Clever football teams measure progress with how many yards they obtain vertically. Upward gains are useful even if the NFL doesn’t track them. A limited 2-D mentality may let you dominate Mattel Football. But modern franchises can still exploit the third dimension to head forward.
The Buffalo Bills are striving to move on up the AFC East. The roster has been missing a particular type of receiver. Upward mobility is needed in more ways than one. Huddles could use wideouts who can gain that last yard if they’ve already picked up nine, which may take jumping that high.
Brandon Beane added players who can’t buy suits off the rack. It’s easier to afford tailoring after making an NFL roster. The Bills are trying to get rich with wins by addressing a specific glaring need.
One of the innumerable reasons to hope for a return to normalcy is the prospect of seeing if rookies with a very particular set of skills will be on the roster whenever the heck seasons begin. At 6’2”, Gabriel Davis still has to stand closer to the team photo’s edge than Isaiah Hodgins, who’s an inch taller. Despite joining the club relatively late during the draft, both should be heartened by how there are at least two receiver jobs open. It’s a marked improvement from last offseason when there were about two dozen.
Each of the late acquisitions has the potential to not merely make the roster but actually participate. Now, that’s a nice first post-college job. Players ideally don’t need to convince family members they’re in the NFL. The task is easier after appearing in games.
Both new corps members may have to learn to tackle so they can play special teams. Helping on kicks is a productive way to pass time while waiting for more empty-backfield plays. Learning basketball may help, too, as this offense needs wideouts who can post up.
Management didn’t just grab any randomly talented catchers. The Bills added the specific kind of receivers they needed. It’s a deft feat to put off shopping until Christmas Eve and still cross every name off the list, which embarrasses anyone who spent Thanksgiving punching other Walmart patrons attempting to wrest control of the last air fryer.
Good crews have members with distinct abilities. The A-Team’s contrasting personalities made the ’80s worthwhile. Arguing over who gets to be Mr. T is a good problem to have.
You might get sick of pizza for every dinner no matter how impossible it seems. Feel free to test the boundaries of continuous delight provided by crust and cheese until the deliveryman knows your children’s middle names. At some point, variety is necessary even if it involves a break from something delicious. Teams won’t get far with receivers who all excel in one aspect. Duplicates are particularly useless when you don’t own one of everything.
There’s boredom in repetition if every receiver a team possesses only threatens to head deep. Foes recognizing patterns leads to drudgery in defeat. A corps with a single fixed gear will get restrained easily. Offenses with no subtlety are easy to counter. Just put enough safeties on the field that they can hold hands to prevent getting ahead. Foes win at red rover and football while they’re at it.
Like how the Misfits and ABBA are both pop rock, you can find different styles with the same job title. Take Buffalo’s diverse wideout portfolio. John Brown loops the globe on routes as Cole Beasley inhabits the underworld. And this is the weekly reminder the Bills got Stefon Diggs, who sure is evasive considering he’s running routes precisely. Other teams don’t know which pattern needs the most attention.
Role-playing wideouts only have to gain three or six feet if their routes take them into the end zone. The offense typically maneuvered there using other weapons. A low gain per reception may not tell the entire story if the scoring rate is high enough. Owning a Swiss Army knife means you don’t need to stab screws in. Putting individual skills to work is how to work together.
Throw it as high as possible for a nice change of pace from heaving it into the parking lot. A basketball shot is a different challenge for Josh Allen, who has to avoid the urge to take out light towers. Aiming high is just another aspect where a little control leads to uninhibited gains.
An extended specialist can contribute without being on the field for most snaps. That’s promising news for the rookie duo who want to finish their NFL careers with framed jerseys that saw action in more than preseason games.
Buffalo might finally have a full set of receivers. All it took was trading, drafting, and free agency. If there’s another way to add players, reply to a Bills tweet so the franchise learns.
Editor’s babble: I’ll never look at a Swiss Army knife the same way again :) Thanks, as always, to Anthony Bialy for his contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.