By Justin LaDuca
Hey everyone, I’m back! I apologize its been awhile since my last article, I’ve been pretty busy.
Well then, in case some of you haven’t noticed, the Buffalo Bills have been making a lot of noise in the NFL Offseason. It all started when two weeks ago, the Bills traded linebacker, Kiko Alonso, to the Philadelphia Eagles for all-pro running back, LeSean McCoy. This trade really set the tone for the “Pegula Era” in Buffalo, in that the new regime of Rex Ryan, Doug Whaley, Russ Brandon and the Pegulas want the Bills to be a fierce contender in the National Football League.
This was a blockbuster trade that shocked a lot of people, including myself. Now, I did really like Kiko. He was a great linebacker that played all over the field. He was a tackling machine. However, last season the Bills’ offense was one of the worst in the league. Even our run game ,which has been quite strong the past few years, seemed to take a huge dip downwards.
LeSean McCoy is a true versatile back that can create game changing plays on the ground and in the air. He also leads all NFL running backs, throughout the past five seasons, in total rushing yards. Buffalo really needed offensive help and they certainly got it. Yes, we did lose CJ Spiller, but McCoy is a better version of CJ that has proven himself more over the years.
Not only did the Bills trade for an elite running back, but they also signed speedy wideout Percy Harvin. Harvin is a great slot receiver. You can give this guy end-arounds, screen passes, short passes, and you can even throw long to him.
Since this season it seems like Buffalo is relying on short throws on offense with no set quarterback, this is the perfect receiver for the job. He can also be very effective on special teams, returning kick-offs and punts. Now throw in Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan, and you have yourself a young and talented receiving corps. Harvin does have some character issues, but hopefully Rex will put him in his place.
Buffalo got Harvin for a great value and he should definitely pay off from the talent of the other receivers around him. Harvin may find himself in many one-on-one situations with slower linebackers in the middle of the field, in which he can hopefully find himself at an advantage using his speed in the slot.
Finally, the Bills finished up their offseason spending spree by signing tight end, Charles Clay, from the Miami Dolphins. Clay entered the league in 2011 and had a breakout year in 2013, with 69 receptions, 759 yards and 6 touchdowns. Last season he decreased slightly in the stats department, but not by much. In 2014, Clay had 58 receptions, 605 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Clay gives the Bills true athleticism at the tight end position. He plays like a wide receiver. He’s pretty fast for a tight end and has made some highlight reel plays throughout his career. However, despite Clay, the Bills really need to beef up their tight end depth in the upcoming draft. Buffalo really doesn’t have an established tight end on the depth chart after Clay. Greg Roman, the offensive coordinator, has been known to use two tight end sets on offense, so it will be interesting to see what the Bills do here in this situation.
All in all, the Buffalo Bills organization is creating a lot of hype in Western New York. With such a crazy offseason, its not hard to be pumped up for Bills’ football in 2015. A 9-7 team from last year is poised to make a playoff run. With an established elite young defense and new faces on offense, this team has improved a ton. Yes, the quarterback position is up in the air, but hopefully the new arrivals of McCoy, Harvin and Clay can take the pressure off of whoever the signal call may be. All I can say is…get ready for an exciting year ahead.