This morning's three quick Bills starts as Week 3 in Miami closes in...
1. Urgency is high for September. Some words and phrases are best suited for Twitter, instead of the blog and newspaper. Running back Boobie Dixon provided such a classic line on Wednesday. Maybe it is, uh, that "time." The Bills are 1-1 and there's a lot of season left, but you certainly get the sense from Dixon and others in the locker room that they want to reassert themselves as an AFC force ASAP. After two extremely hyped up games at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills head on the road for the first time. Sometimes, getting away allows a team to bond, to grow in a different way. Maybe heading south does that for Buffalo. Either way, players were eager to hit the field again immediately after losing to the Patriots and on through the week. Nigel Bradham and Nickell Robey were two players already itching for a rematch. And said Dixon, "We’re not taking ‘no’ for an answer this week.”
2. Spotlight on Marcell Dareus and Ndamukong Suh. When Dareus was detailing just how unhappy he was about his contract situation and I asked him what he was looking for, the Bills defensive tackle smiled and said "I'll just say, 'Thank you, Suh.'" Of course, he would eventually get paid in the form of a $108 million deal. Suh-like money, indeed. It's hard to argue with the Bills' stance that they simply couldn't let one of their best players get away. So often in Buffalo sports, the Dareus-level talents leave. Briere. Drury. Several running backs. Pat Williams, Antoine Winfield. Management deserves props for locking Dareus up, though now the pressure is on. Suh got a six-year $114 million deal. Is this the best way to build a winner? Was this all money well spent? New England's Tom Brady effectively took Dareus and the entire Bills pass rush out of the game with his quick release. Now, both Suh and Dareus will be on the same field Sunday.
"It’s a dirty-work position," Dareus said. "Guys just sitting in position make the least amount of plays; it’s the hardest position on the field to make plays. It’s come to a point where guys can make plays, so I feel like it’s kind of turning a bit. Guys are kind of manning-up, getting in the weight room a little bit, looking themselves in the face like, “You know, I’m not going to be moved today,” so I don’t know if it’s a glam spot, but it’s a different type of guy who can look himself in the face and say, “I’m not going to get moved.”
3. Run to win? Speaking of Dixon, he raised a good point in our conversation. The Bills spent money at wide receiver (Percy Harvin) and tight end (Charles Clay), two players they'll absolutely want to utilize. But is the team's best formula for success on offense running the ball 30-40 times a game? He thinks so. And it sure sounds like offensive coordinator Greg Roman will be going with a run-heavy scheme this week. The offensive line blocked better against the Patriots and guard Richie Incognito has been an anchor. LeSean McCoy called Incognito "A beast, a true beast, a leader. You can tell he’s a veteran.” There's enough here to work with and against the Pats McCoy looked like he did in 2013. Maybe the Bills don't rush for "300 yards" as Dixon says, but leaning on all three of their backs could give this offense a smashmouth identity that complements a strong defense. The best way to combat the Tom Bradys is to keep them off the field.