The dust has settled from the Super Bowl and the end of the 2019 NFL season. And already, in Buffalo and 31 other NFL cities, plans are being formulated for free agency, the draft, spring workouts, and the 2020 campaign.
This past week on One Bills Live, a variety of different issues and topics were discussed, including the Chiefs Super Bowl win, what we learned from the postseason, and what lies ahead for the Bills and the NFL. Here are some of the highlights from the show you may have missed:
1. SUPER BOWL FORMULA APPLIES TO BILLS
Bills fans looking for signs that Buffalo is making the right moves towards building a championship need to look at this year's Super Bowl teams. Albert Breer of MMQB.com has identified some key characteristics of the Chiefs, the Niners, and other recent Super Bowl teams, many of which apply to the Bills efforts at building a contender.
In his weekly column, Breer pointed to quarterbacks on their rookie contracts (more affordable), teams that identified a rookie quarterback in the draft and traded up to get him, and strong defenses as three characteristics of the Chiefs, the Niners, and several other recent championship contenders. All three qualities apply to the Bills.
2. 2020 BILLS SCHEDULE LOOKS DAUNTING
It's always a risk to carry over a team's success one year to the next. But the Bills 2020 schedule lines up as a challenge, and a serious upgrade over their opponents in 2019.
Both Super Bowl combatants (Chiefs and Niners) are on the schedule along with three other 2019 playoff teams (Seahawks, Patriots, Titans).
And the 2020 Bills will face the cream of the crop at quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyler Murray of the Cardinals, Jared Goff of the Rams, Ryan Tannehill of the Titans, Russell Wilson of the Seahawks, and others.
It's a step-up in class for the Bills.
3. BILLS CONTINUITY AN UNHERALDED ASSET
There's plenty of optimism about the 2020 Bills locally and nationally. They've got nine draft picks and plenty of salary cap space to add some important pieces to the roster.
But one unheralded asset they have is continuity. The Bills are one of three NFL teams that go into 2020 with the same head coach and coordinators for more than two full seasons. The 49ers and the Saints are the others.
4. AS GOOD AS KANSAS CITY IS, DON'T LOOK FOR A DYNASTY
The Chiefs have it all, right? A young, sensational quarterback, an offensive-minded head coach, playmakers in the prime of their careers all over the offense, and some sprinkled in on defense as well. With two AFC Title Game appearances in the last two years, they have the look of a dynasty just getting started, right?
Not so fast. It's tough to get a dynasty going in the NFL. Free agency, the salary cap, and just plain luck are a factor.
Former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker, now a in the media as the host of "Home and Home" on Radio.com, says Kansas City is capable of sustaining a dynasty, but it's not likely.
"They absolutely can," Tucker told One Bills Live. "But let's not kid ourselves—it's really, really hard. Really hard to be a dynasty. Guys like Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, Dan Marino—their combined Super Bowl appearances after their first one? Zero. None. They never went back again."
Tucker says the Chiefs had several factors in their favor this past postseason, and they got some help as well.
"I don't think the Chiefs go to the Super Bowl, if our guy, Ryan Fitzpatrick, doesn't go to Foxboro in week 17 with the Dolphins and win that game," he said. "Then the Chiefs have to play three playoff games, two of them on the road. Instead they just had two at home. Big difference."
5. ANDY REID – TOAST OF THE NFL
After 21 years as a head coach in the league, with the Eagles and Chiefs, Andy Reid finally got his Super Bowl win. And most NFL observers count that as the feel-good story of Super Bowl LIV.
But Reid's seven-year tenure in Kansas City started in tragedy. The Coach had just lost his son, Garrett, to an accidental drug overdose. And the Chiefs were dealing with the violent suicide of linebacker Jovan Belcher, who killed himself in their parking lot after shooting his girlfriend to death in December 2012.
Needless to say, the Chiefs were shattered and looking for recovery while they were looking for a new Head Coach at the start of 2013. Andy Reid was looking for healing as well.
Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated says they found each other.
"In January 2013 when they're meeting with Andy Reid…there was kind of a healing process when they came together," Vrentas told One Bills Live. "They were looking for somebody who was not just a good football coach, but Clark Hunt had to consider other things. He had to find somebody who could walk into that situation and build relationships with people. He was looking for someone who was mature enough to handle some of the emotional turmoil. They came to the conclusion that Andy was the right guy on a lot of levels. That was the start of the road to the championship."
6. CBA TALKS HEATING UP
The NFL's collective bargaining agreement with players has one more year to run, but it looks like there could be a deal soon. NFLPA executives and player reps met this week to look over the league's proposal, which includes an expanded regular season, from 16-games per team, to 17.
Andrew Brandt, who covers the business of the NFL for MMQB.com, says it's the most important part of a new CBA for owners, regardless of how much opposition might come from players.
"They (players) might be dragging their feet," Brandt said, in an appearance on One Bills Live. "But I don't see how a new CBA gets done without an expanded schedule. Because that's something of value to the owners, and what else do the players have to give? The owners have it their way, in so many different ways."
7. COMBINE'S COMING
We're now three weeks away from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. One Bills Live will broadcast live from the combine's media center from Tuesday, Feb. 25 through Friday Feb. 29, with complete coverage of the Bills moves, and the rest of the NFL issues.
And fans of combine workouts get a chance this year to watch them in prime time. The workouts begin Thursday, Feb. 27 with quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends on the field. And they'll take the field at 4 pm ET.
NFL Network will provide seven hours of combine coverage on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that week. They'll have five hours of live combine coverage on Sunday.
It's one of the NFL's premiere offseason events. So, why not give it the national television spotlight it deserves?