Sean McDermott mentioned the need for designated leadership roles for every position group many times in the past. Most position groups on defense (with the notable exception of the defensive line after losing Kyle Williams) are fairly well set in this regard, but offense is another story.
Along with the gigantic task of establishing Josh Allen as the undisputed franchise quarterback for the Bills, the offense faces many questions about leadership at each position group. Mitch Morse seems the logical choice to lead what likely will be four new faces along the offensive line even though he will be one of the new faces.
It’s anybody’s guess who will emerge as a leader in the Tight Ends ‘room’ and the running backs have an embarrassing amount of veteran talent to assume the role. My vote goes to Frank Gore as the guy who will set the tone there.
But what about wide receivers?
It’s a curious group. From my perspective the “grizzled veteran” Zay Jones hasn’t really done enough on the field to assume a leadership role at this point. John Brown is an affable man but appears to be a quiet person who might prefer to ‘speak’ with his play on the field.
Robert Foster is a work in progress with respect to leadership. It took being cut for him to pull it together and he still has a lot to prove on and off the field as a leader of men. Hopefully he will live up to his vast potential and continue to mature as a person.
Does this mean by default the leadership role in the wide receivers’ position group will fall on Cole Beasley’s shoulders?
This seems to make the most sense. However, Beasley’s role with the Bills will be much different than he had as an under-appreciated and under-utilized member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Beasley has always been one of my favorite receivers for Dallas. I never understood why he seemed to be the forgotten weapon on offense. Their loss, our gain as Bills fans.
When Beasley left Dallas, he made it clear he was looking for a team where his talent would be utilized. Having been passed over in college and undrafted by the NFL in 2012 because of he was considered undersized, he wasn’t about to squander the rest of his career in a ‘complementary’ role.
If leaving Dallas wasn’t enough, Beasley also turned down an offer by the New England Patriots to play for the Bills. Read that sentence again if it didn’t compute. It didn’t for me right away either.
Beasley did what?
If this didn’t convince me I’m living in an alternate reality, Beasley’s instant defense of all things ‘Buffalo’ on Twitter certainly got my attention.
That’s somebody laying down some serious leadership right from the get-go. That tweet alone would make Sean McDermott smile even if he isn’t on social media.
Sometimes leadership roles fall to us for unexpected reasons. It’s how a player grasps that role in the NFL and runs with it that determines how effective they become in the locker room.
Beasley has a tremendous opportunity to immediately step into that role withe Bills and it would appear from his commentary this is the opportunity he’s been waiting for. This marriage of need and opportunity might just be the magic elixir to finally put together a solid core of wide receivers for the Bills. It’s been awhile.
It’s precisely these types of resources and skills that Sean McDermott is looking for in his ideal player. Cole Beasley is talented, experienced and foaming at the mouth to prove to the rest of the NFL that he can be a star wide receiver from the slot position.
Beasley was wise to realize he can do more for the Buffalo Bills as a leader than he could ever contribute to a team with a Hall of Fame quarterback and coach with lots of Super Bowl rings. The chip on Beasley’s shoulder alone could carry the Bills’ locker room.
It’s Beasley’s love for the game that sets him apart from many of his more ‘money-loving’ peers. Now he gets his chance to dispose of that gigantic chip on his shoulder. What better team for him to become an undisputed leader and star than the Buffalo Bills?
Editor’s babble: From a psychological perspective, Cole Beasley and the Bills are in a near perfect situation for both to blossom. Of all the players I’ll be watching on offense outside of Josh Allen, Beasley is the one I’ll be eyeballing the most with respect to how leadership develops on offense. If you got this far, you can also find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.