The NFL preseason is a mixed blessing. Baseball is a dreadful sport. After 135 games and numerous Big Red Machine anecdotes by Joe Morgan, the summer begins to feel like a root canal. Preseason football helps ease the pain. That is, until the starters are pulled in the first quarter and you are left watching Jim Sorgi battle Charlie Batch in a gripping “AFC playoff preview”.
Madden preseason is no different.
I set two goals for the Bills this preseason:
1. Get out of the preseason healthy.
2. Make sense of Dick Jauron’s garbled playbook.
Neither goal was met.
One of the key changes in Madden 2010 is improved defensive line awareness. Gone are the 20 yard drop backs and Hail Mary’s to the speedy wideouts. An immobile QB will get swarmed the second he leaves the pocket.
I did not learn about these changes until it was too late.
Soft throwing Trent Edwards quickly left the Steelers preseason game with an undisclosed “spinal cord injury”. Later injury reports indicated that he would be out the entire season. Ryan Fitzpatrick came onto the field in relief, and promptly threw three interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
Lacking any sort of competent play from the QB position, Buffalo played the remainder of the game in the Wildcat formation, alternating between Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. The results were as expected, so signing a free agent QB moved to the top of the to-do list.
When Jeff Garcia and Andrew Walter are the top two available quarterbacks, you know you are in for a long season. Opting for unintentional comedy, the Bills signed Jeff Garcia to reunite him with Terrell Owens.
The comedic experiment was short lived – Jeff Garcia dislocated his elbow on the first play from scrimmage. Bitterly ironic? You bet. Welcome to Buffalo.
At the time of printing, T.O. was unavailable for comment.
With Buffalo traveling to New England to take on the Patriots in week 1, the Bills did not have time to sign or practice with a new QB. Win or lose Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the new starting QB (with punter Brian Moorman as the backup)