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Stillers vs Bills Preseason Pre-game

August 29, 2001 by Steel Phantom

Stillers vs

Stillers vs. Bills Pre-game:


It will be tough to find much of interest in this encounter; this is the last pre-season game for both teams and it is highly likely that no set of starters will play much.Beyond that, these teams will meet in Week 4 of the regular season; given the wildly inflated importance your average coach attaches to his genius scheme, I think we can be sure that neither team will show much.


I�ll be watching anyway and, probably, you will too.The Bills will come in 2-1 in pre-season having lost 24-10 to St. Louis, beaten the Eagles 6-3 and, last weekend, whipped the pitiful Bengals 20-10.The Bills have been on top at the half in each game.They gave 17 to the Rams to lose in the 4th quarter.They led the Eagles thru-out and, judging by the fact that they out-gained Philly 366/187, probably dominated.They certainly did that against the Bengals; although the halftime score was just 12-10, the Cin-Cats sole TD was on a 76 yard run by some scrub.The Bengals couldn�t put anything together behind the Great White Mitchell; in fact, the Bills had a safety and (2) INT during Mitch�s brief tenure as a starter.


All in all, the Bills have looked decent in pre-season but, of course, that means little.Match-ups are all and here are some that may be interesting:


When Buffalo has the ball:Under O-Head Mike Sheppard, Buffalo is installing a West Coast type scheme.IMO, this is a peculiar choice for a cold weather team but the fact is that the Bills had few options.Last season, Buffalo could neither establish the run nor protect their QB.This suggests that their OL wasn�t much.That may be so but the Bills did little in the off-season to improve that group.LOT John Fina is okay and LOG Reuben Brown can be a force (for good or ill) but the rest of the Bill O-line is highly suspect.That so, their QB will have to get rid of the ball and, for that reason, the antique Larry Centers, check-down receiver extraordinaire, is the #1 FB.�� The Bills have some talent competing at RB with rookie Travis Henry battling holdovers Shawn Bryson and Sammy Morris but even the great Juice, in his prime and with a cutting blade clutched in his off-hand, would have trouble gaining ground behind this line.Turning to Stiller-centric items


Interior OL vs. Clancy/Hampton and Bell:Against Philly, starting OC Billy Conaty went down with a shoulder injury.Michael Early is the backup and, while big, was un-drafted and is untested.Starting ROG Jerry Ostroski broke his leg and is out for the year; his replacement is 340# Corey Hulsey who has Early-like credentials.These young Bills will bring 660# of beef to the LOS; despite that, I�m looking for the Stiller NT to excel in this game.I doubt these young O-linemen will be able to react in time to check Kendrell Bell.


ROT Jonas Jennings vs. Aaron Smith: Smith keeps getting better; Jennings is a willing but raw rookie.Smith will take advantage early; after he sits, we�ll see Chris Combs square off against Bills back-up ROT Kris Farris.


RCB DeShea Townsend vs. Peerless Price: Price hasn�t done much but, unlike Toy, he has started for two seasons.Townsend played well against Johnny Mortan and, probably, can handle Price too.The Bills have a couple interesting rookie WR including 6�-2� high jumper Kwame Cavil and OSU non-grad Reggie Germany.Townsend, Simmons and Poteat will be out-sized but should hold up okay.


D-side bubble battles:


Battles vs. Bell for #4 safety.

Hoke vs. Combs vs. the ghost of Chris Sullivan for #4 and #5 DE.

Kurpeikis vs. Knight for #8 LB.

When the Stillers have the ball:After years in the 3-4, the Bills are going with a 46 variant of the 4-3.Whatever; what we see Thursday will be, say, a tenth of the package.Given that the starters will sit early:


Give Tee the first half:Martin�s pre-season numbers, 9/20 with a pick is not good.However, in the Twin Cities, Martin was victimized by his WR.I think he can play in the league but that remains to be shown.The 1st half Thursday is the last, best test available.


Sit Hines Ward:Ward bruised a knee in practice Monday; let him rest.Hines is the most professional WR in the current corps; he is a player you can win with but the jury is out on every other WR.Sit Ward down; test the rest.


Keep the Bus in the barn:With or without the Bus, the Stillers will have to run the ball effectively to win.Fu is the closest thing to a surrogate Bus; I�d like to see him get some carries out of the power-I and against the Bills top D-unit.Amoz will have a different package; like Fu, he needs some work with the top O-line against the Bills best, or near best.


Marvel vs. Phil Hansen:Hansen is a good approximation of Rob Burnett; he is a crafty, powerful but not overwhelmingly talented veteran.Currently, Marvel is the weakest link; the fate of the Stillers OL, increasingly, rests with this young tackle.


Spike and Toy vs. CB Ken Irvin and Antoine Winfield:Irvin has talent but makes errors; Winfield could be the best CB in the league if only he weren�t 5�-8� or so.Winfield is the LCB; match Spike on this man.Irvin is the RCB; we�ll see if Toy can make him miss.Nate Clements backs up Winfield; if Clements plays to his rep, he�ll shortly make an all-former-OSU CB tandem with Winfield.


The immortal Lance Brown:Another former Stiller brought to the snowy north by former Stiller Tom Donahoe.Brown is listed as the 3rd team RCB.


O-side bubble battles:


Brown vs. Baker for Malcolm Johnson�s role as �the other tall WR.�This may be described as the Danny Farmer memorial.

Taylor vs. Blackwell vie for the Michael Adams trophy as KR specialist WR.

Janes vs. Tuman for H-back/FB.

Ross vs. Vincent for the role made famous byJustin Strlyczek.








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