Bills Swift Personnel Changes: Acquire Cassel and McCoy; Rex Ryan Ground and Pound Resurrected
In the infant stages of the 2015 NFL off-season, the Buffalo Bills have made it obvious that they are working in Western NY.
So far, their activity this off-season represents the bold and braggadocios nature of their newly minted head coach, Rex Ryan.
On Wednesday, the Bills agreed to send LB Kiko Alonso to the Philadelphia Eagles for LeSean McCoy.
Photo left to right: Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso
And the day after, the Bills acquired QB Matt Cassel and an undisclosed draft choice from the Minnesota Vikings for two undisclosed draft picks, according to ESPN.com.
If you are a Bills fan, this is probably too much good news coming to you all at once, right?
How are you handling it?
It's not like the Bills defense set the world on fire last season.
They were actually towards the basement of the league in terms of rankings (29th), so in losing one of their better, young, up-and-coming DB's, the Bills took a step back defensively.
And this is a team coached by Ryan, Rex Ryan right?
Alonso missed the entire 2014-15 season due to a torn ACL; but in his first NFL game against the New England Patriots, although the Bills lost the game, Alonso recorded nine tackles and forced a fumble.
The week after vs. the Carolina Panthers, Alonso would top his first game, with 10 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack.
Week after week, Alonso would contribute conspicuously on defense, and in so doing, he would earn the Defensive Rookie of The Year Award.
And now the Eagles are in possession of Alonso; a player on the brink of becoming one of the better defensive backs in the league, who they will pay $4,300,401 over the next four years.
On the other hand, McCoy just signed a 5-year $45,000,000 contract with the Bills.
It's not like McCoy isn't worth the money, but with McCoy out of the picture, it looks like the Eagles just saved a boat load of money.
And, it's all about the system.
McCoy is one of the best backs in the league going to a team whose Head Coach believes in ground and pound.
McCoy is more of an outside runner opposed to a back that can burst through the middle and run down the field like Seattle's Marshawn Lynch, but Rex believes in running the ball, and that's what McCoy knows how to do better than most.
Run the football.
McCoy is a 3-time Pro-Bowler, 2-time First Team All-Pro, former NFL rushing leader, NFC offensive player of the year and NFL rushing touchdown leader.
In other words he's pretty good and is in the right situation to get those yards on a team with the 22nd ranked rushing attack this past season.
And someone who could be handing the ball off to him, early and often this season is Matt Cassel.
If EJ Manuel doesn't beat out Cassel in training camp, off of a season where he was benched at 2-2 for back-up Kyle Orton, he will sit again.
Cassel is more than capable of being a game manager and that's what the Bills need.
Someone to move the chains down the field, make good decisions with the football, and protect it.
It was never going to work-out in New England, Cassel's first career stop because of Tom Brady.
I don't even know why they employ back-up QB's.
Kansas City gave Cassel a six-year $62.7 million dollar contract in 2009, and after making the Pro Bowl as a fill in for Brady (2010), who was too busy losing in the Super Bowl, Cassel failed to live up to the expectations in KC and was traded once again to the Minnesota Vikings in 2013.
With the emergence of rookie Teddy Bridgewater, Cassel's services were no longer needed and here we are.
I'm not saying that the Bills are going to win the AFC East because the Patriots are still there, but they do look better than the New York Jets right now.