Since the signing of Terrell Owens in March, the Bills have been enjoying a piece
of the national spotlight in a positive way for the first time since the early
1990s, not counting Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions.
And since the Michael Vick to Buffalo rumors have subsided and seem almost
laughable after Vicks signing with Philly last week, it seems only natural
the Bills would follow in the path of footballs most overhyped star.
So it is the Bills have pulled into recent Minnesota signee Brett Favres
former stomping grounds this week for the third preseason game of their early
season. And with Owens sitting this one out, the Bills will be looking to test
the kind of hype-free Dick Jauron surely wants this season. The rest of us can
refer to these tips to watch for while were keeping an eye on T.O.s
Bills O against the Packs 3-4. Green Bay is trying out its
new 3-4 defense, and the Bills will get another chance to test out their newfangled
no-huddle attack against the primary defense of their division foes. One has
to imagine the offense was designed to attack the defensive scheme that gave
Buffalo its biggest troubles in 2008 and nearly led the Bills to go winless
in the always-competitive AFC East. Trent Edwards looks to fine-tune his playcalling
while avoiding the sacks that were on me in the Bills win
over Chicago last week. Green Bay had three in its win over Cleveland last week.
Also look for backup Ryan Fitzpatrick to continue to shine.
Picks and the Pack. Both teams scorched the competition with four interceptions
in their last preseason game, and the Bills have six on the preseason. Will
the Bills be able to keep up their feverish pace against Green Bay signal-caller
Aaron Rodgers, who was 5-10 for 102 yards and one TD against the Browns? Will
the Packs starters be able to decipher the no-huddle and turn those into
picks? The answer will probably lie with the winner.
Defensive Endgame. With Fridays signing of first round draft pick
Aaron Maybin, the competition at the defensive end slot officially ramps up.
This will be the last shining opportunity for rep-machine Chris Ellis to cement
in the coaches minds that the progress hes made in Maybins
absence this offseason and training camp should result in more playing time.
Keep an eye on Aaron Schobel, who some think is officially over the hill. You
can bet hell be rushing to prove them wrong.
Fight Club. Will the trademark feistiness that Dick Jauron downplayed
after the dust-up between Dominic Rhodes and Chris Kelsay translate onto the
field. Bills fans sure hope so, because patience without aggression will be
the road to another 7-9 record this season.
A-line O-line. A major barometer on the success of the no-huddle attack,
and the Bills season, will be the performance of its young offensive line.
Rookie Eric Wood has been turning heads in practice against Marcus Stroud. The
Bills will need that kind of protection for Edwards to see any success this
season. Also look for rookie TE Shawn Nelson to continue to improve. After shaking
a case of early-camp dropsies, Nelson grabbed a TD last week in the Bills
27-20 win over Chicago. Look for the rookies competition with more experienced
vets Derek Schouman and Derek Fine.