5 Down – Players who did not play well on Saturday
Da’Norris Searcy, Justin Rogers and Aaron Williams
It is too difficult to place my finger on who exactly was the worst defensive back on Saturday. The defensive backs were so awful on Saturday, I could not choose just one.
Safety Da’Norris Searcy, for my money, could have easily landed a spot on this list for the third straight week. Personally, after watching the play of Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks in the second half, I would be fine if Searcy were cut from the roster. He is a liability in coverage, and every team the Bills play would target him. He is just not up to the job.
I have never understood the love that many Bills fans have for Justin Rogers. The oft-injured cornerback from Richmond has done very little to impress since his rookie year. His return to the Bills lineup Saturday was horrendous.
The Bills may be obligated to keep Rogers, considering the depth that they have in the secondary. Perhaps he clings to this roster because of some decent rookie year plays, but he is injured frequently and I just don’t understand the commitment to his talent. It should be time to move on from Justin Rogers.
Aaron Williams had a down day on Saturday as well. A play that really stuck out for me when reviewing the film was Williams getting absolutely trucked by a Redskins fullback on a Pat White touchdown run. Williams was also caught horribly out of position on a Fred Davis completion. He missed Santana Moss on a play as well that led to a big gain. He has had a good camp, but did not shine Saturday.
The Bills looked like they were totally out-coached on Saturday. I question head coach Doug Marrone’s decision to play Spiller as long as he did. I question the perceived notion of discipline that Marrone supposedly runs a tighter ship that his predecessors. The Bills have shown an alarming lack of discipline when it comes to mistakes and penalties over the last two preseason games.
I question the Bills’ use of the no-huddle hurry-up offense throughout the second half, when the team was unable to generate a single first down. The no-huddle offense might be effective when you are able to sustain drives and can catch your opponent on the field without the proper personnel, but it is not effective if the only thing it can accomplish is exhausting your defense.
In a game where the Bills had their butt handed to them in a hat, it may have been a bit more prudent to slow things down and take their time in the huddle to gather themselves and perhaps string a drive together. As a rookie quarterback, Jeff Tuel would likely have appreciated the extra time to think. The offense was not working, and the coaches made no adjustments to try and get it back on track. The stubbornness to refuse to change in the face of adversity shows a lack of maturity from the coaching staff.
The numbers speak for themselves. The Redskins were able to run for a total of 208 yards and averaged more than five yards per rush. Those numbers represent little change over the defense of 2012. Nigel Bradham had a bad day at the office on Saturday and was outplayed by rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Most of Bradham’s error occurred at the point of attack. He whiffed on at least four tackles. Tackling is a fundamental that needs to be perfected at this level. Bradham was in position to make plays and simply did not. Once he misses his responsibility, others have to compensate. While compensating for Bradham last night, the Bills’ defensive front seven was knifed through by Redskins running back.
Flash forwarding to the Bills’ preseason opener versus the New England Patriots, Bradham and the entire Bills’ front seven will have to play better as a unit. They will especially have to work on their ability to stop the cutback run, as they seem to overpursue to a fault.
Kevin Kolb has had every opportunity to win the starting quarterback job. In short, he has failed. As has been the case throughout his career, he cannot seem to stay healthy. From slipping on a mat at training camp to receiving a blow to the head by a London Fletcher knee Saturday night, Kolb’s career has been a highlight of one injury after another.
This stint in Buffalo could quite easily be Kolb’s last, at least as a legitimate contender for a starting quarterback job. He is demonstrating to other teams around the league that it should be. Who will want to take a chance on Kolb? If Kolb is injured throughout the course of this season, Manuel will receive the starting quarterback job by default. In another opportunity to shine, Kolb has shown why he has never been a legitimate starter in this league. He is too susceptible to injury.
Popular fiction claims that when the ostrich is threatened by a predator, it will bury is head in the sand. This, in fact, is a myth: the ostrich will only hide its head in the hopes that the attacking predator will not see him. The ostrich operates under the silly assumption that if he cannot see the predator, the predator cannot see him.
The Buffalo Bills are acting like an ostrich when it comes to their major issue at left guard. Colin Brown, while he may have separated from Doug Legursky, is in no way a suitable replacement for the departed Andy Levitre. He is a liability in pass protection and gave up a very big sack on Saturday. His run blocking leaves much to be desired. He is a big man who needs to play bigger on Sundays.
It appears as if the Bills are prepared to hide their heads near the ground at the position of left guard and hope that professional coaches around the NFL won’t notice. I do not think I have to tell our educated readers how the ostrich usually makes out when it resorts to hiding. The Bills should suffer a similar fate at the left guard position, as there are no potential answers on the horizon other than combing through other teams’ cuts and practice squad designates.
I deliberately waited a day to write this article: initial thoughts both during and shortly after Saturday’s game were much more extreme. As a Bills fan, I was crestfallen at the team’s effort on Saturday. I have been accused at times of being a “homer” and drinking the occasional shot of One Bills Drive Kool-Aid, but Saturday’s game made me take a long sobering look at the state of this franchise.
In what is commonly thought of as a dress rehearsal for the regular season, the Bills looked like they had some actors parading around as NFL football players. The defense looked porous and showed little improvement from last year in regards to stopping the run.
Buffalo was picked apart by Rex Grossman and Pat White. Read that sentence again. I remember watching Buffalo demolish the Redskins a few short years ago in Toronto, and thought that these two franchises were heading in different directions. I was wrong as to who was going where.
Saturday left me with too many question marks that cannot be answered by a meaningless game versus the Lions on Thursday. While there are some reasons to be upbeat and excited about this year’s version of the Buffalo Bills, I feel that the results will be few and that the Bills will be looking to answer more questions via the NFL Draft.
Perhaps Thursday’s game can get me out of the funk that I am in, but for now I have no other emotion but sadness and gloom when I think about what the near future has in store for my beloved Buffalo Bills. I pray that this game will not be a flash forward of events to come.
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Tags: 5 Up 5 Down, Aaron Williams, Buffalo Bills, Colin Brown, Da'Norris Searcy, Disappointments, Doug Marrone, Duke Williams, Game Reviews, Justin Rogers, Kevin Kolb, Kiko Alonso, Marcell Dareus, Nigel Bradham, Preseason, Shawn Powell, Torell Troup, Washington Redskins