The Buffalo Bills had a brief string of success when Doug Flutie was reborn in the NFL a decade ago. But before and since then, all Bills fans could think about was who the next Jim Kelly would be – or if there would ever be one at all.
That question led the Bills down a myriad of disappointing paths – paths that took Buffalo to the likes of J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards and most recently, Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, those paths brought the Bills nothing but mediocre and ultimate sadness. Their latest run-in with “being okay” lead to heads rolling. That means the front office saw a shuffle, Fitzpatrick got cut, and head coach Chad Gailey got the axe.
Despite some minor progress, the Bills as Buffalo fans knew them were virtually no more. Entered new rookie head coach Doug Marrone and the drafting of “his guy”, quarterback E.J. Manuel, and suddenly a chance at the Bills being reborn came to fruition.
At least, that’s the possibility that lies ahead. Manuel is Marrone’s hand-picked prodigy and he boasts elite size, arm strength and athleticism, but he’s also raw as heck and lacks great fundamentals. That’s what stop-gap veteran passer Kevin Kolb is for though, to hopefully help the Bills compete in 2013, while also showing Manuel the way.
The good news there is that neither Kolb or Manuel (we don’t know who will start yet) is a major downgrade from the erratic Fitzpatrick. The bad news, however, is that neither is a certain upgrade, either.
So, while the Bills were riding into 2012 with an improved defense and an excellent rushing attack on offense a year ago, they’ll now trudge into 2013 with rough 125/1 Super Bowl odds.
That doesn’t mean all is lost for Bills fans. It just means it’s more likely than not that they’ll have to give this new regime more than one year to put it all together.