Bills’ roster basically assembled, now what?

Photo of QB Nathan Peterman from CBSsports.com.

McBeane didn’t give us enough time to process whatever happened last Thursday in Chicago before trading AJ McCarron to the Raiders for a fifth-round draft pick in 2019. OK then.  I probably shouldn’t complain, given the brass at One Bills Drive must have packed their suitcases for Chicago with enough gear to get them through the next few days without sleep, or returning home at night.

Can’t imagine the amount of caffeine necessary in order to go through evaluating 90 players, deciding who gets cut, scouring the 1000+ players released to get to a 53-man roster in one step and then assembling a practice squad in three days.

So what did you get done over Labor Day weekend?

After looking over the Bills’ final roster there were no big surprises, although I might have scared the dog letting out a big whoop when I saw the Bills kept four tight-ends. And there was admittedly more than a tinge of sadness on my part when it was revealed Buffalo decided to part ways with Nick O’Leary. But I get it – and couldn’t be happier to see increasing evidence Brian Daboll is going to creatively use the tight-end position, something the Bills haven’t done for decades.

Elephant in the room

Photo from itvscience.com.

Might as well go on the record regarding the question Bills fans have asked way too many times over the years – who’s going to be the starting quarterback on Sunday in the season opener? Many might assume I would be in favor of ‘homie’ Josh Allen, whose former team in Wyoming put on a brave show against the Washington State Cougars in Laramie on Saturday, but got gassed in the end, 41-19.

Truth be told I think it’s too soon to start Josh Allen against the Ravens. While it’s understandable the preseason is used mostly for evaluating players, the shuffling of the offensive line created some major heartburn for me about putting the rookie in to start the season. But that’s not the only reason Allen shouldn’t get the nod.

Nathan Peterman did something during the preseason some Bills fans refuse to acknowledge. In the face of relentless ridicule after tossing five interceptions in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers last season, Peterman quietly ran AJ McCarron right off the roster. It wasn’t Josh Allen who did the dirty deed.

McCarron became expendable because Peterman quietly went from having a rough first week of training camp to playing with razor-like precision throughout preseason. If you don’t think the quiet and pious Peterman has a gigantic chip the size of Texas on his shoulder to reclaim his professional dignity, think again. But here’s where Peterman differs from others who would likely wither under constant ridicule.

Photo of QB Nathan Peterman from buffalonews.com.

Nathan Peterman doesn’t appear to be the kind of person whose faith is something he leans on to get him through the tough times. This is a guy (who McCarron once referred to as an ‘angel’) who lives his faith by showing it on a daily basis. When Peterman says he doesn’t let the vicissitudes of life get to him emotionally, believe him.

Now whether that will convert to success on the field remains to be seen. However, the maturity Peterman demonstrated despite being so unfairly maligned by those obsessed with highlighting failure is quite remarkable. He’s had nearly a year to ready himself for this chance at redemption.

Josh Allen is still trying to learn how to read defenses and react before a leaky offensive line allows him to be crushed into oblivion. Hopefully what we saw from the Bills’ offensive line in the preseason was a work in progress.

The most obvious reason Peterman should get the start is he at least has a chance to get the ball out before getting bulldozed into the ground. However, I’ll let the analytics folks deal with the tangible advantages Peterman has over Allen at this point.

My twisted view focuses on which quarterback is psychologically set up the best to win the season opener – and that would be Nathan Peterman. This is Peterman’s moment of redemption. If he can go out and string a few good games together, it will go a long way in cementing what could be a terrific role for him as a permanent backup to Josh Allen when the heir-apparent is ready to roll.

It’s no secret I admire Nathan Peterman’s plucky temperament. If the offensive line can at least give him a modicum of protection, he could ball out and finally silence the insufferable ‘snarksters’ once and for all. Even the NFL schedule-makers created the perfect second chance for Peterman when the Chargers show up for the season opener on Sept. 16 at New Era Field.

Let the man redeem himself and let the rookie sit back and see how’s it done.

Editor’s babble: Why fight the schedule gods and karma by denying Peterman the chance to shine? Peterman earned the right to start the season by his play on the field. Josh Allen has all the physical talent anyone could hope for in a quarterback, but is he ready to face the biggest leap in talent he’s ever seen? It’s probably the old Granny in me, but I’d like to see Allen sit for a few games (at least) and be protected from mayhem, like in the commercials. If you like cupcake bloggers, you can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO. 

Disclaimer: All commentary by authors is their own and may or may not reflect the opinion of the owners of the BillsMafia.com website.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.

10 Replies to “Bills’ roster basically assembled, now what?”

  1. Good morning and Happy Labor day !!

    You nailed it, Peterman’s play made AJ expendable and the Bills picked up a #5 pick next year.. That pick more then makes up for the #7 in 2020 they gave up for Coleman.

    O’Leary will be picked up and make another teams roster and if he doesn’t he could end up back with the Bills if an injury necessitates it…

    The big concern has to be both lines as neither showed much during the preseason.

    Jon Gruden made a comment about trading Mack, he said it would have been difficult salary wise to be able to pay Carr $25 million and Mack over $20 million a year.. He has a point, teams with young QB’s need to build the team around the QB before the QB’s next contract comes up.

    As the salaries continue to hit the stratosphere are the middle class fans being priced out from going to the games? NFL teams continue to raise ticket prices and raise the prices to park and all refreshments.. It is getting tougher for fans to go see live action.

  2. “The most obvious reason Peterman should get the start is he at least has a chance to get the ball out before getting bulldozed into the ground.”

    Sometimes it pays not to over think things and it seems like the Bills have taken this into consideration. The Bills OL seems to be vulnerable to the best defensive lines and a QB that can quickly process and execute are what is needed to help offset that vulnerability.
    Peterman quite possibly could have knocked the chip that was on his shoulder clean off by winning his first start last season vs. Indy in the snow bowl. Of course the offense relied on McCoy’s running but there were a few key passes including the TD to newly acquired Kelvin Benjamin.
    He has looked quick and precise in the preseason but you still wonder if the butterflies will turn his quickness into quickly made bad decisions. I don’t think so but the anticipation of this is still real. A solid off season, relentless preparation and a run first (at first) game plan will give him confidence. He has earned the right to start.

  3. Thanks Goose and anello…

    Agree with both comments here. Too bad Peterman suffered that concussion in the Indy game because you’re right, he was on his way to exonerating himself. Hopefully he can get in a rhythm early, that should help calm the jitters.

    Ravens D seems like it’s always a tough slog for the Bills. But the key to this game IMO will be more about how the BILLS D plays. They HAVE to help Peterman out, especially by getting some turnovers and a short field.

    Thanks guys! Here’s hoping he can get the job done.

    Robyn

  4. “Bills’ roster basically assembled, now what?”

    Now brace yourself for an ugly season…

    “That pick more then makes up for the #7 in 2020 they gave up for Coleman.”

    Meh…how’d their 2018 7th rounder fare? Same as Coleman… It was worth the bag of peanuts investment even though it didn’t work out. Coleman had a much likelier chance of panning out than your average 7th round pick. Most of them end up in the same place as Proehl and Coleman anyhow.

    • Agree on Coleman, it was worth the shot giving up a 7th rounder… He must have really under performed in practice…

  5. he couldn’t learn the offense.

    as far as the season is concerned i think they will be fine- in the hunt at the end like last year.

  6. From what I read, Coleman had an attitude from the day he arrived and rubbed the coaches the wrong way.

    Yes, both offensive and defensive lines weren’t great in preseason. If the Bills D cannot get to the QB, then the opposing QB will have all game long to find weak spots in the secondary and if Vontae Davis is in the backfield, he will be exploited early and often.

    Peterman has shown flashes that he can be a good efficient QB, especially this preseason. But that brings another former Bills QB that looked great in preseason and disappeared in the regular season… “Captain Checkdown” Trent Edwards. In Edwards last preseason with the Bills, he looked like he was about to have a breakthrough and become the franchise QB, only to bomb out in two regular season games and be cut by Cooter [Gailey] shortly after. Is Peterman another player that looks great in preseason, but is bad during the regular season or is he legitimately a good player, no matter if it’s in practice or in the games?

  7. “Is Peterman another player that looks great in preseason, but is bad during the regular season or is he legitimately a good player, no matter if it’s in practice or in the games?”

    I don’t think Peterman is the joke from the Chargers game, but I don’t think he’s as good and/or efficient as his 2018 preseason. Once teams are actually prepping for him and his limitations, not to mention him just going up against starters…he only started the first preseason game, I think he’ll start looking more like a mediocre at best QB that was drafted in the 5th round.

    I think 4 to 6 wins is likely…

  8. Thanks Robyn –

    Nate will be fine all year, especially with his quicker, 2 step Brady release this year. As long as he gets rid of the idiotic 5 yard out pattern from his arsenal and utilizes the big receivers/tight ends with slants, posts and sideline patterns as well as mixing it up with Shady, Murphy and Ivory then we won’t need to rely solely on Hauska scoring all of the team points.

    Both sides of the ball will compete, but my only concern is the lack of depth at linebacker…….we still need a Mike Singletary type middle linebacker and place Edmunds outside aka: Lawrence Taylor style! Let’s hope both Star and Trent Murphy stay injury free!