Colt: Hey, what is up Bills Mafia? Welcome to another episode of the Buffalo Nerd. If this is your first time here, thanks for being here, glad you’ve found me. If you’re part of the Nerd Mafia already, thank you, welcome home. This shows being brought to you by the TPPN network, or The Pigskin Podcast Network. This week, I’m super stoked because we’re going to dive deep into the Bills. We’re getting down to the sideline this week, and we’re going to get a little talk about what’s going on around the camp and preseason and everything like that.
This week, I’m joined Dan Fetes of buffaloplus.com, or you can see him on TV at 13WHAM over there in Rochester. Dan, welcome in. Why don’t you tell anybody that may not know who you are already a little bit about yourself?
Dan: Yeah, Colt. Thanks for having me on. I like the nerd mafia. I like that. That’s got a good ring to it. I appreciate having me on. I’ve covered the team now, this is my sixth season. My first season covering the Bills in the sidelines here in Rochester was Rex Ryan’s last year. I will vividly remember that as I was the guy that got the shot of Rex Ryan’s Bills billboard truck driving out of the team facility. Yeah, it’s been fun, and it’s been a wild ride, especially the last few years from– I was at the site. I was in Miami when they broke the playoff drought. I was in the playoff game in Houston. It’s a wild, weird way of covering this team as well as last year as we dealt with the pandemic wise, it was great to be back at camp more this year, and obviously with the Bills, and we’re recording this on Friday afternoon. I’m excited to get back to Bills Stadium tomorrow for the preseason game.
Colt: Yeah, it’s exciting stuff. The first preseason game back in the building, we got 18,000 people to show up when it was a practice. I imagine there should be a quite a few people there, especially because you do actually get a glimpse at Aaron Rodgers. He might trot around, throw a few footballs and stuff too, which is cool. Especially, it’s kids’ day too, I believe, doing something kids day related to, so it should be a lot of fun.
Thanks for coming on, Dan. I know you’re a busy man. Before we get into all the football stuff, though, like we do every week, we do like to highlighted charity on the nerd. Each week, it is chosen by the guest. So, this week, Dan chose MiracleFeet, a very cool organization. I got a chance to go and check out what they’re up to. It’s very cool. But Dan, why don’t you go ahead and just tell a little bit about them and why you chose them?
Dan: Yeah. Colt, I’ve done a lot of podcasts. I’ve never had this platform to be like, “Hey, pick a charity that is near and dear to your heart.” This was really cool. I’ve done other charities, especially on the pandemic, I sent money to places, businesses and some of that, and it’s funny because every once while you’ll get somebody that’s like, “Oh, why didn’t you donate to this charity?” It’s like there’s a million great charities. When you asked me to look at one, MiracleFeet is near and dear to my heart, and helps people and kids with club feet. It’s the most common birth defect across the world. There’s something like 800,000 kids don’t get their clubfeet treated. It’s pretty much when your feet have a right angle. My daughter is one years old. We just celebrated a birthday about a month ago. She was born with a clubfoot. I had no idea. So, that was crazy and wild. Follow on my Twitter feed, it’s been a hell of a journey, finding the right doctors, finding the right care. It’s 100% curable. It’s just about finding the right doctor.
We’ve become more passionate about clubfeet being open about our journey. It’s not going to hold my daughter back from doing anything. It’s crazy when you look at more things. Troy Aikman had a clubfoot, Charles Woodson had clubfoot, Mia Hamm had a clubfoot, and they’re all the top athletes in the world, or were at the time. That’s one that’s always really meant a lot to me as we move forward. I appreciate getting the chance to talk about my daughter. She’s had 30 casts, she’s had two surgeries, she’s in braces right now, but everything’s going well. So, we thank our doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, it’s about five and a half hours away from where we are. And we’ve made 17 or 18 trips down there. But we found the right doctor. Again, if you had a couple bucks hanging around, MiracleFeet would be a cool one to donate some money to. Thanks, Colt, I appreciate that.
Colt: Yeah, no, it’s very cool. I love that, and I love that it’s near and dear to your heart, because part of that for me too, was that I started this whole thing because my son was born with cerebral palsy as well. So, I’ve gone through these scenarios too, where you find these groups that are there to support people, that are going through things that they weren’t necessarily prepared for. It’s very cool. This organization especially I think is really trying to help out in other countries where it’s not as easy to get this access. I was reading some of the information on there. They’re talking about things where this leads to long-term stuff where people might not even learn how to read or do things like that because they don’t get exposed to the things that they need. So, very cool organization. Like you mentioned, it is treatable. It’s one of those things that it is something that can be taken care of. So, it’s about giving people the ability to get taken care of. So, very cool organization.
Dan: Appreciate it.
Colt: Like we do every week, everything will be in the show notes, you guys can click right over there if you haven’t found them already, if you do want to find them, they just are miraclefeet.org, you can head over there as soon as you’re listening to this. Like you mentioned, we are recording this on Friday, it’s the 27th before the Bills do play tomorrow. Before we got into what was really taking place, for me, watching this in the offseason, you mentioned you’ve been with the team for six years now. 2019 was the last one you actually got to be there for. I feel even in 2019, we started to see the transition, because me looking at it, it feels incredibly different to every other preseason that I’ve ever seen or training camp. How about you? What we’re building right now, does it just feel different?
Dan: Yeah. It comes from the sense of, you’re thinking like– I can’t tell you how many times and it’s the cliché, and like I said, training camps get repetitive if you’ve covered them, and then the weeks continue to roll on, and it’s a lot of the same things. But this training camp was different because Josh Allen on the offense just seemed to pick up where they left off last season. There wasn’t any of this like, “Oh, well, hey, the defense is ahead of the offense right now.” It’s been the exact opposite. The offense has been dictating training camp.
When people have asked me like, “What’s it like? How does Josh look?” We always used to joke around covering the team like, “I wonder what it would have been to cover a Tom Brady practice in New England?” or “What it’d be like to cover the great quarterbacks?” Aaron Rodgers, for example. The people that I’ve talked to cover the team, they say, “Well, the football doesn’t hit the ground.” That’s what’s happening right now in Buffalo. When Josh Allen goes through these 11 on 11s, we were there the one day he was 16 of 16 to start out 11 on 11 when they went live, where you’re like, “Oh, maybe you’ll get there.” Last training camp, we were hoping he would take the step forward. We thought third-year jump, all the stuff. We were never talking about MVP, that just wasn’t a conversation. And now you’re coming in here and you’re like, “Well, now he’s got these expectations. He’s got this $258 million contract.” It’s like he’s just continued last year season, it’s just carried on. So, that’s where it feels different where this offense just seems ready to go.
I was surprised to hear that Josh Allen’s going to play tomorrow. I just didn’t think there was any need, this offense didn’t have a preseason last year. They came out of the gates blazing. The pieces are all there, the continuity is there. If you wonder it’s different, yeah, it feels different, practices are up tempo, practices are fast. And not only that, I always remember, I’ll tweet out videos after practice of Josh throwing a pass to Stefon Diggs or something like that, and I’ll get a couple of people in the comments. It’s probably Dolphins fans being like, “Well, there’s nobody covering him.” And it’s like, this wide receiver. Yeah, dude, I’m not saying he’s threading the needle between three defenders. The difference is, is when the first two years of Josh, he wasn’t completing passes to wide open receivers, just a little go-route. Or, if he was completing those, the first few routes that they always do is they do like 5-yard comebacks and 10-yard slants all that stuff. The wide receiver would have to adjust and make catches all over the place. Every single ball is right in their face mask, right on the number. So, it’s not only that he’s completing the passes, instead, he’s completing them exactly where you want them to be. And all of those to me are just massive encouraging signs.Embed from Getty Images
Colt: With all that pretty much being said then, I’d imagine that when the deal gets done, we do sign this massive deal. We’ve never done this with a quarterback. Even when Kelly was around, he was being paid okay, but the number wasn’t even close to substantial compared to what this is. When you heard that number, what did you think initially? I think all of us were expecting it, like it was going to be big, it was going to be something. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be that Mahome’s 10-year deal. I feel that’s a disrespectful deal to the player, actually, that his market value is going to be like middling part of that. I like that it was a short deal, and we’ve seen quarterbacks into the 40s now. So, he could easily sign another six-year deal when this one is said and done, but would it ring for you?
Dan: Yeah, I was the one that kept saying like, “Sign him now. Sign him now, what are you waiting for?” I was under the impression that every single day that you don’t sign Josh Allen, he gets more expensive. My fear was that the Browns would sign Baker to $41 or $42 million, and that’s a whole different discussion. But I’m just saying, the highest paid quarterback isn’t necessarily the best quarterback in the league. That’s what people seem to not understand. Like, Kirk Cousins was the highest-paid quarterback at the time at one point, it doesn’t mean he was the best quarterback. It’s just people reset the market. So, when Dak Prescott reset the market, I was like, “Okay, the next person is going to get 41 to 42.” That could have been Lamar, that could have been Baker. And I was just thinking, Baker signs, Josh and his agent need to go back to the Bills and say, “Well, Baker sign for 41, I’m worth 44, you know that.” I was like, “Oh, no, this is going to get bad.”
I’ll start by saying that every contract is a good contract until it’s not. I go back to the Carson Wentz deal and I went like, “That was such a smart deal. That was a great deal.” And then, all of a sudden it wasn’t. And the Deshaun Watson deal is like, “That’s fair.” So, I will say that, and I will pump the brakes. What I like about this deal is that the Bills now can plan ahead. Obviously, when the big money kicks in, in about the 2023, I think it is, that’s when they’re expected the salary cap to go up to. So, everybody’s like, “Oh my gosh, he’s going to make $40 million that season.” Well, the salary cap should go up as well. So, you’re not going to take that massive chunk out of it. It gives them plans, they know what they need to do. You will see contracts that will be reworked in two or three years by Brandon Beane. There’s just no doubt about it. And that’s the thing that people talk about when everybody’s like, “Look at how long these Bills players are locked up for?” Jon Feliciano and Mitch Morse and Matt Milano. They’re all two-year deals, Colt. Every single NFL deal is two years.
We saw John Brown, like a classic example, you’re like, “This guy’s under contract.” It’s like, “Hmm, he’s not.” We saw Bills players take pay reductions. Not reworking money, just straight up reductions. While people say, like, “That’s being a team player,” I guarantee that Mitch Morse didn’t call up Brandon Beane and was like, “I got $2 million burning a hole in my pocket, man, can you take it?” These are all things that get worked around that this money side. But like you said, Josh, now it’s not a massive deal. Josh will get a chance to get another contract at 30, 31. He’ll get a chance to get it. The Bills will have flexibility moving forward as their contract goes.
Right now, this seems like a win-win situation. And that’s very rare that that can be said, but obviously we’re talking about this on August 27, 2021, but it could be a steal if Josh goes two, three MVP caliber seasons, this is a good deal, but you knew that this was going to be your guy, this was a problem. This was a good problem to have. You said they’ve never done it. The first part you’ve got to do is find your franchise quarterback, that’s really hard to do. The next hardest thing to do is design them. That’s what you just have to do. It’s the name of the game.
Colt: When the other piece of this is the number’s never going down. There’s not going to be quarterbacks getting paid less moving forward. At no point in this game is Josh Allen going to be like, “Yeah, give me $35 million now.” Like you said, it’s all two-year deals. His deal is remarkable, and he will rework it. He is that type of player, you can tell he’s that type of player. I believe the Bills are anticipating him to be that type of player. You just watched New England do it for 17 seasons and show you exactly how to do it. You now have the guy that will do it, and he’s really good too. It does feel like a win-win. And that’s why everything to me just this offseason has been relaxed. I’m like, “Yeah, this is cool.” It’s fun going into a season where it’s like you have the expectations again that you’re going to be good, and you’re seeing it. You’re seeing the preseason, I think I was listening to you guys on the Buffalo Plus, and Mike had mentioned vanilla in the preseason. I was on just the other day talking about this. To me, our vanilla right now is so much cooler than everybody else’s vanilla. You were talking about the whole part, are you a little nervous that we’re stacking so many points on teams in the preseason, because typically, the teams that are good suck in the preseason. I was like, “No. You know what, we’re just running real type of more aggressive plays. We’re just trying a little harder.” It just feels like our guys are like a little more energized.
Dan: Not only that, Colt, I looked at that preseason, and everybody was like, “Wow, look–” I was one of them. Brian Daboll just showing off with Mitch just getting the torch off the bears. I think that meant a lot. If anybody tells me that that preseason game didn’t mean anything to that locker room, you’re wrong. That game meant a lot. You heard Matt Breida come out and talk about it. You heard Josh Allen on Barstool podcast, just saying that he’s like, “Yeah, this game means something. This game does.” But I will say this, the more preseason games I’ve covered, and it’s weird going back after not having them last year, it’s so much more based on talent in the preseason than it is on coaching and scheming. So, to see the Bills just have more talent, I said that when it was Mitch Trubisky, and it was the backup offensive line, and he was throwing to Gabe Davis and some of these other guys, I go, “This would have been the best Bills offense in 20 years.” Their preseason offense was better than anything that Tyrod put together. Probably going back to a Fitzpatrick season, that was how good that this preseason was. And I don’t even think Brian Daboll was showing off anything.
I get what you’re saying, it was vanilla. Like he’s just saying, like, “Do this play, do this play,” because I think Brian Daboll is one of the smartest offensive minds in the NFL. The fact that he’s bringing back all these pieces and the continuity, I think the sky is the limit, and I go, well, Josh may not continue to ascend linearly, that’s just not possible. Everybody just keeps getting better every single year. I think they can still score more points, while Josh maybe has statistically not as impressive of a season, but he could have fewer interceptions, fewer fumbles, higher completion percentage, and the Bills could score 35 points a game this year. But I think it is unrealistic to be, well, Josh is gone here and then here and then here and so it just keeps going up. Quarterbacks dip and flow, that’s how the cat and mouse game goes. The Bills threw a lot of things that teams last year that they didn’t expect, not to get X’s and O’s, but they ran 10 personnel. They threw on first down more than teams expected. Those are things that teams will adjust. Now, it’s on Brian Daboll and Josh Allen too, that cat and mouse game.
Colt: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun watching the backups, but it is all depth now. And I agree, it’s pretty much you’re assessing the talent. We’re just seeing that our depth is way better than a lot of the teams that we’ve matched up with so far, which is good. That’s what we’re supposed to be trying to build throughout this whole process. That kind of trickles me into the next thing that I want to talk about, because there’s a couple position groups that I think are really up in the air and obviously now with some of the circumstances, injuries and other things like that, they’re definitely up in the air. You hit on Matt Breida already. What this means, he’s talking already like he’s part of this football team. When he comes on, he speaks like that and he talks about how important it is. To me, that makes me feel like he’s part of this football team and he’s been told that he’s part of this football team.
One of the groups I’m curious about is running back. Obviously, my position on it is that Breida does make three and he’s our guy. I’m not even sure that Jones sticks around this season. I think Williams is probably out and I think that it’s going to be the big three, Moss, Singletary, and Breida. Would you disagree with that or do you think there’s somebody different?
Dan: No, I agree with that 100%. I would give the edge. I know everybody loves how Singletary– his run in the preseason, just to get my take on a preseason and some of that. What Devin Singletary was or did or didn’t do in the preseason, wasn’t going to change my opinion on Devin. I know there were articles about how he was bigger and how he’s changed his body. He’s going to be this big guy. We’re over the part of the season where everybody’s in the best shape of their life and everybody’s working out as hard as they can, and everybody’s about to have a breakout season.
Devin Singletary to me at camp so far has looked like the Devin Singletary I have seen the last three seasons. He has got scatback size without scatback speed, and that’s kind of a problem. A way this offense wants to be engineered is much more like we saw with Zack Moss in the backfield in Chicago where it was these stretch runs, plays going off tackle where it was one cut, get downhill, and get your pads going. I thought he fits that more. They’re both going to have roles in this offense. I would just give the edge to Moss over Singletary. I think Moss maybe gets 65 to 35 carries, in my opinion. I’m with you. I think Breida has shown the veteran leadership, I talked to him earlier this year, it’s funny that he’s the veteran at 26 years old in this locker room. It’s how he’s washed up. This isn’t Frank Gore coming in at the end of his career to mentor these guys. He’s like, “Yeah, they told me to play music for one day.” And they’re like, “Yeah, you play the old music.” And he’s like, “I’m 26 guys. What are you talking about?” So, that’s interesting.
I think Taiwan Jones makes the team as that security blanket special teamer. They’ve put so much emphasis on special teams and Heath Farwell, and the Bills have had such a great special teams unit the last two years. I think he’s one of those key pieces, like Daryl Johnston, Jaquan Johnson. Those are guys that just really McDermott and Farwell light up when you’re talking about what they can do. Now, anything that they add extra on offense or defense is gravy, but I think Taiwan Jones has solidified himself as a special teamer. I think you try and slide Williams back on the practice squad. Worst case scenario, somebody gets banged up, God forbid you have two injuries in a game, Taiwan Jones could take a handoff in the fourth quarter if you need to, because he would be active for special teams.
So, you have four running backs active if you need it. I liked Antonio Williams until he got nicked up with a stinger in that first game, and it had the fumble, so that was a knock against him. But besides that, I don’t see too much change. If they didn’t keep Taiwan Jones, I wouldn’t be like, “Oh my gosh, how could they?” I agree with you though for the most part that it’s Moss, Singletary, Breida are the big three.
Colt: The only thing that makes me feel that Jones might be expendable is watching Gilliam and his role in the preseason, that he could actually step in and just take a few carries here and there. I think we’ll run more this season, but we also might not run that much. So, he might need come in and carry the ball like four times. Maybe, who knows? But I do– 100%, I’m glad that you said the Singletary thing because I’ve been Moss since day one, and I know everybody really dislikes that. When he said he bulked up, to me that was like, so you slowed down? I’m not sure that’s what you needed to do necessarily. He still looks quick and he looks fidgety, but that’s the exact opposite I would think almost of what I was needing from you. Breida is the speed now to me and that’s why he’s on the team because that’s what we need.
Dan: Yeah. Now, he’s shown a little bit more of that quickness that Brandon being talked about this preseason that I’ve liked, that missing a phonebook booth kind of thing, that was the big soundbite that Beane had that was so exciting. But I always go back to where people are like, “Well, Singletary was so good his rookie year and then he wasn’t great last year.” I go, “The offense changed so much from 2019 to 2020, and they’re not going to go back to 2019 is offense.” This offense is going to continue to be pass heavy. Right now, Moss is better in pass protection, and we hear Brian Daboll talk about that all the time. You’ve got to know who you’re going to block and block them, that’s how you’re going to get on the field. So, I think those are strikes against him. Again, yes, Singletary looked good against backups in a preseason. To me, that’s not where I’m like, “Oh my gosh, did you see that?” Kind of expected an NFL caliber running back to have a couple of good runs in a preseason game against backups.
But I always go back to where people are like, “If you loved Devin Singletary so much, Colt, why do you spend another third round pick the following season on Zack Moss?” It just doesn’t make sense to me that you are– I just don’t buy that the Bills are so enamored that Singletary is the clear one, and he’s going to get the lion’s share. I just don’t see it.
Colt: I don’t think there is a clear one, period, end of story, in this offense when you can use them as a Kinsey coming around. There’s so many just different pieces to it that there isn’t. Well, that brings me the next group, the wide receiver group. I think now it’s really cloudy because of the injuries at the bottom half of what’s really going to shake out here. Kumerow has been my guy that I think he’s on the team. I’ve seen some people saying he should not be on the team, and I find that, I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t get that at all.” I think not only is he a veteran player that has been in big games, he fits. He’s on special teams. Every down I’m watching, he’s on special teams. So, he’s finding roles outside of being the wide receiver. Is there is one player that you would put in and maybe kick out at this point?
Dan: No, I’m 100% with you. This has been Jake Kumerow’s camp. This isn’t a Brandon Riley, David Stills guys that are like, “Oh, he’s the training camp darling,” and try to get behind him. Just like you said, he’s earned the respect of Aaron Rodgers around the league. If you were to try and practice squad Jake Kumerow, he would be picked up in a heartbeat. And that’s how you have to look at some of these decisions that Brandon Beane makes. Can you slide some guys onto a practice squad? Now, there is going to be, what, 900 players that become active, that become released and that GMs all have to go through? Jake Kumerow is one of the guys that would get picked up. It just is.
So, if you like him, you’ve kept him in camp this long, you’re not getting assigned on a practice squad, he’s going to make the 53-man roster. As I was thinking, watching throughout practice in camp, he’s competing for playing time. If somebody were to go down, Kumerow has earned the trust and faith of Josh Allen that I’ve seen with my own eyes to be like, “Yeah, he could get a couple snaps in a game and it wouldn’t be the end of the world.” We know that Emmanuel Sanders has been dinged up, we know that Stefon Diggs has been dinged up. I see them going six wide receivers. Especially, like you said, Kumerow has been so clutch on special teams and he’s got size. For a bigger guy, he runs well. You’ve heard all the quarterbacks, you’ve asked them and they’re like, it’s crazy. Like you don’t expect a guy that big to be that fast, or guy that fast to be that big. So, I just don’t see how any single possible way that he doesn’t make the roster.
Colt: Was Stevenson going to make this roster in your mind before the injury?Embed from Getty Images
Dan: It was tricky, because–
Colt: In my eyes, he wasn’t. I felt like he’s practiced squad and we hope that he sticks there. And I know a lot of people feel he might get scooped up quickly. But we have to remember, he was a six-round pick. There was a lot of teams that had an opportunity to pick him up already, and just because he had one kick return in the preseason doesn’t necessarily change that needle.
Dan: Yeah. And that’s the other one, he makes a big play. He had the catch with Jake from on the end of the first preseason game. It’s like, “Okay, yeah,” but he hasn’t really shown me much in training camp so far. Again, I think he’s a guy that you could try and squeak into a practice, like I said, we always heard how great Duke Williams was and, “You can’t let Duke Williams go to a practice squad,” because how is he not playing in Buffalo? It’s like, well, if he’s not playing in Buffalo, then there’s 30 other teams that look at him and go, “He’s not playing on our team either.” I agree 100%.
The only tricky thing is if a team needs a returner, that’s the only thing where they could say, “Hey, if we need to return guy, he’s our guy.” But I think Isaiah McKenzie has shown, that’s what he’s done. He’s learned from Andre Roberts last season. He has muffed one or two in his career, I think somebody was documenting that. If you ever were worried, late in the game. You also have Micah Hyde that could be the designated punt catcher as I would call. He is sure hands, he’s not going to give you a return. But if you need somebody to go back there and fair catch a punt, he could be that guy. So, don’t be so worried where Isaiah McKenzie brings you the high upside if you need to play, need to spark. We’re like, “Well, you need Stevenson.” You’ve got other options. I think that what McKenzie does, this lineup and what we have learned from Sean McDermott from his time is that you need to be versatile and those 51st, 52nd, 53rd player can’t just do one thing. McKenzie has a role in Brian Daboll’s offense, he will have a role on special teams. McKenzie doesn’t have really a role on special teams besides a returner and doesn’t have any part of this offense.
I’m the same way too with Isaiah Hodgins. Obviously injured again. If you could try and put him back on the practice squad, that’s fine, but I’m under the impression that if a team takes a shot on Isaiah Hodgins, oh well, it’s how I see it. I just haven’t seen enough. Could he go off tomorrow? Sure. Would that maybe get some teams for him? And I think if that’s the case, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane would say, “Good for you. Go get your shot on a team.”
Colt: Yeah, I agree with that 100%. This team actually strikes me as a team that would be willing to just not put anybody back there and just let them pump the ball and wherever it lands, it lands and we’ll start from there. [laughs] I just feel like we would potentially do that. Real quick, I know we’re coming up on it, I want to get your opinion on one player on the defensive side of the ball because I don’t really think there’s much change happening over there from this last season. Not a big thing. I like Hamlin a lot this offseason, he seems to be around the ball all the time. So, I hope he makes the team. But besides that one guy that’s going to cost us money that I don’t think is going to make the team is Butler. Where do you fall on him?
Dan: He’s the other guy, like I said, I wrote down– you had said we will talk about the defensive line, and I have five locks and then I have five guys that I just think three or four make the team and I also just don’t think that any of them are able to slide on a practice squad. The locks being Hughes, Rousseau, Addison, Oliver and Star, locks, absolutely part of it. You got to keep some of these guys for depth, they had played with Obada, Zimmer, Phillips with the injury, Basham, and then obviously, Butler. Butler is the one guy that just to me has not stood out at all. I’m trying to find him on the field. Whereas I’ve noticed Harrison Phillips and he was the guy that I thought needed to have a strong camp, because I didn’t think it was going well for him. The way that you drafted all of these defensive linemen, you bring back Star. I was looking at the numbers game for Harrison Phillips. I thought he was playing really well. He played well in the Chicago game before getting injured. But we talked about versatility on other positions. Butler, to me, just doesn’t have the versatility that Justin Zimmer has shown, that Efe Obada has shown, being able to go inside and outside. Even Carlos Basham is a guy that has shown in his career, he’s played inside and outside too.
So, you look at Vernon Butler, he’s the guy that just only does one thing. So, that’s a concern for me. I know he took the reduction this offseason, but I still see it as, “What have you done for me lately, Colt?” I just haven’t seen much out of Butler.
Colt: I agree with all that. You see Zimmer everywhere on the field, he’s injured, he walks off and he comes right back out there, and he’s trying because he knows that he needs to do that and to be part of this team. Obada is the same way for me. It’s the versatility piece. He can line up inside. He’s going to line up outside. Every time he’s on the field, you see him. You know where he is. I get it’s backups and stuff like that, but he’s going to be in there rotationally.
Dan: But it’s the upside too.
Colt: Yeah, it’s rotational. Our defensive line, they’re all going to be fresh, they’re all going to be healthy because they’re all going to be out there very little. They’re going to be moving around and moving and grooving.
Dan: That’s my take on Obada. There’s just so much more of an upside with Obada than there is with a Butler. You just what Vernon Butler’s ceiling is. He’s a veteran, he’s done it, a team would absolutely take him in a heartbeat. He would be on another roster. This isn’t the end of his career. But I look at a guy like Obada, I look at a guy like Justin Zimmer, who I’ve talked to several occasions, the team just loves this guy. And you hear Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier talk about him. When I asked Sean McDermott, and he just goes, “There’s just something about him. He just has the it.” Leslie’s saying that like, “He’s the model that you want a football player to be like. And while there is some coach talk and stuff like that, they’re not going to blow smoke up their skirt just to say that. I really think that those guys have earned the respect, their stories. If there’s ever a guy that fits the Sean McDermott process, it’s Justin Zimmer. Guy has been cut and signed 26 times, Division 2 guy, has always scratched and clawed for everything. If he was a wrestler, he couldn’t fit any more into Sean McDermott’s team.
Colt: Right. 100% I think what it is too. And we’ve seen that that the character guys tend to make this roster. Especially the veteran guys, I think we’re going to see them get a little favor with all of the possibilities of how many guys could go down potentially, that those guys will stick a little bit more this season. But this team’s deep. It’s tough to be part of this team as it is. And if I can’t find you, and I’m just a casual fan looking for you, [laughs] then the people that are actually looking for you, there’s no way they’re finding you.
We’re getting right up here at the end, Dan, so I want to thank you for coming on. Before we head out of here, is there anything that you want to shout out? Anything you guys are working on? Anything you got coming up that you want to touch on real quick?
Dan: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of things coming up in the works on Buffalo Plus, also the big thing also too is the Buffalo Plus YouTube channel, like, comment, subscribe. We got full press conferences. We try and put everything out there. I got Tre White’s high school video. So, he was a quarterback in Shreveport on offense before he went to Louisiana. He was also obviously a really good corner. I got his video. I actually sat down with him and showed him his video and got him to judge off it. I got to show a couple of his players, “Hey, who do you think this guy is? It’s one of your teammates.” A cool story in the works, taken a little bit of time, but Tre white, I thought was one of the cornerstones of this franchise. You always saw him as this likable, happy-go-lucky guy, and then when you saw him sign his extension last year, you saw that softer side, when he was emotional about what it meant to him and what it meant to his family and the kids in Shreveport, a very poverty-stricken area of the country. Really cool to get to sit down and talk with him. So, that’ll be out coming up at the end of the preseason.
Colt: That sounds like an awesome story, and I’ll be looking forward to it. Obviously, you guys can find Dan pretty much daily or whatever over a 13WHAM or on buffaloplus.com or on the YouTube channel, the podcast. He is everywhere. So, you can follow him around. I do follow you obviously. You put out a lot of cool highlights and stuff from camp. So, I enjoy that a lot. It’s very cool. Thanks a lot for being here, Dan. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Hopefully, we get to carry the winning streak on if that matters in the preseason, I guess, I don’t know. It’s been fun either way.
Dan: I think so. But, yeah.
Colt: Yeah, it’s fun to win either way. Imagine if we went an entire preseason into the season and never lost the game, then that’s cool too.
Dan: That would be fun.
Colt: I’m not going to say no to anything at this point. But thank you everybody for listening in. I appreciate you guys, wouldn’t have a show if nobody was listening. Make sure you guys go check out the charity that we highlighted this week and all that stuff will be in the show notes. How you can connect with Dan will be in the show notes, and everything I’m up to, you guys can find over at thebuffalonerd.com. And, obviously, go Bills.