defenses. Former coordinator Mike Pettine left to take the head coaching job in Cleveland, replaced by former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. While the majority of the Bills’ defense returns intact, it remains to be seen how well they will be able to adapt to the type of defense Schwartz wants to employ, especially after finding so much success under Pettine.
Few players on Buffalo’s roster will be under as much scrutiny as the Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Following an offseason full of bad behavior (a drug-related arrest and a late-night drag race), Dareus needs to prove to the team that his antics haven’t affected his play. Dareus is seriously testing the Bills’ patience, and his play had better be at the level it was last year or he may not have long in Buffalo.
Rookie wide receivers do not have the best track record, but that won't matter much to Bills fans and management when it comes to their star first-round pick. The Bills gave up a whole lot to get Watkins, and he will be expected to be an impact player from the first snap of the season. Watkins has shown good stuff in minicamp, but he will need to improve throughout training camp if he wants to be the player the Bills hope he is.
Coming off of a frustrating rookie season, the Bills did everything they could to surround their young quarterback with all the weapons he needs to succeed: they drafted Sammy Watkins, acquired Mike Williams and revamped their offensive line. The rest is on Manuel’s shoulders. He has looked good so far this offseason, but he needs to be better than good if he wants to show that he is ready to be the franchise quarterback the Bills think he is.
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