Monday, November 12, 2012

They're changing their tune on WGR concerning the Bills and Ryan Fitzpatrick...


They'll pick the tune to fit their needs, like all the media-types in the Buffalo area.

While listening to WTAM's Mike Trivisonno here in Cleveland (a team and area very similar to Buffalo) he had the best idea whilst talking about the Browns loss two Sunday's ago--fire all of the media.

The premise was this:  The Browns last loss was unduly put at the feet of Head Coach Pat Shurmur. Cleveland's QB, Brandon Wheeden, had an atrocious game, yet all the talk was about firing Shurmur.

But the point Triv was trying to make was this:  there are no sports journalists left in Cleveland. They don't report the game or add valuable insight, (nor do they even seem to have a grasp on the intricacies of the game.) All they seem to do anymore is look for one bad moment for their tweet and/or blog and harp on that. They then take that and proceed to do an expose' on a player or coach and demean them until the next bad moment for another player or coach and continue the cycle. Tis not for the fan, the team and/or the sport. It's for their own ego, their own satisfaction.

The same could be said for the Buffalo media.

I'm a big fan of WGR's Paul Hamilton. I believed that he was one of the few who could rise above media masturbation and come through as a journalist. But he seems to be falling into the abyss, being pulled by the likes of Jerry Sullivan, Mike Schopp and Jeremy White.

His latest article, The final big play is rarely there, is a continuation of his whining about QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who he deems "the franchise quarterback as named by Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey." He concludes his article with that same sarcasm, "in the end the guy anointed the franchise quarterback got them down the field, but couldn't come through in crunch time to win the game."

About the only thing missing from his Fitz-disdain was the token "I've been saying all along" pat on the back that Hamilton falls into when talking about the QB. A lot of the times I truly believe that the media-types, and fans as well, hope that things go wrong so that they can say, "I'm right."

Look, we all get it. Fitz has his limitations, but you mean to tell me that he'd be looked at in the same light, and would have the same record, if he was on a team like San Francisco or Chicago, both with elite defenses? And that both teams would be 3-6 like the Bills? Is Fitz worse than Alex Smith, Jay Cutler or even Mark Sanchez?

And look at the "franchise quarterbacks" that the media wanted to draft the past few years with the Bills first round pick. How is Blaine Gabbert doing? Or Jake Locker? Remember those two names, the ones most thrown around by the media in during "the year of the quarterback" draft in 2011. You might throw Christian Ponder in there as well, although the Vikes are 6-4 and he seems to be managing the game well (with a probable Hall-of-Famer in the backfield.) But, even his stats would have the media saying Minnesota could/should be better.

And should we even go to the likes of Tim Tebow and Wheedon? Hell, even Matthew Stafford is having a rough year.

Quick note to all you media types: defenses figure out quarterbacks, just ask Cam Newton.

There's nothing I'd like better than for Fitz to prove Hamilton--as well as Bills-nation--wrong and lead this team to the playoffs this year. But, methinks that even that scenario wouldn't be enough. He'd need to take the team deep into the playoffs. Then again, anything short of a Super Bowl win would have the media and fans finding flaws and tossing the words "draft a franchise quarterback" around.

Fitzpatrick doesn't have a halo around his head. He's not the savior that the sorry-asses in the Buffalo media (as well as it's fan-base) desire. It wouldn't fit the "damsel in distress" motif. Jim Kelly had the halo and fit the scenario (and choked in the Super Bowls.) That's what they want and Buffalo fans are still looking for a hero like him (even though Kelly initially spurned the Bills) to come in and save the day.

Gotta have that "franchise quarterback." And not only that, gotta have the halo. Gotta be a savior.

Hamilton's is in lock-step with Howard Simon who has been ranting about a "franchise quarterback" for umpteen months, although with less certitude and vile as Sullivan, Schopp and White (who all should've been "fired" yesterday). As early as the second week of October, was already looking at the 2013 draft trying to find one. And just this past week Simon and White (for the second week in a row) pressed GM Buddy Nix concerning a "franchise quarterback" in this years draft.

Simon, I thought, was doing a stellar job as host up until that early season article, but it's easy to see he's being pulled into the black hole that is the Buffalo media.

The more those lunkheads press on the "franchise quarterback" issue, the more I'm in Nix's corner. The Bills, like Nix has been saying for years, need much more than that (as the defense has proven so far this year.)

Today, though, did mark a change, at least for this week. The talk was not on the quarterback and his last throw--an interception with the game on the line. It was on the defense, which is where it should be. And Fitz can thank rookie WR TJ Graham for that. Graham admittedly said he made the wrong decision and should've went underneath. (Which leads to another question, how many times this season have the receivers ran the wrong route or made the wrong decision on a Fitz interception or incompletion.) That statement turned the microscope away from Fitz to where it should be--the defense.

Let's face it, the Bills have no linebackers. And finally the WGR morning crew came out and said (finally realized?) that much. They don't have a right corner either, which is/has been pretty obvious. How does that affect the underperforming defensive line and Defensive coordinator Dave Wandstedt (who wasn't mentioned by name very much today?) Immensely.

Teams know they can throw underneath on the Bills because their base linebackers can't cover. They also know that they can go over the top on the right side because the right corner can't cover. And when the Bills go to a nickle with "the little people" (as Tom Brady described them,) teams simply run on them. When the Bills defense covers their face, they get punched in the gut. When they cover the gut, they get punched in the face.

We'll see what the evening crew has to say about it all. Bulldog, Schopp's co-host, will probably go on some lunatic rage and go back to his "last-call, drunken hook-up" analogy concerning Fitzpatrick. Maybe throw in a "my-god, what are they doing on defense!!!" rant for good measure. Schopp will probably find some obscure stat to undermine Gailey and probably question the validity of going to a rookie in a spot like that. Hamilton will come on and say "I told you so" and carry on about how Fitz is not a good quarterback--maybe a good back-up--even though he's lacking top-notch playmakers at WR (save for Stevie Johnson.)

None of them will say that GM Buddy Nix has actually done a good job of rebuilding this team in the trenches. None will acknowledge that the team needs to stress defense--corner and linebacker--in the next draft.

One thing all of WGR will agree upon:  CJ Spiller should be getting many more touches than he's gotten thus far. Spiller has put the "Thriller" back in CJ "Thriller" and the media types are starting to recognize it.

Oh. And by the way. This is the same CJ Spiller that those media types were calling a wasted #9-overall draft pick. Yeah, for years Nix was berated by the media for picking him but now, after they see what Nix saw, they're leading the "more touches for the playmaker" charge. (and, if you look at what's after that pick, it's even more apparent that Nix made the right move and that Spiller was unquestionably better than what was there.)

What a bunch of wafflers. Fire 'em.

Some players to watch in the 2013 draft for the Bills (assuming they'll end up with a pick in the middle third of the first round):

CB--Xavier Rhodes*, Florida State
OLB--Chase Thomas, Stanford
ILB--Alec Ogletree, Georgia

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