By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
The 2018 season was an odd one for the Buffalo Bills, to say the least. Finishing the season 6 -10, they failed to return to the playoffs, and the first round draft pick, quarterback Josh Allen, had a rough season.
However, analysts and fans are quite optimistic about the upcoming season. I sat down (virturally) to chat with Bills Mafia editor, Robyn Mundy, to see how she felt about the off season and the upcoming year.
Dayna O’Gorman: “Lets start with your Quarterback, Josh Allen. Many believe he will make a huge jump this season, maybe even being the most improved player from the 2018 draft class. What are your thoughts on Josh? What makes him special? And do you believe he can be a leader in 2019?”
Robyn Mundy: “Of course my disclaimer is that I’ve lived in Wyoming for almost three decades so I’ve been a Josh Allen supporter all along. Josh was not supposed to play last season, so it was unrealistic to expect him to do much on the field. Many don’t consider the fact that the jump from U/Wyoming to the NFL is much steeper than if you come from Stanford or USC. But as Carson Wentz showed us, even smalls schools can produce good quarterbacks.”
“Josh is the same guy in the NFL as he was in college in terms of personality. He’s a natural leader and will rally his team on offense and defense. Even the defensive players on the Bills support him. I think we will see a big jump in his development this season because he’s worked hard during the off season with Jordan Palmer on his mechanics. The accuracy issue should be put to bed once and for all.”
DO: “NFL network analyst Michael Robinson said he could see the Bills winning the AFC East if they stay healthy. He said the players picked up on offense this off season truly changes the team. What are your thoughts on the free agent acquisitions and how do you think they’ll impact the team?”
RM: “Absolutely LOVE the free agent acquisitions Brandon Beane made during the off season. Cole Beasley is an underrated acquisition and will transform what has been a mediocre WR corps for years. He should open up more opportunities for Zay Jones to finally become the WR the Bills hoped he would be when they drafted him in the second round of 2017.”
“Signing Kevin Johnson really added depth to an already stout group of cornerbacks and Mitch Morse is going to be Josh Allen’s best friend at center. If the Bills stay healthy, they now have an offense with potential to match their solid defense. They could make some noise in the AFC East. The opening game at the Meadowlands against the Jets could prove pivotal right out of the gate.”
DO: “When we look ahead to training camp, the first thing people are always interested in is camp battles. What position group should we be focused on when looking at those battles, and do you see any rookies taking over a starting position?”
RM: “Ed Oliver is most likely going to start at the 3T DT position after Kyle Williams retirement and it wouldn’t surprise me if third round selection tight end Dawson Knox cements a starting role since it looks like Tyler Kroft won’t be able to start the season. OT Cody Ford will also mostly likely start at either RT or RG.”
“There are two interesting position groups to watch at training camp this year; offensive line and wide receivers. The offensive line will likely be starting four new players, so it might be messy the first few games until they find their rhythm. Regarding wide receivers, Zay Jones has the most experience going into his third season with the Bills. But the acquistion of Cole Beasley and John Brown will bring veteran experience. The Bills tried to sign John Brown last season but he signed with the Ravens. His speed along with the other speedster Robert Foster is going to open up a lot of targets for Josh Allen.”
“The Bills also signed special teams ace/WR Andre Roberts from the Jets and he intends to make his presence known in the WR battle. Duke Williams from the CFL and UDFA David Sills from West Virginia are also going to make the training camp battle very interesting.”
DO: “The Buffalo Bills have struggled over the years, and the fan base has stuck with them through thick and thin. What keeps the fans so engaged with this team?”
RM: “My favorite phrase about Bills fans comes from former special teams ace Steve Tasker. He said Bills fans are made up of 90% scar tissue and I’m not sure there’s a better description of our fan base. We take pride in standing by our team through thick and (mostly) thin. The Bills are part of the fabric that makes up all things Buffalo and you’ll find BillsMafia shouting out to each other anywhere in the world on any given day. Our legacy of losing brings us even closer together. Our time will come.”
DO: “Looking at 2019, what are your expectations of the Bills? What would a successful season look like to you?”
RM: “A successful season would be for the Bills to make the playoffs. If they stay healthy, the Bills may challenge for a wild card. If [QB] Tom Brady gets injured, the AFCE will be up for grabs. Miami appears to be in a rebuild mode and the Jets are always a challenge for the Bills so it may boil down to which team stays healthy in the AFCE. If Josh Rosen becomes the starter for the Dolphins, it’s going to be fun to watch him, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen battle it out. The season can’t start fast enough!”
I couldn’t agree more. The 2019 season looks to have a few twists up its sleeve, including the Buffalo Bills. With new blood in their system, and a full year under the belt of Allen, Buffalo could end up being a fun surprise.