Dang, general managers are so cold. An utter lack of emotional attachment is crucial for successful franchises. The Spock-like willingness to rise above emotion and discard a player who isn’t contributing separates those in the business from the emotional Kirks in the stands. The nerdy battle for balance is the ultimate challenge in a sport where getting pumped up is a prerequisite for on-field success.
Disregarding affection is necessary when altering a club’s DNA. The Buffalo Bills are exposing themselves to gamma rays in the quest to become superheroes. The club’s willingness to move on will prove especially valuable during training camp. Some unexpected players will realize how dedicated their former employer is to changing everything.
Nothing embodies a heartless breakup like the March move that will determine how autumn goes. Sending away Kiko is the result of the most severe look at benefits and drawbacks possible. Only a professional could pull that trigger without shaking. It’s hard to imagine any random fan who was appointed general manager for a day sending off someone whose play inspired visceral admiration. Those who make money in football block out cheering.
Meanwhile, partnering with LeSean McCoy meant letting C.J. Spiller waltz to a new team. His draft position was deemed irrelevant. This office didn’t feel the need to wring value from that pick. Instead of pursuing consistency with Spiller, the franchise cut their losses and moved to Shady. By coincidence, the new starter takes the present Saint’s job. Football experts say having the proper number of players at each position is an important part of the job. Seeking improvement despite already possessing talent requires more advanced skill. But the risk is what makes it fun.
Personnel decisions are made by men who don’t own jerseys. Trust those wearing ties or team-issued polos to make necessary transactions. Memories are for fans, as staffers look ahead to see who can create more pleasant moments to embrace for those in the stands. Fond reminiscences of gutsy plays aren’t going to help this year if the figurative player in question has declined enough that he can’t make them anymore.
Besides, the sobering fact is that hard work alone hasn’t benefitted the Bills that much. Maintaining maudlin attachment can skewer the decision-making process, especially when it involves starters for a team that’s made a habit of missing the playoffs. Nice guys will lose their jobs by camp’s end. Amity alone doesn’t win games.
Even players with sentimental value must keep making a practical impact. As for everyone’s favorite Bill, Fred Jackson’s value lies in how many yards he can will himself to gain in 2015, not his determination expressed in past seasons. Jackson’ natural zeal for his job paired with the ability to bruise at speed are why he deserves a spot, not nostalgia. The uproar over the possibility that he’d taken his last handoff was understandable; I was preparing torches myself. But earning a roster spot will be a byproduct of continuing to produce at a high level regardless of him endearingly doing it previously.
Tough decisions lie ahead for managerial hitmen. A bold answer to the quarterback question could result in a prominent name being shown the door. We may also be shocked by some wide receivers who are out of work on cut day. It’s always hard to part with anyone knowing it dashes that athlete’s personal goals. But dreamers should take care to reel in enough footballs if they want them to come true.
The harshness of paring is brutal enough to watch as a fan. Having to actually deliver the news seems like it would take cyborg levels of indifference to feelings. Those on the outside are accustomed to living vicariously through athletes capable of nearly superhuman feats. By contrast, it takes remorseless analysis to assemble a team that impresses fans. Spare a thought for the guys who make cheering possible.
The rapidity of this team’s stark transition continues to amaze. And there are still games ahead if anyone’s forgotten. More alterations are undoubtedly on the horizon. After all, a guy who jumps out of planes isn’t going to feel wishy-washy about roster cuts. A coach with no prior attachment to most of these players will do what’s necessary. Rex Ryan is known for being adored by his players. But some of them won’t be on his roster by September. He’s here to win football games, not make pals. Friendship is easier with 10 wins, anyway. I’d find him charming either way.
By sheer coincidence, people want to hang around with the successful. Turning away bandwagon-jumpers is one fun result of abandoning a sputtering old ride on the shoulder. People who want to join late are going to have to get in a long line. This staff already has practice at sending people on their way. Those banished from Ralph Wilson Stadium’s locker room can at least look forward to careers with other teams or in their areas of college study.
Those whose services are no longer needed should know it’s nothing personal. It may hurt to be told to leave. But some couples may be happier apart. Frankly, the Bills don’t care about those sent away once their lockers are cleared. The fundamental changes will continue through the preparation period. Like McCoy cutting where the holes take him, changing direction is just what the Bills do now.