By Jordan Wevers @JordanWevers on July 31, 2014
The Bills are coming off a 6-10 campaign in 2013-14 that was full of youth. Both their starting quarterback and middle linebacker were rookies, and there is always a tough learning curve from college to the pros. Here's a guesstimate as to what's in store for the often forgotten about NFL franchise hailing from the Empire State before or after training camp this year.
Rumblings for some time have been that real estate magnate Donald Trump was looking to purchase the Bills. Billionaire Terry Pegula, who also owns the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, recently bid $ 1.3 billion for the franchise. Given that the Bills are a small-market NFL team, that is an extremely large figure. The Bills were founded by Ralph Wilson Jr. in 1960, who sadly passed away in March. They have never been under any other ownership.
Despite losing MLB Kiko Alonso to a torn ACL, one-year signee Brandon Spikes should slide nicely into the position and a leadership role for the Bills' defense. The D was a top 10 unit last year, with all four of their Pro Bowlers (Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jairus Byrd) being from the defensive side of the ball. Byrd is gone, but the group has a strong core and a good mix of youth as well as experience.
Not a vast improvement, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. A .500 wining percentage is better than four games below .500. The Bills' defense will keep them in plenty of ball games, but the offense is too inexperienced to gel completely for a playoff run.
He has not lived up to the hype yet, but it is time for Fred Jackson to be relegated to situational and backup duties. Spiller is too dynamic a player for Bills OC Nathaniel Hackett to not give him 20-plus touches per game on a regular basis.
Unless a true dark horse emerges, the competition shouldn't be that stiff. Bortles is not expected to start and has a questionable squad supporting him. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks could have nice years, but Watkins is more pro-ready than both of them. His sophomore QB will be very eager to get him as many targets as possible in games as well. Manziel is in for a rude awakening in the NFL, if he even wins the job, that is.
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