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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Monday Thoughts: Bills quarterback depth chart...Sabres draft...Darcy Regier is insane..What is next for soccer?...and more

















Bills Thoughts

--I've said all along that I don't really care who the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills is going to be. If you look at the body of work from all three quarterbacks, they aren't exactly shouting out starter material. If you are going to judge their history, it would seem that whoever wins the job is probably going to start for say...4-5 weeks, if that. Then after that, it becomes a quarterback carousel. If you ask me, the only thing that is up for grabs is going to be who has the first crack at the starting job. However, have no fear quarterbacks (Unless you're talking about pass protection), I'm sure you will get a starting nod sooner or later--

--Here's what concerns me: Don't you think it's a little too much to have three quarterbacks battling for the starting job in training camp? There are only so many reps a player can get, and since they are learning a new system, wouldn't you want your starter to have as many snaps as possible? I can't think of the last NFL team that had a quarterback competition with three guys. Yes, I know, Gailey has his own depth chart for the most important position on the team, but I'd like for him to make it more official on the field, rather than in his own mind--

--If I were a betting man, I think Trent Edwards comes away as the starter. That's just my gut feeling. I think the Bills hierarchy of Ralph Wilson and Tom Modrak have always been high on him. Yes, I know, there's a couple of new sheriffs in town to dispute that, but I still think that hearing how Wilson was all over the selection of Edwards in 2007, has to have some sort of clout--

--BTW, I know some fans think that Gailey is going to be able to come in here and waive his magic wand and turn around the careers of whoever starts at quarterback. Sorry, but if you think I'm suppose to look at Gailey's career in teaching Jay Fielder and Tyler Thigpen how to play quarterback as evidence to have confidence in his coaching abilities, then you must really believe in Santa Clause. Sorry, but those Dolphins teams that people want to point to were successful because of their defense, not because of Fielder.

Oh, and don't get me started on Thigpen. He played on team that had to constantly throw the ball down field because their defense was so deplorable, that they had to play catch-up the entire time. Look, will the Bills quarterbacks play better? Sure, anything is better than having 1st time offensive coordinators (IE: Van Pelt and Schonert) teaching you how to play quarterback, but judging by Gailey's credentials, he's no Mike Shanahan.

Lastly, it should be noted that the only time Gailey had pro-bowl caliber offensive players was during his time in Dallas and those players ran him off because of his offense. If you don't believe me, the proof is in the pudding. From 1996-2002, Gailey's passing offenses were ranked in the following: 27th, 22nd, 9th, 24th, 27th and 19th. Hey, I'm just repeating what I read, so don't shoot the messenger--

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Sabres thoughts

--I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that car accidents in city of Buffalo must have doubled between the time of 5:45-5:46PM on Friday evening. You see, Darcy Regier was on WGR with The Bulldog and stated one of his most insanely, idiotic statements to date. Regier said that he believes that the Sabres have two of the top 20 centers in the NHL.

No, the Sabres didn't trade for Jeff Carter and Patrick Sharp. Instead, he was talking about Derek Roy and Tim Connolly. CRRRRASSSSSSSSSSSH. Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? I've heard some whoppers that have come out of the mouth of Darcy Regier, but with those comments, someone needs to put a blue and gold straight jacket on the GM and drop him off at the same asylum that The Joker and Poison Ivy are staying at. BTW, if you played back Regier's lip quivering press conference at the end of the year, didn't it seem like he was over Connolly? Now, I guess they are back to being BFFs.

If Regier really believes in those two players, there's no way in hell the Sabres are going to shake-up their top six forwards...ever! I mean, we may as well retire the jerseys of those guys. Hell, I may as well not go on Twitter or read Hockeybuzz.com during the offseason. I mean, what's the point?

I really hope that Regier made those comments in order to send a message to other GMs that he's not just giving away Roy and Connolly. You know, posturing the market or whatever it's called. However, something tells me that he truly believes that. This is the same guy who said that resigning Tim Connolly at the trade deadline was considered the biggest deadline move the team could make. I'm sure there are other gems that I can reference from Regier's idiotic quote book, but I'm saving those for July 5th--


--Now, if you are looking for me to bag on the Sabres draft because they decided to select "safe" defenseman, well, you've come to the wrong place. I hate drafts. All of them! Military drafts, drafts from the door being opened, Backdraft the movie, MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL drafts. All of them make my skin crawl. The only kind of draft that I am into, happens to come from the tap at a bar. I said this during the NFL draft and without question it holds even more truer in regards to the NHL draft; Fans and media members who give grades on drafts are complete idiots.

I'm sorry, but I seriously doubt anyone in Buffalo has ever watched the Sabres 1st round pick play in a hockey game. Even if they did, there's no way you can tell if the kid's skills can translate in the pro game. Not to mention, the guy isn't even going to play a lick of NHL hockey until the year 2013 and that's whether he can survive the minors or some Ontario hockey league that I've never heard of. There's no reason to get bent out of shape on who the Sabres select.

The NHL draft is the biggest crapshoot in all of sports. It's really the only draft of the major four sports that the possibility of a player not wearing your jersey happens regularly. Which is why I don't understand the Sabres love for their draft picks.

In the end, you can't judge a draft until 3-4 years from now, so why try doing it now?--


--Now, I know some people weren't thrilled with the Sabres love for drafting more...and more defenseman. However, here's the thing you have to understand about the Sabres, their system is predicated on being able to get rid of older players that start making too much money and replacing them with younger, cheaper talent. As of now, it looks like the Sabres are saying goodbye to Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder. From the looks of it, we are going to be talking about a very inexperienced blueline for next year.

The Sabres don't know if Mike Weber, Chris Butler and Andrej Sekera can play in the NHL. As much as I'd love for the Sabres to kill off a couple of their top six forwards, good or bad, those guys can play at the NHL level. More importantly, the core forwards are signed for another 3-5 years (Vanek, Roy and Pommer) and judging by what Regier said about Roy, no one is getting moved.

As for the younger guys I've mentioned, we can't say that those players can play in the NHL. By drafting a ton of d-men, the Sabres are in essence giving their young kids a year or two to get their heads on straight and if they don't, all these young draft picks are going to be next in line. Of course, the simpler solution would have been to resign either Tallinder or Lydman, but that costs too much money (Eye roll)--
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Soccer thoughts:

--I was really sad to see Team USA get knocked out of the round of 16. Yes, it was a nice tournament showing, but the bottom line is that we have seen the US get to this point before, only to get knocked out before we could go out and buy a Landon Donovan jersey. They made it to the round of 16 in 1994 and 2002, and I'm sure the commentary from the experts were probably the same as they are now:

"Oh, this team is on the rise and the next time around, they are going to have plenty of experience to go deep into the World Cup"

Unfortunately, the way it has been working for the States is that every time they take two steps forward, they take another step back when they make their return to The World Cup. In both 1998 and 2006, USA didn't even it make it to the elimination round. Lets hope the third time is a charm in 2014--


--Of course, we are now going to hear the questions on whether soccer can become popular in the states because of the showing at the World Cup. The answer is no. Look, this has nothing to do with the game of soccer, hell you can lump in the NHL when it comes to reasons both respective sports have a long hill battle with becoming relevant in our sports culture. It has to do with competition. There are just too many options out there for the casual sports fan to enjoy.

There's a reason why a sport like UFC has made such strides over the last 5 years, it has to do with the lack of competition. Boxing is a complete joke and unless Steve Austin and The Rock are going back to wrestle, it's a runaway for UFC. Team sports like the NFL, MLB and the NBA are just too much to deal with for MLS and the NHL.

In order for those sports to really make it in American culture, they need for something catastrophic to happen to their competition. I'm talking a major drug/sex/gambling scandal of major proportions. Think the Black Sox scandal meets Ben Roethlisberger's nightlife. Maybe a possible lockout for the NBA and NFL in 2011 can do the trick.

Bottom line: Someone needs to drop the ball--

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