Here are my three thoughts on the Buffalo Bills as they begin their voluntary offseason conditioning program:
>Conventional wisdom says the Bills won't use their first-round draft choice, 19th overall, on a quarterback. It says they'll address defense, specifically their line. It says they'll get someone who can rush the passer from the edge or play inside ... or do both. All of that makes perfect sense. However, there is one quarterback the Bills might very well consider strongly if he happens to be available when they pick (even if it involves the possibility of trading down to get him): Paxton Lynch of Memphis. He's widely regarded as the third-best quarterback in the draft after Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Jared Goff of Cal. And the Bills haven't been shy about showing their love for the 6-foot-7, 244-pound Lynch, taking him to dinner before the Memphis Pro Day, which offensive coordinator Greg Roman and assistant coach Chris Palmer attended. "They appear legitimately interested," a source close to Lynch said Monday night. With a big arm and surprising athleticism for his size, there's a lot to like in this potential future franchise QB.
>Is there no end to the length Rex Ryan will go to remind all of us that he is, well, Rex Ryan? Taking the extremely bold step of introducing Donald Trump at the presidential candidate's rally Monday night at First Niagara Center might have been the topper for the guy who responded to heavy criticism about his defense last season by doubling down on it with the hiring of his twin brother, Rob, as assistant head coach/defense. You can call Monday night a triple down. Coaches tend to be better served by staying out of politics because fans of their teams tend to have very different political beliefs. It's fair to say a good number of Buffalo Bills followers aren't on board with Trump ... just as there are those who oppose Hillary Clinton ... just as there are those who don't like Ted Cruz ... just as there are those who want nothing to do with a Bernie Sanders White House ... and so on. Of course, that didn't stop Rex from making what the Bills were careful to point out in a statement was a "personal decision" to introduce Trump. It also didn't stop Rex from saying the thing he likes best about Trump is his willingness to "say what's on his mind." Just like someone else we know. More than a few people expressed outrage over Ryan's "personal decision," although I suspect that if the Bills' season goes as well as Trump predicted it would in his speech, all will be forgiven with Rex well before the November election.
>I admired the way Tyrod Taylor handled himself in the face of reporters' questions about his contract situation. He didn't merely say all of the right things by essentially saying nothing other than that his focus is solely on preparing for the 2016 season. He also did it the right way by displaying a coolness that suggested he's in total command of his destiny. Which, of course, Taylor is. If the Bills continue down the road of not giving him a contract extension and allowing him to play out the final year of his deal, Taylor knows that it's up to him to perform well enough to force them to either apply a very expensive franchise tag on him after the season or sign him to a very expensive long-term contract ... probably far more expensive than the one they would give him now. Yes, there is always the risk of injury, but Taylor knows he can't play in fear of it. Rather than pout, he took accountability for signing his current deal and living by its terms. Rather than stay home from a voluntary session as a sign of protest, he showed up and acted as a leader, giving full support to the team's new "ALL IN" slogan. Taylor's coaches, teammates, and the Bills' front office should be impressed by that.