The Buffalo Bills hired Doug Marrone as their new head coach in 2013. He quickly added some new talented pieces through the draft. E.J. Manuel was his 1st round pick and choice to be the Bills future franchise quarterback. Buffalo had some great moments in 2013 and finished with a 6-10 record.
The new additions in 2014 may help them reach the post season and challenge the New England Patriots stronghold on the AFC East division. With more big plays in the passing game, consistent play from the quarterback, and improved run defense look for Buffalo to be in the thick of things to make a post season push. Look below at key new additions who could help them reach those goals.
Sammy Watkins – wide receiver
Sammy Watkins is a tremendous athlete with big play ability. Buffalo selected him 4th overall in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Former Bills veteran receiver Steve Johnson now plays for the San Francisco 49ers so Watkins will be groomed early to become the number one receiver. He has the speed and burst out of his breaks to win at every level on the field. Watkins plays the game like a running back once he gets into open field and will lower his pads to run thru the defender. He has size and speed something the Bills have not had in sometime.
Brandon Spikes – middle linebacker
Brandon Spikes will bring some thump to the middle of the defense. He is physical against the run and stout at the point of attack. Spikes along with defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus gives Buffalo that solid triangle inside making it difficult for teams to run inside against them. His presence allows 2013 rookie sensation Kiko Alonso to move to weakside linebacker which is probably his more natural position.
Jim Schwartz – defensive coordinator
Jim Schwartz replaces Mike Pettine (Cleveland Browns new head coach) as defensive coordinator. Schwartz was formerly the Detroit Lions head coach, but before that he was the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans between 2001-2008. His units have generally been very good against the run. Something that the Bills struggled with last season. He inherits a talented all around defense with plenty of playmakers. If he can hold the ship steady where they were last year: 2nd in sacks, 2nd with interceptions, and 6th against the pass then improve the run defense Buffalo will be one of the top defensive units in 2014.
Bryce Brown – running back
Bryce Brown is a solid running back who came over via free agency from the Philadelphia Eagles. He has started several games throughout his brief pro career and is capable of filling in for an injured starter if need be. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have had their moments on the injury list and Brown is a good insurance policy in case one or both of them are sidelined. Most teams have gone to a two back system and not put all of the burden on one guy. Brown was a nice pick up.
Cyrus Kouandjio – offensive tackle
Cyrus Kouandjio was projected early on in the 2014 NFL Draft process to be a solid 1st round prospect. Then reports came out from an evaluation at the 2014 NFL Combine he had an arthritic knee. Cyrus fell into the 2nd round where the Bills took a chance on him. He has the frame, build, and long arms to be a good tackle. He has quick feet and the lateral agility to mirror speed rushers. He needs to play more with aggression to handle bull rushers and move defenders off the ball in the run game. Boom or bust type player, but on tape has shown he is capable of being a solid starter in the NFL with improved technique work and playing experience.