1 - B/R outlines recommendations for Bills’ building plan
Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott often refers to his roster as a “work in progress,” a malleable group built on a solid foundation that will continue to be tweaked as he attempts to construct a winning formula.
McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane will have the opportunity to further put their stamp on the Bills’ roster this offseason, as they’ll have roughly $90 million to work with in free agency according to reports. Bleacher Report writer Brent Sobleski outlined what he thinks the duo should strive to do this offseason in a recent article.
Continuing to build around Allen should be Buffalo’s primary focus, according to Sobleski. To do this, he feels as though the team needs to strengthen its offensive line.
The ability to protect a quarterback separates good teams from bad ones. Some of the blame does fall on Allen for extending plays, but the Bills lost three of their starting five linemen this past offseason.
Surrounding Allen with offensive playmakers should also be a focus for the Bills, according to Sobleski. Allowing Allen to disperse the ball to weapons who are able to create plays and make defenders miss would take some of the burden off of the young quarterback’s shoulders. Through 10 games this season, the Bills rank near the bottom of the league in offensive yards per game, averaging 268.6.
2 - McDermott thanks Pancho Billa: He did a heck of a job
You’d be hard pressed to find a fan base more passionate than that of the Buffalo Bills.
Each and every Sunday, rain or shine, snow or sun, nearly 70,000 screaming Buffalo fans pack into New Era Field to cheer on their beloved Bills, supporting the team no matter the circumstances.
Ezra Castro is often one of the screaming fans in Orchard Park. Castro, who is better known by the name “Pancho Billa,” is a Bills super fan who attends almost every Buffalo home game in a luchador mask and Bills-themed poncho. He’s become a bit of a legend among the Buffalo faithful, someone who Bills fans point to as a worthy figurehead of the entire fan base.
Castro has been battling cancer since 2017, and his story has been shared by thousands of Buffalo fans from around the globe. The story of his courage and resiliency eventually reached the team itself, as Castro went on stage to announce the Bills’ selection in the third round of the 2018 draft.
Castro has served as a source of motivation amongst Buffalo fans for months, and last week, he inspired the Bills themselves, sharing his story with the roster one night before their Week 10 clash with the Jets. The talk seemingly lit a fire under the team, propelling them to a 41-10 win over their division rival.
Head coach Sean McDermott feels as though Castro’s speech resonated with the roster.
“I think it was motivational,” McDermott said. “Anytime we can connect with our fan base and in that type of environment, I thought that was powerful. I thought Pancho Billa did a heck of a job; it’s not easy to speak in front of the team and he did a heck of a job.
“We try to impress upon our players and our team, in particular, the young guys, what it means to wear the helmet, what it means to wear the colors and connect with our fan base and the responsibility that comes with that. I think all of that just raised awareness on their end and that connection was made. It certainly stuck with the players, which I appreciate, the character that they showed.
3 - Zay Jones named to PFF Team of the Week
You know a player is on a hot streak when he’s establishing new career highs every few weeks.
After a bumpy start to the 2018 campaign, sophomore wideout Zay Jones has hit his stride over the past few weeks of the season. The 23-year-old, who finished his rookie campaign with 27 receptions for 316 yards, has already eclipsed his 2017 season stat line, as he has caught 37 passes for 392 yards through 10 games this season.
Jones’ coming out party started in Week 8 when he caught six passes for 55 yards in a loss to the Patriots. In the contest, the former East Carolina Pirate tied a career high in receptions, a plateau he set in Week 9 of the 2017 season.
In Buffalo’s Week 10 win over the Jets, Jones set new career highs in both receptions and receiving yards, catching eight passes for 93 yards.
The wideout’s stellar outing earned him a spot on Pro Football Focus’ Week 10 Team of the Week.
Can you say Zay Jones breakout game? Jones caught eight passes for 93 yards and two scores in the win over the Jets, and the crazy thing is his performance would have been even better if not for a fumble on the edge of the end zone, which the Bills eventually recovered for a touchdown. Jones struggled with drops as a rookie, dropping five of 34 catchable passes, but so far in 2018, he has yet to drop any of the 37 catchable targets thrown his way.
The outlet gave Jones an overall grade of 90.9 in the win.