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Vic Carucci's Bills Mailbag: Coaching staff changes shouldn't threaten continuity

You have Buffalo Bills questions you've submitted to me via Twitter @viccarucci.

I've got answers:

Vic Carucci: I think continuity is a larger concern with frequent changes at head coach than with the shuffling of the staff, which, obviously is an extension of head-coaching changes. But the head coach sets the direction and vision for the program and when there's someone different in that role every couple of years, it's a problem.

As a first-year head coach, Sean McDermott did plenty right, but he also learned some lessons along the way. McDermott always is ready to acknowledge that the constant evaluating he does of the team's performance begins with himself. Although the poor production of the offense had as much to do with shortcomings at quarterback and other areas on the personnel side, it also reflected the insufficient play-calling and scheming of offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. His lack of imagination and use of concepts that didn't always fit the skills of the players, especially those on the line, made the decision to part ways with him fairly easy for McDermott.

Firing defensive backs coach Gill Byrd was another case of McDermott realizing after the fact that he didn't have the right man for the job despite the impressive work by safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Assistant defensive backs coach Bobby Babich worked primarily with the safeties, and they will tell you that he had plenty to do with their success.

If Leslie Frazier leaves the Bills to become head coach of the Colts, that will be a setback because he and McDermott are in lock step when it comes to guiding the defense. But if McDermott has to hire a new DC, I think that will have less of an impact on continuity given that the overall structure and game-planning will continue to flow from McDermott's basic philosophical beliefs.

VC: It's hard to envision the Bills keeping Taylor. I think McDermott and General Manager Brandon Beane want to move on with their own quarterback they acquire in the draft or through free agency or via trade – or perhaps all three avenues. The noncommittal approach they've taken toward Taylor publicly indicates his remaining on the roster would be conditional, at best, and more likely something that simply isn't in the cards.

It also seems unlikely the Bills would have any desire to retain Taylor under the terms of his current contract, which, as you point out, includes that $6 million roster bonus due in March. And Taylor told me in Minnesota last week he has no intention of accepting a pay cut for the second year in a row.

Considering that all of the other teams in the NFL recognize that Taylor's days in Buffalo are numbered, no club figures to be inclined to trade for him and assume the burden of the $6 million payout, especially with there being a very good chance Taylor becomes a free agent once the Bills refuse to write that check.

VC: I don't see any real trade market for Glenn, given the enormity of his contract. His base salary is set to be $9.25 million, and with a roster bonus of $2 million (plus $3.2 million in the amortized portion of his signing bonus), his cap hit is $14.45 million. It's hard to see another team being eager to take that on, especially with Glenn's chronic ankle and foot issues.

But whether the Bills trade or release Glenn, they would be stuck with dead-cap money ($9.6 million if they trade him before June 1, $3.2 million if they trade him after June 1; $11.1 million if they release him before June 1; $4.7 million if they release him after June 1).

For McDermott and Beane, Glenn represents a burden they were forced to inherit from the team's previous football decision-makers. My sense is they are not optimistic Glenn will ever become consistently available and are happy they at least have an answer as a replacement in Dion Dawkins.

VC: I think it makes a decent amount of sense, because I don't see the Bills spending a staggering amount for a quarterback. That simply doesn't fit the way I believe McDermott and Beane are building their program.

A deal in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 million per year – which, given the contract the San Francisco 49ers agreed to give Jimmy Garoppolo Thursday, is what you're talking for the likes of Kirk Cousins – would contradict everything they've said about methodically assembling the pieces for long-term success.

The Bills have many more areas to address beyond quarterback, and I believe that acquiring a player such as McCarron or anyone who would be more in the "bargain" category to serve as a bridge is in line with how they intend to approach the position.

VC: Center would seem to make a great deal of sense in the wake of Eric Wood's pending retirement. Even with Ryan Groy available to be the immediate replacement for Wood, I think it makes sense for the Bills to give the position serious consideration.

I also think the Bills believe they should address guard (Richie Incognito remains rock solid on the left side, but there should be long-term thinking at the position along with the potential to eventually upgrade from Vlad Ducasse on the right) and right tackle. As I mentioned, I don't think the coaches see Glenn as a dependable solution on either side.

VC: I think McDermott made that pretty clear with his mandate to his new offensive coordinator: Score ... more ... points!

VC: This is how I've always felt about trading up for a quarterback: If there is someone you've identified as the organization's consensus choice to be its franchise quarterback and there's a willing trade partner, go for it. And if that guy were Allen, I'd be inclined to do it.

What I like about your scenario is that it doesn't involve any picks next year. I'm not a fan of a deal that would mortgage the team's future, especially when there is so much in the present beyond quarterback that needs fixing.

VC: Definitely, but it's still fun to chat about for now (eventually, fun will turn to tiresome). Besides, what else would we be doing this time of year? Our slogan: "Keep feeding that insatiable content beast!"

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