I’m not sure the Bills have their priorities straight.
Yes, they got a new coach, which was well needed, but everything else I hear from the Bills camp kind of puzzles me. Mainly because Doug Marrone has made it very clear that he would like to find a new franchise quarterback this draft, despite it being a draft class that appears to be much weaker than ones past.
I don’t believe that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Bills’ problem. See, not many teams win in this league when they are ranked 31st in rush yards allowed and give up an average of 27 points per game. Yes, Fitzpatrick has had moments of ineptness during his stay in Buffalo, but if you look at the numbers and the system around him, I think his skill set is “manageable“at worst.
Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler, and Matthew Stafford are just a few names of starters in this league who had a worse passer rating than Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick also decreased his number of interceptions this year from 23 to 16. Combine that with the fact that the Bills were supposed to rely on their run game more this year (ranked 6th in the league), but couldn’t because the Bills were constantly playing catch up, and I think the Bills have a reason to rethink their priorities.
Also, 9 of his interceptions came in 3 games when the defense gave up 48, 52, and 50 points respectively. Meaning, if the Bills had not been getting torched on the other side of the ball so often and were able to stick with their dominant running game longer, Fitzpatrick’s numbers would look even more acceptable.
Now, this doesn’t mean by any stretch that I believe Fitzpatrick will ever be a pro-bowler or lead Buffalo to the Super bowl, but after their struggles this season on defense, their main focus should NOT be trying to find a “franchise” quarterback right now.
There has been speculation that Buffalo is looking at taking a quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd round in this year’s draft despite all of their other deficiencies and the fact that there don’t seem to be any “can’t miss” quarterback prospects coming out this year.
Maybe I am wrong and the Bills will find a quarterback early in the draft that has flown under the radar and takes them to the promise land, but if the Bills don’t focus more on their defense and figuring out a way to keep themselves (aka their running attack) in the game, it’s not going to matter who is playing quarterback.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson