From the Ground Up

By Chris

I’ve never been a fan of the tanking philosophy. Sure it may make your team better over the long haul, but it just seems wrong to want your team to lose games.

It seems that the Bills have finally realized that enough is enough. We know they haven’t made the playoffs in a decade and that during that span, they’ve never really been bad enough to “earn” a top pick. They haven’t picked in the Top 5 since 2002 when they swung and missed on Big Mike Williams.

In fact, until CJ Spiller this past draft, Williams and 2006 eighth overall pick Donte Whitner were the only Bills draft picks in the Top 10 since 1987.

For comparison, the Detroit Lions have picked in the Top 10 in eight of the last nine drafts. Five of those picks were in the Top 3. The Bills aren’t quite “Lions Bad,” but it’s looking like Detroit is on pace to make the playoffs before Buffalo ever will.

At least the Bills are finally done kidding themselves.

Cutting ties with players like James Hardy, Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch are positive signs. Really, they are. Buddy Nix and Co. are evaluating the roster and if a player can’t help them down the line, then there’s really no point in keeping him around.

Now this still doesn’t explain the Chris Kelsay extension, but I’m not sure we’ll ever really understand that decision.

Most of the moves, however, show that the Bills are done being mediocre and will settle with being ridiculously bad in order to score big in the draft. Unfortunately, right now, the Bills are worse than ridiculously bad — they’re borderline unwatchable.

Sunday’s loss to the Jets was one of the worst losses in recent memory, and there have been a lot of them. The team was flat, couldn’t move the ball on offense and couldn’t get off the field on defense.

You know there’s at least one problem when Ryan Fitzpatrick is the team’s leading rusher. That problem also makes Marshawn Lynch expendable.

So now that the team is dumping roster players left and right, there’s a natural progression to the topic of interest. No matter what you read, what you listen to or who you talk to, it’s all about the Quarterback Class of 2011. If the Bills are in a position to draft Andrew Luck, Ryan Mallett or Jake Locker and don’t, then the franchise deserves all of the ill will directed towards it.

It’s sad that what happens on Saturday is far more interesting and important than the games played on Sunday, but that’s the reality we’re faced with. The Bills are officially “rebillding” (Russ Brandon should pay Mike Cline, Jr. for coming up with that slogan) and, believe it or not, things are probably going to get worse before they get better.

With that in mind, I’ll keep rooting for wins, but it is better for the team to lose now. Chances are they’ll have to be almost just as bad next year, so the term “now” can be used pretty loosely. All this, of course, depends on the front office making the right decisions with personnel. If they wind up with a Top Four pick and end up with a Mike Williams-sized gaffe, then this would all be for nothing.

And that’s always a comforting thought.


  1. Nice. I don’t get the Kelsay deal either… I’m not sure anybody does. You tagged the piece under Andrew Luck, but called him Ryan in the story.