Off Season Review Part 1 Keith’s Grades


Offseason Review Part 1 1. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Grade: (A-) – Young experienced quarterback, won't rock the boat for starting job, fits in well with young team. At the time of this signing, people were critical, but as the offseason continues I think you will see how good a fit this was. Fitzpatrick is good enough to step in if needed, but hopefully it won't come to that. 2. Geoff Hangartner – Grade: (D+) - Solid replacement for Duke Preston, scored a 47 on the Wonderlic Test (out of possible 50), has played all positions on the offensive line and can provide some versatility. I think Geoff is a slight upgrade from Preston even though he wasn't listed as a starter for the Panthers. The Bills are selling him as the new starting center and I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, however I would still like to see more focus here. I would have liked to see the Bills make some plays after some of the bigger name free agents, especially with Jason Peters' negotiations seemingly not going as planned. 3. Drayton Florence – Grade: (B-) - Fiery, speedy, strong, hard-hitting cornerback, plays with a lot of emotion, fined $15,000 for a blind-side on Matt Schaub (I've always thought that never proves anything) on an interception return. Also cost the Chargers a win against New England in the 2007 AFC Divisional Playoffs, called for personal foul after head-butting a Patriots player on a 3rd and long, resulted in a first down and Patriots ended up kicking a field goal to win. He started the first 4 games last season for Jacksonville after working his way from a nickel-corner and was then moved back to the 3rd corner spot after poor performances. Still has a lot of upside, could be an upgrade in replacement of Jabari Greer if he stays focused. Maybe the team and defense could play off his intensity? 4. Justin Jenkins – Grade: (B) - Good receiver, hasn't gotten enough looks in Buffalo. Even though I'm a Justin Jenkins fan for obvious reasons, I'm confused with this signing since the Bills already have Steve Johnson, James Hardy, Roscoe Parrish, Josh Reed, Lee Evans and now Terrell Owens ahead of him. The Bills have a total of 11 receivers and 7 of those are good enough to be in rotation on the active roster. 5. John DiGiorgio – Grade: (B+) – Good solid backup linebacker, has exceptionally played well when called on to fill in. Could be a starter on many other teams. 6. Keith Ellison – Grade: (B-) - Good for the Bills to bring back. Has continued to grow into his own, this year should be big for him. 7. George Wilson – Grade: (A+) - Good solid backup, has played well when having to fill in for starters. Plays with great speed and vision, great tackler. Has continued to make a name in Buffalo. Provides a lot of depth in the secondary for the Bills. 8. Fred Jackson – Grade: (A+) - Even though he got a tender, it gives the Bills a lot of time to start talking about his contract status after the 2009 season. Fred is a valuable backup and has filled in very well when Lynch goes out. He could be a starter for many teams and may be for the Bills if Lynch finds himself in more trouble. It's a change of pace, but Jackson still runs comparably just as hard as Lynch between the tackles. He's not just a speedy back, he's an all-around back, and could be an every down back. 9. Corey McIntyre – Grade: (B) - Paved the way for considerably one of the best runningback tandems in the league last year (Lynch/Jackson). Isn't used a lot, but is an effective all around blocker when needed. Also does well catching out of the backfield although not much use since the Bills have Lynch and Jackson. 10. Terrell Owens – Grade: (N/A) - Like it or not, this move will define the Bills for the next 4-5 years. If it doesn't work out well and the Bills don't do better than 7-9, then it's extremely likely Dick Jauron is out, as well as some notable top level front office executives, and the Bills will have wasted the past 3 seasons. But the most interesting concern that this depends on is whether or not Owens will mesh with the rest of the team. Owens may be up there in age but he's even more up there in play-making ability. And if he continues to stay in phenomenal shape he could make another 5 years putting up good numbers. There's no big personalities on the team for Owens to clash with which makes one assume he could mesh well. However, it could be just as easy to predict him to clash with front office personnel instead. Overall Offense = (B-) Bills got lazy with the offensive line, again. Defense = (C) Hopefully they'll go for defensive line improvement in the draft.