On Tuesday, it was Bills general manager Brandon Beane’s turn at the mic to recap the 2022 season, which ended in Sunday’s 27-10 second-round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals:
Five takeaways from Beane’s 54-minute press conference.
Weren’t late in a groove
The history: The Bills saved their worst overall game for worst time (the playoffs). Period.
bean said: “We’ve done a lot of good things (and) you have to play your best football this season. This year we weren’t in the playoffs – we weren’t in a groove like we were in 2020 and 2021 (start of the playoffs).”
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Comment: Beane added that he doesn’t want to “overreact to a game,” which is probably a good move for the general manager. But Beane’s bigger point — the Bills didn’t later put together full games — should be his focus. Didn’t the team have the right depth to overcome key injuries? Were younger players not developing at the right pace and couldn’t they be trusted? Last month’s struggles require a full investigation of The Bills Way.
Bill’s GM Brandon Beane speaks to reporters Tuesday.
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The history: The Bills’ offense was held at a season-low 10 points by Cincinnati and had no first losses in the first quarter as they fell 14-0 behind.
bean said: “Statistically we’ve done a lot of good things this year, but recently 10 points won’t win most playoff games. We know we have to score more. At least in the last three years, I can’t remember a game where we kicked off 0:7 behind, 3:0, 0:14 behind. If you get a good program at 0-14, you’re getting a little off your game plan.
Comment: I will always go back to the first offensive games for each team, a game the coaching staff wrote days before. Cincinnati – a pass to superstar receiver Ja’Marr Chase. The Bills – a bubble screen toss to recipient Isaiah McKenzie. From there it didn’t get any better.
Nothing about the outcome on a soccer field could even remotely touch on the consequences of such flesh-and-blood events that are burned into the souls of citizens, Kirst writes.
Tense salary cap situation
The history: Beane said the Bills currently have “about $240 (million) dollars” on the books for 2023 and executives are awaiting a forecast range for the cap of 23. But the cap won’t be $240 million, so adjustments will have to be made just to do business in mid-March.
bean said: “I’m hoping for a lot of dollars. It’s $208 (million) this season, but I can’t tell you if it’ll be $208 (million) or $230 (million). It won’t be 240-something. Von Miller will not be signed. … We will be creative. We’ll try to win. It’s up to me to find out. We need to hit draft picks, we need to find low-cost free agents who can find roles, whether it’s a key support, a solid starter, or whatever.
Jeff Wilber captured the mood across WNY following the Bills’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday with a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
comment: Miller’s contract last March represents the Bills’ big-ticket free agent for 2022-23. The ’22 draft class is largely unknown as neither was a full-time starter, though cornerback Kaiir Elam and running back James Cook had moments. The Bills must spend the early days of free agency signing veterans to one-year contracts.
The history: Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer top the Bills unrestricted free agent list. There is no ready-made, in-house replacement for either player.
bean said: “Two boys who are real Buffalo Bills. Can’t say enough great things about her. (Poyer) is a pro and I know the whole contract thing, people can deal with it in a lot of different ways, but a lot of respect to Jordan for how he handled it. Man he’s a great pro and has done a lot of great things for us. Definitely would like to have him back. … Tremaine, it’s been amazing to watch his growth. Very proud of who he is and you can just see how he’s matured.”
Comment: Beane said the franchise tag was a possibility for Edmunds but did well to point out that the linebacker position includes the edge rusher spot in a 3-4 scheme and that tag is over $20 million could be. The Bills’ decision – Will you sign the younger player (Edmunds) or a player who will hold things together for the entire defense (Poyer)? Poyer could cost less and therefore be the choice.
The history: The Bills’ lead receiver, Diggs, had just one 100-yard game in his last eight and spent most of the final minutes of the Bengals game blowing up the sidelines.
bean said: “Stef is a competitor. (Carolinas) Steve Smith was very similar. I’d rather have guys I need to cool down. I can live with that vs. I’ve been around people I’ve interviewed (if) they’re just here for the Monday paycheck. Stef wears his emotions on his sleeve but that makes him really, really good.”
Comment: Diggs’ passionate defense among the Bills’ players, head coach and general manager was unanimous … but that shouldn’t condone his behavior. On the other hand, why only a 100-yard play at the end of the stretch? That should be a focus of getting Diggs to help keep him out of the defensive spotlight.
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