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Postby hongwei28 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:45 am

Brief and disappointing as the Buffalo Bills’ first playoff appearance in 18 years was James Daniels Color Rush Jersey , veteran center Eric Wood can already find a bright side.

”I’m just so glad I won’t have to answer: `How are we going to end the drought this year?”’ Wood said Monday, a day after a 10-3 loss in an AFC wild-card playoff at Jacksonville. ”Now it’s, we’ve got a foundation to build on. Let’s keep improving and let’s go try and win a Super Bowl.”

One step at a time.

The drought is over after the Bills became the last team in North America’s four major professional sports to make the playoffs in the 21st Century.

Now comes the next challenge for a franchise still in the rebuilding stages of an overhaul that first-year coach Sean McDermott instituted upon replacing Rex Ryan a little over a year ago.

And that means more changes are likely in store for a team that was unafraid of trading or purging high-priced talent in closing the season with just 21 returning players from 2016.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor heads the list of players whose futures are considered uncertain, even though he has one year left on his contract and despite being the Bills’ first quarterback since Rob Johnson in January 2000 to start a playoff game.

Taylor oversaw an offense that, including playoffs, scored just eight touchdowns in its final seven games and failed to generate 300 yards eight times.

The Bills were already prepared to move on from Taylor in March before he agreed to restructure his contract by reducing his extension from a five-year to a two-year deal.

And McDermott lost confidence in the third-year starter in November, when the coach benched Taylor in favor of rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman even though the Bills were 5-4 and in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.

The decision backfired after Peterman threw five first-half interceptions in a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers, leaving McDermott little choice but to return to Taylor .

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is also on the hot seat for the offense’s lack of finish. In its final three games, Buffalo scored one touchdown on eight trips inside an opponent’s 20, including settling for a field goal despite six snaps from inside the Jacksonville 15 on Sunday.

The struggles weren’t lost on receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who was acquired in a trade with Carolina on Oct. 31.

”Offenses are made to score touchdowns, right?” Benjamin said. ”We definitely have got to get better at that. So definitely, there probably will be changes.”

McDermott was already hinting at changes shortly after the loss to Jacksonville.

”We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time,” McDermott said. ”That said, we’re not where we need to be. That’s obvious.”

TAYLOR MADE

Taylor’s deficiencies are apparent when breaking down his 23-21 record, including the playoffs. He’s 2-14 when throwing 30 or more passes, and 21-7 with 29 or fewer. Though he rallied the Bills to fourth-quarter comebacks four times http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-malik-jefferson-jersey , including twice this past season, Taylor is 4-20 when Buffalo trails by four or more at any point of a game.

STOCKPILING PICKS

Buffalo is scheduled to have the 21st and 22nd picks in the draft, the second acquired in a draft-day trade of first-round picks with the Chiefs in April.

The Bills also have two second-round selections, including one acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in a deal that sent receiver Sammy Watkins for cornerback E.J. Gaines.

WAITING ON WILLIAMS

Without being definitive on his future, defensive tackle Kyle Williams acknowledged still having gas in his tank to return for a 13th season. ”I think I’ve got enough to get there,” he said.

Williams, who completed the final year of his contract, said there is no time frame as to whether he will return by saying he’ll know better after meeting with Bills management. Williams contemplated retiring after last year before McDermott coaxed him to return.

ANOTHER DROUGHT

As one drought ended, another continued. Buffalo has lost five straight playoff games since a 37-22 win over Miami in a wild-card game on Dec. 30, 1995. Only three other NFL teams have gone longer since their most recent playoff win: Cincinnati (1990), Detroit (1991) and Cleveland (1994).

SECOND(ARY) TO NONE

Buffalo’s completely retooled secondary was the strength of its defense. The foursome, made up of cornerbacks Gaines and Tre’Davious White (first-round pick) and safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer (free-agent additions), allowed 14 touchdowns passing (second fewest in NFL behind Minnesota’s 13) and was tied for sixth with 18 interceptions.

Five Buffalo wins ended with the Bills intercepting a pass on an opponent’s final possession.

Add to that, White’s forced fumble on Tampa Bay’s second-to-last possession with 2:20 remaining to set up Stephen Hauschka hitting a 30-yard field goal in a 30-27 win on Oct. 22.



Todd Haley spent six seasons helping turn the Pittsburgh Steelers offense into one of the most dynamic in the NFL.

All the yards and all the touchdowns weren’t enough, however, for the fiery offensive coordinator to keep his job.

The Steelers chose not to renew Haley’s contract on Wednesday, three days after the AFC North champions were ushered out of the playoffs in a 45-42 divisional round loss to Jacksonville.

”I have made the decision to not renew the contract for offensive coordinator Todd Haley Jalen Reeves-Maybin Jersey ,” coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. ”I would like to thank Todd for his contributions to our offense the past six years, and we wish him the best in his coaching future.”

The 50-year-old Haley, whose father Dick spent two decades as Pittsburgh’s director of player personnel in the 1970s and 80s, was hired in 2012 and tasked with developing an offense around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Though there appeared to be some tension between the two early in Haley’s tenure, the results rewrote much of the team record book.

The Steelers finished in the top seven in total offense in each of the past four seasons, including third in 2017.

Pittsburgh won three division titles and reached the playoffs in each of those seasons thanks in part to Haley’s playcalling, the ascension of All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown to one of the best players in the league and the arrival and development of All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.

Brown is the only player in NFL history with five consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions. Bell is one of the best all-around backs in the league and his 406 touches in 2017 were 60 more than any other player.

Roethlisberger tied for the NFL lead in yards passing in 2014 and just as importantly saw the number of times he was sacked decrease substantially even as he put the ball in the air more frequently.

Haley and Roethlisberger downplayed any discord between the two, though Haley swapped places with Randy Fichtner in the middle of the season, moving from the sideline to the coach’s box.

Haley was injured during an incident at a bar near Heinz Field on New Year’s Eve shortly after the Steelers wrapped up a 13-3 season with a victory over Cleveland.

Haley was not considered a direct party to the incident and he said afterward he had the team’s full support and was told it was not an issue moving forward.

Less than two weeks later, Haley finds himself looking for work. Tomlin declined to endorse Haley’s return during his season-ending news conference on Tuesday. A day later Haley’s productive if tumultuous time with the Steelers was over.

Whoever replaces him will have one of the most talented offenses in the NFL at his disposal. The entire starting offensive line is under contract for 2018. Roethlisberger has already stated publicly he will be back for a 15th season.

Brown is signed through 2021. Bell’s situation is a little more unclear. The team can place the transition tag on him as it did this season, though he told ESPN.com he could sit out or retire if he and the Steelers do not reach a long-term agreement. Bell said on Sunday his hope is to remain in Pittsburgh.

Fichtner is the leading in-house candidate to take over for Haley. Fichtner has been with the team since 2007 and has spent the past eight years as quarterbacks coach. He has a solid rapport with Roethlisberger and the transition would likely be very easy for a team built to win now.

For all of Haley’s acumen, Pittsburgh’s offense came undone this season in critical moments due to curious playcalling.

Twice the Steelers were stopped in fourth down situations against Jacksonville. A first-quarter drive ended when Bell lost yards on fourth-and-inches.

Pittsburgh had the ball and a chance to tie the game early in the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger threw incomplete to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down when advancing the ball a mere foot would have extended the drive.

Those sequences came a month after the Steelers lost to New England at home on Dec. 17 when a potential go-ahead touchdown pass to Jesse James in the final seconds was overturned on replay and Roethlisberger attempted a pass after a fake spike two plays later.

The pass was picked off and the Steelers lost, costing them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, a sequence that helped cost Haley his position with the team.

NOTES: Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak will remain with the team. The Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former head coach of the Tennessee Titans had interviewed for the vacant head coaching job in Arizona but removed himself from contention saying ”the timing for my family was not appropriate for me to pursue this potential opportunity.” … Longtime wide receivers coach Richard Mann announced his retirement after 33 seasons as an assistant, including the past five with Pittsburgh.

hongwei28
 
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